Math has always been an intriguing subject that is loathed and liked with equal measure. To some, math it a fulfilling subject and they take pleasure in solving equations while to others, it is a dizzying brain teaser. Some equations appear to be simple to solve but wait until you start solving them! Actually, their complexity appears to lie in their simplicity.

It is such kind of an equation that has been trending online and has ignited a lot of debate. Online users seem to disagree on what could be the correct formula to solve the equation and what the right answer is. The equation in question that has baffled the internet users is 8÷2(2+2). This equation was shared by a twitter user by the name @pjmdoll. At a glance, it appears to be a very simple equation to solve. The confusion here is what is the appropriate formula to apply to solve it. Some people are of the opinion that it is BODMAS while others say it should be PEDMAS. These are formula that provides the order on how the equation should be solved.

BODMAS stands for brackets, order of exponents, division, multiplication, addition and subtraction. For those advocating for this formula, they argue the answer is one. PEDMAS, meanwhile, is an acronym for parenthesis, exponents, division, multiplication, addition and subtraction. This formula provides the order for solving the equation. Those advocating for this formula give the answer to be 16.

A user going by the name @KnaughtMonk replied by giving the answer as 1. The user proceeded to show the calculation using BODMAS to arrive at this answer, 8÷2(2×2) = 8÷2(4) = 8÷8 = 1. Another user, @NomeDaBarbarian argues that the answer could either be one or 16 depending on which mathematician you listen to. He continues to say that math is just a language and the order of operation is not a hard and fast rule. @gcfssea says “It’s 16 omg the replies embarrassing…” while another user says that the equation reminds her of staring out the window and daydreaming through math class. This replies are a true indication of how mind boggling this simple equation can be.

This is not the first math problem that has generated a heated debate online. There have been several math problems posted online that have gone viral in the past because of their simple but hard-to-crack nature. An example of such equation that has trended in the past is 48÷2(9+3). This problem generated a lot of excitement across major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Users could not agree on what the right answer to the math problem was. Others were of the opinion that it was two while others insisted it to be 288. The contention at the time again was PEDMAS and BODMAS.