Many think that violence is the answer, but there’s also a clever, bloodless solution.

Riddles and brain teasers are all about thinking outside the box. Sometimes when you leave the box, though, you can end up in a very dark place.

Japanese Twitter user @omahuko recently tweeted the following question:

“Three people are going to divide two apples between them. Using a knife only once, how can they make sure the amounts received are exactly equal?”

It’s a tricky question. Some of the more clever solutions other Twitter users offered were:

“Grind the apples up and make apple juice.”
“Sell the knife, then use the money to buy another apple.”
“Play rock-paper-scissors, and whoever wins gets both apples.”

Others, though, suggested a more violent reckoning.

“This, right?”

“Increase the number of dead bodies by one,” suggested another commenter with a love of pulpy dialogue, while someone with a particularly morbid creative streak said “First, stack both apples on one person’s head. Slice the apples, and the person, into halves, cutting straight down the middle, giving you four people and four pieces of apple.”

But perhaps the darkest answer came from someone who suggested:

“Why turn the knife on someone else? The correct answer is to just kill yourself with it.”

And the weirdest thing of all? It turns out he’s right, at least according to the original source of the question, 1989 Japanese late-night comedy quiz show IQ Engine, from where @omahuko took the screen capture of the question.

IQ Engine’s answer to its three people, two apples, one knife usage riddle.

But while violence is the answer in IQ Engine’s eyes, one commenter managed to come up with a solution in which no one has to die.

Just line the apples up at a two-thirds offset, and cut through them both with one slice. You’ll end up with two large pieces, each of which go to one person, and two small pieces, both of which go to the third person.

Granted, some grumbled that the person who gets the two smaller pieces gets less than the other two people, since he doesn’t get the larger middle section of either of the round fruits. Still, it’s only a slight difference, and it really shouldn’t be the end of the world, or anyone’s life.

Source: Twitter/@omahuko via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’ll be happy to give you his apple.