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March 20, 2022 2 min read

We use incense to enhance our mood and to feel connected to the spiritual world.


But once upon a time, incense was used to determine the time.


Today I have a riddle about incense and time for you.


Ready for this?



There are two incense sticks (cordless, no bamboo). Each stick will burn for one hour.


Please note: due to the resin contents in each stick, the density and thickness are not evenly distributed.

It means: although it takes one hour to burn the entire stick, it does not take 30 minutes to burn half a stick.


Here is the question:

If you don't have a clock or a timer, how do you make an incense stick that can burn for 15 minutes approximately?


Available Material: 2 incense sticks and a lighter (no clocks, no watches).


Scroll down for an answer







Here is the answer


2 incenses



------ <- this represents an incense


So we have 2:


------  <- 1st incense

------  <- 2nd incense


* <- this is fire


*------* <- light both end, which will take 30 minutes to burn


*------    <-light one end


Light both ends of the first incense one after another.


Then light one end of the second incense


When the first incense burns out, it means 30 minutes passed.


The second incense has a remaining 30 minutes of burn time.


Blow it off, and you have a remaining stick of an unburnt incense. This remaining piece has 30 minutes of burn time. And it can be used to measure a period of 15 minutes.


Here is how


*---* <- light the other end of the 2nd incense stick again


Once it burns out, 15 minutes have passed.


I hope you enjoy the riddle.

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