A brewing cup of tea sits on my desk.
Full of water and milk
When I put the cup down I was very careful not to spill a drop
When I came back 2 minutes later, my desk was damp with hot tea.


Hint: The tea is brewing. Tea bags are in the cup.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Someone clearly knocked your tea over. What a jerk! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


Not really sure if this is a riddle as I have had it happen to me :P The tea absorbed up the teabag string and then dripped down the outside of the mug. It usually takes a little longer than 2 min though...

  • $\begingroup$ Capillary action ftw $\endgroup$
    – JamesENL
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ Is it physically possible? If liquid enters the string because of capillary action, why would it be going to leave it? This would make a perpetuum mobile. $\endgroup$
    – Voitcus
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ It leaves it because it becomes saturated and the end of the string that is not in the tea allows an escape. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 11:53

The cup is made of paper, and the paper is thick enough so that the desk is only damp after two minutes and not drenched.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.