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Still Waters

'Unsolvable' exam stumps Chinese students

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Still Waters

An apparently unsolvable exam question on a Chinese maths paper has left both students and social media stumped.

Primary school students at a school in the Chinese district of Shunqing were faced with this question on a paper: "If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship's captain?"

The question appeared on a recent fifth-grade level paper, intended for children around 11 years old.

Pictures of the question, along with students' valiant attempts at answers, surfaced this week on Chinese social media - where it triggered debate and quickly went viral.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-42857864

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Sir Wearer of Hats

The correct answer is .... 600. 

Noah was 600 when he built the Ark, Sheep are Kosher and Goats aren’t thus the disparity (because in the original version of the Genesis manuscript, God said to bring aboard more versions of Kosher animals than versions of non-kosher animals). 

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paperdyer

How'd that work out?

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WoIverine

"In China, if you're driving a ship that has more than 5,000kg of cargo you need to have possessed a boat license for five years," they wrote.

"The minimum age for getting a boat's license is 23, so he's at least 28."

Not too shabby, it turns into stats and probability after that, if they want to run with it further.

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Podo

But who was phone?

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HauntedDreamsTV

Isn't the correct answer to everything 42?

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UFOwatcher

He's 36.5 years old. Why? Because I said so....

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seanjo
16 hours ago, WoIverine said:

"In China, if you're driving a ship that has more than 5,000kg of cargo you need to have possessed a boat license for five years," they wrote.

"The minimum age for getting a boat's license is 23, so he's at least 28."

Not too shabby, it turns into stats and probability after that, if they want to run with it further.

When I read the initial question I actually thought to my self it has to be about A Captains qualifications, what they can carry with the qualification and what age they must be to have that qualification.

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godnodog

Multille variables are missing:

- did he had a parrot?

- what colour is his pijama?

- what did he had for breakfast 3 years 27 day 18hours 1minute and 36 nanoseconds ago?

- what kind of ship?

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godnodog

On a serious note on college in a Marketting exam I had a question about Fanta and how during 2WW they lacked resources to drinks so they resort to cheese water residues to do a drink, the question was for the student to create a brand new product for Fanta, my answer was simple "according to YOUR OWN text Fanta had no other  available resoureces therefor no product can be created". Test passed has the professor could not refute my answer based on his own text, obviously I told I understood the intent of the question (to show the basic steps on product development) but I also pointed out that when creating questions based on texts, questions have to take account the info on the text.

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acute

Easy-peasy!  I worked it out in about 10 seconds.

Unfortunately, due to the Data Protection Act 1998, I am unable to reveal the answer. :yes:

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Jaded1

Right, so there are 26 sheep and 10 goats (so 36 animals in total). If, assuming there was no other cargo on the boat, the average weight of an animal would have to be > (5000/36)kg (or 138.88...kg).

According to wiki... Depending on breed, sheep show a range of heights and weights. Their rate of growth and mature weight is a heritable trait that is often selected for in breeding. Ewes typically weigh between 45 and 100 kilograms (100 and 220 lb), and rams between 45 and 160 kilograms (100 and 350 lb).

Also, according to Google... 

What is the average weight of a goat?
20 – 140 kg
 
So, theoretically, the range of weights of 26 sheep and 10 goats should be between ((26x45)+(10x20))kg = (1170+200)kg = 1370kg and ((26x160)+(10x140))kg = (4160+1400)kg = 5560kg.
 
Given this information, it's statistically more likely that the combined weight of the animals is less than 5000kg so all we can say is we know that the captain has to be over 23 (with an outside chance of being over 28).
 
Being a Chinese ship's captain though he'd probably have loads of other weird cargo like North Korean illegal immigrants and ground tiger penis in the cargo hold :rolleyes:. I also wouldn't expect the average Chinese kiddywink to know the weight ranges of sheep and goats (or anyone else for that matter).

  

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South Alabam
On 1/30/2018 at 2:35 PM, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

The correct answer is .... 600. 

Noah was 600 when he built the Ark, Sheep are Kosher and Goats aren’t thus the disparity (because in the original version of the Genesis manuscript, God said to bring aboard more versions of Kosher animals than versions of non-kosher animals). 

"That's what I was gonna say."

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Sir Wearer of Hats

You could also say, mathematically his age was >28 <65. 

 

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Pka

The sentence said ship had sheep and goats.  No mention of captain or crew onboard.  Humans that is.

so captains age is 0.

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Stephen Motson

Joking aside, I actually know the answer to this. The problem here is that the first (and most important) part of the question is missing or has been edited out. The question should have read: "You are the captain of a ship. The ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship's captain?" The answer is 52 (though other people may all have different answers which will all be correct - unless they're lying).

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