Math can be a little tricky if you don’t pay attention to details, but this is a pretty simple equation, right?

So can you solve it?

(Hint: make sure you thoroughly count the number of bananas on the third and fourth lines.)

Click the next page for the answer!

Image via The Mind Aware

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#### 26 Comments on Can You Solve This Simple Math Equation?

1. The answer is 20.81712059283. ↓here’s why↓
A=7
G=5+A; G=12
A=1+BBB; BBB simplified is B³ not 3B; B³=6, B=1.81712059283=cube root of 6
A+G+B=?
(7)+(12)+(1.81712059283)= 20.81712059283

3. Watch carefully! Answer is 21

4. John Alexander // February 5, 2016 at 7:44 pm // Reply

There are actually 4 algebraic symbols in this diagram. Equations are given to calculate the 3 of the symbols, but the 4th symbol (which looks like a single banana) is unknown. To say the 4th the symbol can be derived because of its similar appearance to another symbol makes no sense.

Think about it. If I told you the symbol E equals 4, would you then assume the symbol F equals 3 because it looks like E but with one less component? No. That’s not math. If the symbols have a relationship, that must be stated in the problem.

• Slender physics // February 19, 2016 at 12:35 pm // Reply

Except it’s the same symbol so rather if you want to make this into letters instead of fruit it would look like this
A=7
B=5+A
A=1+3C
A+B+C=?

• John Alexander // February 19, 2016 at 2:06 pm //

It is not the same symbol. You are saying the “visual construction” of the symbol should correlate with the value of the symbol, but I’m guessing this isn’t something you learned in math class. If you did, you would have to then say if the symbol ‘E’ = 4 (‘E’ having the visual construction of 4 lines attached to each other), then because of its appearance, the symbol ‘F’ (3 lines attached to each other) must equal 3.

Now, as a human familiar with bananas and how they can be separated and bunched, I get how you would assume the appearance of the one symbol (a bunch of bananas) may correlate to the value of a different symbol (a lesser bunch of bananas). This assumption makes sense given your external knowledge of how this symbol works in the real world. But it is still an assumption, and in math you have to only take what is given.

Think of it this way: Imagine you never saw any of these symbols in real life, and knew nothing about the relationships of the yellow symbols except that they have a common appearance. You did not know the larger yellow symbol was “a bunch” but rather just a bigger version of the smaller yellow symbol, would you solve this equation the same way?

If yes, knowing nothing about the relationship of these symbols, why would you choose 3/3 and 1/3 relationship since in appearance alone, without any real world 3 dimensional knowledge of what the symbol actually is, the smaller yellow symbol is much larger than 1/3 of the larger yellow symbol?

This isn’t meant to be argumentative. It is meant to demonstrate how our personal experience (in this case, our experience of bananas), and our bias and prejudgment (prejudice) based on this experience, can cause us to come to conclusions.

Using math, this is easy for me to demonstrate this application of bias using this graphic. And by understanding this is what our brain does, maybe it will help us in being aware when our brain is doing this in the real world.

• Omg thank you!! I thought I was the only person who thought that way. I don’t feel so alone lol

5. I understand why it can’ be 21 but I got zero because instead of dividing by 3 I used the single banana as a separate variable and solved for it which =-19 then I plugged it back into the equation and got 7+12-19=0

• Slenderphysics // February 20, 2016 at 10:18 am // Reply

The difference is although “E” has an “F” inside of it they are two different things how ever 3 bananas and one banana well I think you can figure that out

6. A = 7
B = 5 + A
A = 1 + C
A + B + C = ?

A = 7
B = 5 + 7 (12)
A (7) = 1 + C (6) NOTE: (you need to get C by itself and subtract 1 from both sides (7 – 1 = 6 and 1 – 1 = 0))
7 + 12 + 6 = 25

7. It is 21

8. I don’t no.puzzled

• The answer and the explanation are on page 2.

9. Akwensi Ebenezer // July 7, 2015 at 7:14 am // Reply

it trains the mind

• The answer is on the second page. Hit tab “2.”

11. i am getting 21. What is the final answer

12. 25

13. 21

14. Anonymous // May 27, 2015 at 1:02 pm // Reply

what is the answer? Is it 20

• The answer is on the second page. Hit tab “2.”

15. I don’t think your calculation is correct. Why count the banana and not the grapes? If you said we have 3 bananas, then we also have 17 apples.

• The number of grapes is irrelevant because the quantity of grapes never changes. However, in the case of the bananas, there are three in the third line and only one in the fourth, which signifies that the amount of bananas in each line effects their respective equations.

16. Anonymous // May 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm // Reply

21

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