This question was part of some mathematics homework given to a 10-year-old kid in the UK, which asks to “calculate the perimeter of the composite rectilinear shapes”.
Stumped on the answer, the child asked his dad, who was equally baffled by the question, despite having qualifications in both math and economics.
The father then posed the question to Facebook in the hope of getting the hive-mind of the Internet to solve it. So far, only a few people have managed to crack it.
The father of the child told Manchester Evening News: “I spent an hour or so trying to work it out but found it impossible.
“I even sent it to a friend who got a 1st class degree in economics and they were baffled by it as well. A couple of friends are maths teachers too so I’ve sent it to them but so far I’ve heard nothing back.”
Despite the mass confusion, some people have figured out that the answer is 44 for both questions. The second question seems to be the most confusing, firstly as it requires a few more steps to work it out. Secondly, it is also ambiguous which side the “2cm” measurement is referring to. However, if you assume it is the smaller vertical side to the left of the measurement, you can also work it out. If you're still stumped, check out the tweets below for a few hints.
Nevertheless, whether you managed to figure it out or not, it’s safe to say this is a pretty hard task for a 10-year old.
@MENnewsdesk @AlexandraRucki 44 for both. Totals across and down must equal. 2nd has extra 2x 2s in vertical— B K Eindvistle (@eindvistle) 7 June 2016
@JimTeq47 @MENnewsdesk @AlexandraRucki nothing implies the bottom line is 12. Problem1 pic.twitter.com/BzIcRWB5kx— B K Eindvistle (@eindvistle) 10 June 2016
@JimTeq47 @MENnewsdesk @AlexandraRucki pic.twitter.com/YaJArIabRi— B K Eindvistle (@eindvistle) 10 June 2016