Here is a fun riddle:

I am not a living thing, but I can grow. I don't have lungs, but I need air; I have no mouth, but water kills me. What am I?


4 Answers 4



A wood fire


Water puts out a wood fire, it is not alive, it has no mouth, it needs oxygen (air) and it can grow bigger.

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    $\begingroup$ I logged on at the perfect time but was so scared someone would get there first. $\endgroup$
    – Yout Ried
    Mar 22, 2019 at 0:42
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    $\begingroup$ Have you ever poured water on an oil based fire? It has quite the opposite effect. Same with some types of burning metals. $\endgroup$
    – rtaft
    Mar 22, 2019 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ @rtaft ok then I changed it to a (rot13)jbbq sver. Don't forgot to rot13 the spoilers in your comments, as some people might want to solve it and accidentaly scroll down and see it. $\endgroup$
    – Yout Ried
    Mar 22, 2019 at 16:58

An alternative that still somewhat fits, but is probably not the intended answer.

It is:

A soap bubble


It's not alive, but can grow by having air blown into it.
It has no mouth, but requires air to exist.
Splashing water on a bubble destroys it - Like in a kitchen sink.

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    $\begingroup$ Those occur between layers of different density, not necessarily limited to one of those layers being air, so they can occur without it. $\endgroup$
    – kettlecrab
    Mar 22, 2019 at 4:19
  • $\begingroup$ @person27 if we're delving deeping into it then fire can also burn without 'air' - it doesn't need the nitrogen or any of the other elements - only oxygen is necessary. $\endgroup$ Mar 22, 2019 at 11:10
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    $\begingroup$ But the soap bubble is also made of water :) $\endgroup$ Mar 22, 2019 at 11:14
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    $\begingroup$ @LioElbammalf It doesn't even need oxygen, just something that will fill a similar chemical rule. Among others Chlorinating and Fluorinating chemicals will work in place of oxygen sources, and in some cases can consume as fuel things that you'd normally consider already burned up like water, carbon dioxide, or sand. $\endgroup$ Mar 22, 2019 at 19:53

I went for an alternate solution


I am not a living thing, but I can grow

Watch a slow motion video of lightning strike - it grows from clouds to earth (technically from earth to clouds!)

I don't have lungs, but I need air

Lightning doesn't happen without air (you can do it small scale in a lab, but it doesn't happen in nature or on a scale of lightning, so this is correct)

I have no mouth, but water kills me

No lightning strikes within solid water!


The answer can also be.



You get more thirsty until you drink water(killing the thirst).

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    $\begingroup$ How do the other clues fit? $\endgroup$
    – Kakturus
    Mar 22, 2019 at 8:29
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    $\begingroup$ Doesn't need air $\endgroup$ Mar 22, 2019 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ And your thirst can grow $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 22, 2019 at 15:09

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