A Color blind man is travelling in a somewhat famous ship that had just a few people on board. Everything was smooth sailing for some days.

One day,the man heard some noises from outside when he was in his room. The ship started to shake and began to sink. By the time the man reached outside,nobody was there and the ship was almost fully sunk. There was no time for the man to search for the rest of the crew. He jumped in the ocean and saw the ship sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

Struggling to find some help,he sees an island and swam straight in that direction. The current was a bit strong,but he managed to get to his destination. By the time he reaches the shore,he starts coughing and also remembers something. He forgot to take his pills!. He keeps a few pills in his pocket and the rest in his room. He thrust his hand into his pocket. Fortunately, The pills were still there in his pocket.


He recalls putting 4 pills in his pocket(with the help of a friend) out of which 2 are red ones and the rest of them are white. All the pills are completely identical. He is supposed to take one red pill and one white pill everyday. The order which he takes them doesn't matter. He must not take two pills of the same color and if he does so,he dies. How does he take one red pill and one white pill?

Note that the man is color blind and he knows that help will arrive soon,since the ship he was travelling was a famous one. Also,the island that the man is on is deserted.

  • 15
    $\begingroup$ Also, there is no type of colorblindness that makes red and white indistinguishable. Also, how come the pills have not melted in the water? $\endgroup$
    – dmg
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 12:04
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Also, lots of unnecessary flavor text. $\endgroup$
    – Lopsy
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ @dmg This is incorrect. In extreme low-light situations, your eyes will not be able to distinguish colours at all because your cones shut down. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald Well obviously, but we're talking about colorblindness here, so I don't see how light comes into play. $\endgroup$
    – dmg
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 13:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald: Even in that case you would be able to tell the two apart. Just look at black and white pictures. White will still be white and red will be a shade of grey. Still easily distinguishable.. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 18:36

2 Answers 2



Just take half of each pill everyday which will always be 1 red + 1 white when put together.



Put them in the sun. The white pills will be cooler than the red, since they will reflect more light. Take a warm pill and a cool pill per day - and cross your fingers!

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! This question was already answered over a year and a half ago. This is a good answer too, but I recommend looking at the unanswered questions if you want to get more positive reception on your answers. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 19:51
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Ha, didn't even notice that. Stack Exchange just emailed their weekly puzzling updates and included this puzzle in their list. Assumed it was new. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 13:38

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