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This Math Puzzle Given To Fifth Graders In China Has The Internet Confused

This Math Puzzle Given To Fifth Graders In China Has The Internet Confused
4 months ago

A math puzzle given to grade five pupils at a school in Nanchong, China, has left the Internet rather confused after a local news website shared photos of the questions online over the weekend. 

According to The Star, the question asks students to determine the age of a ship’s captain if there were 26 sheep and 10 goats on the vessel. Yes, we were as confused as you are. 

The education bureau confirmed that the question is legitimate and does have a few answers. 

“The role of education is not to produce standardised spare parts. Each answer can reflect a different personality. A question that can have different answers is a good question,” their statement read. 

The answer? Sit down for this one. People came up with a few on Chinese social media website Weibo. 

"The captain is at least 18 because he has to be an adult to drive the ship," one student answered according to the BBC
"The captain is 36, because 26+10 is 36 and the captain wanted them to add up to his age," another guessed. 

And then there's this one...

"The total weight of 26 sheep and 10 goat is 7,700kg, based on the average weight of each animal," another commenter wrote. 
"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." 

Other Weibo commenters complained that the question made no sense. 

"If a school had 26 teachers, 10 of which weren't thinking, how old is the principal?" one user added. 

While another added...

"This question makes no logical sense at all. Does the teacher even know the answer?" 

Some came out in support of the question. 

"The whole point of it is to make the students think. It's done that," one person wrote. 
"This question forces children to explain their thinking and gives them space to be creative. We should have more questions like this," another added.

Twitter wasn't nearly as kind, though...

What do you think of the question?