Do you have what it takes to outsmart hideous hybrid creatures, survive the open seas and find a meal in the most desolate of locations? In a survival situation, the slightest error of judgement could cost you your life. For the ultimate test of your ability to think logically join me now on a journey through 10 survival riddles you must solve to stay alive.
10. Just Plane Horrible
Picture this: you’re on a plane, cruising above the Amazon rainforest. Suddenly, one of the plane’s engines explodes, and you’re sent plummeting into the rainforest below. You hear an almighty smash as the plane’s windscreen hits the canopy, followed by the rest of the plane.
By some miracle, you’re the sole survivor of the disaster, but that doesn’t mean you’re safe. The plane is perched in an awkward position, has split in half, and you’re at the front. The cabin is filling with smoke. You can barely breathe, and you feel an intense heat coming from behind you. You need to make an exit fast, using one of the items scattered on the floor around you. Do you pick up:
A) A hot water bottle with a fluffy wool cover.
B) A small fire extinguisher.
C) An inflatable polyester neck pillow.
Firstly, even if you manage to locate the raging fire, you’ll suffocate long before you’re able to put it out using the fire extinguisher as the fuselage is blocked. As for the neck pillow, anything made of plastic is to be avoided around fires. Plastic can melt onto your skin, causing third-degree burns.
That leaves the hot water bottle. If you remove the wool cover, and pour some of the water onto it, you’ll be able to use the wool as a makeshift gas mask, which will allow you to breathe in spite of the smoke for long enough to figure out a way out.
Your best shot is through an emergency exit, but if those are somehow blocked, make your way into the cockpit – after all, you heard the windscreen shatter, so you may be able to climb out.
9. Amazonian Prime
You may be free from the choking smoke, but as soon as you step out, you find yourself in the custody of one of the Amazon’s most remote tribes. The chief insists that you eat one of their signature dishes, or he’ll take offence and skin you alive. Do you choose:
A) A plateful of monkey brains.
B) A poison dart frog raised on crickets and meal worms.
C) A white mushroom with thin white gills.
Thin white gills, while present on some edible mushrooms, are also found on some of the most toxic mushrooms in the world. The risk is too high to eat an unidentified mushroom of this kind.
Monkey brains, like human brains, when eaten can cause a disease called kuru. Kuru is incurable and can be caught from infectious proteins in the brains of monkeys and humans, and results in neurological deterioration and eventually death. Some victims even die in a fit of hysterical laughter.
So, your only option is the poison dart frog. That’s okay though, because the poison in these usually-lethal amphibians comes from their usual diet of poisonous insects. Raised on a diet of crickets and meal worms, this frog is going to give you an upset stomach at most.
8. The Lesser of Three Evils
The tribespeople, unfortunately, require a second trial before they decide whether or not to kill you. You’ll need to spend 10 minutes in one of three pools of water, each of which is inhabited by alive, aggressive creatures.
Facing the chance of being skinned, do you choose the pool with:
A) 6 hungry bull sharks
B) 100 red-bellied piranhas, in the mood for a feeding frenzy
C) A very angry electric eel, capable of delivering a 600-Volt shock, four times the voltage of standard American wall sockets!
Bull sharks are among the most aggressive sharks in the world, and they can reach almost 700 lbs. If six of those take a fancy to you in the water, you’re fresh out of luck.
As for the piranhas, they wouldn’t necessarily bother you normally, but in a unified feeding frenzy, they’ve been known to take down predators as large as cattle and humans.
The electric eel, while capable of delivering a 600 Volt shock, only does so for around 2 milliseconds, and with a current of around 1 Amp. This may hurt, but it is very unlikely to kill you. It may come as a shock, but this guy is your best bet.
7. Something Fishy
For the final trial, the tribespeople take you to another pool of water, this time filled with lots of tiny, fast-moving fish. They tell you to catch one of the fishes, using only your t-shirt and the products of your body. Do you use:
C) A tuft of your hair
There’s only one useable option here: despite common myths, little Amazonian fish like the Candiru are not attracted by the scent of urine, and unless you’re super fast and have a crazy amount of hair, you’re not going to be able to craft anything like a net or line.
But fish have been known to be attracted to – and eat – human spit. Your spit contains tasty remnants of your last meal, and the impact on the water will attract curious fish, who initially may mistake it for a landing insect. When they come to the surface, you can use the large surface area of your t-shirt to catch them.
6. Water We Gonna Do?
Despite your success in the trials, the tribesmen have decided they don’t like you and have stripped you naked and thrown you into the river, which flows out into the ocean. Now, thrown out into the sea by a rip current, you’re running out of energy fast and you can feel unseen creatures bumping against your legs.
Luckily, you spot a rucksack floating in the sea. You open it up, but a pesky albatross steals it and flies away to the distant shoreline. You only have time to take one item from the bag. Which would benefit you most?
A) A pair of jeans
B) A hammer
C) A pair of binoculars
You may think the hammer will come in handy, for fighting off whatever may be lurking below you. The truth is, in the rare event that any of the creatures of the sea choose to take an interest in you, it’ll be almost impossible to swing that hammer fast enough underwater to do damage. Plus, the extra weight will only make exhaustion set in sooner. The binoculars, while potentially useful for spotting land, will add a similarly inhibitive extra weight, and besides, you already know where the shore is – you saw the albatross fly there.
The jeans, on the other hand, are incredibly useful survival tools: simply soak the jeans and tie the bottoms of the legs together in a tight knot. Then, swing them over your head, capturing as much air as possible through the opening at the waist of the jeans. Immediately holding the waist shut under water, you can put the inflated legs around your neck, and as long as you keep them wet, the jeans will function as a floatation device. Now, you can calm down, get your bearings, and begin a more energy-efficient approach to land.
5. Hydration is key
You finally reach the shore, which is dotted with countless trees whose low-hanging branches provide some nice leafy cover from the elements.
But you’re getting really thirsty, and seawater is a no-go. Thanks to plastic pollution, there’s a plastic bag and a straw on the beach, as well as several small rocks. Which two of these three can be combined to help in your search for water?
A) Straw and plastic bag
B) Rocks and straw
C) Rocks and plastic bag
While a straw is a great way to sip and even filter freshwater, it’s useless for saltwater, so that’s out. The rock and the plastic bag combo wins here. You can place the bag over a branch on one of the leafy trees, sealing it tight, with the rock inside to create a low point. Over the course of several hours, the tree will transpire, and moisture will gather inside the bag, accumulating at the low point. This will be safe to drink!
4. Sniffing out a snack
Now you’re hydrated, it’s time for a bite to eat. The only food, however, seems to be the leaves of the trees. There are three different types of trees along the beach, which type of leaf is the safest to try out?
A) Awful smelling leaves
B) Odourless leaves which are slightly slimy
C) Leaves that smell great, but make your fingers tingle when touched
This one can be solved by referring to the universal edibility test. Firstly, aromas are one of nature’s biggest warning signs, and the general rule is “if it doesn’t smell good – don’t eat it, or it’ll hurt you”.
With the stinky leaf off the list, the pleasant smelling one is the next to go. Tingling, itchiness or numbness on the skin are a sign of a potentially-poisonous plant; definitely not something to put in your mouth.
As for the slimy, neutral-smelling leaf? This is your best bet, as even though the sliminess may imply that it’s become slightly rotten, the risk factor is smaller than the others.
3. Just a Nibble?
So, you’ve made your decision on which leaf will keep you fed for now. But there’s still a big risk to eating a wild leaf. Then again, starvation is approaching, and you’ll need energy to even seek alternatives. Should you:
A) Eat the leaves until you feel full, and venture out to explore for help
B) Just eat a handful, to be cautious, but still get some calories
C) Eat only a miniscule amount, nowhere near enough to energise you, and wait a few hours
If the leaves are poisonous, eating anything more than a tiny amount could leave you in a dire state, or even dead. Though there’s still risk, eating a tiny amount and waiting for any negative symptoms is the wisest choice. It may still leave you with an upset, empty stomach, or even dead, but it’s better to take this risk than any of the others, for which the chances of death, or severe incapacitation, are much higher! Sometimes, risk is unavoidable, so it’s essential that you can weigh up risk factors.
2. Horrible Hybrids
After waiting, you feel fine, and fill yourself up on this mystery leaf. After a few days, however, bloodthirsty pirates with AK-47s invade your beach, forcing you to flee into the rainforest.
Here, you discover a split path. Down each path, you see hideous creatures never before documented by science! With the pirates approaching, and with no choice but to fight your way past one of these, which strange hybrid creature do you choose?
A) The head of a warthog with the body of a giant anteater
B) The body of a black caiman with the head of a slow loris
C) The head of a rhino with the rhino-sized body of a giant Asian hornet
While the first option might seem harmless, giant anteaters have extremely dangerous four-inch claws capable of fending off jaguars, and its warthog head would have little trouble goring you with its tusks.
As for the second option, while a slow loris seems cute, its bite is laced with a venom toxic enough to kill humans. Plus, if it whips its huge, crocodilian tail at you, as caiman are prone to do, it could easily break bone and even kill you.
While Giant Asian Hornets are capable of killing humans, one the size of a rhino would not be able to get enough oxygen into its body’s tissues to be able to move, or even survive. This is why we don’t have giant insects on Earth anymore: there’s not enough oxygen in the atmosphere! If, by some miracle, it wasn’t already dead, it wouldn’t be able to gather the strength to attack you anyway. You’d just laugh your way past and try not to bump into its deadly stinger.
1. Riddle Me This…
You make it past the strange beast and come across that troublesome Amazonian tribe again. They’re impressed by your skill of cracking survival riddles and offer you protection and a safe path back to civilisation. On one condition – you solve their greatest riddle, in dedication to the deadly rainforest creature they fear the most:
Seems to be one of the craziest brain teasers. Well, can you solve it? This one’s up to you – put your answer in the comments below, and tune in next time when I will reveal the true answer. And don’t forget to tell me how many of these riddles you survived in the comments down below as well.