Crossposted on HSM

See Guinness Book of Records. Did they screw this up? It says that Fermat's Last Theorem was the longest open problem - with only 365 years. However, there are Greek problems that were longer open:

  1. Squaring the circle, proposed before 428 BCE (Anaxagoras worked on it, who died in 428 BCE), solved 1882, open for at least 2.310 years.
  2. Doubling the cube, proposed before 430 BCE, solved 1837, open for at least 2.267 years.
  3. Archimedes Cattle Problem, proposed before 212 BCE, solved 1880, open for at least 2.092 years.
  4. Angle trisection, solved 1837.


  1. Is there a reason why Guinness Book of Records listed Fermat's Last Theorem?
  2. Are there problems that were even longer open than the above (Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Babylonian?), or can you find a reference that the problems above were proposed earlier?

Edit: Gregory Grant e-mailed Guinness Book of Records.

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ Well this question would be better at HSM $\endgroup$
    – user210387
    May 28, 2015 at 7:45
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Someone should tell them that Fermat's Last Theorem isn't $xn+yn=zn$. $\endgroup$ May 28, 2015 at 7:55
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @PeterWoolfitt They also said "no solution in integers" which is incorrect, should specify non-trivial solutions $\endgroup$ May 28, 2015 at 7:59
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    $\begingroup$ @wythagoras I see that people can leave comments on their page - though nobody has yet. Why don't you leave a comment straightening the record out and maybe some official will see it? I would leave a comment myself, but they've done that idiotic thing where you have to have a facebook account to post comments on their site. And I have no facebook account, so I can't do it. $\endgroup$ May 28, 2015 at 21:42
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I'm closing this question because it was cross-posted to and answered on hsm. $\endgroup$ Jun 14, 2015 at 8:46


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