I Tried the ‘Harvard Riddle’—the ‘Hardest Riddle in the World’—on My Friends, This Is What I Found

Question marks on blocks

I’m sure we’re all familiar with those tricky word riddles our friends have likely reposted to their Instagram stories, leaving their DMs open for guesses. If you’re like me, you always answered incorrectly and had to shamefully repost the riddle to your own Instagram story for others to guess.

If you were one of those experts who never had to repost the riddles because you always answered them correctly, I’ve got a question for you: have you tried the “Harvard riddle,” which has been called the “hardest riddle in the world”? 

According to a YouTuber who shared this video with over 23 million views, 98% of Harvard students can’t solve this riddle, which is also referred to as the “I Turn Polar Bears White” riddle. I tried the Harvard riddle on my friends, and here’s what they answered.

What Is the ‘World’s Hardest Riddle’ AKA the Harvard Riddle?

Alright, so what the heck is this riddle that’s so tricky for everyone to solve? The riddle goes like this: 

I turn polar bears white and I will make you cry. 
I make guys have to pee and girls comb their hair. 
I make celebrities look stupid and normal people look like celebrities. 
I turn pancakes brown and make your champagne bubble. 
If you squeeze me, I’ll pop. If you look at me, you’ll pop. 
Can you guess the riddle?

Related: Can You Solve the ‘A Man Steals $100 From a Shop’ Riddle?

What Happened When I Tried the Harvard Riddle Out on My Friends

As we established earlier, I’m no expert at riddles. I can proudly say that I should be your last-pick teammate for an escape room. However, my friends love all things riddles and puzzles, so I tried the Harvard riddle out on my crew. 

I wish I could show you the looks on their faces as I recited the Harvard riddle aloud to them. Eyebrows began raising, eyes were widening and even my most clever friends stared at me in utter confusion. Though many of them were determined to answer and put great thought into it, none of my friends answered the Harvard riddle correctly. 

Their faces quickly turned from puzzled to amused when I surprised them with the correct answer. One of my friends simply asked, “Where do you come up with this stuff?”

Related: Is the Viral Riddle About Teresa’s Daughter Impossible To Solve? See What You Think

What Is the Answer to the Harvard Riddle?

Okay, so you want the answer to the Harvard riddle? We will give you one last chance to really mull the words over and think about it. Quick hint: remember that riddles are usually a clever play on words.

Drumroll, please. 

The answer to the Harvard riddle is a simple “No.” Forget all of the filler words meant to trick you in the beginning, and pay attention to the last line. It asks you directly if you can solve the riddle. To which the answer is an affirmative no! (Maybe I should’ve tried to solve this riddle, after all.)

Related: The Viral ‘Green Glass Door’ Riddle Is a Tough One To Solve—Can You Do It?

Answers My Friends Guessed

The closest one of my friends got to correctly answering the Harvard riddle was by responding, “I have no idea.” Technically, she was close, although she wasn’t really trying to answer. 

Three of my friends expertly guessed water, which is a common response and likely meant to be the trick answer. After I affirmed water was incorrect, one of them retorted by guessing alcohol and ice. 

One friend guessed avocado as the answer, while another guessed that time was the correct answer. I have no idea where the avocado guess came from—I definitely think he was throwing an answer out of left field, but it resulted in a laugh. 

Two of my friends guessed that the sun was the correct answer, but I think they were just paying attention to the first part of the riddle. 

If you want to get a good laugh, try the Harvard riddle on your friends and see what kind of hilarious answers they come up with. You’ll feel like the riddle expert when you shock them with the answer!

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