We’re curious beings and always strive to discover the truth about everything around us.
But some truths are so hard to discover that it’s best to leave them as questions, hoping that someday, we can get a better grasp of the realities around us.
If you’re also like the rest of us, there are times when it’s interesting to play around with these unanswerable questions from time to time.
Here are the best unanswerable questions to ask the people you know. Why not throw them during get-togethers or when you need an icebreaker.
Let’s start with,
Unanswered questions in life
Most probably, you’ve come across this most defining question several times.
I know. There are lots of questions that you’re asking yourself every day – yet still, fail to find the answer.
Don’t worry because we’re in the same boat!
Let’s start with some questions that have their way of making your mind think deeply.
1) When you forget a thought, where does this thought go?
2) At what time did time begin?
3) Does a staircase go up or does it go down?
4) Why are there always exceptions to rules if we all should follow the rules?
5) How can you describe something indescribable?
6) Why is it called rush hour when it’s the slowest time of the day due to heavy traffic?
7) If you had fun while you were wasting time, can you say that you wasted your time?
8) Why is vanilla ice cream color white when vanilla itself is brown?
9) Was there ever a time when nothing existed or something has always been in existence?
10) Why do people say that they ‘slept like a baby through the night when babies are known for not sleeping?
The message that goes “what’s the answer to this question?” has been practiced in us from a very early age.
We’re constantly told to answer, get the right answer, or search for it. We’re conditioned to work and focus on finding solutions and solving problems.
While problem-solving skills and the ability to find the right answers is valuable skill to have, the skill of asking the right question matters too.
Because of this, sometimes I also ask myself “Why am I not good enough?”
And the result? We become detached from the reality that lives within our consciousness.
The truth is, most of us never realize how much power and potential lies within us.
Good thing, I learned this (and much more) from legendary shaman Rudá Iandê. In this excellent free video, he shares how I can lift the mental chains and get back to the core of my being.
I love that he doesn’t paint a pretty picture or sprouts toxic positivity. Instead, he’s going to force you to look inwards and confront the demons within – such a powerful approach, but works!
Confusing unanswered questions
Confusion can bring its kind of fun.
The initial set of questions seeks deep thinking, this next list of confusing questions makes a great conversation topic.
Some questions don’t have exact answers and will leave you confused
Ask these questions when you want your family or friends preoccupied with debates – and know what their thoughts are. Pick a few from this list to raise it as an open-ended question.
1) Can you measure the depth of your love?
2) Why is the work done by the doctors called ‘practice’ and not doctors’ work”?
3) If you punch yourself and it hurts, are you weak or are you strong?
4) If you describe something as indescribable, haven’t you described it already?
5) If killing people is wrong, then why do they kill people that kill people?
6) If you’re expecting to fail and you succeed, did you fail or did you succeed?
7) If you expect the unexpected, doesn’t that make the unexpected expected?
8) Is French kissing called French kissing in France?
9) If we say ‘the sky’s the limit’, then what do we call space?
10) If two left-handed individuals fight, who will come out as right?
Philosophical unanswered questions
These thought-provoking questions will surely get your mind turning.
Philosophy is complicated and proves to be challenging. Ideasinhat shared these 3 major reasons why:
- Because of Intangibility
- Because of Universal Scope About Experience
- Because of Universal Application
Over the years philosophers speculate about everything – from art, language, knowledge, life, the nature of existence, to moral, ethical, and political dilemmas.
While they shed light on some of the questions of existence, some philosophical problems remain contested until today.
Here are 10 fundamental mysteries of philosophy that we’ll probably question but never resolve as answers will predominantly be based on one’s identity and beliefs.
1) Why is there something rather than nothing?
2) Can we know anything or everything at all?
3) Can you experience anything objectively?
4) Do we have free will to make our own choices?
5) Is it more important to do the right thing or to do things right?
6) How do you know when you’re being genuine or authentic to your true self?
7) Do you have to create your meaning?
8) What is the source of your self-worth and does it define your purpose in life?
9) Is happiness just chemicals flowing through the brain or is it something more?
10) Can you be happy in life even if you don’t achieve anything throughout your lifetime?
Deep unanswerable questions
Our life is filled with uncertainties that add to the mystery and amazement of our journey.
And these questions can shake and intimidate us on a deeper level.
Asking these questions might leave you tongue-tied, how you answer and approach these questions will reveal a lot about you. And it gets at the heart of what we value in human life.
So ask someone these questions when you want to see a person’s viewpoint.
1) Where does the “future” go after we get there and experience it?
2) Why are you here, doing what you’re doing, at this very moment in your life?
3) Is there a definite and definable form of measurement for the concept of “truth?”
4) Why should we expect a universe full of randomness and chaos to be fair?
5) Do the fountain of youth and knowledge rise from the same body of water?
6) Why do fat chances and slim chances mean the same thing?
7) Since it’s said that the entire world is on the stage, where is the audience?
8) Do you think anything was created before the universe existed?
9) How does something in this world occur from nothing?
10) Do you think it is easier to be successful in the future or the past?
Those questions are too heavy!
So let’s add some fun to these.
Funny unanswerable questions
Unanswerable questions don’t always have to be serious as they can be fun too! After all, we can sometimes look at things from a different perspective.
Several funny unanswerable questions will bring a lot of lighthearted banter between you and your friends.
Why not try asking a few of these questions so you will know what I’m talking about.
Here are some of the funniest unanswerable questions that have been shared that are guaranteed to get a good laugh.
1) Why do we cook bacon and bake cookies?
2) Why do noses run but feet smell?
3) Why are they called “buildings” if they’re already built?
4) Why does the Easter bunny carry eggs when rabbits don’t lay eggs?
5) Can a short person “talk down” to a taller person?
6) Can you ever be in the wrong place at the right time?
7) If Cinderella’s shoe fit her perfectly, then why did it fall off?
8) If the early bird gets the worm, why do good things come to those who wait?
9) If thoughts come from the mind, which organ(s) do our feelings come from?
10) What happens if you bake a no-bake cake?
Did you have a good laugh?
Now, let’s bring some silliness to these.
Silly unanswerable questions
Being rational and logical at all times invites boredom. It’s just that sometimes, you’ve got to be silly too!
When you get silly, it doesn’t just keep you sane, but it also gives your mind some breathing space.
Studies even share that being silly is seriously good for people. Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D. also shares research on how playfulness can build a better relationship and build the strong bonds that positive emotional experiences can provide.
So to break the monotony, here are some stupid unanswerable questions to loosen up and bring silly laughter into your conversations:
1) Who will be the next man on the moon?
2) How will you handcuff a one-armed man?
3) If olive oil is made from olives, what is baby oil made from?
4) If electricity arises from electrons, does morality arise from morons?
5) If the eye of the cyclops is closed, will that be called blinking or winking?
6) Do fish and other sea animals get thirsty too?
7) If you save time, when can you get it back?
8) If a vacuum cleaner is said to suck, do you think it’s a good product?
9) What do you call earthquakes on mars?
10) Why do we cook bacon and bake cookies?
Let’s keep going if you’re ready for more questions.
Thought-provoking unanswerable questions
Some questions will make you think so hard that your mind will almost explode.
These unanswerable questions will start a long and interesting conversation with someone. They make fantastic portals inward and let you explore your true thoughts and feelings.
So if you need something to spark the mind into action and stretch your mental legs, these thought-provoking questions are the way to go.
So let’s jump in.
1) Is it possible to think about yourself when you are yourself?
2) Is there such a thing as absolute truth?
3) Are there aspects of life that are beyond our perception and understanding?
4) What are some untruths you know about yourself?
5) Is pain a form of happiness or a road to seeking pleasure?
6) Can you ever define your character the way others see it?
7) Are lies better than harsh truths?
8) Has destiny led you to an important purpose in your life or have you directly willed it?
9) Can humans truly understand the nature of reality?
10) Why do we forget things we don’t want to forget?
Tough unanswered questions
There are tricky questions – and that alone makes them more interesting.
These questions can confuse you to the point that you might want to drive your head through a wall!
Here are more questions to challenge your brain and keep you thinking.
1) Is all fair in love and war?
2) Why is there an exception to every rule?
3) What is the end of everything?
4) Where does the passing time go?
5) How do you describe something indescribable?
6) What does the unexpected become when we expect it?
7) If nobody remembered you after you died, would it matter since you’d be dead?
8) Is there a present moment if that moment passes in an instant?
9) How do you know that all your memories are real?
10) Given that our memories change all the time, how can we ever be sure of what we experienced in the past?
Surprising unanswerable questions
There are more unanswered questions out there.
I bet one or more questions here are going to stay inside your head for a long time.
So, if you enjoy weird and crazy stuff, then you will love what’s coming next. And there’s a possibility that you’ll get an adrenaline rush by reading and trying to answer them.
1) What if you are the most intelligent person on the planet but you don’t know it?
2) If all the countries in the world are in debt, who do we owe the money to?
3) If you drop your soap on the floor, does your soap get dirty or the floor gets clean?
4) Why is it that when the traffic is slowest during the day, it’s called rush hour?
5) If people can erase unpleasant memories, would anyone choose to forget their entire life?
6) Why do bad things happen to good people?
7) Is there a present moment if that moment passes in an instant?
8) Can a person without hope still live a full and happy life?
9) If you enjoyed it while you were wasting time, would it still be called wasted time?
10) If you hate all the haters, aren’t you a hater yourself?
Will these questions leave us grasping into the darkness of our ignorance? Will we keep wondering what any of it means?
Wait, there’s more, so be prepared to be baffled.
Impossible questions to answer
These make good ice breaker questions too as asking them can spark conversations.
After all, talking to someone for the first time can be tough. So why not break the ice to connect with people. Use these questions to start and make the conversation flow much easier and more naturally.
And from there, just be your charming self.
Some are pretty extraordinary and some are too crazy. It’s interesting to think about these questions, but don’t hurt your brain too much by trying to figure out the impossible.
1) When does the future start?
2) Can we know everything?
3) What will happen to our future if we die tomorrow?
4) What do you think comes first, is it time or the universe?
5) If we learn and improve from the mistakes we make, why are we still afraid to make mistakes?
6) Why is free will said to be free when not everyone can have free will?
7) If you are halfway from your destination, is it from the beginning or is it the end?
8) Would time continue if everything in our world was frozen?
9) If the truth is different for each of us, how can we know what is the truth?
10) Why is a question with no answer still called a question?
That was quite a lot!
Did any of those questions leave you high and dry?
I know you want to know this as well.
Even with the tremendous leaps in science and technology, there remain questions without concrete answers.
We live in a world that values answers, but the truth is, there’s so much that we don’t know and haven’t exactly figured out.
The intellectually challenged would come close to answering them – but are not quite there. And some are yet to get fully satisfying answers.
The fact that these questions can’t be answered directly in any definitive way searches for answers is so important.
The most important questions out there are unanswerable.
How to answer an unanswerable question?
Maybe you’ve also Google some of these questions – but Google doesn’t have answers to everything too.
But then what are these questions?
Unanswered questions that aren’t meant to be explicitly answered are called “rhetorical questions.” They are asked to make a point or to create emphasis, instead of getting an answer.
But then, why do we ask a question that isn’t a question?
People ask rhetorical questions as they trigger an internal response. It’s like we also want people to think about what we are saying.
As these questions don’t need an answer (or the answer is clear), the real essence of rhetorical questions is often implied, suggested, and not directly answered.
So don’t always expect an answer.
“Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian poet
We live in an age where simple and direct answers are quite easy to find. Still, those looming unanswered questions exist in everyone’s lives.
But just because those questions are called “unanswerable” doesn’t mean you can’t create your honest opinion around it.
Here are the best tips to help you craft a satisfying (if not perfect) answer to those unanswerable questions.
1) Acknowledge your doubts and confusion.
2) Look for the need underneath the question.
3) Calmly acknowledge what you don’t know.
4) Never delude yourself into thinking you have the answer.
5) Be grateful for how the question helps you face the limits of being human.
6) Be honest and don’t dread your meaninglessness.
7) Don’t let the question or the situation conquer you.
8) Give yourself time to say your point.
9) Try responding to questions with a broader question to achieve clarity.
10) Be considerate and understand the people who ask those questions too.
Most importantly, know that you are the real answer.
Don’t worry even if you blow up the conversation, create chaos, or whatsoever. Just keep your response honest to make it work like a charm.
And when you ask these questions, keep this in mind too: “To ask a question, one must know enough to know what is not known.”
Be respectful of everyone’s views and opinions.
Living with questions that aren’t meant to be answered
Live and embrace the uncertain.
Even if those questions will hound us for our entire lives, they remain to be an essential part of our human experience.
And no matter what, humanity will keep living.
So the next time you go through or are faced with a question you cannot answer – or accept someone’s answer, it’s ok.
No matter how it feels, living in this unanswered question is living in the truth. Be present in the vulnerability of not knowing.
Let life reveal its answers (or maybe not) as we go. Better yet, surrender to the mystery of what we can’t know yet – and maybe never know.
Don’t feel uncomfortable not knowing the answer to those questions – after all, they’re unanswerable.
The truth is, most of us never realize how much power and potential lies within us.
Let me share this again.
After going through Rudá Iandê’s online course, Out of the Box, and integrating his teachings into my life, I’ve become comfortable with the uncertain.
Rudá shares that the games we play in our minds are completely natural – what matters is how we react to them.
He has this to share,
“Observe the games of your mind with detachment. You cannot change your emotions, but you can change your attitude. You don’t need to meditate for hours trying to overcome a negative emotion even if you feel terrible about what you feel. Nor do you need to punish yourself for everything that you do wrong.” – Rudá Iandê
The difference it brings to my life and my mindset is profound.