# Problem with heights - Riddle

I hate heights. As soon as I can see how far away the ground is, I'm filled with this uncontrollable fear and urge to get down -any survivable way to get down is better than this.

My captors seem to find my fear interesting, as if they have something to gain by studying me. They leave me at some altitude and then show me how far the drop is. How terrifying! Then when I try to get down, they try to stop me! Well, I'm getting down any way I can, and any attempts to hold me back will only slow me down.

This fear really is a problem. Sometimes I've gotten so determined to get down, I've hurt people in the process. My captors recognize that too, and hold me back even more. Then when I make it to safety, they bring me right back up to do it again. Can't they see I want to get down?

Who/What am I, and what do they call my fear?

Hint 1:

The larger the drop, the greater the fear. My fear is entirely based on how big of a drop they show me.

Hint 2:

The term "altitude" is used more figuratively than literally.

I think I have it. You are:

Electricity

I hate heights. As soon as I can see how far away the ground is, I'm filled with this uncontrollable fear and urge to get down -any survivable way to get down is better than this.

When electric potential is high, current, such as lightning will immediately seek the fastest way to 'ground' then travel it 'down' at the speed of light.

My captors seem to find my fear interesting, as if they have something to gain by studying me. They leave me at some altitude and then show me how far the drop is. How terrifying! Then when I try to get down, they try to stop me! Well, I'm getting down any way I can, and any attempts to hold me back will only slow me down.

This hints at the study of electricity as use for power. We trap it in circuits and batteries, but can never actually freeze electromagnetic radiation, only 'resist' it

This fear really is a problem. Sometimes I've gotten so determined to get down, I've hurt people in the process. My captors recognize that too, and hold me back even more. Then when I make it to safety, they bring me right back up to do it again. Can't they see I want to get down?

Electricity can kill, be it via lightning or circuitry.

Who/What am I, and what do they call my fear?

Electricity / Electric Potential

Hint 1: The larger the drop, the greater the fear. My fear is entirely based on how big of a drop they show me.

The higher the drop in potential difference, the more voltage there is

Hint 2: The term "altitude" is used more figuratively than literally.

See above, wrt 'high' electric potential

• Electrophobia is a bit creative. I was going for voltage or electric potential, where the magnitude of the drop is the difference in potential. But this is correct! Jun 14, 2019 at 17:09
• Heh, i just realized I interpreted that line as what is my CAPTORS' fear, since I'd mentioned potential earlier. Whoops, will fix. Great first riddle!! Jun 14, 2019 at 17:12
• Thank you. That means a lot. I thought I might be really bad at this sort of thing. I'll keep at it Jun 14, 2019 at 17:14

Are you

Water?

gravity?

I hate heights, not that depths are any better. As soon as I can see how far away the ground is, I'm filled with this uncontrollable fear and urge to get down -any survivable way to get down is better than this.

Clouds can be a very long way up in the air, lakes, seas and oceans can be extremely deep!

My captors seem to find my fear interesting, as if they have something to gain by studying me. They leave me at some altitude and then show me how far the drop is. How terrifying! Then when I try to get down, they try to stop me! Well, I'm getting down any way I can, and any attempts to hold me back will only slow me down.

We have learned how to hold back and store water for use in hydroelectric power. Water is allowed to drop / is forced through turbines which slows its decent but doesn't stop it completely.

This fear really is a problem. Sometimes I've gotten so determined to get down, I've hurt people in the process.

During floods, water can injure or even kill

My captors recognize that too, and hold me back even more.

And people try to hold flood water back where possible

Then when I make it to safety, they bring me right back up to do it again. Can't they see I want to get down?

The natural process of water is once it reaches a sea or ocean, the water is evaporated in to clouds and starts the process again as rain

This is my first answer on puzzling, so apologies for any errors or missed etiquette!

you are

plumb line

gravity

I hate heights, not that depths are any better. As soon as I can see how far away the ground is, I'm filled with this uncontrollable fear and urge to get down -any survivable way to get down is better than this.

When a plumb line is hold up (heights) or above a hole (depths) it can "see" how far down it can fall right before being released. At this point it has an uncontrollable urge to get down because of gravity.

My captors seem to find my fear interesting, as if they have something to gain by studying me.

See if something is perfectly perpendicular to the ground.

They leave me at some altitude and then show me how far the drop is. How terrifying! Then when I try to get down, they try to stop me! Well, I'm getting down any way I can, and any attempts to hold me back will only slow me down.

The plumb line is "held back" by a string.

This fear really is a problem. Sometimes I've gotten so determined to get down, I've hurt people in the process. My captors recognize that too, and hold me back even more.

Failed to estimate the string lenght and dropped on their foot. Auch!

Then when I make it to safety, they bring me right back up to do it again. Can't they see I want to get down?

a plumb line that's laying on the ground isn't worth much. So pull it back up to start over with a shorter lenght of string.

• I never would have thought of this one! Problem here is plumb line is only brought back up if there was a problem with the string length. Jun 14, 2019 at 14:44
• Interesting. I would argue that they would also pull it back up to fix whatever isn't perpendicular yet and then measure again. I was more doubtful about the "any survivable way".
– Imus
Jun 14, 2019 at 14:47

You are

A penny?

Gravity?

I hate heights, not that depths are any better.

Depths of the ocean will still drag you down, I suppose.

As soon as I can see how far away the ground is, I'm filled with this uncontrollable fear and urge to get down -any survivable way to get down is better than this.

Not sure

My captors seem to find my fear interesting, as if they have something to gain by studying me. They leave me at some altitude and then show me how far the drop is. How terrifying! Then when I try to get down, they try to stop me!

Well, I'm getting down any way I can, and any attempts to hold me back will only slow me down.

Wind resistance as you fall? Lol.

This fear really is a problem. Sometimes I've gotten so determined to get down, I've hurt people in the process.

Falling on people's heads, I suppose.

My captors recognize that too, and hold me back even more. Then when I make it to safety, they bring me right back up to do it again.

They're running experiments on gravity?

Disclaimer: I am not very good at riddles, lol.

• That is a pretty good answer, but not it. This is my first riddle, so bear with me. The problem with a penny being the answer is it could apply to any object affected by gravity (anything). The riddle should be able to narrow it down to one thing (hopefully). Jun 13, 2019 at 22:39
• Hmm, interesting Jun 13, 2019 at 22:42