It may have been a while since you last opened a textbook, but sometimes all you need is a simple tool to challenge your brain. Take this viral pencil riddle, which is more complicated than it looks.
Finding the solution within the time limit can stretch your brain to its limitations. We’ve got you covered if you want an easier way to challenge your brain. Tap or click here for a few visual illusions that can keep your mind sharp.
Get ready to test your IQ with this visual riddle we found on TikTok. You’ll see 10 pencils sitting side by side on a desk. The funny (and grating) voiceover challenges you to “Move one pencil to reverse the order.”
Are you up to the challenge?
This simple visual test challenges your IQ by asking you to recognize the patterns in the pencils. But then it goes a step further.
Now you’re tasked with flipping the pattern. After figuring out the order, you must make a single move to change everything. This way, you’re testing your pattern recognition and critical thinking skills.
Check out this pencil riddle to see if you’re up to snuff:
As you can tell, the pencils are separated into three groups. Look closely and see if you can notice a pattern. If you’re having trouble, we’ll break it down for you:
- First, the group on the far left has four pencils in descending order.
- Next, the group in the middle has three pencils in ascending order.
- Finally, the third group on the far right has a jumbled order. It starts to ascend, but the final pencil throws it off, so the pattern is both ascending and descending.
Can’t see it? Check out the arrows to see what we mean:
That’s where you come in. Select the one pencil that can reverse the order of all the pencils. You want to change the pattern in a single move. That’s all it takes to flip the order of the pencil groups from descending to ascending.
Can’t figure out the pencil riddle? Here’s the solution
If you’re struggling with this TikTok brainteaser, we get it. Watch the original video to see the answer:
- The secret is to move a pencil from group one into group three.
- Move the second pencil from the left to the spot between the last two pencils in group three.
If you can’t stand to watch the video due to the goofy Disney voice, here’s a screenshot of the solution:
Just like that, the order completely flipped! Check out the arrows below if you’re still having trouble seeing it. The pattern of descending to ascending has changed.
If you got this quickly, you’re probably a technical person with good mechanical skills. On the flip side, if you struggled with this, you may have trouble with spatial reasoning skills.
This is the thinking style we use to analyze three-dimensional spaces. We use spatial reasoning when decorating rooms, driving through a new city or even playing football.
How brain teasers like this pencil riddle can help you
Riddles and puzzles like this are some of the best ways to challenge your mind, as you’re using multiple types of thinking to solve the problem. These visual brain teasers and genius puzzles test your eyes and mind. Practice enough, and you could even boost your brain’s performance.
Remember, the brain is an important muscle you need to exercise daily. Unlike your arms, your brain can’t keep itself strong by pumping dumbbells. Instead, you can check how sharp your eyes and thinking skills are through eye puzzles and riddles.
More ways to train your brain and keep your mind sharp
Many optical illusions will trick your eyes and show you new ways of seeing the world. Here are a few you can’t afford to miss out on: