I received dozens of entries for the world’s funniest mathematical or scientific joke. I published my favourite fifteen and asked for your votes. Below you will find the winning joke sent in by Robert Williams and the fourteen runners-up.
The World’s Funniest Mathematical or Scientific Joke
From Robert Williams
Two mathematicians are in a bar. The first one says to the second that the average person knows very little about basic mathematics. The second one disagrees, and claims that most people can cope with a reasonable amount of mathematics.
The first mathematician goes off to the washroom, and in his absence the second calls over the waitress. He tells her that in a few minutes, after his friend has returned, he will call her over and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer “one third x cubed.”
She repeats “one thir — dex cue”?
He repeats, “one third x cubed”.
She asks, “one thir dex cubed?”
“Yes, that’s right,” he says.
So she agrees, and goes off mumbling to herself,
“one thir dex cubed…”.
The first guy returns and the second proposes a bet to prove his point, that most people do know something
about basic mathematics. He says he will ask the blonde waitress an integral, and the first laughingly agrees. The second man calls over the waitress and asks “what is the integral of x squared?”.
The waitress says “one third x cubed” and whilst walking away,
turns back and says over her shoulder “plus a constant!”
1. from Rachel Thomas
Q. What did the number 0 say to the number 8?
A. Nice belt!
2. from Craig Fisher
Q. Why did the chicken cross the Moebius Strip?
A. To get to the other…er.. umm.
3. from Richard Singh
Q. Why did 5 eat 6?
A. Because 7 8 9.
4. from Helen Arney
An assemblage of the most gifted minds in the world were all posed the following question: “What is 2 + 2 ?”
The engineer whips out his calculator, taps away at it for a while and finally announces “3.99”.
The physicist consults his technical references, sets up the problem on his computer, and announces “it lies between 3.98 and 4.02”.
The mathematician cogitates for a while, oblivious to the rest of the world, then announces: “I don’t know what the answer is, but I can prove an answer exists!”.
The philosopher strokes his chin for several days, finally asking:
“But what do you mean by 2 + 2?”
Finally the accountant closes all the doors and windows, looks around carefully then asks “What do you want the answer to be?”
5. from Scott Smith
I have a truly marvellous demonstration of humour, which this email is too small to contain…..
6. from Ian Hammond
Did you hear about the statistician who used to go out with a lot of girls but didn’t like to talk about it?
He was a discrete data
7. from Hamish Adamson
Q. What’s green and commutes?
A. An abelian grape
8. from Sid Rodrigues
The Flood is over and the ark has landed. Noah lets all the animals out and says, “Go forth and multiply.”
A few months later, Noah decides to take a stroll and see how the animals are doing. Everywhere he looks he finds baby animals. Everyone is doing fine except for one pair of little snakes.
“What’s the problem?” says Noah.
“Cut down some trees and let us live there”, say the snakes.
Noah follows their advice. Several more weeks pass. Noah checks on the snakes again. Lots of little snakes, everybody is happy.
Noah asks, “Want to tell me how the trees helped?”
“Certainly”, say the snakes. “We’re adders, so we need logs to multiply.”
9. from Dave & Sara Smith
Q. Why did the programmer confuse Halloween with Christmas?
A. Because OCT 31 = DEC 25.
10. from David Ireland
Every horse has an infinite number of legs.
At the back a horse has two legs, and at the front a horse has fore legs.
So the total number of legs on any horse is two plus fore = six, an even
number. But six is an odd number of legs for a horse to have! Hence we
have shown that a horse has a number of legs that is both even and odd.
The only number that is both even and odd is infinity, therefore a horse
must have an infinite number of legs. End of proof.
11. from Jefferson Kent
Pie are square? No! Pies are round. Cornbread are square.
12. from Stephen Oman
An astronomer, a physicist and a mathematician were holidaying in Scotland. Glancing from a train window, they observed a black sheep in the middle of a field.
“How interesting,” observed the astronomer, “all Scottish sheep are black!”
To which the physicist responded, “No, no! Some Scottish sheep are black!”
The mathematician gazed heavenward in supplication, and then intoned, “In Scotland there exists at least one field, containing at least one sheep, at least one side of which is black.”
13. from Robert Williams
Subatomic particle shop SALE
Neutrons: no charge
14 from Ken Scott
Q: What’s big and white and roams the sea endlessly?
A: Mobius Dick
By the way, if you want to find out about Dr Richard Wiseman’s search to find the world’s funniest joke (not just science or mathematics), then you can visit The Laugh Lab.