Would a 20-Mile Bridge With 2,000lb Limit Collapse if a Bird Landed on a 2,000lb Car Halfway Across?

January 27, 2021 Updated: January 27, 2021

Here is a crafty brainteaser that may have you scratching your head haplessly as you try to shake off those morning workday grogs. Just the thing to get your noggin warmed up for the rest of the day.

Puzzle: A car weighing exactly 2,000 pounds (approx. 907 kg) begins traveling on a 20-mile-long suspension bridge, which has a weight-carrying capacity of exactly 2,000 pounds. At exactly halfway across the bridge, a 200-gram bird swoops down from the sky and lands on the car. Will the bridge collapse?

Epoch Times Photo

As you ponder this question, you might be wondering what sort of problem this is anyway. Is it a math problem, physics problem, logic problem? What?

We’ve chosen to leave that for you to determine, since that is part of the fun and the difficulty. It also encourages you to expand your thinking beyond your preset parameters, which will help you in everyday life, as reality has a way of defying conventional thinking.

When you think you know the answer, or have given up trying, scroll down to see the solution.

Epoch Times Photo

Answer: No. The bridge will not collapse when the bird lands, because the car, weighing exactly 2,000 pounds before setting out onto the bridge, will have easily expended more than 200 grams’ worth of gas after driving 10 miles to the halfway point. It will then be able to accommodate the weight of the bird.

So, what kind of puzzle was it? Math? Physics? It seems like a practical one that requires simple common sense. But it’s also one that requires careful reading and asking questions like “Why is it important for the car to drive 10 miles before the bird lands?”

If you managed to solve it, good work! Why not share it with a friend, co-worker, or family member and test how practical their thinking is, and how much common sense they have!

All Illustrations by The Epoch Times