Ridiculous math problem that stumps internet turns out to be a troll
Among the many internet trends people tend to gravitate towards, difficult, nonsensical, or ridiculous math problems receive a load of attention. But sometimes, things aren’t what they appear to be.
An absurd math problem grabbed the attention of the internet earlier this week, causing a mini uproar among very smart people who yearned to criticize those who educate our youth. The problem? It was taken completely out of context.
“An orchestra of 120 players takes 40 minutes to play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. How long would it take for 60 players to play the symphony,” the question asks.
Obviously, the length of a symphony does not depend on how many players are performing, so the question was bogus, which Twitter lovingly pointed out.
That’s like saying “It takes 9 months for a woman to have a baby, how long would it take for 2 women to have a baby?”
— Mark Ford (@fordie) October 10, 2017
Two options, it is a logic trap question or the question writer is an imbecile.
— D Lindberg (@dlindber) October 9, 2017
Turns out that the problem was actually a trick question, which was clearly noted at the top of the worksheet.
Claire Longmoor, a math teacher from Nottingham, England, responded to a tweet that criticized the question. Apparently, Longmoor wrote the question for a worksheet 10 years ago, and uploaded the full thing as proof.
The worksheet was intended to show examples of direct and inverse proportion, and the bogus question was purposely placed to show that in this incident, things don’t work that way. Thankfully, Longmoor noticed and was happy to provide some more insight.