Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Monk and the Mountain Path

One morning at precisely 9:00 AM a monk begins walking up a mountain path. He takes his time, stopping several times to rest along the way. He arrives at the temple at the mountain's summit at precisely 5:00 PM that evening. The next day, the monk leaves the temple at precisely 9:00 AM and makes his way back down the path. Again, he takes his time and rests at several points along the journey. He arrives back at his original starting point at precisely 5:00 PM that evening. Is there any time when the monk is in exactly the same spot on both days? Click below to see the answer.


Tim Kington said...

I like it!

Reminds me of the part of this about crumpling paper:

I'm not sure sloshing your coffee really works. How do we know you can't slosh discontinuously?

Bill the Lizard said...


I'm going to have to read more about that theorem. It definitely sounds counter-intuitive, but a lot of the most interesting mathematical results do.