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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.


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