Do you have what it takes to escape an erupting volcano? How about deadly Whitewater rapids? Solving survival riddles takes bravery, intelligence and the ability to think logically, even under extreme pressure. Join me now on the ultimate adventure, where everything you know about problem solving and survival will be put to the test.
10. Saltwater Survival
Picture this: one day, you wake up on a beach, with no memory of how you got there. With no civilisation in sight, and the sun beating down on you, you’ll need to find a water source fast.
Of course, there’s the sea – but saltwater’s no good. Luckily, you find an abandoned shack, which contains some handy items.
There’s a large, empty,paint can, another smaller can, a baseball, a roll of aluminium foil, an old pair of sneakers and some other assorted items.
Which one of these additional items will be most useful, when combined with the previous items, in obtaining drinking water and solving this survival riddle?
A) An old sponge.
B) A plastic bag.
C) A handful of tiny pebbles.
In this context, the sponge is useless. The pebbles may have some use in building a filter, but you’re still going to be left with salty water and you’re on a beach…surely they can be found lying around elsewhere. That leaves the plastic bag. You can fill the larger paint can with sea water, until it reaches about half way up the side of the smaller one, which sits inside.
Next, you could take the plastic bag and pull it tight over the large can. Taking the laces from the sneakers, you can tie the bag in place. Finally, you can place the baseball on top of the plastic bag, directly above the smaller paint can, creating an indentation.
Leaving the setup in the sun, water will evaporate and condense on the plastic bag. From there, the indentation will guide it to drip into the smaller paint can. Voila, you’ve got a little supply of drinkable water.
9. Losing Your Cool
Even with water, this beach is far from a vacation. The temperature skyrockets to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and even the shade inside the shack is too hot to handle.
You need to cool down. Some nasty sunburn takes going back into the sun or sea off the cards. As for peeing on a rag –dehydration has plugged the taps, so to speak. Which item can you use to cool down?
A) Aluminium foil.
B) Water from your paint can setup.
C) The old sponge.
A seawater sponge-bath will leave your burnt body in agony, and your clean water is far too precious to tip over your head. That leaves the seemingly-unlikely candidate, aluminium foil. True survival experts know that metallic foil is a fantastic way to cool a shelter.
By covering the walls and roof of the shack in as much foil as possible, you can deflect some of the sun’s heat, driving off heat stroke a little longer.
8. Urgent Departure
After a slightly cooler night, you wake up to find a note pinned to the shack wall – your next survival riddle.
It reads: ‘Salvation lies North. Beware – the most violent tribe in the Northern Hemisphere is headed to your location from the South. If you’re still there when they arrive, at 3pm, you’ll be dead meat.’ Looking at your – miraculously – functional watch, its hands read 2:45! You need to head North, but which tool can help you figure out the right direction in under 15 minutes?
A) Leftover aluminium foil.
B) A stick and two pebbles.
C) Your watch.
While it has many uses, aluminium foil isn’t much use for navigation. The stick and pebbles could be used to track the movement of the sun and calculate where north is, but that’d take more time than you’ve got. Your watch, on the other hand, can calculate north immediately. As the mysterious stranger noted, you’re in the northern hemisphere. Knowing this, all you need to do is hold the watch horizontally, lining up the hour hand with the sun.
Drawing an invisible line in the middle of the angle between the hour hand and 12 will give you the south. The opposite angle is North –so get going!
7. Volcano Blues
After a day’s travel, you come across an abandoned town. You find a motorbike with the keys still in it parked outside the town’s Church. Before you can search for more supplies, the nearby volcano erupts! In the distance, you see it: there’s no sign of glowing red lava, but a huge cloud of black smoke is hurtling out towards you.
In a minute, it’ll reach where you now stand. Do you:
A) Take the stairs to the top of the Church’s spire.
B) Head down into the Church’s basement, which is filled with vampire bats.
C) Take the motorbike and ride away, full throttle.
Volcanic eruptions that spew out huge clouds of smoke and dust rather than lava are devastating. Dust, reaching hundreds of degrees in temperature, can form thick clouds hundreds of feet high.
Even if the Church’s spire was the tallest in the world, you’d still be scorched. The volcanic dust can also travel at 200mph, difficult for even the fastest motorbikes to outrun. Your only option is to lock yourself in the basement with some fanged fiends, behind a firmly shut door.
6. Going Down
Unfortunately, the basement’s dangerous too. The room’s quickly filling with dust from outside, making it hot and hard to breathe. Not to mention the hundreds of vampire bats on the ceiling.
Which choice will be most helpful in preventing you from suffocating and overheating in the dust?
A) Disturb the bats, getting them to fly around and create some air flow.
B) Lie as flat to the cooler floor as possible.
C) Take your shirt off, hoping the bats don’t bite you and give you rabies while you cool off.
Waking the bats probably wouldn’t harm you, seeing as vampire bats are much safer than their reputation suggests and only 0.5% of them carry rabies. But creating an airflow of the same dust-filled air won’t help you. Lying on the cooler ground might be comfy, but the dust will still choke you out before you know it. Taking your shirt off would be much more than a strip tease –you could actually hold it over your mouth and nose to act as a filter, reducing the amount of dust being inhaled.
5. A Nasty Fall
By some miracle, you find a secret passage in the basement and escape the dust. You enter a cave and stumble into a subterranean river,which carries you off.
Eventually, you fall down a large waterfall, into a much deeper underground river, surrounded by rocky cave walls on both sides.
You try to swim onward, but the force of the waterfall is creating a reverse current, pulling you backwards with an intense force. You’re barely able to steal a breath, your body is aching, and you’ll drown if you don’t act fast. Do you:
A) Swim down into the crashing water.
B) Give all you’ve got and try swimming out of the waterfall’s pull.
C) Swim to the side and try to climb the walls.
Swimming onward isn’t an option; the current has been able to pull you backwards already and your body is already aching from exhaustion.The chances of directly overcoming the force of a waterfall is negligible. Even if you could grip the slimy cave walls, you’d have to do the impossible and escape the current first. While going downward seems counter-intuitive, going as deep as you can will lessen the force of the current, and swimming further downstream this way is your best bet of overcoming the deadly pull.
4. Abandoned Hope
Eventually, the river spits you out in a murky swamp. You narrowly escape a population of alligators so large,you’re forced out of the swamp into an abandoned theme park.
From the water-damaged buildings, rubble and debris blocking most routes through, you can tell the place was recently flooded.
The park’s pond sits in the middle, with strange indentations in the mud of its banks. The rest of the park is an impassable mess. There are only three paths available to move on:
A) Swim through the murky pond.
B) Pass through the ‘tunnel of love’, which has become home to several groups of Asian Giant Hornets.
C) Squeeze through a narrow passage in the rubble, disturbing the yellow-and-black-striped, 3-inch-long venomous spiders waiting there.
Considering the park was recently flooded next to a swamp full of alligators, it’s quite likely that a few may have been swept over in the process. The indentations around the pond are tell-tale signs of an alligator presence, so best not risk becoming dinner. As for the tunnel of love; Asian Giant Hornets are among the deadliest insects on the planet, with venom that can dissolve human skin! Avoid at all costs. Which leaves the tight squeeze past the spiders, which – thankfully – are golden orb-weavers. They’re non-aggressive and their venom is harmless to humans, allowing an easy passage.
3. Tower Trouble
After travelling north for a few days, you’ve found yourself in a large, open field. In its centre lies a narrow tower; home of the mysterious stranger with a hatred for people who can’t do math.
Weird, I know, but this man is living on his own in the middle of a remote field, he’s not exactly a socialite. He says you must figure out the height – in feet – of his tower. It’s 3pm, and the sun’s out. He gives you 1 minute to solve this survival riddle or he’ll shoot you for trespassing. What do you use to solve it?
A) Your shoelaces.
B) Your spit.
C) Your shadow.
There might be some complex way that shoelaces could crack the puzzle, but you certainly aren’t getting them off your shoes and into puzzle-solving action in a single minute. Spitting might give the stranger a sense of how frustrated you are, but little else. But in a sunny, open field, at 3 pm, both the building’s shadow and your own will be easy to see. Standing next to the tower, noting exactly how far your shadow reaches against the tower’s, you can walk to the end of the tower’s shadow, noting how many times your own fits inside it.
Simply multiply your own height in feet by that number, and you’ve got the height of the tower!
Now that you’ve passed his survival riddle, you can tell him to go and buy a tape measure.
2. Wild Welcome
Your joke didn’t go down too well. As the mysterious stranger welcomes you into his tower, he shuts the large oak door behind you, locking you in there. The weird strangers tower is empty, apart from a sign that says ‘freedom’, pointing to 3 separate tanks you can access below you.
You’ll starve unless you do something, so your only option is to enter one of the tanks and pray there’s a route out. Which tank will it be?
A) Filled with three very aggressive, territorial porcupines whose spikes have been tipped with venom from the world’s most toxic cone snail.
B) A hungry dairy cow with the face of a polar bear
C) A pool containing a huge 10ft long Humboldt squid, which the man brought up from the deep sea a year ago. These squid have a reputation for aggression towards humans, and their tentacles bear hundreds of suckers, each lined with razor-sharp teeth, to grasp prey and drag it towards their large, sharp beak.
First of all, stay away from the tank of porcupines. Cone snail venom is so complex there’s no antivenom to thwart it. As for the polar bear, it may have some trouble walking on its hooves, but its sharp teeth and raw strength would be enough to make you its snack. As frightening as it seems, the Humboldt squid is your best bet. We’ve never kept one in captivity, and few deep sea creatures manage to live longer than a few weeks there because the environment is so different to their deep sea habitat. Hop into the tank, move its dead body aside and head for the underwater exit.
1. Let It Slide
You think you’re free, but on your journey another mysterious stranger appears and reveals himself to be the evil super villain, Double Negative.
At gun point, he forces you to ride one three water slides, coloured red, blue and yellow. Two of them lead to a deadly vat of sulfuric acid, while one leads to paradise. All he tells you is this: ‘Ride the red, and you won’t not be dead. It’s a lie to say the blue isn’t dissimilar. The yellow doesn’t have less in common with the red than the blue.’
Which is the right answer to this survival riddle?
Riding the red, you ‘won’t not be dead’ – this double negative means you will be dead!
Yellow doesn’t have less in common with the red than the blue, meaning it does have more in common with the red than the blue.
And, apparently, it’s a lie to say the blue isn’t dissimilar to the red – meaning, it’s a lie to say the blue is similar to the red. Which means the blue is not similar to the red, but the yellow is.
This means the red and yellow are deadly, while the blue is safe! Down the slide you go, to the bottom where… oh…an empty beach. Doesn’t this seem familiar?
Did you solve these survival riddles? How many did you get correct?Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!