You see them online where there is a math problem and the title says “Most people will fail”. They are frustrating and most people include the My Dear Aunt Sally Method. (Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract) Because of things like this, you find, while a lot of people will try, in fact, most do fail. So, most people you will ask, hate word problems. Lord, knows, kids hate them in school.
Well, here is a word problem that is virtually impossible to solve. It has gone viral from a 5th grade test at Nanchong Shunqing Primary School in China and it goes like this:
“If a ship has 26 sheep and 10 goats on board, how old is the ship’s captain?”
Now that you have taken a moment to process this, could you get this question right? Probably not and the internet has followed suit in it’s ability to be baffled, but has come up with some unique solutions to what would otherwise be an impossible question.
the Chinese math question about the age of the captain is genius in that in order to oversee a ship that carries cargo the captain must be a) at least 23 and b) have possessed the respective license for at least five years, making the answer anything above 28
— andie loves bday boy jinhwan (@sooyunjuns) January 31, 2018
42. The answer to everything is 42. https://t.co/ONj9XnO5AN
— Bobby Ghosh (@ghoshworld) January 31, 2018
That reminds me of that ancient question, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
— Serafina Stone (@Pyrowoman27) February 1, 2018
So am I the only one who multiplied 26×54 and then added 10×60 and divided by 36? The number of chromosome is 54 & 60. I immediately though it was a math/science pairing
⚡️ “A Chinese math question paper has left everyone puzzled 🤔”https://t.co/K83OiqCwfa
— Jon Hopper (@Hoppalicious) January 31, 2018
One BBC writer had the best guess of all
“The total weight of 26 sheep and 10 goat is 7,700kg, based on the average weight of each animal,” said one Weibo commenter.
“In China, if you’re driving a ship that has more than 5,000kg of cargo you need to have possessed a boat license for five years. The minimum age for getting a boat’s license is 23, so he’s at least 28.
So how close did you come to getting an answer?