# Social media users are utterly divided over this seemingly simple question

By stefan armitage

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A seemingly simple maths question has sparked a fierce debate on social media.

Any parents out there will tell you that helping out the kids with their homework can often be easier than it sounds.

Yes, there's a reason the game show Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? has been able run for nearly two decades and span countless spin-offs around the globe.

You see, although many of us are arrogant enough to think we can open up a kid's textbook and score 100% on a test, in reality, some questions can - and do - leave us stumped.

Take this question for example, which has been circulating on social media since June 2023 - but people still can't agree on a concrete answer.

So, is the question about the meaning of life? A higher power? The true meaning behind George Orwell's most captivating work?

No - it's about a clock.

The question reads: "What is the closest time to midnight?" The following four possible answers are then provided:

A. 11:55AM

B. 12:06AM

C. 11:50AM

D. 12:03:AM

Now, you may be thinking, "Well, that's easy" - but I can assure you, you probably have a different answer to about 75% of your household.

Some people were adamant the answer was A, with one person writing: "Time is a scaler quantity meaning it only goes in 1 direction, forward. So answer is A."

But others agreed:

Others were confident the answer was D, with one X user tweeting: "D is the only answer that makes sense no matter how you look at it."

And many others, once again, agreed:

There were some rogue answers for B and C too, but both A and D were, without a doubt, the two most popular choices.

Now, I'm just going to share some of the logic behind the two answers.

"The use of 'To' and not 'till' is the only reason for pause before answering," one person wrote. Another interjected: "Do you want which one is closest to becoming midnight because it’s A, or do you want which one is closest to midnight in the current minute which is D."

"It can't be D because it will take a whole 23 hours to get to midnight again so it's A," another added.

Some people even took to asking AI for the correct answer (with AI declaring D the correct answer),

As I see it, if I told a friend I'd meet them at midnight, I'd probably think they'd be okay with me rocking up three minutes late at 12:03AM rather than nearly 12 hours late at 11:55AM - as, y'know, that's the closest TO midnight.

# Social media users are utterly divided over this seemingly simple question

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

A seemingly simple maths question has sparked a fierce debate on social media.

Any parents out there will tell you that helping out the kids with their homework can often be easier than it sounds.

Yes, there's a reason the game show Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? has been able run for nearly two decades and span countless spin-offs around the globe.

You see, although many of us are arrogant enough to think we can open up a kid's textbook and score 100% on a test, in reality, some questions can - and do - leave us stumped.

Take this question for example, which has been circulating on social media since June 2023 - but people still can't agree on a concrete answer.

So, is the question about the meaning of life? A higher power? The true meaning behind George Orwell's most captivating work?

No - it's about a clock.

The question reads: "What is the closest time to midnight?" The following four possible answers are then provided:

A. 11:55AM

B. 12:06AM

C. 11:50AM

D. 12:03:AM

Now, you may be thinking, "Well, that's easy" - but I can assure you, you probably have a different answer to about 75% of your household.

Some people were adamant the answer was A, with one person writing: "Time is a scaler quantity meaning it only goes in 1 direction, forward. So answer is A."

But others agreed:

Others were confident the answer was D, with one X user tweeting: "D is the only answer that makes sense no matter how you look at it."

And many others, once again, agreed:

There were some rogue answers for B and C too, but both A and D were, without a doubt, the two most popular choices.

Now, I'm just going to share some of the logic behind the two answers.

"The use of 'To' and not 'till' is the only reason for pause before answering," one person wrote. Another interjected: "Do you want which one is closest to becoming midnight because it’s A, or do you want which one is closest to midnight in the current minute which is D."

"It can't be D because it will take a whole 23 hours to get to midnight again so it's A," another added.

Some people even took to asking AI for the correct answer (with AI declaring D the correct answer),

As I see it, if I told a friend I'd meet them at midnight, I'd probably think they'd be okay with me rocking up three minutes late at 12:03AM rather than nearly 12 hours late at 11:55AM - as, y'know, that's the closest TO midnight.