Best riddles

logic

The watchmen

One morning an airline president is leaving on a business trip and finds he left some paperwork at his office. He runs into his office to get it and the night watchman stops him and says, "Sir, don't get on the plane. I had a dream last night that the plane would crash and everyone would die!" The man takes his word and cancels his trip. Sure enough, the plane crashes and everyone dies. The next morning the man gives the watchman a $1,000 reward for saving his life and then fires him. Why did he fire the watchman that saved his life?
He was fired from sleeping on his job.
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logic

Height marked into the tree

When Manish was three years old he carved a nail into his favorite tree to mark his height. Six years later at age nine, Manish returned to see how much higher the nail was. If the tree grew by five centimeters each year, how much higher would the nail be.
The nail would be at the same height since trees grow at their tops.
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46 votes

logic

Leap Year Birthday

Bill and Stacie are delighted when their new baby, Patrick, is born on February 29th, 2008. They think it's good luck to for him to be born on the special day of the leap year. But then they start thinking about when to celebrate his next birthday. After some thought, they decide that they want to celebrate Patrick's next birthday (when he turns 1) exactly 365 days after he was born, just like most people do. What will be the date of this birthday?
The date of the birthday will be February 28th, 2009. At first it might seem like his birthday should be March 1st, 2009, since February 29th is the day after February 28th in the leap year, while March 1st is the day after February 28th in non-leap years. But this is the wrong way to think about it. The right way to think about it is that 365 days after the day before March 1st is always February 28th, regardless of whether it's a leap year or not. So Patrick's birthday will be February 28th.
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46 votes

logicmath

New York Hair

You are visiting NYC when a man approaches you. "Not counting bald people, I bet a hundred bucks that there are two people living in New York City with the same number of hairs on their heads," he tells you. "I'll take that bet!" you say. You talk to the man for a minute, after which you realize you have lost the bet. What did the man say to prove his case?
This is a classic example of the pigeonhole principle. The argument goes as follows: assume that every non-bald person in New York City has a different number of hairs on their head. Since there are about 9 million people living in NYC, let's say 8 million of them aren't bald. So 8 million people need to have different numbers of hairs on their head. But on average, people only have about 100,000 hairs. So even if there was someone with 1 hair, someone with 2 hairs, someone with 3 hairs, and so on, all the way up to someone with 100,000 hairs, there are still 7,900,000 other people who all need different numbers of hairs on their heads, and furthermore, who all need MORE than 100,000 hairs on their head. You can see that additionally, at least one person would need to have at least 8,000,000 hairs on their head, because there's no way to have 8,000,000 people all have different numbers of hairs between 1 and 7,999,999. But someone having 8,000,000 is an essential impossibility (as is even having 1,000,000 hairs), So there's no way this situation could be the case, where everyone has a different number of hairs. Which means that at least two people have the same number of hairs.
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46 votes

animallogic

Horse travels

A horse travels a certain distance each day. Strangely enough, two of its legs travel 30 miles each day and the other two legs travel nearly 31 miles. It would seem that two of the horse's legs must be one mile ahead of the other two legs, but of course this can't be true. Since the horse is normal, how is this situation possible?
The horse operates the mill and travels in a circular clockwise direction. The two outside legs will travel a greater distance than the inside ones.
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46 votes