Weight of Elephant

A king is on a cross-sea voyage and as soon as he gets off of the ship he spots an elephant. He decides to take it home, but first, he wants to know its weight.

The largest scale they brought only weighs up to 50 pounds. He asks his smartest scholar to come up with a solution. How does the scholar find the weight of the elephant?


Get the elephant onto the ship and mark how far down in the water the ship went. Get the elephant off of the ship. Then stack a bunch of smaller objects that weigh 50 pounds or less (weigh using the scale) onto the ship until it is pushed under water by the same amount. Add up the weight of all of the small objects and that’s the weight of the elephant.

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