102 Unanswerable Questions That Will Boggle Your Mind
These conundrums are guaranteed to start a lively debate or two.
Have you ever encountered someone who thinks they have all the answers? Of course you have. We've all had the misfortune of running into that type of person. But don't worry, we've got an easy way to bring them back down to earth. All you have to do is keep reading below, where we've collected the best, most confounding, unanswerable questions the universe has to offer. From the philosophical conundrums to the mysteries of time, these questions will have even the biggest know-it-all left stumped and scratching their head. Better yet, they're guaranteed to get any dinner party or get-together good-naturedly debating.
Funny Unanswerable Questions to Make You Laugh
- Why hasn't anyone come out with a line of mouse-flavored cat food yet?
- Isn't the word "queue" just the letter Q followed by four silent letters?
- Are eyebrows facial hair?
- Isn't good health just a slower rate at which to die?
- Why is "abbreviation" such a long word?
- If you told someone to "Be a leader and not a follower," wouldn't they become a follower by following your advice?
- If a vampire bites a zombie, does the zombie become a vampire or does the vampire become a zombie?
- Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
- Why do feet stink and noses run?
- Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
- Who was the first person to figure out how to milk a cow?
- How can you ever throw away a garbage can?
- If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn?
- Should vegetarians eat animal crackers?
- What hair color do they put in bald people's driver's licenses?
- Who tests and confirms whether dog food is ever improved?
- How do you handcuff a one-armed man?
- Have you ever seen an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
Silly Questions With No Answers
- Why is it called rush hour when it is actually the slowest time of the day?
- How can a real estate company sell its own entire office without creating a ruckus?
- If you had fun while you were wasting time, does it still count as time wasted?
- Which came first: The chicken or the egg?
- Are children who act in R-rated movies allowed to watch the film when it's done?
- Why is a boxing ring square?
- Why do we wait until night to "call it a day"?
- Where does a thought go when it's forgotten?
- Which orange came first, the fruit or the color?
- If you try to fail and succeed, then which have you done?
- If Cinderella's shoe fit her perfectly, then why did it fall off?
- Why is a pizza called a pizza and not veggie bread?
- Why do Easter bunnies carry eggs if rabbits don't lay eggs?
- Why do we count sheep—not dogs—when we can't fall asleep?
- Can bald people have dandruff issues?
Random Unanswerable Questions
- When does it stop being partly sunny and start to become partly cloudy?
- Was math invented or was it discovered?
- Do animals experience consciousness like human beings?
- Why is it called junk food and not unhealthy food?
- Can nuclear forces ever stop existing?
- Why do black olives come in cans and green ones in jars?
- When they say that something is '"new and improved," how can it be improved if it's new? What is it improving on?
- If anything is possible, can anything be impossible?
- Why do we say "a penny for your thoughts" when our thoughts are highly valued?
- Are prison buses equipped with emergency exits?
- In a million years from now, which modern world things will be most helpful in understanding what life was like for us?
- If time travel is possible, why have we never met a time traveler?
- Why do we keep our garments in the suitcase and our suits in a garment bag?
- Why is the third hand on a watch called the second hand?
- How do we know we all see the same colors in the same way?
- Why is it a raindrop but a snowfall?
- If you hate all the haters, aren't you a hater yourself?
- Is French kissing called French kissing in France?
Philosophical Questions That Are Impossible to Answer
- Can human nature ever really be changed, and if so—should it be?
- If the early bird has the advantage, then why is patience such a virtue?
- How much control do you have over what happens in your life?
- Karma is often called a human construct, so is it real or not?
- Why are you here, doing what you're doing, at this very moment in your life?
- Is human creativity infinite or bounded?
- How do you expect the unexpected?
- When did time begin?
- Who decides what's right and wrong?
- Are bad people important for the balance of the universe?
- Will humans ever be able to measure the weight of truth?
- Why would humans expect a world run by chaos to be fair?
- When will human cloning become a safe option?
- If killing people is wrong, then why do we kill people that kill people?
- Do different languages affect human thinking differently? If so, by how much?
- Did you arrive at this point in your life because you willed it or because you were destined to be here?
- Do soulmates happen by luck or are they nurtured into existing?
Unanswerable Physics Qs
- Is the Earth alive—as in a living, breathing organism?
- If a human being is genetically enhanced, are they still human?
- Do you think anyone from the human race will ever be able to travel to the center of the earth?
- How many people can remember the atomic table for their entire lives?
- What happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force?
- Can living life exist after a singularity?
- Where does matter come from?
- Why is gravity so weird?
- Is the world eternal?
- Did time exist before the universe was created, or did that come later?
- How will you quantify the size of the universe?
- Where did all the antimatter go?
- Is time infinite, or will it one day run out?
- What happens when you enter a wormhole?
- Why does time seem to flow only in one direction?
- How many total dimensions are yet to be discovered?
- Often called high-energy particles, what gives life to them?
- How many planets are there in the entire universe?
Weird Unanswerable Questions
- If you took a ship and replaced all of its parts until the original foundation was no longer intact, does it still count as the same ship or is it now a completely different ship?
- Are we living longer or dying slowly?
- Who decided February should have 28 to 29 days while all the rest have 30 to 31?
- Who created the first calendar, and how'd they know where to start?
- Will we ever discover humanoid life on other planets?
- Why do fruit flavors never smell the way the actual fruit smells?
- Why does the alphabet exist in that order?
- What color is a mirror?
- What is at the bottom of the ocean?
- If you punch yourself and it hurts, are you weak or are you strong?
- Is a question with no answer still called a question?
- Why are we called humans?
- Since tomatoes are a fruit, should ketchup be considered a smoothie?
- When you get to heaven, do you look as you do at the age that you die?
- Why are they called buildings if they're already built?
- If a person tells you they're a pathological liar, can you believe them?
How to Answer an Unanswerable Question
Every once in a while, you might just find yourself on the receiving end of one of these unanswerable prompts. Fortunately, we've put together some handy tips on how to handle yourself when you're put in this position. Check out the list below to learn more.
Embrace just how little you know.
The worst thing you can do during any conversation is pretend that you know all the answers. Instead, it's important to be honest and admit that there are some things you just don't know. If you're worried about your pride getting in the way of that, just remember: You can't answer incorrectly if you don't answer at all.
Ask why the question came up in the first place.
You may not be able to provide concrete answers to difficult questions, but you can ask other, related questions to expand and deepen the conversation.
Incorporate a little levity into your response.
Life is heavy, so injecting some humor can't hurt. Of course, you don't want to minimize what anyone else in the conversation is saying—but you can redirect tough topics in a few silly statements. If it seems like people around you are appreciating the effort, then roll with it. If not, fall back and let the discussion continue on the same serious track.
That's it for our list of unanswerable questions. Be sure to check back with us soon for more mind-benders to share with the ones you love. You can also sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss out on what's coming next!