horse, boot, horseshoe

Illustration by Max Fleishman

It’s simpler than it looks.

We love picking apart puzzles and math equations, but one algebraic horse race is stumping the internet.

A few weeks ago, an equation appeared on Facebook showing a simple algebra problem with illustrations of horses, horseshoes, and cowboy boots in place of numbers. The first three lines demonstrate the value of each symbol while the fourth asks for the solution.

[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/nejib.tej1/posts/10205775671824979 embed.]

Like any viral math problem, commenters have a wide variety of answers depending on how they tried to solve it. Some added and multiplied things in the wrong order, while others arrived at different answers to how much each illustration is worth.

Think you’ve got it? A video from MindYourDecisions explains the solution in detail, and it’s a lot easier than you’d expect given the amount of scrutiny over the post. We won’t reveal it here in case you want to try it yourself, but you should start with the horses’ value and always remember the order of operations.

Now get galloping!

H/T Mashable

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