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Water or Ice?

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


Puzzle ID:#50014
Fun:*** (2.83)
Difficulty:* (0.98)
Submitted By:eighsseAus******




Which weighs more: a gallon of liquid water or a gallon of ice?

(With "weight" meaning, weight on the same planet, at the same location -- so literally, "which has more mass?")

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Dec 09, 2013

Good one :poop:
Dec 09, 2013

Dec 09, 2013

Thanks... I think?
Dec 17, 2013

Good one again
Mar 31, 2014

Good science question, although not hard. By the way a gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds. Not sure how much a gallon of ice weights but as you noted it is less than that.
Mar 31, 2014

I think a gallon of water weighs precisely 8 pounds, right? Because the English weight system is based upon the density of water. And a gallon of ice would only weigh slightly, slightly less.

Mainly the trick is supposed to be that people might imagine having a gallon of water, freezing it, and assume that it is still a "gallon."
Apr 02, 2014

OK ..... science wizards !!!!

What about this one?

"Which weighs more .... a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?"

I know it's an OLDIE pre-gradeschool joke but I also read recently on the internet (so it's GOT to be true ... right? )
that almost half of US college grads who were asked that question either got it wrong or .....

... appeared to have to "think about it"!

Is there some trick to that one?

Apr 02, 2014

The trick basically stems from the whole weight/mass confusion. But most scientifically inclined people should get it. Most college grads are drunken idiots anyway. Doesn't take much to merely pass.
May 04, 2014

Good teaser. I thought it was a trick question, but was thinking of another oldie which was in pounds and not gallons so I should have been more aware. Oh well!
May 04, 2014

All you had to do was remember that ice floats in water, and hence must be less dense tha water, there therefore lighter than an equal volume of water. Of course, when one considers that a gallon is a liquid measure, and ice is a solid, one might wonder what it means to talk about "a gallon of ice."
May 04, 2014

Nothing like a little science to get the brain in motion for the day; thanks!
May 04, 2014

Great point, lukasiwicz, I didn't even think about that! It is probably inaccurate to say a "gallon of ice."
May 04, 2014

I think that because water expands when frozen, ice would take up more space. Therefore a gallon of water when frozen would be more than a gallon. Ergo, a gallon of water would weigh more than a gallon of ice.
Simple to figure with no scientific knowledge.
May 04, 2014

Sorry I forgot to mention this was a great teaser. Thanks.
May 04, 2014

Hey ... eighsse ....

DOUBLE congrats are in order.

Great teaser AND TOTD !!!!

How nice !!

May 04, 2014

Hey thanks everybody

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