Posts tagged: brain teasers

Ten Impossible Questions

Background information and disclaimer: These are questions that I was told about while I was in China, and they are supposed to be impossible to answer “correctly” unless one is a sociopath. I found the following Chinese texts online, and did not edit them at all except to remove superfluous spaces, so there are a number of incorrect characters. This was mostly meant as an exercise in translation, so…enjoy?

问:一个男科学家回忆说:他和他的妻子去南极考察,但是他中途中了雪盲,什么都看不到。所以他们在南极游荡,最后只能生吃企鹅来维持 生命。但是他妻子最后还是没有挺住,最后死了。他一个人继续走了一天,最后被救了回去。第二天他特意去企鹅店吃企鹅,但是回来后竟然自杀了。为什么?

1 ) Penguin meat
Question: From the memory of a male scientist: He and his wife went to Antarctica to do research, but in the middle of his work snow obscured everything, so that nothing could be seen. So in Antarctica they strayed, ending up needing to eat penguin meat in order to stay alive. But in the end his wife still wasn’t able to hold on, and died. Alone, he continued to walk for a day, and ended up being rescued. The next day he went to a penguin meat store specifically to eat penguin, but after returning he unexpectedly committed suicide. Why?


2 ) Jumping off the train
Question: A person took the train to LingZhen to see a doctor, and after seeing the doctor everything was better. On the way home the train passed through a tunnel, and this person just jumped off the train and committed suicide. Why?


3 ) Watergrass
Question: A teenager and his girlfriend went to the riverside to take a walk. Suddenly the girlfriend fell into the river, and the teenager hurriedly jumped into the water to look for her, but he didn’t find his girlfriend and left heartbroken. After a few years had passed, he again passed by the spot, this time seeing an old man fishing, but the fish the old man caught didn’t have watergrass on their bodies, so he asked the old man why the fish didn’t have any watergrass stuck to their bodies, and the old man said: this river has never had watergrass growing in it. After he said this, the teenager suddenly jumped into the water and committed suicide. Why?


4 ) The story of a funeral
Question: There was once a mother and her two daughters, and when the mother died, the sisters went to attend the funeral. At the funeral, the younger sister happened to see a handsome man, and fell in love at first sight. After returning home, the younger sister killed the older sister. Why?


5 ) Half a matchstick
Question: There was a person on the sand, face-down, dead, and by his side a few luggage cases were scattered while his hand tightly gripped half a matchstick. Infer how this person died.

问: 马戏团里有两个侏儒,瞎子侏儒比另一个侏儒矮。马戏团只需要一个侏儒,马戏团的侏儒当然是越矮越好了。两个侏儒决定比谁的个子矮,个子高的就去自杀。可是,在约定比个子的前一天,瞎子侏儒,也就是那个矮的侏儒已经在家里自杀死了。在他的家里只发现木头做的家具和满地的木屑。他为什么自杀?

6 ) The wood-chip-covered floor
Question: There were two dwarves in the circus; the blind dwarf was shorter than the other one. The circus only needed one dwarf, and of course the shorter a circus dwarf is, the better. The two dwarves decided to compare which was the shorter, and the taller one would commit suicide. On the day before the appointed height-comparing day, the blind dwarf, who was also the shorter one, had already committed suicide in his home. In his house only furniture made of wood and wood chips covering his floor were found. Why did he commit suicide?


7 ) A knock on the door in the middle of the night
Question: A person lived on the top of a hill in a little house, and hearing a knock on the door in the middle of the night, he opened the door but no one was there, so he went to sleep. After a little while there was another knocking sound, so he opened the door, but there was still no one there, even though there had been several knocks. The next day, people discovered a dead body at the bottom of the hill, and the police came to take the person who lived at the top of the hill away. Why?

问: 有一个年轻的男人,他的房子和邻居夫妇的房子中间隔着一片草坪。有一天深夜,男人被隔壁的吵架声吵醒,之后他又听到了摔东西声、砍斧子声和牛吃草的声音, 过了一会,他又听到了有人撞他家门的声音,但他都没有理会,又睡了过去。第二天,他发现隔壁的女主人惨死在他家门口。推理其过程。

8 ) Cow eating grass
Question: There was a young man whose house was separated by a grassy field from the neighboring house of a man and his wife. In the dead of the night, the man was woken up by the sounds of an argument/fight in the neighboring house, after which he also heard the sound of something falling, the chopping sound of an ax, and the sound of a cow eating grass; after a while, he also heard a person bumping into the door of his house, but he didn’t pay attention to any of this, and went back to sleep. The next day, he discovered the mangled corpse of the neighbor’s wife at his front door. Infer the course of events.


9 ) The suicide without cause
Question: On a rainy night, a man was driving his own car and listening to the radio in it. At the time, the radio program was broadcasting news that the tempest that night caused a plane to crash. This man was in the middle of listening intently when suddenly there was a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning. Due to the interference, the radio program stopped for a few seconds. Right around the time when the radio program was about to return to normal, this man suddenly jumped from the car and committed suicide. Why?


10 ) The plane that crashed
Question: One night a maintenance worker extinguished the searchlight at the top of an building due to negligence. The next day, he saw that it was reported in the newspaper that a plane had crashed into a building the previous night. The building that was crashed into happened to be his company’s building. After he saw this piece of news, he ran with the greatest possible speed to the top floor of the building, and, shortly thereafter, jumped off the building to commit suicide. Why?

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