Skip To Content

    17 Mind-Bending Paradoxes That Will Hurt Your Brain

    This post is false.

    1. Let's start off easy. Take a look at this sign...

    Weird, huh?

    2. Read this.

    This is known as a "card paradox."

    3. Deep question: Can God make a rock so heavy that even He cannot lift it?

    This is called the omnipotence paradox. And yes, for the purposes of this philosophical exercise, we'll assume that GOD LIFTS.

    4. If the following scenario occurs, will the universe explode?

    5. If you gradually replaced every part of the Death Star piece-by-piece until it was eventually made of entirely new material...

    Fox / Via

    ...would the resulting ship still be considered the Death Star?

    And if not, at which point does it cease to be the Death Star? This paradox is often known as the ship of Theseus.

    6. A crocodile steals your son and promises to return him only if you can correctly guess what the crocodile will do with your son. Assuming the croc keeps its word, what would happen if you guessed that he wouldn't return your son?

    This is a variant of the liar paradox.

    7. Have you considered that the phrase "IGNORE ALL THE RULES!"... a rule itself?


    8. This question seems easy... NOPE.

    9. Can you deliver... that which is not delivery???

    10. If you traveled back in time and killed your grandfather, it could prevent you from ever being born, which means you could've never gone back...

    ...BUT, even weirder, some believe that time has a self-healing quality that protects it from such paradoxes. So, if you tried to kill your grandfather, you'd always fail.

    Another example of this occurs in the film The Time Machine. The main character travels back in time to save his dead fiancé, only to discover that she will still die in a different way.

    11. In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, adult Link learns the "Song of Storms" from the Windmill Man, who claims that he learned the tune from a boy.

    But then Link goes back in time and teaches "Song of Storms" to the past version of Windmill Man. So... where did the song come from? Who actually invented it??

    This is an example of the bootstrap paradox.

    12. Speaking of time travel... if we haven't already been visited by people from the future yet, does that mean time travel will never be invented?

    Universal / Via

    But don't worry, there's still hope! Many believe that time machines, if invented, would only be able to travel as far back as the first time they're used, since that's when the time wormhole would be opened (crazy, I know).

    13. And on that note: If the universe is so big and old, there must be a good chance that extraterrestrials exist out there who are far more advanced than us. SO WHERE ARE THEY??

    This idea is further explained by the Fermi paradox.

    14. That was sorta nuts, take a break with this fun one.

    15. Suppose Peter Parker were running to catch a bus. To reach it, he'd first need to get halfway there. Before that, he'd need to get a quarter of the way there...

    Columbia / Via

    ...before a quarter, an eighth; before an eighth, a 16th; and so on. Since the distance can be halved infinitely, he'd be trying to complete an infinite number of tasks... WHICH WOULD BE LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE!

    This is an example of one of Zeno's paradoxes.

    16. Now get ready to think. Did you know that "0.999..." equals "1"? IT'S TRUE! Here's the proof:

    17. OK we're done here. Feel free to leave through this door...