Calling all brainteaser aficionados; this triangle trick is sure to baffle even the most astute of brains for at least a few minutes.
Kumar Ankit, an engineering student from India, designed and posted this geometric puzzle to Quora, challenging users to find all the hidden triangles in this image.
You’re going to have to really exercise that eye for detail (and a thorough concept of geometry) to solve this visual riddle.
At first glance, the image seems to be a simple illustration with multiple shapes. Now here’s the catch—count how many triangles are in the drawing. People are scratching their heads at the different numbers they are coming up with.
If you’re completely stumped, we’ll give you a hint: The trick lies in factoring multiple smaller triangles into becoming a bigger triangle.
Got an answer? If you solved the math and your answer was 24, congratulations, you’re in the majority. Most people on Quora agreed that the answer is 24, with each row containing six triangles.
However, if you really want to get technical, the truly “correct” answer is 25. The 25th triangle is hidden in the ‘A’ in the artist’s signature in the right-hand corner. An even more nit-picking Quora user noted there was another triangle in the image if you count the word ‘triangles.’
Math expert Martin Silvertant posted a very helpful graphic on the site walking through how to locate the pictorial triangles and provided a logical explanation as to how you can stretch the number to 26 of them.
“A triangle is a mathematical idea rather than something real; physical triangles are by definition not geometrically perfect, but approximations of triangles. In other words, both the pictorial triangles and the words referring to triangles are referents to the concept of a triangle,” said Silvertant.
If you’re really getting into the debate and want to hash out (or defend) your answer, check out the entire Quora discussion for different users’ mathematical methods. (Want more optical puzzlers? See if you can spot the hidden image in these five photos).