Last Updated on April 15, 2020
I like a good travel riddle. They can help pass the time when sitting on buses or airplanes.
This common travel riddle comes in a few different forms:
- I always stay in my corner, but I travel around the world. who am I?
- What stays in the corner and travels the world?
- I sit in the corner while traveling around the world
- I can travel the world without leaving my corner, what am I?
- What travels the world but stays in one spot?
- It goes around the world but stays in a corner
- What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
- I stay in the corner but travel around the world
And the correct answer is:
A postage stamp!
But how can something stay in the corner and travel around the world at the same time?
Stationary Stationery – The Postage Stamp Riddle Explained
This riddle makes an interesting point about travel.
You can never say something is moving without saying what it is moving compared to.
Everything is always moving compared to something else because motion is relative.
A thing can be stationary and moving at the same time. It depends relative to what? Moving compared to what?
You might think you are just sitting in the corner of your room and not traveling anywhere.
But at the same time, the earth is spinning. If you were sat at the equator you and the entire room would actually be moving at 460 meters per second.
Also, the earth is going around the sun. So you, and your chair in the corner of the room are moving at 67,000 mph around the sun.
Your entire life you’ve never gone any slower than 67,000 mph… relative to the sun. Remember that next time someone tells you to hurry up!
The postage stamp is not moving compared to the corner. That’s why it “sits in the corner”. The postage stamp and the corner never move compared to each other because the stamp is glued down.
But the envelope, the corner, and the stamp are all moving around the world together. Presumably, because the envelope is in the postman’s bag or van or even an international mail plane.
So that’s the answer to the riddle about the postage stamp. It’s going around the world but it never leaves the corner of the envelope!
In fact, if you want to be super smart I think we can confidently say this is an international postage stamp! Otherwise, that letter is not going around the world it’s just going somewhere locally.
The future has arrived, if you’ve never seen a real-life envelope or a postage stamp then check out this helpful video:
What do you think? Is “a postage stamp” the correct answer? Does this riddle make sense or is it a bit stupid?
What if I said…
I travel around the universe without ever leaving the rest-room. What am I?
Answer: A toilet!
It’s a bit dumb no? Let me know what you think in the comments below!