While some of these paradoxes are “official” in the sense that they have been debated for thousands of years, others are just simple (sometimes lighthearted) observations about the world around us. But regardless of their official status in the world of philosophy and logic, these are the 25 Craziest Paradoxes That Will Blow Your Mind!
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If you remove grains of sand from a heap one at a time, when is the heap no longer a heap?
You go back in time and marry your grandmother, thus becoming your own grandfather.
A crocodile steals a child from its parents and promises to return it if they can correctly guess what it will do. What should the crocodile do if the parents guess that the child won’t be returned?
Can God make a rock so big that he can’t lift it?
The liar paradox
“This statement is a lie.” So is the statement true?
The Ship of Theseus
Similar to Sorites Paradox, this time the question is as follows: if you have a really old wooden boat and over time you replace each plank with a new one, at what point does the old boat become a new boat?
The college graduate paradox
You need experience to get a job and you need a job to get experience.
The busy bar paradox
“Nobody ever goes to that bar. It’s too busy.”
The hillbilly paradox
Mullets prevent red necks.
Disclaimer: we do not hate hillbillies
The Pinocchio paradox
Pinocchio says, “My nose will grow.” What happens?
If this paradox boggles your mind, wait until you see number 6!
The credit paradox
To get credit you must have credit.
The Sesame Street paradox
Oscar the Grouch loves being angry. So when he gets angry, he is happy. But then he gets angry that he is happy. This makes him angry again, which makes him happy, which makes him angry, which makes him happy, etc, etc, etc.
The customer paradox
A boss tells his employee that the customer is always right. The customer interjects, “No, they’re not.”
The paradox of thrift
When people are scared of a recession, they decrease their spending in order to save. This then causes an actual recession.
The sentence paradox
This sentence contains two mistake.
Note: the second mistake is that there is only 1 mistake.
The blister pack paradox
You need scissors to open the blister pack that contains your new pair of scissors.
The poll paradox
All polls are biased in favor of those people who are willing to take polls.
Chicken or the egg paradox
Which came first?
There is a barber on an island. He cuts the hair of every man on the island who doesn’t cut his own hair, and nobody else. Who shaves the barber?
Paradox of tolerance
If you extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, this leads to a decrease of tolerance.
The dueling statements paradox
The following statement is true: the preceding statement is false.
Lover's Paradox (the hedgehog dilemma)
In order for human intimacy to be realized, substantial mutual harm must typically be incurred.
Buridan's ass (free will paradox)
A donkey that is equally hungry and thirsty is placed an equal distance between a source of food and a source of drink. It dies because it cannot make a rational decision as to which it should consume first. (summary: how can you rationally choose between two equal options?)
If everyone is special, nobody is special.
A time traveler buys a copy of Romeo and Juliet, travels back in time and hands it to Shakespeare while he is still a young boy. Shakespeare copies it down and publishes it. It survives through the centuries until the time traveler finds it, buys it, and takes it back to Shakespeare. Who wrote Romeo and Juliet?
Photos: 23. fvanrenterghem via flickr, 19. KitAy via flickr, 17. Japanesefirehydrants via wikimedia commons, 16. insomnia cured here via flickr, 15. Sean MacEntee via flickr, 14. Walter Lim via flickr, 12. 401(K) 2012 via flickr, 11. nyphotographic.com via bluediamondgallery.com, 9. Abi Begum via flickr, 2. QUOI Media Group