The Key to Decoding This Puzzle Is to Think Like a Child

The latest enigma circulating the Internet isn’t a new discovery, but hasn’t gotten any easier with time—for adults at least. Originally on season 2 of Brain Games, this teaser has resurfaced and seems to be stumping everyone online except for children. The puzzle is a simple drawing of a symmetrical yellow school bus posing the question which direction the bus is traveling. To adults, there isn’t enough information to figure it out. But this Internet riddle isn’t asking what colors a dress is—there is a concrete answer, and when put to the test, 80 percent of children under ten got it in less than ten seconds, with adults left clueless.

There’s no special trick to the matrix and kids got it in a snap. The secret to their expertise likely lies in children’s ability to take visual cues and apply them to new pictures and contexts. Children use their logic and past experience when they look at the puzzle and immediately infer that since there are no bus doors in the picture, they must be on the other side of the bus, facing the sidewalk. To people living in the states who are accustomed to driving on the right ride of the road, that means the bus is going to the left. Naturally, those in the UK would think the bus is going to the right, but be using the very same logic. Adults seem to be more stumped by the puzzle because they take more sensory cues into consideration to form a judgment, meaning we are overthinking it.

To put your mind to the test, check out Brain Games’ new season airing Sunday, Feb. 14 at 9/8c.

Want more games? Head over to natgeotv.com/braingames for more mind-bending tricks. But first, a taste. Notice anything tricky about this image?

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Click here to find out.