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The science and art of mathematically perfect bagel cutting

This guide to a mathematically correct breakfast would easily blow the mind of any Panera employee. 


Greg Seals


Posted on Jul 30, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 8:52 pm CDT

Remember all the times during high school math classes that you scoffed in the face of your math teacher and echoed the refrain, “When will I ever use this in real life?” Well, today is the day teachers all around the world get to laugh back, because math has reared its head at the breakfast table of all places.

Because there’s nothing more pedestrian than a down-the-middle cut, it’s time to take your sesame seed and everything bagels to the next level. The folks over at the Mathematics and Nature, possibly looking to rival the bacon Möbius strip, have compiled a bagel cutting guide that would blow the minds of your local Panera Bread employee. 

Image via Tumblr

The guide to the mathematically correct breakfast breaks down the fine points of turning your baked good into a Möbius strip, which involves plotting various points on axises and other stuff you’ve probably forgotten from geometry and trigonometry. But don’t break out your graphing calculators just yet. For those not interested in the fine mathematics of bagel-nometry, there’s a much more straight forward instructional video that demonstrates the cutting technique.


So what’s the point of complicating breakfast foods? Besides being fun and nerdy, the cut actually creates more surface area, thus more chance to smear that bad boy up with whatever delicious cream cheese your heart desires. Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to slice a bagel, some ways are just more intellectual than others. 

H/T spring-of-mathematics/Tumblr | Photo via julia manzerova/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)

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*First Published: Jul 30, 2014, 5:49 pm CDT