Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Grace, a student:

Sorry if this is a simple question, but I can't seem to understand how to solve it. I am Trying to find the area of a hexagon with measurements 6x7x6x6x7x6, or 2 sets of opposing sides with 6, and one set with 7. Thank you.

Hi Grace,

I am glad that you asked because the answer is not as simple as it might seem. Giving only the lengths of the sides of a polygon with more than three sides is not enough information to find its area. You need to also know the measures of the angles.

I built a model using 6 tooth picks, four of which I shortened. As you can see by the six hexagons below made from the tooth picks the hexagon shapes and areas can be quite different.

six hexagons


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