If you’re looking for a brain teaser or a philosophical question, look no further!
Some questions will challenge you to use logic, while others are mind-benders you can chuckle over with your friends.
Watch our video below to learn 20 deep conversational icebreakers:
25 Best Mind-Blowing Questions
The best mind-blowing questions make you think hard about the world. Try bringing one of these questions up with a group of people to see what everyone else thinks about them!
- Is water wet?
The debate around this question can get surprisingly heated, and it ultimately depends on how you define “wet.”
Those in the “no” camp typically argue that “wet” means “to saturate with a substance,” in which case, no, water is the substance itself and is not saturated with water.
Those who would answer “yes” to this question typically argue that “wet” means “made of liquid or moisture.” If that’s your definition, water is primarily wet because it is liquid.
- Can you ever really know what you look like?
After all, you only see reflections, photographs, or videos of yourself. All of which are two-dimensional representations of what you look like.
- If a tree falls and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
It would create sound waves, but do they need to hit an eardrum and be interpreted as a sound for a falling tree to “make a sound”?
- If someone learns from a mistake, was it a mistake?
What’s the difference between a learning opportunity and a mistake?
- Do you ever think about how when you look at your reflection in the mirror, you’re looking at the result of thousands and thousands of years of procreation and combining genetics?
You know how people will say, “You look just like your father,” or, “You have your grandma’s smile”? Well, what if you look just like your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, but you don’t know it?
- How do we know what day of the week it is?
You know how you sometimes get mixed up and spend half the day thinking it’s Thursday, only to find out it’s Tuesday? Before things were digitized, who kept track of these things, and how do we know they didn’t get mixed up at some point?
- Why do people think in different ways?
Some people think more in images while others believe in words—which are you?
- How did the alphabet get put in the order it’s in?
Why are all the vowels and consonants mixed in with one another? When you think about it, it’s a pretty random organizational system.
- Where does the phrase “the whole nine yards” come from?
The more you think about it, the less it makes sense. It doesn’t make sense to reference golf, football, or any other spot. Some theories for where it originates from our fabric measurements, machine guns, or ships—but no one seems to know.
Yale University librarian Fred R. Shapiro once described it as “the most prominent etymological riddle of our time.”
- Did you know that the word “muscle” comes from the Latin term that means “little mouse”?
“Muscle” is derived from the Latin word “musculus,” which translates to “little mouse.” So, next time you flex, think about the ancient Romans who thought it looked like a lot of little rodents.
- Did you know that you can use peanuts to make dynamite?
More specifically, peanut oil, when extracted, can be turned into glycerol. You can then use Glycerol to make nitroglycerine, a substance used in dynamite. Glycerol is a common ingredient in soaps, hand creams, and various food products.
- Did you know that temperature affects the strength of a magnet?
If you heat a magnet, it loses its strength. Meanwhile, when magnets are cold, they’re significantly stronger. Is that why people often put magnets on refrigerators?
- Why do people have different phobias?
If something is more life-threatening, like heights, why doesn’t everyone experience acrophobia? On the other hand, why do some people experience koumpounophobia or the fear of buttons?
- Why does the English language have so many homonyms?
A homonym is when two words sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings.
Here are some common examples of homonyms in English:
- Write a synonym to scribble and right, or correct
- Aisle, a pathway or passage, and I’ll, meaning “I will”
- Feat, an achievement, and feet, plural of foot
- How many times can you subtract 10 from 100?
Only once, the second time, you would be subtracting 10 from 90.
- What is the opposite of fire?
Is it non-fire or water?
- What breaks as soon as you say its name?
Silence—by the way, have you ever wondered why sometimes silence feels nice and other times silence is awkward. Read all about it in this article on awkward silence.
- How much can a person change their behavior or personality?
Most people have areas they’re working on—tardiness, laziness, becoming more compassionate, or other aspects of oneself. However, how much can one truly change? Is personality pretty much set, or can you change how you see things with some work?
- Do people have free will to make their own conscious choices, or is life mostly predestined?
Do things like the judicial system make sense if people have limited free will? If someone was predestined by their circumstances to steal, for example, was it their own conscious choice to do so? If not, should they suffer consequences when they do?
- If you gradually replace the planks of a wooden boat one by one, by the end of the process, will you have a new ship?
Think about it, did you renovate your old boat or gradually get a new ship?
- Why do people die?
If people didn’t die, how many people would be currently living on Earth?
- Can money buy happiness?
Is there a certain amount that can buy happiness?
- What starts and ends with an “e” and only has one letter?
- If people learn from making mistakes, why do we consider mistakes a bad thing?
What’s a mistake that you’ve learned something valuable from? If you could go back in time and not make that mistake but also not learn from it, would you change the past?
- If Pinocchio said, “My nose will grow now,” what would happen?
If it doesn’t grow, that will make the statement a lie, which should cause it to grow, making the statement true.
Mind-Blowing Questions to Make You Think
These mind-boggling questions will make you think about the world in new ways.
Often, you might have a gut reaction to these questions. Try formulating reasons for why you think what you think and practice defending your position.
- If a net gets torn, does it have more or fewer holes?
- How old does one need to be for their death to be considered “dying of old age”?
- What’s the difference between assassination and murder?
- Why do many people want to rub or touch a pregnant woman’s stomach?
- Why is it sometimes easier to remember things from childhood than what you ate for lunch last week?
- Why does facial hair grow more prominently in some face areas?
- If everyone feels like life is unfair, does that make life fair for everyone?
- Can African elephants with big ears hear better than Asian elephants with smaller ears?
- Is a brain transplant a body transplant?
- If someone was born deaf, do they have a voice in their head when they think? Or do they feel in hand-motions? Or in visual words?
- If there’s a dead body in a hearse, can they drive in the carpool lane?
- Was math invented or discovered?
Funny Mind-Blowing Questions
These questions are designed to make you think a little more complicated while also being silly questions you can bring up in a group and laugh about.
- If flowers were sentient, would they think it was strange that we smell them?
- When it comes to the word “orange,” is the fruit named after the color or the color named after the fruit?
- What would the Middle Ages have looked like if, instead of horses, they rode motorcycles?
- I present jousting from a motorcycle for your consideration:
- Why do you park in a driveway and drive on a parkway?
- What if, once upon a time, someone wished that no one’s wishes would come true—and it worked?
- Why do we call the day before Christmas, Christmas Eve?
- Are bald people more aware of their surroundings since they can feel the breeze on their heads?
- Since tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?
- How often do you think you’ve photo-bombed a random family’s vacation photos accidentally?
- Does your pet have a name for you? What if it meows or barks a sure way to call you and thinks you know it because you come when they call?
- Where does the concept of “superpowers” come from?
- Why did Cinderella’s shoe fall off if it fit her perfectly?
- Why is bacon cooked while cookies are baked?
- If you’re waiting for the waiter, does that make you a waiter?
- Who does the armrest in a movie theater “belong” to?
- What is prune juice if prunes are dried plums?
- Have you ever thought about how if someone is an identical triplet, they are simultaneously one of the most common and rare people in the world?
- Are there more wheels or doors in the world?
- Does expecting the unexpected make it the unexpected expected?
Shower Thought Questions
You know when you’re taking a great shower, and your mind starts racing with profound questions about the world that are also slightly silly? These are a few of those.
- If your dog could talk, what would it say to you?
- What do animals think of people?
- What if the air is slowly poisoning us, and those who live longer are just more resistant to the poison?
- Why do some people find it easy to be empathetic while others have difficulty understanding where others are coming from?
- If Google ever disappears, how will we know what happened to it if we can’t google, “What happened to Google?”
- Why does the word “queue” have so many vowels when pronounced the same as the letter “Q”?
- When a bald person washes their face, how do they know where to stop? Or do they wash their entire head?
- Why do some cultures start counting age from 0 while others start with 1?
- If you could travel back in time, even if you didn’t do anything while there, would the universe be different when you returned to your current timeline?
- Why are eyebrows not called facial hair?
- What do blind people’s dreams look like?
- If a cyclops winks, are they just blinking?
- What were barn owls called before humans started building barns?
- Why is the computer keyboard organized the way that it is?
- Why do circular pizzas come in square boxes, but we eat them as triangles?
- Have you ever considered that the person who wins a game of golf is the person who plays the least amount of golf?
- How long can a chicken live with its head cut off?
- Have you ever wondered how other people with your exact name write their signatures?
Mind-Blowing Trivia Questions
Impress your friends with some cool trivia facts! If you want to turn it into a conversation game, try rephrasing these questions so that the people you’re with can guess the fun fact.
For example, “How heavy do you think the largest falafel ever made was?” or “What country has the city with the longest name? How many letters long do you think it is?”
Then, people can ask guiding questions and make guesses!
- Did you know that flamingos have their iconic pink coloring because of their diet?
- Did you know that Nintendo was founded the same year the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated?
- Did you know that the most giant falafel ever made weighed 223 lbs?
- Did you know that a man was once hospitalized for holding in a sneeze?
- Did you know that a blue whale’s tongue weighs 4 tons (8,800 lbs) and holds the Guinness World Record for the heaviest language of any animal?
- Did you know that if you include half-dollar and one-dollar coins, there are 293 different combinations to make a change for $1?
- Did you know that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had to wear dentures on Full House because they lost their baby teeth at different times?
- Did you know that there is a city named Rome on every continent?
- Did you know that 68.7% of the world’s freshwater is in glaciers and ice caps?
- Did you know that a scientific study in 2021 by the American Meteorological Society claims that Hawaii is the best place in the world to see rainbows?
- Did you know that the longest city name is in New Zealand? It’s called Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu.
- Did you know that the Vatican is the smallest country in the world?
Philosophical Mind-Blowing Questions
If you’re looking for more philosophical questions, check out this article with 255 philosophical questions.
- At the end of your life, would you like to know how many times you cried, laughed, smiled, and felt angry?
- Can time be “wasted” if you’re having fun while wasting it?
- Does everyone see colors the same way? Or do we learn what colors are named, but we all perceive them differently?
- How do you know, for sure, that you’re awake and not dreaming right now?
- If aliens exist, what do you think they would think of people?
- What qualifies as a “good life”?
- Why do people consider it an enormous tragedy when someone young dies than when an older adult passes away?
- Do those who have experienced deep sadness appreciate and enjoy happiness more?
- How much of your personality is genetics, and how much was influenced by your environment?
- If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? How would that change affect other areas of life?
- How do you know what advice to take and give others?
- Do you ever think about how everyone you know has different memories of you?
- What does “living” mean—is it being alive, or is it enjoying what you’re doing?
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Would You Rather Mind-Boggling Questions
Would You Rather is a fun game to play with friends? It can spark interesting conversations that help you learn more about the people you’re with! If you’re playing with friends, check out these 245 Would You Rather questions.
- Would you rather know everything that’s in the ocean or outer space?
- Would you rather see your future or the future of everyone else in the world?
- Would you rather be semi-happy and incredibly rich or semi-rich but very happy?
- Would you rather be the only person with superpowers in an ordinary world or the only one without superpowers in a magical world?
- Would you rather know when or how you’re going to die?
- Would you rather be able to communicate with animals or cause plants to grow?
- Would you rather have a car that turns into a submarine or a flying carpet?
- Would you rather never have to pay for another meal or never have to pay for transportation?
- Would you rather get lost in the forest or in a dangerous city?
- Would you rather never sleep without being tired or needing to work again but have enough money to live?
Final Thoughts: Use Mind-Boggling Questions as Fun Conversation Starters
If you want to have creative conversations, questions like these can be fun.
While learning what friends and family have been up to recently is valuable and essential, it can also be interesting to venture into conversations that help you see how people think about the world.
Here are some times and places you can use a mind-blowing question:
- Over dinner or coffee with your partner. Once you’ve had a chance to hear how your partner’s day is going, try asking them one of these questions! It can help you see how they think about the world and be a fun way to learn more about them.
- While on a road trip with friends or family. Do you have a couple of hours ahead of you in the car? Turning on an audiobook can be a great option, but it can also be fun to chat with the people you’re driving with. Try asking one or two of these questions and see if the people in your car engage with them. You can feel the vehicle’s vibe and opt for silly or more philosophical questions.
- If you work in the public service industry, choose a question and let people vote on the answer with their tips. For example, let customers know that the question of the day is, “Since tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?” and then have one tip jar labeled “yes,” and a second one labeled “no.” Tally up the votes and see which answer wins!
If you’re looking for other fun conversation starters, try one of these 57 Killer Conversation Starters.