A new viral math equation has taken the internet by storm and people can’t seem to agree on the correct answer. Is it 1 or is it 16? Let’s find out!
The Math Equation That Is Dividing the Internet
Take a look at the following equation:
It looks pretty simple, right? Now, go ahead and solve it.
Did you get 1 or did you get 16?
As it turns out, how you solve it depends on where you learned math.
People started fighting on Twitter over the right answer, some even posting pictures of calculators showing the answers.
“I have 2 math degrees it’s 1,” someone wrote on Twitter. “16… this is embarrassing for some of y’all.” another person claimed. Even the staff at Popular Mechanics got in an argument trying to determine the correct answer.
So, Is It 1 or 16?
The answer depends on the order of operations you learned in school. There’s PEMDAS, which stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction, and there’s BODMAS method, which stands for: Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction. That means that either one of the answers are correct because both methods of calculations are accepted.
Now, this might sound a bit problematic. Imagine two rocket scientists coming with two different answers, both seemingly correct. That can become an issue when even the slightest variation can lead to dramatic consequences.
Some people pointed out that the way the equation is written is very ambiguous. So, it’s not necessarily that one answer is correct and one is not. It’s that the entire thing is vague.
What answer did you get? And, who do you think is right?