Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
April 2024

Bonus Unsolved Riddle

Haulin’ Pigs

Originally published on January 20, 2010

Well, this is the story of The Bridge of Tomey. In Borneo, there’s a bridge connecting two islands that’s constructed from bamboo lashed together with hemp. It’s been used for hundreds of years. Pedestrian traffic and vehicular traffic move in both directions, and the bridge is four miles long. And the bridge has a weight limit of 20 tons. So, one day, a truck pulls up to the bridge, and the officials stop him and say, we have to weigh you, because it looks like it’s going to be close to the weight limit. So, he drives onto the scale, and the truck is full of sedated pigs, pig iron, and dead chickens. With the driver in the truck, it weighs exactly 20 tons. So, the guy at the other end of the bridge gets the signal. He waves all the other traffic off the bridge. Clearly, if the weight limit’s 20 tons, they can’t allow anyone else on the bridge. So, now the bridge is empty, and this fellow is allowed to drive across. As he is crossing the bridge, a sparrow begins to follow alongside. And just when he’s a little beyond the halfway point in the bridge, the sparrow gets ready to land, and does land on the truck. What does the driver do, if anything, to keep the truck and the sedated pigs and the dead chickens from plunging into the abyss?


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13 guesses to Bonus Unsolved Riddle

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  • karma6x3

    If the vehicle has a horn. honking it, may help.

  • Dude

    That is actually a very imaginative answer. Not what we’re looking for, however. Please try again.

  • karma6x3

    it says he has on the truck he has “truck is full of sedated pigs, pig iron, and dead chickens.”

    He should throw one Pig iron off the truck, over the the bridge into the abyss. 1 pig Iron should be the weight of the bird. thus sacrificing 1 for many.

  • Dude

    No. Keep trying.

  • paul

    He dies, thus losing 21 grams (supposedly the weight of one’s soul). I’m not sure how the truck would continue to complete its journey unless the sparrow escaped from a circus and possessed many talents not described above, but the question doesn’t ask how he crossed the four mile bridge, only how the bridge avoided falling. So – he traverses the abyss because he’s dead.

  • Dude

    Nope, that’s not it. Keep trying.

  • Paul

    What about the weight of fuel? If the trucker drove half way across the 4 mile bridge before the sparrow landed on his truck, then he had to have expended an amount of diesel during the 2 mile drive. Say the truck gets 8 miles per gallon; the sparrow would have to weigh more than a quart/liter of gasoline to exceed the 20 ton limit, which would be a humongous and horrifying bird.

  • Dude

    You are correct, Paul!

    He doesn’t have to do a thing. The fuel he used to get to the halfway point more than makes up for the weight of a sparrow.

    You’re today’s winner.

  • Mike

    I heard this riddle on the radio today it was bugging me!!

    Doesn’t the answer depend on the effency the engine and the assumption that this is a ridged bridge? I would assume that the bridge made from bamboo and hemp would make the bridge rather flexible, makin the grade of the first half lower than the second half. The engine may not have to do much work, if any, once it achieves a velocity that negates the static friction of the tires.

    Other than that, I think it’s a good brain teaser.

  • Nothing happens. The weight of fuel being burned is greater than the weight of the sparrow.

  • Colin Toomey

    Nithing. He will have used about a pint of fuel to get to the halfway point which is more than the weight of the sparrow

  • john busby

    nothing its already landed

  • Jess

    The amount of gas used to drive across equaled the weight of the bird,