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Disable the Bomb

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#4302
Fun:*** (2.55)
Difficulty:*** (2.18)
Submitted By:RayneeDay***
Corrected By:akl21




There is a box with a highly explosive bomb inside it. The lid of the box is made of glass and attached to this lid is a bowl of mercury with a dozen exposed wire leads just out of reach of the mercury. You know that any attempt to remove the lid or cut through it would move the mercury enough to trip the bomb. How do you safely disarm this booby trap to disengage the bomb?

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Jun 02, 2002

How about freezing it, wouldn't that also work. Not that i know a great deal about Mercury.
(user deleted)
Jun 03, 2002

If U Breath The Fumes You Would Die so You Are Taking a Big Risk!
Jun 03, 2002

the problem with freezing the mercury, although it would probably work, is that you'd have to somehow get the temp down to -38F or -39C (mercury's freezing point). unless you happen to have a little liquid nitrogen on hand... =)
Jun 04, 2002

How about using a straw or large syringe to just suck the mercury out of the bowl, and avoid all the dangers?
Jun 07, 2002

I thought the mercury would expand first, before it evapourates touching the wires?? I thought freezing would be a better solution, because the volume of mercury will decrease giving you more room to work with. Even only down to 0 degrees C, you would have more room to work with. Whats wrong with having liquid Nitrogen anyway? It is a situation.
Jun 16, 2002

Shryke, that would stille be VERY, VERY, VERY dangerous. Mercury is a deadly substance and getting any in your body is a very BIG risk. You should never ever put mercury on your body and especially in your mouth!
Jun 17, 2002

Too late for me then
Jul 06, 2002

i was playing with a thermometer and a lightbulb once...rayn how much time do u have on ur hand so that u can make so many riddles!!!! nice one neway...
Jul 06, 2002

I feel a bit left out with the solutions...maybe u cud ask The Big S...the only thing he is vulnerable to is red and green kryptonite.Sorta cheesey wernt it? I liked ur comment on thingys riddle bout the fireman and crap...
Oct 03, 2002

couldn't the bomb not be lit?
Jun 04, 2005

mercury is used in regular thermometers because its volumic expansion is greater than that of average materials (ie glass and steel) and thats why it can give accurate temperature readings of such a scale... obviously, it would need such a high temp t evaporate it, it would expand a LOT before hand
Jul 13, 2005

why can't we spill the mercury?
Jul 25, 2006

Isn't this more like Science than Situation?
Oct 29, 2007

Mar 30, 2008

I had thought of that early on, but I questioned the fact of what the explosive is.I unfortunately made the assumption that the highly explosive bomb was highly sensitive to heat.

Besides that, great teaser!
Mar 16, 2010

Thanks MacGyver.
Sep 17, 2016

Cut the red wire, or is it the blue wire? Heck, cut ALL the wires.

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