Perplexed People Share The Most Mind-Blowing Paradox They've Ever Heard.

Nothing hurts the head more than a good, self-contradicting statement. Here, people share the most mind-blowing paradox they've ever heard.


1. My brain is crumbling into finite parts.

The Banach-Tarski paradox. You can take a solid ball, decompose it into a finite number of parts, and then reassemble these parts (without making any of them any bigger) into two solid balls each identical to the original one.


2. Was Beethoven a plagiarizer?

I always liked the Bootstrap Paradox. Basically, if you went back in time with a collection of Beethoven's music, met Beethoven before he wrote anything, and gave him the music to publish (which he did, and became famous)... who wrote the music?


3. A prisoner is on death row. The judge sentenced him to death by hanging. The judge wants the prisoner to be surprised when he is hanged, so he tells the prisoner, "At dawn, sometime during the next 7 days, you will be hanged, and you will be surprised."

The criminal thinks to himself, "I cant be hanged on the last day, because If I make it to the last day(7), then I will know that I am being hanged that day."

That leaves days 1 2 3 4 5 6.

The prisoner then thinks, "Since I cannot be hanged on day 7, if I survive day 5, then I will know that I will be hanged on day 6. This means that I cannot be hanged on day 6."

That leaves days 1 2 3 4 5.

The prisoner follows this same logic, eliminating each day sequentially. The prisoner reasons that he cannot be surprised by the hangman.

He was hanged on the third day and he was completely surprised.


4. Everything is everything.

This paradox came out from correspondence between John Wheeler and Richard Feynman regarding why all electrons in the universe have exactly the same charge and mass. The explanation of course is that they're all the same electron.

If we accept T-symmetry as true, it can be further reasoned that every positron is also the same electron, only moving backward through time instead of forward. In fact this is likely necessary to explain how the same electron can exist in two different places (or a near infinite number of places) at a single point in time. The answer is that at some point it travels backwards through time, then changes direction and begins going forward again.

How can this happen? Any time an electron and positron meet and appear to mutually annihilate each other from our perspective, what is actually happening is that the electron is changing direction in time and becoming the positron. Because the positron moves backward through time instead of forward, to an observer traveling forward in time it will appear as though the two particles collide and vanish when in fact they are the same particle simply changing direction in time.

Similarly, there are events called "pair production" where an interaction causes the creation of both an electron and positron. These would presumably be the inverse of the above: a positron changing direction to travel forward in time, becoming the electron.

So according to this theory, every electron and positron in the universe is the same particle, bouncing back and forth throughout time and interacting with its past and future selves.

Try wrapping your brain around that one!


5. To taste or not to taste?

Me: I don't like onions.

Wife: You can't taste them.

Me: Then why did you put them in?

Wife: To add flavor.

Me: I thought you can't taste them

Wife: You can't

Me: Why put them in?

Wife: To add flavor

You know where this is going.


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6.'s cold in here.

0 Kelvin. Because certain laws of physics temperature can never reach 0k. However, there are no laws of physics forbidding temperature from being below 0k. And due to some nice stuff with electron or orbitals, we actually know how to reach negative temperatures.


7. It's not delivery, it's - oh, wait.

If you ordered a DiGiorino pizza off of Amazon... is it or is it not delivery?


8. I'm lost.

GrellingNelson paradox.

Consider the words "autological" and "heterological." Autological words are words that describe themselves, like how "noun" is a noun, "word" is a word.

So is heterological a heterological word?

If you say no, then "heterological" must be autological, so "heterological" describes itself, which means it must be heterological.

If you say yes, then "heterological" does not describe itself, and thus "heterological" is not heterological.


9. So is the wish granted or not granted?

A person asks a genie of the lamp: "I wish you would not grant me my wish."

What would happen?


10. Last Thursday-ism.

You can't prove you weren't created yesterday with false memories of life.


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11. Liar liar.

The simple Liar Paradox.

"This sentence is false."

Easy to understand, hard to wrap your head around but some philosophers have gone to great lengths trying to solve it. I still think it's cool because of its simplicity.


12. Maybe Pinocchio can read the future.

The Pinocchio paradox. If he says: "My nose will grow now," what would happen?


13. Determinism or free will?

Not sure if this has a name but it's been on my mind a lot. You can't prove that the destiny doesn't exist. For example, Stephen Hawking said something along the lines of:

"I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street."

However, you can always argue that THAT is determined by destiny, and you closing your eyes to prove that destiny doesn't exist can still be destiny. How do you know if wasn't your destiny to try to disprove the concept of destiny.


14. You've changed.

The Ship of Thesus.

Is an object that has had all of its components replaced still the same object?

For example, you have a wooden ship. You replace planks as they decay, and eventually, you've replaced every single plank. Is it still the same ship? Is it a new ship?


15. How do we break the cycle?

The millennial paradox.

You need 10 years of experience to get the job. Can't get the experience without first having the experience.


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16. You didn't choose the beach - the beach chose you.

The question of free will always messes with me. For this purpose, it's defined as being able to make a different decision based on the same past.

Let's say you're trying to figure out where to go on vacation. You've narrowed it down to the beach or the mountains but you simply cannot decide which you'd rather do. Eventually you choose one at random in your head - the beach.

Given the exact same universe leading up to the moment of your choice, could you have instead chosen to go to the mountains? Some say you will always choose the beach because whatever happened in your head that "randomly" picked the beach would happen in the exact same way every time. Because of this you were always going to choose the beach given the same past. You literally could not choose otherwise therefore free will does not exist.

There are plenty of counter arguments but I've always liked this one. Perhaps because I was so firmly in the free will exists camp when I heard this argument and it simply blew me away.


17. I just can't describe it.

The word "indescribable." It references something that cannot be described, but in doing so, describes it.


18. Can it be both?

If you create an exact clone of yourself and have sex with it, is it incest or masturbation?


19. You just never know.

Heres a paradox: your wife/girlfriend says she doesn't want anything for Valentine's day.


20. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

That One Direction song that goes, "She don't know she's beautiful...and that's what makes her beautiful."

She would have to be beautiful in the first place, in order to not know that she was beautiful, therefore that couldn't be what made her beautiful because she was already beautiful. My head hurts.


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21. Understanding our understanding.

The idea that the human brain is limited in its understanding of the human brain because it has no greater framework of how the human brain functions.


22. Why is it so bright?

The fact that cartoon suns are pretty much always drawn wearing sunglasses. What exactly are they protecting their eyes from? Themselves?


23. Do A & B switch places?

If I take a part From Car A and Install it into Car B, Car B is still Car B. But if I continue with another part, and another etc...

At what point have I replaced so many of Car B's parts with parts from Car A, that It ceases to be Car B?


24. Come again?

The sum of its parts.

Simpson's Paradox.

This is a paradox in probability and statistics, where you see a trend in different groups of data but it disappears or reverses when these groups are combined.

For example, in 1995 and 1996, David Justice had a higher batting average each year than Derek Jeter. Yet when looked at the two years together, Derek Jeter's average is higher.


25. Where did everyone go?

The Fermi Paradox.

Absolutely fascinating.

If there are multitudes (and I mean multitudes) of Earth-like environments from which civilisations could spring, you could (I'm skipping ahead a bit) estimate that there are 100 000 intelligent civilisations in our galaxy.

But we've never picked up a signal from anything. So where is everybody?


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26. Funny how that works.

When I do something, it is wrong. When my wife does the same thing, it's not wrong.

It gets me every time.


27. Conquering infinity.

You are touching an object by approaching it. Mathematically, you approach it theoretically in fractions. You are 1/2 the distance there. You are then 1/4 the distance there. You are then 1/8 the distance there. And so on. Theoretically, you could never reach that object because you are always approaching it at a fraction of its distance. But that's why infinity is theoretical and mathematics are just a representation in a decimal system but you can continue to think of it when you touch anything that you have defied infinite fractions.


28. Who am I?

My favorite is the grandfather paradox. It's extremely simple, and it just hurts to think about.

Say you go back in time and kill your own grandfather. That means he died, so your father/mother was never born, your parents never met, so you, the person you are today who traveled back in time, was never born.


29. Good try, weather man.

So the temperature today was 0C and the weatherman says it'll be twice as cold tomorrow... brain shatters.


30. Yin and yang.

Without law and order,man has no freedom.

If you want peace, you must prepare for war.

You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.


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