17 Fun Brain Teasers to Test Your Genius

Can you find the soccer ball in the sea of pandas?

17 Fun Brain Teasers to Test Your Genius

Even though brain teasers are a commonly used tool in both school and office settings, that doesn't mean that they can't be just as entertaining as they are educational. Just look at the number of people who do the Sunday crossword or play sudoku in their spare time, and you'll see that these mind games are actually quite the preferred pastime!

Whether you're new to puzzles or have already binge-watched every episode of Brain Games, here are some fun brain teasers that will put your genius to the test (including a few from puzzle expert Marcel Danesi's The 125 Best Brain Teasers of All Time!)

Question: Replace the question mark with the correct number.

math puzzle brain teasers Image via GPuzzles

At first glance, it feels like these numbers have nothing in common, but there is a pattern to this brain teaser.

Answer: The correct number is "8."

Procrastination brain teasers

All of the numbers in each row and column must add up to 15.

Question: How many triangles are in the above image?

You need to look beyond the obvious triangles for this one.

Answer: There are 44 triangles.

Astonishing Facts brain teasers

Each small triangle combines with the triangles next to it in this brain teaser to make two more triangles, and so on.


Question: Can you find the soccer ball among the pandas?

brain teasers Image via Gergely Dudas/Dudolf

They're both black and white, so good luck.

Answer: If you look closely, it's hiding on the right edge toward the middle of the picture!

brain teasers solution Image via Gergely Dudas/Dudolf

This visual brain teaser likely threw you for a loop.

(Taken from Gergely Dudas)

Question: Solve the final equation.

flower brain teasers Image via BRiddles

Imagine the flowers are x, y, and z, and then solve this problem like any other math equation.

Answer: The final equation equals 25.

a hand writing out 6th grade math equations on a chalkboard brain teasers

Let's break it down by the equation.

  • In the first equation, there are three red flowers and a total of 60. So, we have to divide 60 by 3, which means that a single red flower equals 20. (20 + 20 + 20 = 60)
  • In the second equation, there are two blue flowers and one red flower. First, we'll have to subtract the red flower (20) from the total (30), which leaves us with 10 remaining. Since we know that blue flowers are worth the same amount, that means we have to divide the remaining 10 by 2, which means blue flowers are worth five. (20 + 5 + 5 = 30)
  • In the third equation, there are two yellow flowers and one blue flower, and a final total of 3. Since we know that blue flowers are worth 5, that yellow flowers are worth the same amount, and that it's a subtraction problem, it's easy to deduce that yellow flowers are worth 1 each. (5 – 1 – 1 = 3)
  • In the fourth equation, for the first time, we don't have a total. So let's take it step by step. The yellow flower is worth 1, and the red flower is worth 20. The blue flower, however, is worth 4. All along, the blue flower's worth was based on the petals, not the flower itself. And, if you look closely, the blue flower only has 4 petals. Therefore, after you add the yellow flower, the red flower, and the four petals of the blue flower together, you get 25. (1 + 20 + 4 = 25)

Question: There are six haystacks in one corner, a third as many in another corner, four times as many in a third corner, and eight in the fourth corner. While throwing the hay into a single pile in the center of his field, the farmer accidentally let one of the stacks fall to the floor and scatter everywhere. How many haystacks did the farmer end up with?

haystacks on a farm brain teasers

Hint: It's not as many as you think…

Answer: Just one!

brain teasers

He piled all of his hay in the center of the field!

Question: I can be quick and then I'm deadly. I am a rock, shell, and bone medley. If I was made into a man, I'd make people dream. I gather in my millions by ocean, sea, and stream. What am I?

Seychelles Islands brain teasers

You really need to think outside of the box for this brain teaser.

Answer: Sand.

brain teasers

Think about it: Sand can be quick and deadly (quicksand), it is a rock, shell, and bone medley, and if it were a man, it would be the Sandman!

Question: A poor man walks into a bar and starts chatting with a much wealthier man…

sad man sitting at the bar brain teasers

…The poor man says to the rich man, "You know, I know every song in the world. I bet you all your fortune and worldly possessions that I can find a song with any name you want." The rich man, laughing, accepts the poor man's bet, and bets him to find a song with his daughter's complete name in it. Her full name is Julie Monique Alexandria. A few minutes later, the poor man leaves the bar with the rich man's wallet, car keys, and clothes in tow. How did he win the bet?

The only hint we'll give here is that it's a real song.

Answer: He sang "Happy Birthday."

Bad bosses, office birthday brain teasers

Clever, huh?!

Question: What makes the number "8,549,176,320" unique?

brain teasers

Don't worry, there's no math involved in this brain teaser.

Answer: It contains every number from zero through nine in alphabetical order.

simple math equation brain teasers

When numbers are involved, the going gets tough.

Question: Which word logically comes next in this sequence? Spots, tops, pots, opts…

hanging rack storage hacks brain teasers

Look closely at the letters used to spell each word.

Answer: Stop.

Stop Sign Illegal brain teasers

All the words are anagrams of each other!

(Source: The 125 Best Brain Teasers of All Time)

Question: A man stands on one side of a river and his dog stands on the other. The man calls his dog, who immediately crosses the river without getting wet and without using a bridge or a boat. How did the dog do it?

dog standing by a river brain teasers

No, the dog didn't possess magical powers.

Answer: The river was frozen.

Dog is outside panting in a field brain teasers

Since the water was frozen over, Fido was able to walk over the river with no problems!

Question: The letters of the word dormitory can be rearranged to produce a two-word phrase that describes a typical dormitory. What is that phrase?

Girl Moving Into Dorm Room brain teasers

Think about the words you'd use to describe your child's dorm room

Answer: The two-word phrase is "dirty room."

Dirty clothes, what to give up in your 40s, over 40 brain teasers

…Which is appropriate in this situation.

(Source: The 125 Best Brain Teasers of All Time)

Question: Which word is written incorrectly in a dictionary?

Woman reading and flipping through the dictionary, common word origins brain teasers

This goes for every dictionary out there!

Answer: The word incorrectly.

woman surprised anxious on her phone brain teasers

Technically, it will be spelled "incorrectly" no matter what.

Question: I have seven billiard balls, one of which weighs less than the other six. Otherwise, they all look exactly the same. How can I identify the one that weighs less on a balance scale, using that scale no more than two times?

pool, billiards, second date ideas brain teasers

The answer to this brain teaser is a commonly used question in job interviews.

Answer: Separate six of the seven balls into two piles of three and weigh them against each other…

balance scale brain teasers

…If the scale balances, then you know that the heavier ball is the seventh remaining ball. If the scale isn't balanced, then take the heavier side and weigh any two of those three balls against one another. Either the scale will reveal that one of those two balls is the heavier one, or it will balance and reveal that the remaining ball is your culprit.

(Source: The 125 Best Brain Teasers of All Time)

Question: Johnny's mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child's name?

40 compliments brain teasers

Read this question carefully…

Answer: Johnny.

dad son and grandfather reading book brain teasers

Your first instinct might be to follow the pattern and guess June, but if you look at the beginning of the question, the third child's name is right there!

Question: What is the probability of obtaining either a 6 or 7 when throwing a pair of dice?

red and white dice brain teasers

This kind of knowledge could come in handy in Vegas.

Answer: 11/36.

dice brain teasers Image via The 125 Best Brain Teasers of All Time

To solve this, we start by first listing the number of ways to throw either a 6 or a 7.

There are 36 possible throws of two dice, because each of the six faces of the first die is matched with any of the six faces of the second one. Of these 36 possible throws, 11 produce either a 6 or a 7. Therefore, the probability of throwing either a 6 or a 7 is 11/36.

(Taken from The 125 Best Brain Teasers of All Time)

Question: How can 8 + 8 = 4?

commonly misspelled words brain teasers

Again, this brain teaser is less about your math skills and more about your ability to get creative.

Answer: If you think of the numbers in terms of time, 8 A.M. + 8 hours = 4 P.M.

person overthinking, stressed brain teasers

In the case of brain games, it helps to think outside the box.

Question: How do you get from the word cold to the word warm in four steps, changing only one letter at a time but still creating real words?

man ready for winter brain teasers

The words cold and warm share no letters in common, but there is a way…

Answer: Cold becomes cord, cord becomes word, word becomes worm, and worm becomes warm.

an optimistic woman in a field on a sunny day brain teasers

This one was sure to test your brain power.

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram!

Filed Under
Best Life
Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest.
Get Our Newsletter Every Day!
Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice.
close modal
close modal