A graphic shows several watermelons which have been cut into halves and three-quarters. We are asked to determine how many watermelons are in the picture.
How Many Watermelons?
The graphic has been seen in heavy social media circulation in February 2016, and includes a caption that reads:
99% will fail this, how many water melons are here?
Despite obvious grammatical problems, the meme has elicited a measure of debate among social media users.
It seems obvious that the “99%” statistic was probably manufactured and only included as click-bait, as there are multiple interpretations of the graphic which lead to different answers. The wide variety of responses shows that there is no single answer with a 99% consensus (right or wrong).
Below are the three most popular answers, in no particular order:
If you think the answer is 8 watermelons
Some readers have pointed out that the meme asks how many watermelons you see, not how many whole watermelons. This logic has led some readers to suggest the only possible answer is 8, consisting of four halves and four three-quarter melons. It has been noted that the meme doesn’t state that partial melons need to be added together. Thus, 8 (partial) watermelons could be the answer.
If you think the answer is 6 watermelons
Another theory is to examine how many melons it would have taken to create this image. In that case, the answer would be 6. This is achieved by adding the four three-quarter melons to two full melons which were cut in half to create the four halves.
If you think the answer is 5 watermelons
Another possible solution is to fit the available pieces into a mathematical equation. In this case, we have four three-quarter melons plus four half melons, which could be represented mathematically as:
(4 x .75) + (4 x .5) = 5
Although we suspect this graphic may have been created as click-bait, it does pose an interesting question that has several possible solutions, depending on how the problem is approached.
Which answer to you think is most correct?
For the record, the first answer I came up with here was 5.