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Bear

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The famous physicist allegedly made this riddle for his scholars.

A fellow encountered a bear in a wasteland. There was nobody else there. Both were frightened and ran away. Fellow to the north, bear to the west. Suddenly the fellow stopped, aimed his gun to the south and shot the bear. What colour was the bear?

If you don't know, this may help you: if the bear ran about 3.14 times faster than the fellow (still westwards), the fellow could have shot straight in front of him, however for the booty he would have to go to the south.

This old topic is locked since it was answered many times. You can check solution in the Spoiler below.

Pls visit New Puzzles section to see always fresh brain teasers.

It all happened on the North Pole. When the man shot, he must have been right on the North Pole. Getting it? So it makes sense to assume that the only color the bear could be was WHITE.

So this is it. I've heard another logical solutions (even that there are no bears neither on the North nor on the South Pole), but this one presented makes sense to me. And what about you?

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• 4 weeks later...

Too easy and this puzzle has been around for simply ages in other forms. One of those involving windows in a house. Might interest you to know that David Eddings has use this puzzle in yet another format in book 2 (I think) of his Belgariad series of novels..

Here is another poser for you though:

A man is discovered dead in a phone box, the phone is hanging off the receiver and there are two holes in the glass to the right and left of him. There is no evidence of foul play. How did the man die?

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He was explaining to a friend the size of a fish he'd caught, cut his wrists on the glass... nuff said you got it I'm sure

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I might add a few lateral thinking puzzles like that one in the future. They just need some hints/guidance but some of them are really good.

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There is a serious flaw over here. Since you are talking about spatial rotation you should specify that the trajectory of the bullet curves as per the earth's surface.

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• 3 weeks later...

we are not talking bullets here

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• 2 weeks later...

I AM CONFUSED ABOUT THE ORIGINAL BRAIN TEASER. IF THE GUY WAS AT THE NORTH POLE AND THE BEAR WAS TOTALLY WEST IT WOULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE THIS.

MAN

BEAR

IF THE MAN SHOT HERE IT WOULD NOT MATTER THE COLOR OF BEAR HE WOULD NOT SHOOT THE BEAR.

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Since it is a polar bear than wouldnâ€™t the answer be clear not white because a Polar bearâ€™s fur is in fact clear?

- You do not have to be faster than the bear, just fast than the slowest guy running from the bear

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Einstein did not author puzzle. See:

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• 2 weeks later...
I AM CONFUSED ABOUT THE ORIGINAL BRAIN TEASER. IF THE GUY WAS AT THE NORTH POLE AND THE BEAR WAS TOTALLY WEST IT WOULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE THIS.

MAN

BEAR

IF THE MAN SHOT HERE IT WOULD NOT MATTER THE COLOR OF BEAR HE WOULD NOT SHOOT THE BEAR.

Don't think of the bear running west of a point where the man was, but where he ended up, the north pole. Then, the bear would be doing circles around him. And, he would aim souh no matter where the bear was.

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Whoa. Very rarely do I encounter people who know that a polar bear's fur is indeed clear and that the properties of the hair reflect and refract light in such a way as to make it appear white, especially when surrounded by snow. However, the question does not ask what color is the bear's fur. It asks, what color is the bear? And generally speaking, despite the clear hair feature, the polar bear does indeed appear to be white in color in most any surroundings (except zoos where fungus turns the fur green - sad

Since it is a polar bear than wouldnâ€™t the answer be clear not white because a Polar bearâ€™s fur is in fact clear?

- You do not have to be faster than the bear, just fast than the slowest guy running from the bear

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Interesting piece of info that the fur is clear. . . I still wonder why they still look white against rock formations at zoos and whatnot. What color is the skin?

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• 2 weeks later...

Actually, it doesnt matter what color the bear's skin is. We see the color of something because it absorbs a certain wavelength of light in the visible region and reflects the rest of the light back, therefore causing us to see the color of the reflected light. Simply put, a dandelion would absorb blue light, and reflect back the yellow light. Because the polar bear's fur is clear, it therefore has nothing to absorb light and reflects back all colors of light, which means we see white!

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White? I was thinking green... since it was running in circles...

lol!

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Whoa. Very rarely do I encounter people who know that a polar bear's fur is indeed clear and that the properties of the hair reflect and refract light in such a way as to make it appear white, especially when surrounded by snow. However, the question does not ask what color is the bear's fur. It asks, what color is the bear? And generally speaking, despite the clear hair feature, the polar bear does indeed appear to be white in color in most any surroundings (except zoos where fungus turns the fur green - sad

Since it is a polar bear than wouldnâ€™t the answer be clear not white because a Polar bearâ€™s fur is in fact clear?

- You do not have to be faster than the bear, just fast than the slowest guy running from the bear

You could also make the argument that the bear is black. After all, we don't describe humans' color by out hair color, but rather our skin color.

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I thought polar bear's skin is white and their fur is clear.

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• 2 weeks later...

I doubt very much this was made by the great man himself as he would have known that if you were stood at the North Pole then no matter which way you ran it would always be South.

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I don't think it was either. As someone showed, this has been around for ages.

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• 1 month later...

Dave

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• 3 weeks later...

Ive read thru the quotes, and "What color is the bear?" could be referring to any depth of the bear's "layers" (white/clear fur, black skin, pink muscle, ect.) so i say the bear's color (as seen with the naked eye) is white. And yes, a polar bear does actually have black skin, though not the same color as crayola black. If the hair was clear, it wouldnt reflect all colors of light, hence producing a "white" color, because clear doesnt reflect anything, it lets visible light pass thru.

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• 1 month later...

I help out at the zoo that polar bears and cubs, I just want to help clarify about the color of the hair. Their hair is clear and hollow but it is translucent more than transparent. You can see through one strand of fur simply, but looking at the entire coat at once, it appears white. Think about a clear fast food straws; hold it so you are not looking through the center, but at the side. You can see the person or an object across the table. Now hold a large handful and they are now overlapping. All you see now is a lot of white fuzz. Also the skin color is black. That helps absorb the sun's energy for warmth along with their 4 inches of blubber. They are amazing mammals that really adapted for their environment. If anyone wants to know more, I will be more than happy to help!

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• 1 month later...

I agree with the above answer as to what color the bear was. However, considering that the bear was shot I'd say he probably had at least a little bit of red.

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I agree with the above answer as to what color the bear was. However, considering that the bear was shot I'd say he probably had at least a little bit of red.

Hehe! very true! lol

partly red

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• 2 weeks later...

polar bears have black skin....either way its a pretty pointless question as how are we sposed to know they're in the north pole? They could be anywhere...

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This topic is now closed to further replies.