What is 8÷2(2+2) =?

Every few months, the Internet eats itself over some kind of viral riddle or illusion, each more infuriating than the last. And so, like clockwork, this maddening math problem has gone viral, following in the grand tradition of such traumatic events as The Dress and Yanny/Laurel.


These kinds of conundrums are purposely meant to divide and conquer, and predictably, the seemingly simple problem posed in the offending tweet—8÷2(2+2)—practically caused a civil war in the Popular Mechanics office, which we also share with our (former) friends at Runner’s World and Bicycling magazines.