Riddle: What is full of holes, but can still hold a lot of water?




When we first got this riddle from Riddle Robot, we were probably all thinking “How can a container have a bunch of holes, but not expell any water? This sounds impossible!” The fact is, you are right, it would be impossible. Let us see if we can figure out how to solve this riddle, despite the apparent impossibility of it.

First, lets think about what types of things hold water:

  • containers
  • clouds
  • stories
  • bodies of water
  • puddles
  • sponges

We should talk about each of them, and figure out which one would be the most viable. We will start at the top and work and work our way down to the bottom. Once we run through each, the correct answer should be apparent!


There are many types of containers out there. Containers could be something small like a cup or glass you drink from. They can be something medium sized, like a waterskin, that holds water for you while you are on a long trip through the desert. They can be large like a man-made reservoir designed to provide water to an entire community.

Regardless though, each of these things have one thing in common. They have a sturdy outer shell. When this outer shell is punctured or ruptured, the liquid that each of them holds starts rushing out the hole, with the quickness, leaving it at least partially empty in the process. Because of this one main fact, it is unlikely that the answer to the riddle posed by Riddle Robot.


It is a widely known fact that clouds are comprised of mostly liquid droplets and crystalized water. They float high above the ground, and under certain meteorological conditions, they drop water from on high to grace the ground with a little refreshment. They are quite good at carrying large amounts of water great distances, and do so regularly.

Do clouds have actual holes though? Well, assuming that a hole is actually defined as “an opening through a particular medium,” then we would say in that sense “no” clouds do not have holes. Clouds are a gaseous unit, floating above the ground. In order to have a hole in an object, based on the definition, it would need to be a solid with an opening in it. Because this does not match up, it is probably not the answer to the riddle from Riddle Robot.


This one is a bit more abstract, and based off of an English colloquialism, and the topic of various other riddles in Eyezak’s repertoire. When someone tells a story, some people’s natural brain process is to validate the facts presented in the tale. We carefully listen to all the details, and make split second decisions on whether each or all of them are truthful or match up with one another. When we feel like they are not quite making sense, people used to say that the “story has holes in it” or that “the story does not hold water.”

It is a funny little saying but it has validity. Stories can be fluid. If they are fluid, their cohesion should include every part. But if there are holes in that surface that contains all the details, then some of them may start to drip out of the shell they are in. Because the saying has a form that literally says it cannot hold water, it is probably a safe bet that a story is not the answer to our riddle.

Bodies of Water

Larger bodies of water hold, well they hold water. Looking at an ocean, or a sea, or a lake, or a pond, or a river, or a… well you get the point. All of them have a bunch of water. They hold that water pretty efficiently and while doing so, provide us humans with access to a natural resource we absolutely require in order to live.

The thing about these bodies of water though, is that they themselves are holes technically. The earth has a solid (mostly) surface, called the crust. Bodies of water a holes, that vary in size, which contain a boatload of water. Making a hole inside of any of these holes, simply makes the whole bigger. This sounds weird, but it is because the hole is actually a three dimensional hole. There is no ‘other side’ that the whole connects to. It is simply an indention in the surface.

Because this type of hole is not a clean through whole, it is unlikely that it is our answer. It is also a little mind-boggling itself that bodies of water are just water sitting inside of holes in the Earth’s crust! That in itself is a riddle! Maybe that type of misdirect was what Riddle Robot Eyezak was going for when he posed this question to us.


Puddles are really just another type of body of water. Think of a puddle. Typically they occur in a road or a yard. Most of the time these surfaces have nothing beneath them so there is no way for the hole to go all the way through. Thus it is simply another indention in a surface, just like the other bodies of water! Because of this fact, it is probably not the answer either.


Sponges are actually pretty cool. They are a thick type of cloth (most of the time now-a-days), something similar to a towel. The cloth itself is made up of fibers. These fibers have a bunch of empty space in them which is perfect for holding liquid. Sponges are used for various reason such as clean up hard dishes and cups, or wiping up liquid spills on hard surfaces, or even sometimes to scrub your body in a bubble bath!

You ever squeeze a sponge that has been sitting or dipped in water? Guess what, a bunch more water comes out of it when you squeeze it, even squeezing it lightly. Through this simple test, we can conclude that it does hold a lot of water. We can also physically inspect the surface of the sponge itself. On the surface, we can see a bunch of little holes. If we look close, we can even see clear through the sponge through some of them!

So sponges meet both criteria. They both can hold a lot of water, which we can squeeze out if needed, and they have a bunch of holes, some we can even see clear through. This answer is definitely the most likely at this point, and we are sure that the Riddle Robot Eyezak will be impressed that we went through such lengths to figure out the answer to one of his riddles!

If you still have further questions, or corrections, or clarifications on something we have discussed above, please put them in the comments below.


This Riddle is about a sponge! So is this image!

Fun fact: did you know that sponges (the tool we use to clean surfaces and such) actually used to be made of Sponges (the living organisms found in the ocean and seas on Earth). It’s True! We have traced that fact all the way back to Ancient Greece.

There is written history from those times depicting the usage of sponges to clean up Olympians before they went into competition! There are even tales of Greek Gods like Hephaestus using a sponge to clean their body! There are even accounts from Aristotle and Plato referring to sponges in both scientific and historic contexts!

The Greeks were not the only culture to use sponges early on. Looking at Roman culture, a long time ago, we see accounts of people using sponges in conjunction with their personal hygiene. There are also records of the belief that they had therapeutic properties, which was directly responsible for them being used in medicine around those times.

Thinking about how long ago these object were used, it makes you wonder what other cultures may have made use of sponges. The answer is unclear, at least from our research. Every time we put together one of these riddle answer revealing post, to help you with answering the riddles from Riddle Robot, we do a ton of research. Most of the time, this research gives us a ton of reference points that we have to pick from. This time, there were not so many. Can you find more? Comment below!

It is exciting to learn a little about the history of an object, especially one that is directly related to a riddle that we have been asked by Eyzak, the Riddle Robot! He is so smart, and any time we can arm ourselves with more information, that could potentially help us beat him in the future, it is a good day.

One Last Thing:

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