Brainteaser: The Anchor

(Image credit: Michael Nika Photography)

You're sitting on a boat in a swimming pool. You have a large anchor on the boat. You drop the anchor into the water, and of course, it sinks immediately. What happens to the water level in the pool?

a. It goes up
b. It goes down.
c. It stays the same.

Continue reading for the correct answer.

The answer is (highlight): b. It goes down. When the anchor is in the boat, its weight is pulling the boat down causing an equivalent of weight in water to be displaced in the pool. Example: If an anchor weighs ten pounds, it displaces ten pounds of water. But when you drop the anchor into the pool, it displaces only an equivalent VOLUME of water, not an equivalent weight. If the anchor is one quart in volume, it will only displace one quart of water, which is less than ten pounds of water. Really.


This brainteaser was reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Unstoppable Bathroom Reader.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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Newest 5 Comments

Alan, you should have learned to read around my inability to type by now. Still, I understand how the opening for a joke can be irresistible -I would have had fun with that, too, if I'd seen it! Fixed.
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Well, if it's really a large anchor, chances are it will break the pool fiberglass/concrete shell when it hits the bottom, thus creating a crack, hence a large leak, and the pool will empty itself through said crack.
So the water level will go down.
And down.
And down.
Till you end up seating in your boat in the middle of an empty pool, a large anchor next to you. Can't wait to see the silly pictures on Facebook, though.
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