21 Maths Jokes You’d Need To Be A Genius To Understand

I’d explain them, but there isn’t enough room in the margin.

1. What does the B in Benoît B. Mandelbrot stand for?


Benoît B. Mandelbrot.

2. There are 10 kinds of people in this world.


Those who know binary, those who don’t, and those that didn’t expect the joke to be in base 3.

3. Why do mathematicians confuse Halloween and Christmas?


Because Oct 31 = Dec 25.

5. What’s purple and commutes?


An Abelian grape.

7. What’s the integral of 1/cabin with respect to cabin?


Person 1: Log cabin.
Person 2. No, a houseboat. You forgot to add the C!

8. What’s an anagram of Banach-Tarski?


Banach-Tarski Banach-Tarski.

9. An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer, the second orders half a beer, the third orders a quarter of a beer and so on.


After the seventh order, the bartender pours two beers and says, “you fellas ought to know your limits.”

10. A museum visitor was admiring a Tyrannosaurus fossil, and asked a nearby museum employee how old it was.

Mario Modesto / Via

Via Wikipedia: “That skeleton’s sixty-five million and three years, two months and eighteen days old,” the employee replied. “How can you know it that well?” she asked. “Well, when I started working here, I asked a scientist the exact same question, and he said it was sixty-five million years old—and that was three years, two months and eighteen days ago.”

Taken from Proofiness by Charles Seife.

12. What do you get if you cross an elephant and a banana?

Wild Africa Nature




13. Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

David Benbennick /

To get to the other–er…

14. Let epsilon be less than zero.


16. How many mathematicians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?



18. I was dating this topologist once, but we got into an argument over a coffee mug…

4774344sean / Via

It torus apart.

19. Why aren’t jokes in base 8 funny?


Because 7 10 11.

20. What’s the difference between an introverted and extroverted mathematician?


The extrovert looks at your shoes when she talks to you.

21. What is non-orientable and lives in the ocean?

Kerstin Meyer

Möbius Dick.


This post has been updated to meet attribution standards.

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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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