Test Your Mental Mettle With These Ridiculous Riddles

Robin Tyler

What is always coming but never arrives?

Well, it just makes sense doesn't it? By the time tomorrow comes, it has become today. And then, there is another tomorrow. So, does tomorrow even exist then? Just think about that!

Everybody has me but I’m impossible to lose. What am I?

Certainly, if there is a strong source of light around, then we are going to have a shadow. But why? Well, any object that light cannot pass through effectively blocks the sun. Since you are not transparent, your body blocks the sun. The shape of the shadow depends on the angle at which light is hitting an object.

What can you catch but cannot throw?

When you get the sniffles, it's common to say that you "caught a cold." Now you cannot throw that at someone, can you? Interestingly, the common cold can be caused by at least 200 separate viruses.

My hands move but I can’t clap. What am I?

Yes, a clock has hands, and they certainly can't clap. But the do tell time splendidly! Clapping, or applause, was first thought to have started with the ancient Romans.

What runs around a house but does not move?

We acknowledge that this riddle only works if a fence actually goes around the entire house. It wasn't until the 1940s that white picket fences became a symbol of suburban America.

If you have it, you want to share it. If you share it, you don’t have it anymore. What is it?

How many times have you been told a secret that you just wanted to tell someone as soon as possible? And when you do, it's no longer your secret. Plus, the person who told you is probably going to get mad that you shared it. A secret is only a secret if you keep it!

What is something that you are forever leaving behind, but still always have?

Isn't it amazing that every single person in the world has unique fingerprints? Just think about it. There are 7.7 billion people in the world, and each of them has their own fingerprints, never to be repeated. The first time fingerprints were used to solve a crime was in 1892 in Argentina!

I will crack if you drop me. If you smile at me, I’ll smile back. What am I?

I bet you know a few people who would be lost without their mirror. Mirrors, as we know them today, are silvered-glass and were first invented in 1835 in Germany by a chemist called Justus von Liebig.

What is at the end of every rainbow?

If Irish mythology is to be believed, its a pot of gold and a possessive leprechaun that you would find at the end of every rainbow. But in the world of this riddle, it is simply the letter "w." Scientifically, a rainbow is caused by light hitting water droplets in the sky and then reflecting and refracting the light.

If you say my name, then I don’t exist anymore. What am I?

When you vibrate air in those vocal chords of yours, you're breaking the silence. You technically could sign the word "silence" and not break it...but that defeats the purpose of this riddle!

What is it that nobody wants, but nobody wants to lose, either?

When I go to court, I like to put on my best lawsuit! Get it? Law suit? All jokes aside, even filing the paperwork for a lawsuit can cost hundreds of dollars, so unless you're a high-powered lawyer, you want to avoid them.

You can see me, but I weigh nothing. If you put me in a bucket of water, I’ll make it lighter. What am I?

Again, such a simple, logical riddle when you think about it. It reminds me of that classic song, "There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza," which, although it was a children's song, was actually recorded by Harry Belafonte once.

The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?

Did you know that the word riddle actually comes from the Old English word, ræ̅dan. This meant to interpret or guess something. Also, the average healthy adult should be taking (and leaving behind) close to 10,000 steps per day.

I can be broken without being touched or even being seen. What am I?

A promise is easily broken, and that's the easiest way to destroy a relationship! Riddles don't only have to be funny, they can also convey more serious truths about the world.

Which month has 28 days?

You definitely knew this one, right? Not only is this a riddle, but it is a simple test of logic, and for that reason, it is a favorite question in logic tests.

The person who made it doesn’t want it, the person who paid for it doesn’t need it, and the person who needs it doesn’t know it. What is it?

Let's break this one down! If you're making coffins, you're making them to sell. If you're buying them, you're definitely alive and not planning to use them yourself. If you're using one, well, you're definitely not alive and therefore, aren't capable of knowing anything.

What gets thrown out when it’s needed, but stored away when it’s not?

Anchors are thrown overboard to secure the boat when they're not moving, hence the thrown out part. And when not in use, it is stored somewhere on the boat. Makes sense, right?

I have a head, but I don’t have a body. I have leaves, but no branches. What am I?

Lettuce talk about this riddle...see what I did there? Because you may have heard this riddle before, we're just going to leaf it here!

What tree do we all carry in our hands?

Palms are a type of tree, and also the front part of your hand (fingers excluded.) Did you know that some palm trees can live to be 150 years old?

I can’t be seen, but I can be heard. I won’t answer until spoken to. What am I?

An echo happens when sound waves hit another surface and are reflected back. The length of time until you hear an echo depends on how far the sound waves travel before hitting something that reflects them back.

What has 42 eyes and 12 faces?

Simple to see the answer, right? Take one die, now add the numbers on it. So that is 1+2+3+4+5+6. That is equal to 21. But we have two dice, so that is where the 42 eyes (dots) come in. The rest is pretty self-explanatory.

I start off dry but emerge wet. I go in light but emerge heavy. What am I?

One of life's simple pleasures is a nice cup of tea, don't you think? This clever riddle, which had us stumped for days, explains exactly what happens to a tea bag when making that cup of tea!

What has branches, but no bark?

Short and simple, this riddle is another example off how everyday words can pertain to many things. Did you know that there are two types of riddles? The enigma, a riddle that is expressed metaphorically, and the conundrum, a riddle that has a tricky problem in which a pun is found in the answer or the question.

I have a neck, but I don’t have a head, and I wear a cap. What am I?

The long part of the bottle is called the neck, and the metal part that keeps it closed is called a cap. But, there's no head to be found!

What has 13 hearts, but no other organ?

Well, reading that riddle, something with 13 hearts sounds like a massive monster! But, on closer inspection, it's obvious that it must be a deck of cards. There are 52 cards, and each suit has 13 cards.

In a house, what room do ghosts avoid?

The history of the term "living room" is fascinating! In 1918, at the end of WWI, a worldwide outbreak of influenza killed millions of people. In order to properly mourn their dead, people would often put the body in the parlor area of their house. This became a "death room" of sorts. Apparently, "Ladies Home Journal," coined the term "living room" to reclaim these parts of the house after the horrors of the outbreak had subsided.

What is as light as a feather but can’t be held by anyone for very long?

Yes, you certainly can't hold your breath for very long...well, unless you are a free diver. Did you know that riddles are an important part of other cultures, as well? In Germany, a riddle is called a "Rätsel."

Of the options below, what has four legs, one head and one foot?

Well, technically not all beds have a headboard, but for the purpose of this riddle, they do! And the foot? That refers to the foot of the bed! We also concede that not all beds have legs, but traditionally speaking, they have four.

Joe’s father had three sons. Two were named Snap and Crackle. What was the third son's name?

Joe is the son. That's why it says, "Joe's father had three sons." Sometimes, the answer is already in the riddle. It just requires closer reading.

I often run, but I don’t have legs. I don’t need you, but you need me. What am I?

Running water was first introduced to the public in the nineteenth century. We also feel compelled to tell you that "nose" would a reasonable answer to this riddle, as well.

What is never borrowed, but often returned?

We realize people also return checks, gifts and dogs, but they don't do it often, and "often" is our key word.

I start with M and end with X and have an infinite number of letters. What am I?

Mailboxes are filled with written letters! Get it? So when were riddles first used? The oldest riddle ever discovered was written on a clay tablet from Mesopotamia and dates to around 2350 BC.

What type of lion never roars?

Dandelions definitely don't roar! Now, why would it have that name? It actually stems from the French word for this flower, which is "dent de lion," which means "lion's tooth." It refers to the leaves of this flower that have serrated edges.

Cut me and I won’t cry, but you will. What am I?

Nothing quite like the tears produced while cutting an onion, is there? And while all sorts of home remedies and other gadgets say they can stop onion tears, nothing really does!

Pick me up and scratch my head. I’ll turn red and then black. What am I?

What we have in this riddle is a simple explanation for striking a match! The red signifies the flame and the black is the burnt wood after the flame has been extinguished.

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Image: Nico De Pasquale Photography/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Riddle me this, and riddle me that!

Through the ages, the riddle has been a cherished way to stump your friends with some wicked wordplay that normally hides a very simple answer. And riddles are nothing new. The earliest riddle ever found was written on a stone tablet from Mesopotamia which dates back to 2350 BC! That's unbelievable! The riddle is this: “There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?” So what do you think is the answer? It's a school! To date, 24 other riddles have been found of Sumerian origin. 

Riddles are certainly not only found in the English language either. For example, in Germany, a riddle is called a "rätsel," while in Dutch it is known as a "raadsel."  When it comes to riddles, they fall into two categories. These are the enigma, a riddle that is metaphorically expressed, and then the conundrum, a problem riddle with a pun either in the answer or the question. 

Now the question is, just how good are you at riddles? Obviously, the task is a little easier thanks to the multiple choice variety of the quiz, but there are a few tricky ones to keep you on your toes.

Are you ready? Then let's begin!

 

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