# This maths equation is dividing the internet

Maths is a bloody funny subject. Seemingly obeying no laws but its arbitrary own ones, it’s the kinda thing you either love or hate. Obviously, we all know that your basic add, minus, divide and multiply is pretty standard, but once you get even a little trickier, it becomes a foreign bloody language. To make things worse, once you’re out of school and you don’t have the answers in the back of the textbook, you’ve gotta remember the rules, and that, well, it has mixed results. Check out some of these maths debaters to see why…

Rightio, so what we’re gonna do here is go right back to the start of the whole shemozzle. Some rando on Twitter has decided they’re gonna entertain everyone and put up a maths equation. Obviously, it’s time for us to gloat and say we got it in one because we remembered the rules, but not everyone agrees.

What we’re gonna do here is tell you what we thought you had to do to work it out – and we’re by no means mathematicians – so we can then have a squiz at what the clever buggers over at IFL Science say you need to do.

We thought you had to add up the brackets and then multiply the contents by the number in front of them. That’d give you 8, right? Then you divide that s**t by the first ‘8’ and the answer you get is 1. Mike-drop. Call us the calculator kid from now on! (In fairness, we have no idea if this is correct, but it feels right and despite what your maths teacher tells you, we never use anything other than basic maths when we’re at work!)

Now, it’s worth mentioning that even calculators have been getting different results from this, so checking your answers can be a bit bloody tricky. And that might explain why various ‘experts’ have been adding their own two cents and getting ready to throw down.

Anyway, IFL Science, the collection of boffins that it is, has shown how the two results are causing so much division: the sum is written wrong and, as a result is deliberately ambiguous.

“What’s missing in the equation is a couple of brackets that would allow someone to arrive at the correct solution without ambiguity. You could have (8 ÷2)x(2+2), which would equal 16, or you could write it as 8÷[2x(2+2)], which equals 1. Both these options would certainly have been more straightforward, but they probably wouldn’t have gone viral.” – IFL Science.