POTC – Parchment Riddle

A riddle inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean. 📜

You (Captain Jack Sparrow) have been sentenced to DEATH by the infamous BLACK BEARD so that he may be forever young through the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.

Before the sentence is carried out, two pieces of PARCHMENTS – one with “LIFE” written on it and one with “DEATH” written on it – are folded up and placed in Black Beard’s HAT.

You are permitted to pick out one of the pieces of parchments (without looking), and if you choose the one with “LIFE” written on it, you are set free.

Otherwise, the death sentence is carried out and YOUR LIFE WILL BE SUCKED UP CLEAN by BLACK BEARD.

However, BARBOSSA, one of your worst ENEMIES, wanting to get rid of you forever, has substituted the piece of parchment with “LIFE” written on it with another piece of parchment labeled “DEATH”.

Barbossa gleefully tells you of what he has done and that you ARE SURELY DOOMED.

He then successfully casts a curse on you that FORBIDS you from speaking to anyone about his terrible misdeed.

Barbossa has also made sure you have absolutely no chance to switch the paper or the hat in time.

How will you, Captain Jack Sparrow, avoid CERTAIN DEATH???



Well, it’s simple really.

You just gotta think out of the box a bit.

When you’re asked to choose which parchment, simply choose either one and then quickly swallow it (as in put it in your mouth and make sure it gets fully digested).

Black Beard will then check the remaining piece of parchment and see that it says “Death” and have to set you free since he can only assume that you picked the piece of parchment that said “Life”.

That Jack is a clever one, I tell ya.

By Frances Coronel

Frances Coronel is a software engineer specializing in UI development on the Customer Acquisition Team at Slack where her mission is to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.

She has been working professionally as a developer since 2015 and holds a Bachelors in Computer Science from Hampton University and a Masters in Computer Science from Cornell Tech.

Outside of Slack, Frances is an Executive Director of Techqueria, a 501c3 nonprofit that serves the largest community of Latinx in Tech in the US.

She also supports Code Nation as a member of their Bay Area Leadership Council and the Latino Community Foundation as a member of their Latinos in Tech Giving Circle.