Physics and Science

Puzzles and brain teasers relating to physics and other scientific disciplines – don’t worry, these generally only require basic science knowledge to solve!

Throwing Rocks Off a Boat

A man is throwing rocks off a boat floating in the middle of a lake. The rocks sink quickly to the bottom of the lake.

Does the water level in the lake rise, fall, or stay the same after the rocks are thrown off the boat and sink to the bottom of the lake?

This question was asked in an actual mechanical engineering interview.

Preparing for a brain teaser interview? Check out our ultimate guide to brain teaser interviews.


Consider Archimedes’ principle and how the rocks affect the water level while they are on the boat vs. how the rocks affect the water level when they are in the lake.

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Drink Mix Riddle

Two kids are playing around with their drinks at lunch. One has 200ml of milk and the other has 200ml of chocolate milk. They scoop 20ml of chocolate milk into the milk glass, then they scoop 20ml of whatever is in the milk glass into the chocolate milk glass.

When they’re done, is there more chocolate milk in the milk glass or more milk in the chocolate milk glass?

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Pulley Puzzle

In the pulley puzzle diagram below, there is a pulley attached to a scale. One side of the pulley is attached to a weight and the other side is attached to the ground.

Pulley Diagram

If the scale reads 100g, does the weight weigh 50g, 100g, or 200g?

Assume the pulley and rope has no weight (the scale is already adjusted to account for these), and that the whole system is in equilibrium (nothing is moving).

Note: this puzzle is best solved with a bit of basic physics knowledge, but there is also an intuitive solution, so give it a shot.

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