Brain teasers are fun exercises you can put your mind through without overworking it too hard. Too much thought makes your poor brain weary and exhausted, to say nothing of overwhelmed. Show your brain some love with brain teasers and help it flex its muscles a bit. We’re sure you’ve played some of these before. Maybe you had a crossword puzzle while you were waiting at the airport. Or maybe you were stuck in the lobby at the dentists’ office and pulled out a puzzle game on your phone. We’ve all been there —bored and unhappy and looking to fill the time somehow. Brain teasers are the perfect solution to a bored brain.
Knowing what a brain teaser is, is the first step toward understanding what makes them so fun and useful. A brain teaser is nothing more than a simple type of puzzle requiring basic thought to solve. That’s about it. Some of them force you to think outside of the box in order to complete the challenges they give. You’ll often find logic and riddle puzzles mixed in with these teasers. They actually date back centuries with the earliest known enthusiast being Archimedes himself. He’d sit and think up little math problems for his followers to chew on, delighting in their puzzlement and confusion as they struggled to find the right answers.
These puzzles proceeded far into the future, with many famous puzzles gaining interest in the common eye. For instance, here’s an example:
“If Mary’s father has five daughters, and their names are all Nono, Nana, Nini and Nene, then what’s the name of the fifth daughter?”
Most people would be thrown off by the girls all having a similar name with a vowel stuck in there for each of them, and so would totally gloss over the answer hanging right in front of their faces. The answer is, of course, Mary. These puzzles are meant to confound the brain with fun little tidbits that keep it flexing itself.
There’s a bit of a new trend taking off where you’ll find brain teasers used in interviews to try to confuse the one being interviewed. You’ll find these most often in tech companies who all too often are looking for people who think outside the box.
Here are a few examples of such brain teasers:
- You’re about to get on a plane to Seattle and call 3 friends to ask if it’s raining. Each friend has a 2/3 chance of telling you that it’s raining, and a 1/3 chance of playing with your brain by saying it’s not. All 3 friends say yes, it’s raining. What’s the probability that it is, in fact, raining in Seattle?
Answer: Only one of your friends needs to be truthful and that it’s just easier to assume all three are lying.
- Why are manhole covers round?
Answer: They’re round because their shape prohibits them from falling through themselves. The cover can never accidentally fall down the hole.
- How many golf balls would fit in a Boeing 747?
Answer: Just wing it. This is a trick question that they might not even know the answer to themselves. If you look like you have the ability to break a problem down and work through it calmly, that will be impressive enough. (Our guess was about three million, five hundred thousand.)
Brain teasers are legitimately fun, but you might be wondering where you can find some that you might enjoy. Well, fortunately, we hear you and we understand. We’re going to provide you with seven free resources for brain teasers with which to tickle your mind.
1. Puzzle Prime
This one has a plethora of brain teasers guaranteed to help you run a few mental backflips. You’ll find everything from super popular riddles to more obscure, difficult ones. They’re all listed by topic or ranked from easy to expert, which makes them even easier to seek out based on your interests. Go crazy!
This melting pot of riddles and tests is beloved worldwide for its enormous variety. Virtually everything you could ever want in a brain teaser can be found in here — ranging from games to puzzles, to riddles, and more. You’ll even find mazes, jigsaw puzzles, and optical illusions. This could be compared to a veritable buffet for your mind.
This one isn’t just a ton of fun to say, it’s also a ton of stimulating fun for your mind. It features puzzle hunts, which is a bit like a treasure quest for your mind to hunt down precisely what it most craves in a challenging puzzle. On top of a wide assortment of teasers, you’ll also find links to other promising sites to explore.
You aren’t going to find a lot of luxurious, well-crafted graphics in here. But what it lacks in web design it more than makes up for in content. This all comes from a single guy who has been collecting riddles since 2002. Storing them all up, he decided to unleash them on the world in a challenging torrent of fun. And the answers aren’t always readily available, so this one is for the hardcore-iest of hardcore riddle fans.
This is a veritable den of puzzle contests geared to train the brain and encourage social competitiveness online. Like all the rest of these, it’s completely free to access and play, while you do still need to register to be on it. It features a particularly challenging crossword puzzle section that may leave you completely stumped.
This one is a bit different since it comprises of a whole list of puzzles and brain teasers for kids and adults. Brain teasers are added in the forum section by subscribers, so whatever you’re interested in, it’s probably in here somewhere.
This site claims to be the hub for the elite riddlers out there, the homeworld of some of the hardest riddles mankind has ever devised. It’s a series of 140 levels you have to beat using very basic common sense and intuition. And hints aren’t given past level 8, so this game does NOT hold your hand for very long. We recommend this one highly given its reputation and the kinds of hard-as-nails riddles that it boasts. For any true challenger, you may have just met your match. For free.
Riddles and brain teasers have had a spot in history since antiquity, if Archimedes has anything to say about it. They’re not only fun, but they’re also good for you. They give your brain a chance to chomp on something for the sake of enjoying itself, rather than work or school. It lets it work off steam and have fun with something it can really sink its proverbial teeth into. This eases stress and makes your mind a little less cluttered, which can actually improve sleep. So if you’re an insomniac looking for a natural solution, or you just really, really like puzzles that challenge you, give any one of these a try. You’re not likely to be disappointed.