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Can you solve the fish riddle? - Steve Wyborney

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As the cargo director on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Buoyant, you’ve agreed to transport several tanks containing the last specimens of an endangered fish species to their new aquarium. Unfortunately, the boat is battered by a fierce storm, throwing your precious cargo overboard. Can you get the fish to safety and save the day? Steve Wyborney shows how.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Steve Wyborney
  • Director Outis
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Prime numbers and divisibility play an important role in this riddle. One of the significant numbers in the riddle has exactly 4 factors – and 2 of those factors are prime numbers.

Another number that fits that description is 35. The factors of 35 are 1, 5, 7, and 35. Notice that the 2 factors in the middle of the sequence of factors (5 and 7) are both prime numbers.

Likewise, the number 15 has 4 factors, which include 1, 3, 5, and 15. Again the 2 factors in the middle of the sequence (3 and 5) are both prime numbers.

Can you identify other numbers which have exactly 4 factors, and in which the middle two numbers in the sequence of factors are both prime?

As an additional exploration, can you identify numbers which have exactly 4 factors, but do not have two prime numbers in the middle of the sequence? Why or why not?

Is it possible that a number could have an odd number of factors, and if so, what would those numbers have in common?

Love riddles involving numbers? Start here with: How many ways can you arrange a deck of cards? and Can you solve the counterfeit coin riddle?

Not the least bit puzzled when solving riddles? TED Ed-has a whole section of riddles! Click here, sit down with your family or friends, and start solving them!

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Steve Wyborney
  • Director Outis
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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