Do You Know the Answers to These Classic Riddles?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: Thomas Barwick/ DigitalVision/gettyimages

About This Quiz

"Riddle me this, riddle me that." - the Riddler

Have you ever been on an adventure, deep into the Egyptian pyramids, when you suddenly come across a secret passage that you can only enter if you solve the riddle written on the door? OK, maybe that's not happened to you. Life is not an Indiana Jones movie, after all, but that doesn't mean you aren't obsessed with riddles. They are fun; they are challenging; sometimes, they leave you thinking for days. That's why we like to incorporate them into our lives, using them on friends and strangers. 

Riddles are nothing new, of course. They have been around since ancient times, with some riddles being traced all the way back to Babylon. Other riddles can be found in ancient Indian poetry. Hebrew riddles are littered throughout the Old Testament. Just about every major culture throughout the world has used some form of a riddle. In modern times, we have only carried on the tradition of using riddles, as they are found in movies, video games, log in questions for online accounts and various other places. 

If you love riddles, then here's a quiz for you. See if you can answer these classic riddles. That's if you're up for the challenge because some of these might just have your brain twisted. 

What has a head, a tail, is brown, and has no legs?

Many people think pennies are made of pure copper. However, they're actually only 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc.


You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat?

An ear of corn is part of the flower of the plant, while the kernels are the seeds. There are around 800 kernels on each ear of corn.


The one who makes it, sells it. The one who buys it, never uses it. The one who uses it never knows that he’s using it. What is it?

In the 18th century, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II wanted to preserve wood, so he ordered the production of reusable coffins. The trend didn't last long, however, as people began to complain.


What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?

The longest river in the United States is surprisingly not the Mississippi River. It's actually the Missouri River, which is 20 miles longer.


What’s black when you get it, red when you use it, and white when you’re all through with it?

Grilling is pretty much an American pastime. The most popular day to grill in America is the 4th of July.


Until I am measured I am not known, yet how you miss me when I have flown.

Your feet experience time slower than your face. This is because the closer you are to the Earth, the slower time goes.


What do you call two witches who live together?

The Salem witch hunt in 1692 was an example of how superstitions can influence society. During the trials, 18 people were put to death.


When set loose, I fly away, never so cursed as when I go astray.

When it comes to farts, 99% of them are odorless. The other 1% can clear a room.


Lighter than what I am made of, more of me is hidden than is seen.

Icebergs have been proven quite deadly for passing ships over the years. The most famous case of an iceberg sinking a ship was the Titanic in 1912.


Each morning I appear to lie at your feet, all day I will follow no matter how fast you run, yet I nearly perish in the midday sun.

The angle of the sun changes with the seasons. That's why shadows are longer in the winter.


You heard me before, yet you hear me again, then I die, until​ you call me again.

In Greek mythology, Echo is the name of a nymph. She loved the sound of her own voice.


It cannot be seen, it weighs nothing, but when you put it into a barrel, it makes it lighter. What is it?

Oak barrels replaced clay during the reign of the Roman Empire. This is because they were more convenient for transportation since they didn't break as easily.


Say my name and I disappear. What am I?

Science is beginning to determine that silence is actually good for the brain. It helps relieve tension and produces better brain activity.


Forward I’m heavy, but backward​ I’m not. What am I?

Waste has become a major concern for the environment because of the amount produced each year. In fact, the average person produces around 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.


I am a box that holds keys without locks, yet they can unlock your soul. What am I?

The first piano was created in Italy by Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori in 1709. It was originally called gravicèmbalo col piano e forte, though the name was later shortened to piano.


What do bumblebees sing in the shower?

Bees are critical for the environment because they spread pollen between plants. Sadly, humans wipe them out without realizing how vital they are.


What gets wetter as it dries?

The phrase "throw in the towel" is used in boxing to mean that a fighter is surrendering. The phrase was first recorded in a boxing match in 1915.


It’s red, blue, purple and green, no one can reach it, not even the queen. What is it?

Rainbows are actually a full circle of light. Humans can't see the full circle, however, because we are viewing the rainbow from the ground.


Pregnant every time you see her, yet she never will give birth.

The moon is the Earth's only satellite. It's also the fifth largest moon in the solar system.


The more you take, the more you leave behind.

Dave Kunst was the first recorded person to walk around the entire planet on foot. It took him over four years to complete.


Feed me and I live, give me drinks and I die. What am I?

Much of ancient Rome was destroyed by a fire in 64 AD. History tells us that Emperor Nero was responsible for the fire because he wanted to rebuild the city.


What question can you never honestly answer yes to?

Have you ever noticed how much your cat loves to sleep? That's no surprise if you have. A cat will actually spend two-thirds of its life sleeping.


I’m full of holes, yet I’m full of water. What am I?

Sea sponges have been around for a long time. Evidence shows that they inhabited the Earth around 600 million years ago.


Kings and queens may cling to power and the jester’s got his call, but, as you may all discover, the common one outranks them all.

The highest hand in poker is a royal flush. It consists of an ace, king, queen, jack and ten, all of the same suit.


A box without hinges, lock or key, yet golden treasure lies within. What is it?

Chicken eggs come in different colors. This has to do with the breed of chicken and not what the chicken eats, though a chicken's diet can affect the color of the yolk.


There are two monkeys on a tree and one jumps off. Why does the other monkey jump too?

There are two categories of monkeys, Old World monkeys and New World monkeys. Old World monkeys live in Africa and Asia, while New World monkeys live in South America.


When is a door not a door?

NASA has built the largest doors in the world which stand 456 feet high. There are four of these doors in all, and they take 45 minutes to open all the way.


When young, I am sweet in the sun. When middle-aged, I make you gay. When old, I am valued more than ever. What am I?

Wine is aged to increase the flavors of the drink. However, young red wine is actually better for you than old red wine because it contains higher tannin levels.


What kind of goose fights with snakes?

Through evolution, mongooses have become immune to snake venom. This makes the mongoose a worthy adversary to the slithering creatures.


What did the soldier do with his camouflage sleeping bag?

Camping has been linked to helping with depression and stress. This is partly due to the release of serotonin and melatonin while outdoors.


How do you communicate with a monster that lives on the seabed?

Whales are able to communicate with one another through echolocation, which involves sounds that can travel for miles through the water. Click sounds are the bases of this communication.


What does a judge wear to bed?

There are various court levels in the United States Judicial system. The Supreme Court sits at the top of the Judicial branch, and they have the final say on all cases they choose to oversee.


Which of the witch's friends eats the fastest?

Monsters have lived in human lure for centuries. With the rise of cinema, naturally they found a place on the big screen as well.


I build up castles. I tear down mountains. I make some men blind, I help others to see. What am I?

On Harbour Island in the Bahamas, there's a beach known for its pink sand. Unsurprisingly, it's called Pink Sand Beach. The pink sand comes from dead coral insects.


When's the best time to have lunch?

Dieting is all the craze for many Americans, though no one can agree on what diet actually works. Most nutritionists will encourage you to have a balanced diet and to adjust accordingly.


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