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42 Tricky “What Am I?” Riddles

See how quickly you can decipher clues with these tricky "What am I?" riddles. You'll have to be super observant to get all of them right.

"What am I?" riddlesrd.com, Getty Images

“What am I?” riddles

If you’re a fan of riddles you’re probably familiar with “what am I?” riddles. Put your smarts to the test with these tricky ones that only the most intelligent will be able to solve. If you want even more of a challenge, try to solve some of the hardest riddles ever.

You go at red, but stop at green. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Green and red

You go at red, but stop at green. What am I?

Answer: A watermelon. You eat the red part, and you stop eating at the green part. If these “What am I?” riddles don’t have enough visual clues for you, try these rebus puzzles that only the smartest can get right.

I’m tall when I’m young, and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Tall to short

I’m tall when I’m young, and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?

Answer: A candle. Also, try out these riddles for kids.

I have a head and a tail that will never meet. Having too many of me is always a treat. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Head and tail

I have a head and a tail that will never meet. Having too many of me is always a treat. What am I?

Answer: A coin. These brain games are guaranteed to boost your brainpower.

I help you from your head to your toe. The more I work, the smaller I grow. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Head to toe

I help you from your head to your toe. The more I work, the smaller I grow. What am I?

Answer: A bar of soap. Here are some brainteasing puzzles to try out this year on National Puzzle Day.

I can fly but have no wings. I can cry but I have no eyes. Wherever I go, darkness follows me. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

No wings or eyes

I can fly but have no wings. I can cry but I have no eyes. Wherever I go, darkness follows me. What am I?

Answer: Clouds. If you’re solving all of these “What am I?” riddles that probably means you’re good with words. Try out these word puzzles that will leave you stumped as well.

I’m (usually) white and used for cutting and grinding. When I’m damaged, humans usually remove me or fill me. For most animals I am a useful tool. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Remove when damaged

I’m (usually) white and used for cutting and grinding. When I’m damaged, humans usually remove me or fill me. For most animals I am a useful tool. What am I?

Answer: A tooth. Here are some word search puzzles you can print for free.

I shave every day, but my beard stays the same. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Always shaving

I shave every day, but my beard stays the same. What am I?

Answer: A barber. These tricky logic puzzles will keep you guessing.

I'm where yesterday follows today and tomorrow is in the middle. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Today, tomorrow, yesterday

I’m where yesterday follows today and tomorrow is in the middle. What am I?

Answer: A dictionary. See if you can find the missing words in these puzzles. Less than 60% of people can.

I’m a god, a planet, and I measure heat. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

All three

I’m a god, a planet, and I measure heat. What am I?

Answer: Mercury. Here are some printable crosswords to test your smarts.

I can never be thrown but I can be caught. Ways to lose me are always being sought. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Caught not thrown

I can never be thrown but I can be caught. Ways to lose me are always being sought. What am I?

Answer: A cold.

I have branches, but no fruit, trunk or leaves. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Just branches

I have branches, but no fruit, trunk or leaves. What am I?

Answer: A bank.

A seed with three letters in my name. Take away two and I still sound the same. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Three letters

A seed with three letters in my name. Take away two and I still sound the same. What am I?

Answer: A pea. This is what happens to your brain when you do a puzzle.

I’m an instrument through which sounds are made, and yet, not something that can be played. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Instrument not played

I’m an instrument through which sounds are made, and yet, not something that can be played. What am I?

Answer: Your voice.

The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Take and leave

The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?

Answer: Footsteps.

I have many teeth but I can't bite. I’m often used early but rarely at night. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Many teeth

I have many teeth but I can’t bite. I’m often used early but rarely at night. What am I?

Answer: A comb. Here are some tricky crossword puzzle clues that will leave you stumped.

I have two hands, but I can not scratch myself. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

No scratching

I have two hands, but I can not scratch myself. What am I?

Answer: A clock.

I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere. I’m the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Everything, everywhere

I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere. I’m the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space. What am I?

Answer: The letter “e.”

I can wave my hands at you, but I never say goodbye. You are always cool when with me, even more so when I am high! What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Never a goodbye

I can wave my hands at you, but I never say goodbye. You are always cool when with me, even more so when I am high! What am I?

Answer: An electric fan. Are these “What am I?” riddles too easy? Try these challenging brain teasers.

If you have me, you want to share me. If you share me, you haven't got me. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Share me

If you have me, you want to share me. If you share me, you haven’t got me. What am I?

Answer: Secret.

What can be heard and caught but never seen?rd.com, Getty Images

Heard and caught

What can be heard and caught but never seen?

Answer: A remark.

I follow you all the time and copy your every move, but you can’t touch me or catch me. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Can’t catch me

I follow you all the time and copy your every move, but you can’t touch me or catch me. What am I?

Answer: Your shadow. Need a brain break? Here are some easy riddles anyone can solve.

Always in you, Sometimes on you; If I surround you, I can kill you. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

In you, on you

Always in you, Sometimes on you; If I surround you, I can kill you. What am I?

Answer: Water.

My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick. Fat, I am slow. Wind is my foe. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Measured in hours

My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick. Fat, I am slow. Wind is my foe. What am I?

Answer: A candle.

People buy me to eat, but never eat me. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Never eat me

People buy me to eat, but never eat me. What am I?

Answer: Plates and cutlery. Can you solve the most famous riddles in history?

People make me, save me, change me, raise me. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Make, save, change, raise

People make me, save me, change me, raise me. What am I?

Answer: Money.

I am served at a table, In gatherings of two or four. Served small, white, and round. You’ll love some, And that’s part of the fun. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

At the table

I am served at a table, In gatherings of two or four. Served small, white, and round. You’ll love some, and that’s part of the fun. What am I?

Answer: A ping-pong ball.

The more you take away, the more I become. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Take away

The more you take away, the more I become. What am I?

Answer: A hole.

I have lakes with no water, mountains with no stone, and cities with no buildings. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

No water, stone, or buildings

I have lakes with no water, mountains with no stone, and cities with no buildings. What am I?

Answer: A map. See if you can solve these detective riddles.

I'm tall when I'm young, I'm short when I'm old. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Growing older

I’m tall when I’m young, I’m short when I’m old. What am I?

Answer: Pencil.

I have 13 hearts, but no other organs? What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Just hearts

I have 13 hearts, but no other organs? What am I?

Answer: A deck of cards.

I have eyes but I can’t see. I live in the dark until you need me. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

No sight

I have eyes but I can’t see. I live in the dark until you need me. What am I?

Answer: A potato. Here are some brain teasers for kids that will help beat boredom.

I can be cracked, I can be made. I can be told, I can be played. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Can’t be made

I can be cracked, I can be made. I can be told, I can be played. What am I?

Answer: A joke.

What is as light as a feather, yet no person can hold it for long. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Too heavy to hold

What is as light as a feather, yet no person can hold it for long. What am I?

Answer: Your breath. Can you solve Einstein’s riddle?

Forward I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Forwards and backward

Forward I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I?

Answer: The word “not.”

You heard me before, and then again. Afterward, I die, until you call me again. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Call me again

You heard me before, and then again. Afterward, I die, until you call me again. What am I?

Answer: An echo. If you’re in the holiday spirit, see if you can figure out these Christmas brain teasers.

Take off my skin and I won't cry, but you will! What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

No more skin

Take off my skin and I won’t cry, but you will! What am I?

Answer: An onion.

If you drop me I’m sure to crack, but give me a smile and I’ll always smile back. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Cracked

If you drop me I’m sure to crack, but give me a smile and I’ll always smile back. What am I?

Answer: A mirror.

I have a bed but I never sleep. I have a mouth but I never speak. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

No sleep or speaking

I have a bed but I never sleep. I have a mouth but I never speak. What am I?

Answer: River. If these “What am I?” riddles have too many words for you, try out these math riddles instead.

I have a little house in which I live all alone. It has no doors or windows, and if I want to go out I must break through the wall. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Live all alone

I have a little house in which I live all alone. It has no doors or windows, and if I want to go out I must break through the wall. What am I?

Answer: A baby chick in an egg.

I am always hungry and will die if not fed, but whatever I touch will soon turn red. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Turn red

I am always hungry and will die if not fed, but whatever I touch will soon turn red. What am I?

Answer: Fire. See if you can solve this tricky numbers riddle in less than 60 seconds.

Two in a corner, 1 in a room, 0 in a house, but 1 in a shelter. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Some more than others

Two in a corner, 1 in a room, 0 in a house, but 1 in a shelter. What am I?

Answer: The letter r.

I sound like one letter but I’m written with three. I show you things when you look through me. What am I?rd.com, Getty Images

Written with three

I sound like one letter but I’m written with three. I show you things when you look through me. What am I?

Answer: Eye. Now, try to finish some of the hardest puzzles you can get on Amazon.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for rd.com, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.