I am sure you have bumped into one of the Unanswerable Questions at some point in your life.
They push you beyond your boundaries and force you to rethink the world’s norms. It also determines your future choices and present views.
Most people don’t know the answer to these questions yet try to solve them pursuing their own approaches.
While some dial the wisest in the group, a few Google for the answers, the rest enlisting all the formulas that we know in the hopes of discovering the answers.
Still, they remain unanswered.
Even though science has evolved a lot in the past years, there’s still a list of questions that has no answer, whatsoever.
Exactly why, I have hand-crafted this list subdivided into various heads with some of the most perplexing questions (…which is almost impossible to answer!)
Summary in Infographics
So, let’s first begin with…
Random Unanswerable Questions
Humans are curious beings and it’s in their nature to ask questions. In history, we have learned to answer most of them, but there are still a few that have no answer.
It can be a lame thought, a basic scientific fact, or even a funny comparison – but unfortunately, it seems that it will remain that way until human life ceases to exist.
If you wish to challenge your understanding and step out of your comfort zone, start by asking these questions.
1. Do you think time flows forward only, or does it move differently also?
2. Do you think you can discover traveling through time?
3. Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?
4. Are body transplants the same as a brain transplant?
5. Why do people call it plastic surgery when it involves the living body?
6. If you enjoyed it while you were wasting time, would it still be called wasted time?
7. If you are shorter than someone, will you be able to ‘talk down’ to them?
8. Is ketchup a smoothie since tomatoes are fruits?
9. Why isn’t bacon baked and cookies cooked?
10. If early birds get advantages, why is patience a virtue?
11. Why do feet don’t run and noses don’t stink?
12. If you are waiting for the waiter to take your order, are you a waiter yourself then?
13. When your temperature goes up, why is it said that you have a cold?
14. Who invented the art of milking a cow?
15. If you go to a dance exhibition and dance, are you a portrait of an artist?
16. Why are monkeys around if humans are their evolved counter?
17. Why are buildings called that, when they are already built?
18. How was a calendar even invented?
19. How can you ever throw away a garbage can?
20. If quizzes are quizzical, then what are tests?
21. Why are caregivers and caretakers the same thing?
22. Why is an electrical outlet not called an inlet for plugging things into it?
23. If you hate prejudiced people, do you become a hypocrite?
24. If you hate all the haters, aren’t you a hater yourself?
25. Why does mineral water have an expiry date?
I am sure, most of you are bamboozled with these questions.
But don’t just stop there… continue exploring with these
Impossible Questions to Answer
If you have heard Impossible means I’m Possible – it may be philosophically right.
But some questions actually become impossible to answer. They can prove to be thought-provoking conversation starters, and sometimes so entertaining that it will make you laugh.
You will understand only when you either ask each other or maybe reflect on it personally.
26. Do you believe life exists always to end, even after 100 years?
27. Are we the only life in the universe?
28. Does the center of the earth impact the temperature of our land?
29. How did you arrive at this point in your life?
30. How can a closed brain inside our skull ever be called an open mind?
31. How long before artificial intelligence will collapse stock markets?
32. Is there a risk to ever be completely dependent on AI?
33. Can emotions ever be controlled via technology?
34. What disease did Cured Ham have originally?
35. Why is the boxing ring square in shape?
36. Why do black olives come in cans and green ones in jars?
37. Have you ever wondered why kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
38. Who said it was a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
39. Why do banks charge money for insufficient balance, even when they know there isn’t any money?
40. Why does every rule somehow always have exceptions?
41. Why do bubble bath bubbles always rise up white, even if the bath is pink in color?
42. Can anyone know how the rainbow tastes like?
43. Why are ‘lingeries’ so popular, when love is said to be blind?
44. Why is ‘bra’ singular and ‘panties’ plural for women?
45. Why do we count sheep and not dogs when we can’t go to sleep?
46. If the train station is set where the train is bound to stop, what is a workstation then?
47. Why are mattresses always on sale?
48. Why is it said that you act IN a movie but then, you show up ON tv?
49. Is a turtle homeless or naked, without a shell?
50. What was used instead of drawing boards, before their invention?
Haash! That was a lot…
To lighten your head, here are a few…
Unanswerable Questions Funny
Unanswerable questions don’t always mean that they have to be serious. They can also be funny!
The good ol’ “What came first, chicken or egg?” can always trigger a great light-hearted banter. Don’t believe me? Well, just try asking a few and you will know what I am talking about.
51. Will you ever agree that eyebrows are facial hair?
52. Have animals ever committed suicide?
53. Children are allowed to act in ‘R’ rated movies, why?
54. When you are on a flight, which armrest is yours?
55. Is daydreaming at night possible?
56. Can bald people have dandruff issues?
57. Do prison buses ensure to have emergency exits?
58. Do stairs take you up or down?
59. Do people have their braces on when buried?
60. Is the word ‘dictionary’ in the dictionary?
61. How can you yawn in your sleep?
62. If something is new, can it be improved at the same time?
63. Why do only toes and fingers get all wrinkly in the shower?
64. Is it a dog pile if a bunch of cats jump on top of each other?
65. If one doctor gets a heart attack amidst a surgery, do the other doctors work on him or the patient?
66. If a gum has 5 calories, do you get those just from chewing it, or do you need to swallow the gum?
67. Would a bubble blown in space, pop?
68. Is the bible put in the fiction or non-fiction section at libraries?
69. Can someone ever be allergic to water and survive?
70. Have you ever seen an endangered animal eating an endangered plant? Is it okay?
71. Is a question with no answer, still a question?
72. Do the French say ‘Pardon my English’ once they swear?
73. Why do easter bunnies carry eggs (rabbits don’t lay eggs right)?
74. Shouldn’t the hair in your armpits get split ends too?
75. Why is vanilla ice-cream colored white when the vanilla extract is brown?
Try making your answers more lame. Trust me, half of you will end up on the floor! 😉
Had a good laugh?
Then let’s move onto some deep philosophical questions that will leave you high and dry!
Unanswerable Philosophical Questions
Human life, the universe, and everything around you have so much to ponder upon.
And if you wish to start a philosophical discussion or may just introspect and test waters, this list will give you some great conversation starters.
Be prepared to be baffled!
76. Well, which one came first, time or the universe?
77. What is your true purpose in life?
78. Do you think God exists?
79. When does the future start?
80. Where does our future go after we face it?
81. What happens to our future if we die tomorrow?
82. Was it easier to love in the early 1900s?
83. Why is death inevitable?
84. Does God believe that Atheism exists?
85. Is the glass always half empty or half full?
86. If a kid becomes a parent, who becomes the kid then?
87. Is there any good time or good day to say ‘I love you’
88. What is a belief but can never be proven scientifically?
89. Are lies better than harsh truths?
90. Can anyone cry underwater?
91. Why do you recite at a play and play at a recital?
92. Has destiny led you to the important purpose in your life or have you directly willed it?
93. Can you honestly define what is good and what is evil in life?
94. If life in the universe ends this year, will humanoids exist on the planet?
95. Are bad people important for the balance of the universe?
96. Is human creativity infinite or bounded?
97. Is morality a fad, a reality, or a synonym of faith?
98. Can you ever define your character the way others see it?
99. Will humans ever be able to measure the weight of truth?
100. Can humans truly understand the nature of reality?
Now that you are already making intellectual discussion triggered by these questions, let’s dive deep with some…
Deep Unanswerable Questions
Some unanswerable questions often shake your insides and intimidate you on a deeper level.
The answers to the questions mentioned below will give you a glimpse into a person’s viewpoints and also help you analyze their understanding of the individual.
While it may leave you tongue-tied, your approach to the question reveals a lot about you.
101. Why do things exist?
102. Have you figured out how does the universe exists?
103. How does something in this world occur from nothing?
104. Is true love God-given realism or a man-made myth?
105. Will you ever kill 20 people to save one person?
106. Why is free will said to be free when not everyone can have it?
107. Do you think religion will ever stop existing?
108. Do animals have the experience of consciousness like human beings?
109. Do humans have more freedom than animals?
110. Will you ever be able to achieve perfect health for yourself?
111. Why are humans called humans?
112. Can you ever conclude how replaceable you are?
113. Should human nature ever be changed without knowing the impact of it?
114. How has human potential been utilized in the best way?
115. Is pain a form of happiness or a road to seeking pleasure?
116. Does the human language differently affect human thinking? By how much?
117. Do human rights ever change based on age or do they evolve?
118. Can beauty ever be the solution to all problems of mankind? Why is it treated like it is?
119. Do you think anything was created before the universe existed?
120. Will there ever be an accepted cure for cancer?
121. Can people dying from hunger ever not feel hungry?
122. It is said that the entire world is on the stage, so where is the audience?
123. Why do slim chances and fat chances mean the same thing?
124. Doesn’t everyone stop smoking, sooner or later in life?
125. Do the fountain of youth and that of knowledge rise from the same water body?
Well, that was really heavy!
So, let’s add some fun with these…
Stupid Unanswerable Questions
Sensibility 24*7 invites boredom. You got to be silly sometimes.
It not only keeps you sane but also allows your mind a little breathing space. And if you are sitting, in a group, some stupid unanswerable questions will help them to loosen up and also add some laughter to the conversation.
126. Who will be the next man on the moon?
127. Can sandwich meat ever be used to generate electricity?
128. A bread is mostly square in shape in standard form, why so?
129. How will you handcuff a one-armed man?
130. Does synonym have a synonym?
131. Why is it illegal to park on parkways but legal on driveways?
132. If olive oil is made from olives, what is baby oil made from?
133. Why do people shower when they get dirty right after it?
134. What will happen if you eat yourself, will you disappear or become twice in size?
135. If love is blind, can it also be deaf?
136. How can a real estate company sell its own entire office without creating a ruckus?
137. Why do we call it daybreak and nightfall?
138. Do fortune cookie predictions have a time limit?
139. If a vacuum cleaner is said to suck, is it a good product?
140. Hawaii has interstate highways, why?
141. Does opposite have an opposite?
142. If electricity arises from electrons, does morality arise from morons?
143. If the eye of the cyclops is closed, will that be called blinking or winking?
144. If revenge is sweet and it is a dish served cold, can we call it an ice cream sandwich?
145. Can a seedless fruit be grown?
146. What would happen to the earth’s water if everyone jumped into the ocean together?
147. Why can’t time differences and time zones be abolished?
148. Does the mirror in your house have a color?
149. What would the water look like if the sky didn’t exist?
150. Why do we keep our garments in the suitcase and our suits in a garment bag?
Enjoyed that fun conversation?
So, now let’s explore some…
Unanswerable Physics Questions
None of us can deny, physicists have helped us resolve some of the biggest mysteries.
Even after the historical discoveries from Newton and Einstein, we have come really really far. Yet, there are so many things that are unanswered.
There are so many unresolved problems in physics, including…
151. After a million years from now, which modern world things will be impossible, which new things will be possible?
152. Do high energies mean more quantity or more power?
153. How will you quantify the size of the universe?
154. How will screen time impact our minds and our society in the next 70 years?
155. Where do you think matter arises from?
156. Do dark matter and dark energy have the same impact?
157. Are matter and antimatter polar opposite phenomena?
158. Why are particles called particles?
159. Why does the Higgs boson exist when it doesn’t make sense anymore?
160. Is the big bang the only way that our existence came into being?
161. Who and what balances out the universe for life to thrive?
162. How many total dimensions are yet to be discovered?
163. What is the exact definition of gravity?
164. Humans expect a world full of chaos to be fair, why do you think so?
165. Karma is often called a human construct, is it real or not?
166. What is a singularity?
167. Can mankind ever survive entering the black hole?
168. Do you think a singularity will happen in this century?
169. Can living life exist after a singularity?
170. Can a unified theory of physics ever be found?
171. Are atmospheric gases only limited to the atmosphere?
172. When immovable objects meet an unstoppable force, what goes on?
173. Does quantum theory always lead to quantum mechanics?
174. Why is electricity used for electrical charge, but water not used for water charge?
175. Can cosmic rays ever match the speed of sound?
Did you just widen your eyes?
Don’t worry, I did too.
Now moving onto…
Life’s Unanswered Questions
There are some questions from your daily life that are often left unanswered. Even though you ask these questions to yourself daily, you still fail to find the answer.
But don’t worry, you are not alone in this!
They might be unanswerable, but can still trigger different emotions in a human being, leading to different actions that are further followed by positive or negative results.
176. What can guarantee that your time has not been altered by anyone?
177. Why do we fail and succeed in life?
178. Why is it called rush hour when it is actually the slowest time of the day due to heavy traffic?
179. Why do people use driver’s licenses to purchase alcohol, when you can’t drive after drinking?
180. If you choke a smurf, what color would it turn into?
181. Why is the weak force weak and not forceful?
182. Can you define nothing?
183. Why do we say ‘cheese’ when our photos are taken?
184. Why don’t tomb, comb, bomb, and womb sound similar?
185. Why does Donald duck wear everything but pants?
186. If quantum mechanics is a law, what is quantum gravity?
187. Do your achievements end when we die? Erased from existence?
188. Should the world have more countries or fewer ones?
189. Is citizenship something that should be gamified?
190. Can poverty be erased while keeping the social construct intact?
191. Will the current government model last after 500 years?
192. Is there a limit to the smartness of an individual?
193. Do you think humans will be able to download their brains into computers?
194. When will human cloning become a safe option?
195. What brings cosmologists and particle physicists together?
196. What are the primordial degrees of freedom of string theory?
197. Do you get stuck in heaven/hell in the same clothes you died in?
198. Is the big rip related to the big bang only?
199. Would you be hungry after eating antipasto?
200. Can there be a world with zero hypothetical situations?
All that said and done.
Here are some…
Surprising Unanswerable Questions
Everyone is chasing the truth. EVERYONE!
But sometimes, the truth is so deeply hidden that we leave it undiscovered in the hopes that someday, with the development of human intelligence, we might be able to uncover these answers.
Well, human development or divine interference, anything that can help us solve these mysteries and help grasp the reality.
Until then, let’s all keep thinking! 😉
201. When did you think time began?
202. Do you think the earth is a living organism on the inside?
203. Do you think anyone of the human race will ever be able to travel towards the center of the earth?
204. Can a homeless kid ever be given homework?
205. Can the universe ever expand? If yes, to what?
206. Was math invented or was it discovered?
207. Who defined good, bad, right, and wrong?
208. Why should we set goals if we are all going to die anyway?
209. Chicken or egg – What came first?
210. Does freedom really exist for everyone?
211. Do soul mates happen by luck or are they nurtured into existing?
212. Why are you here in this path of life, at this exact point in your life?
213. What happens to an idea when you forget it?
214. Is knowledge good, bad, or neutral?
215. Will it be easier to be successful in the future or in the past?
216. Is there any connection between misbehavior and anonymity?
217. How much can you control the most important moment in your life?
218. Life after death, is it a possibility?
219. Why is abbreviation a long word to use?
220. Why doesn’t Tarzan ever have a beard?
221. Who decided to put and use the letter ‘s’ in the word ‘lisp’?
222. Why can an adult say that they ‘slept like a baby’ but a baby can never sleep like an adult?
223. If a zombie bites a vampire, do both become vampires or both become zombies?
224. Do dogs also name their owners?
225. Why isn’t there pine or apple in a pineapple?
Wait, that’s not it!
Here are some more…
Confusing Unanswerable Questions
Confusion has its own fun.
While most of the questions on this list have no set answers and force you to think, these few will leave you confused.
So, if you want to keep your friends and family preoccupied with great debates, just pick a few from this list and raise it as an open-ended question.
226. Can nuclear forces stop existing ever?
227. Can you quantitatively measure talent?
228. Can happiness ever be an end goal of life?
229. Why do fruit flavors never smell the way the actual fruit smells?
230. If we say ‘the sky’s the limit’; what do we call space then?
231. If an ambulance is rushing to save someone and runs someone over, will they stop to save them or not?
232. Can you ever be cornered in a round room?
233. Do circular beds ever have corners to fall off from?
234. Who tests and confirms if Dog food is ever improved?
235. Is a male ladybird called a man bird?
236. Why do bars have parking when drinking and driving are illegal?
237. Why is it called a TV set when you just have a single tv?
238. How far off you can go towards the west before going east?
239. If you hit yourself and get hurt, are you strong or are you weak?
240. Are we living longer or dying slowly?
241. Do deaf people hear what they think?
242. Is French kissing called French kissing in France?
243. Who decided the alphabetical order and why isn’t it changed?
244. Do blind people also dream?
245. Why is the work done by doctors called ‘practice’ and not doctor work?
246. If two left-handed individuals fight, who comes out as right?
247. How many planets are there in the entire universe?
248. When you trip down the stairs, are your feet up or down?
249. Can you measure the depth of your love?
250. Are eternal and infinity the same thing?
If these are not enough, here are some more…
Unique Unanswerable Questions
As I said, we all have bumped into an unanswerable question at some point in our lives.
But most often these are the same good-old funny ones like “Chicken or egg, what came first?’
If you want to level up your game, here are a few never-heard-before unanswerable questions.
251. Why is it said only a penny for your thoughts when our thoughts are highly valued?
252. Was their life on the moon before we figured out how to reach it? Did everyone on the moon go into hiding?
253. Do fountains ever waste any water?
254. Why aren’t houses ever recycled?
255. Which orange was invented first, the color or the fruit?
256. If orange is orange in color, why isn’t apple colored apple or ginger colored ginger?
257. Why is it said screaming on top of your lungs when we use our mouth to scream?
258. How often should one visit the temple to achieve entry to heaven?
259. What came first, the seed, or the fruit?
260. Why isn’t it proved yet if neutrinos have mass?
261. Often called high energy particles, what gives life to them?
262. What will happen when the earth’s temperature crosses 100 degrees Celsius?
263. Why are roads less traveled by and not paths?
264. How many people can remember the atomic table for their entire lives?
265. Why has nobody ever launched mouse-flavored cat food?
266. When you conclude that something is inconclusive, isn’t a conclusion already drawn?
267. Do cemetery workers always choose the graveyard shift?
268. How can anyone ever be the ‘living dead’?
269. Why does the sun lighten the hair color but only darkens our skin tone?
270. Why is it called tanning and not darkening?
271. Who can differentiate between what is bright and what is light?
272. Should vegetarians eat animal crackers?
273. If people from Poland are called ‘Poles’, why aren’t people from Auckland called ‘Auckes’?
274. Do we need to be friends to watch FRIENDS?
275. Are we alive on this earth or is the Earth alive that nurtures us?
We aren’t finished just yet.
Weird Unanswerable Questions
What’s the fun without some “weird” fun to it?
Don’t worry, we also got you there! Just keep reading!
276. Do we ever say that water is wet?
277. What is the definition of peace?
278. Can one ever remember that they have amnesia?
279. Why doesn’t McDonald’s sell hotdogs?
280. Why is a pizza called a pizza and not veggie bread?
281. If a jogger starts running exactly at the speed of sound, will he hear his phone ring?
282. When can you say it is partly cloudy and partly sunny?
283. Why is it called sunset and not sundown?
284. How do vampires dress so fancy if they can’t see their reflections?
285. If a baby pops out their head at 11.59 pm but gets their legs out at 12.01 am, which day were they born in?
286. Does Satan have a last name?
287. If God sneezes, does that mean we will get rain?
288. Why does quicksand work slowly in action?
289. Do atheists swear on the bible in court?
290. Why are lethal deadly injections sterilized?
291. Do Siamese twins pay for one ticket or both at various events?
292. Why aren’t house drapes made pretty on both sides?
293. How do you differentiate ketchup and fancy ketchup?
294. Why is it called junk food and not unhealthy food?
295. Why is it fries in one country but chips in another?
296. Do bald people use shower caps?
297. Why are crop circles never squares?
298. Do mime people have the right to talk post-arrest?
299. Why are fast drivers called careless while slow drivers are called stupid?
300. Who said the Ranchers were jolly enough to be called ‘Jolly Ranchers’?
In the end, let me answer the unanswerable question, in all of your minds
How to answer an Unanswerable Question?
(Ofcourse, you wanted to know that! 😉)
These unanswerable questions can be asked to you by anyone – a leader, teacher, or even your interviewer. But just because it’s called “unanswerable” doesn’t mean you can’t form an honest opinion around it.
Keep these few tips in mind and it will help you craft a satisfying (if not perfect) answer to these questions.
1. Learn to acknowledge your confusion
Find the balance to your emotional turbulence during such times. If you do not acknowledge your doubts, people will keep having expectations. In fact, be honest and don’t deny your own angst. Dig deep and share your thoughts, control your anxiety and let go of the negative feelings.
2. Identify the underlying need of the question
Don’t let the situation conquer you. Patiently listen to the question and anticipate the need for it. The underlying need for the question is the way to rightly answer them. Take your time, and figure out the need to help yourself prepare to answer.
3. Use broader questions to light deeper concerns
Don’t rush into answers and always take a pause. Infact, try responding to concerning questions with a broader question to gain clarity. You can ask about learnings in times of a crisis, hope in the time of a challenge, and other stories. This gives more fortitude and direction to the conversation.
4. Choose compassion instead of critique
Try not to be too defensive when asked such questions. Keep the forum open and portray compassion first. Remind yourself to be considerate and understand the people who approach you. Don’t miss people’s feelings and ignore their doubts. Be truthful but at the same time, be empathetic.
5. Remember you are the real answer
A caring and honest response works like a charm, only if you remember your true self. Your effort, your resilience, and your knowledge is the real answer. Always be composed and don’t worry even if you blow up the conversation. Just circle back, retry and bring back things to normal.
Over to you…
Well, there you have it!
…your handy list to make anyone tongue-tied.
Don’t forget to make note of how people are answering it. Trust me, it will later be a fun activity to reflect back on it! 😉
Now, what’s the wait worth for?
Just shoot and watch the crowd go berserk in confusion! 😛
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favorite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At ThePleasantConversation, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.