The Question: Some octopuses, some fish and a few
mermaids were happily frolicking in a rock
pool. Altogether there were 38 arms, 24 eyes
and 8 tails all swimming in the pool.
How many mermaids were there?
First we solved the eyes because all the creatures have eyes, 24 divided by 2 = 12, which means there are 12 creatures in total. Then we did the tails. If 8 creatures have tails then 4 creatures don’t have tails. Now we know that they are octopuses.
Secondly, we solved the arms. Knowing that octopus have 8 arms and there are only 4, we times 8 with 4 and we get 32. Because we had more arms, we took away 32 from 38 and got 6. With the 6, we divided it by 2, and that means there are 3 mermaids.
Lastly we added up the octopus and mermaids and there were only 7 in total so we knew that there are 5 fish. So in total we have 3 mermaids, 5 fish and 4 octopuses.