Preferred by 10 out of 9 Mathematicians!



A team of home builders is tasked with constructing a skyscraper for the first time. To keep things simple, they decide to conceptualize the problem as “stacking a bunch of single-story homes of top of each other”. Awesome — they’re already experts at building single-story homes! Building a skyscraper will be a piece of cake!

Then the complications arise:

  • Single-story homes are always built on the ground level. Therefore:
    • They build a machine to uproot single-story homes.
    • They build a crane that can stack the uprooted single-story homes on top of one another.
  • Balancing the single-story homes on top of one another proves to be challenging. Therefore:
    • They replace all of the slanted roofs with flat roofs. This will probably cause a buildup of rain water on each roof, but they can solve that problem later.
    • They bolt the houses together so ensure they don’t slide around after being stacked. This creates large obstructions on the floor and ceiling of each home, but hopefully people won’t mind.
  • It turns out that single-story homes cannot support the weight of 50 single-story homes on top of them. Therefore:
    • Their first attempt to build a skyscraper collapses in spectacular fashion.
    • In their second attempt, they fill the bottom 25 single-story homes with molten steel. This allows the bottom 25 levels to support the weight of the upper levels.
  • Single-story homes do not contain stairs, which means there is no way to navigate between floors. Therefore:
    • They install massive ladders that scale the first 25 floors of the building. This is a work-around for the fact that the first 25 floors were filled with steel.
    • They demolish the kitchen from each single-story home and replace it with a stairwell.

But, through sheer force of will, they finally manage to build the skyscraper! All they had to do was stack a bunch of single-story houses on top of each other!