The Potato Paradox

Fred brings home 100 pounds of potatoes, which (being purely mathematical potatoes) consist of 99 percent water. He then leaves them outside overnight so that they consist of 98 percent water. What is their new weight?

50 pounds.

100 lb of potatoes with 99% water weight means there’s 99 lb of water and 1 lb of solids, a 1:99 ratio.

If the water decreases to 98%, then the solids account for 2% of the weight. The 2:98 ratio reduces to 1:49. Since the solids still weigh 1 lb, the water must weigh 49 lb for a total of 50 lbs for the answer.

Read more at the Potato Paradox wikipedia page.

Posted in Brain Teasers


5 Comments on "The Potato Paradox"

влад says
September 5, 2019 @ 16:09

50. watermelons would fit better

Horsteve says
November 4, 2019 @ 15:04

Wait a minute, my brain is hurting!

August 27, 2020 @ 02:04

Fred at the grocery store: Hi, can I have some purely mathematical potatoes, please?

Bobby says
December 22, 2020 @ 01:02

POTATO – Yes, he wants to make purely mathematic potato cakes, and some purely mathematical potato salad. Oh, and don’t forget – purely mathematical potato wedges are good too.

Storm says
January 19, 2021 @ 10:18


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