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Elon Musk asks interview candidates this math riddle — and it’s leaving TikTokers stumped.
In Ashlee Vance’s 2015 biography Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, the author alleged the billionaire always posed the complex problem during job interviews at SpaceX. Influencer @pinkpencilmath shared the question in a video.
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“Can you get it?” @pinkpencilmath asked in the caption.
The question is: You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You take a walk one mile south, one mile west and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started; where are you?
TikTokers were eager to share their best guesses.
“Exactly where you started on the surface of the Earth,” a TikToker said.
“North of where I started,” another wrote.
“I am either at the North Pole, or the South Pole, or at the equator, or in the Bermuda Triangle,” someone added.
The riddle actually has multiple answers, according to Popular Mechanics. The first answer is the North Pole. If you follow the steps in the logic problem, heading south, west and north you’ll create a triangular path that leads back to the North Pole. The second answer is the South Pole.
“Imagine a circle with a 1-mile circumference that has the south pole at its center. If you were to start one mile north of this circle, you would travel one mile south, one mile west all the way around the circle, and then one mile north back to your starting point,” according to Popular Mechanics.
While the question is tricky, applicants weren’t judged too harshly on their answers. It was more of a way to examine the way that candidates approached problem-solving, according to CNBC.
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