A seemingly ‘unsolvable’ question appeared in the maths paper of a Chinese primary school in the district of Shunqing. This question left everyone, from students to social media, scratching their heads.
The question that is apparently ‘unsolvable’ came in the exam of fifth grade students who are about 10 to 12 years old. The question was this: If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship’s captain?’
This question, which had details very irrelevant to it, sparked debate and curiousness across the internet and made it viral overnight.
Images of the question along with innocent attempts by the students went viral on social media where people began debating over it and tried to put their two cents on how to solve the question.
Some were very critical and said that this question does not make any sense. One of the social media users asked “If a school had 26 teachers, 10 of which weren’t thinking, how old is the principal?”
However, the students did try to answer this question in their own ways. One student answered “The captain is 36, because 26 + 10 is 36 and the captain wanted them to add up to his age”
Our favorite has to be this one.
“The captain is at least 18 because he has to be an adult to drive the ship”
Another kid simply chose to give up rather than indulging himself into the maze and wrote ‘The captain’s age is… I don’t know. I can’t solve this’
When the education officials where approached on this matter, they said the question was not a mistake but it was meant to highlight ‘critical awareness’ among the students.