Every now and then, a brain teaser comes along that makes you stop, think, and maybe even scratch your head. The image in question presents what seems like a simple arithmetic puzzle, but there’s more than meets the eye. The question has stumped many, leaving 97% of people baffled.

Here’s the puzzle:

`1 + 4 = 5`

2 + 5 = 12

3 + 6 = 21

5 + 8 = ?

At first glance, it looks like basic addition, but as soon as you move beyond the first line, the results don’t add up in the traditional sense. Let’s dig a bit deeper.

### Step-by-Step Breakdown

The trick here lies in recognizing the pattern beyond basic arithmetic. This isn’t your typical addition problem. Instead, the result of each line builds on the result from the previous one.

**First line**:

`1 + 4 = 5`

This one is straightforward: 1 + 4 equals 5.**Second line**:

`2 + 5 = 12`

Here’s where things start to diverge from basic math. The answer isn’t just 2 + 5. The pattern seems to take the result from the previous line (which is 5) and adds it to the sum:

`5 (previous result) + (2 + 5) = 12`

**Third line**:

`3 + 6 = 21`

Similarly, the result of this line includes the previous result:

`12 (previous result) + (3 + 6) = 21`

**Fourth line (the question)**:

`5 + 8 = ?`

Following the same pattern, you take the previous result (21) and add the sum of 5 + 8:

`21 (previous result) + (5 + 8) = 34`

### The Final Answer: 34

While many people expect straightforward addition, the clever twist in this puzzle is recognizing the cumulative pattern. Each line builds upon the result of the previous one.

### Why Do 97% of People Fail?

This puzzle cleverly tests lateral thinking. Most people approach it as a standard math problem, which leads them astray. Only those who recognize the progressive nature of the equation can solve it correctly. It’s not just about math — it’s about seeing patterns and thinking beyond the obvious.

So, how did you do? Did you fall into the 97%, or were you able to crack the code? Let us know if you have more brain teasers to challenge your problem-solving skills!