What Lives When It Eats and Dies When It Drinks: The Ultimate Riddle!

E-thinkers exist to solve mysteries and riddles, bringing to light the unknown and helping us think outside the box. Speaking of riddles, there is one that has been circulating for years which involves an object that lives when it eats and dies when it drinks. What could it be? This riddle has left people scratching their heads and countless answers have been considered. In this article, we will explore the origins of this riddle, some of the most popular answers given, and ultimately uncover the correct solution.

The Origin of the Riddle: What Lives When It Eats and Dies When It Drinks

The origins of this riddle remain a mystery. However, it has been around for many years and continues to circulate to this day. What makes this riddle unique is its simplicity. It does not require any advanced knowledge or critical thinking to solve; rather, it requires you to think of what goes from one state to another, living to dying, depending on whether or not it “drinks.”

The Most Popular Answers

Upon first hearing this riddle, it may seem like there are many possible answers. People have considered everything from fire to sand, but there are a few answers that frequently come up as possibilities. Let us explore these answers more in-depth.


When it comes to things that can live, people have suggested that fire is a possibility. After all, fire requires oxygen to live and can die out if it does not have a source of fuel to consume. However, while the concept of fire “drinking” fuel is appealing, the answer to the riddle is not fire.


Another popular answer given is fish, as they live in water and cannot survive without it. While it may seem like a sound answer, it is not correct. Fish do not technically “drink,” they absorb water through their gills in order to survive.


The flame on a candle requires wax in order to burn, much like how a living creature requires food to survive. If the wax is depleted, the flame goes out, much like how a creature dies when it is deprived of food. Yet, there is another correct answer to this riddle that surpasses the answer of the candle.

The Correct Answer: Salt

While it may not be the first answer that comes to mind, the correct answer to this riddle is salt. Salt “eats” by being sprinkled on food or being dissolved in water while cooking, and it “dies” when it is put in water, as it dissolves and becomes a part of the liquid.

Why Is Salt the Answer?

There are a few reasons why salt is the correct answer to this riddle. Firstly, salt is a compound solution. It can absorb water and dissolve in it. Secondly, it can prevent food from going bad, which can result in the wasted food. Salt is added to food for this reason, as it can help to preserve it. Lastly, salt has been used for centuries to keep things clean, as it helps to sterilize surfaces and kill certain bacteria.

Other Possible Answers and Why They’re Wrong

  • Cactus: Cactus plants can survive in harsh, dry climates by storing water in their stem. While they may not need to drink water to survive, they can still absorb it and use it for photosynthesis.
  • Camel: Camels can go for long periods without drinking water due to their ability to store water in their bodies. However, just like the cactus, they still require water to survive.

While these answers may seem plausible, they do not hold up under closer inspection. The correct answer, once again, is salt.


The riddle, what lives when it eats and dies when it drinks, has been around for years, and while countless answers have been proposed, there is only one answer that is correct: salt. You can now amaze your friends by knowing the answer to this popular riddle.

Questions and Answers Related to the Riddle?

  • What is the Riddle “What lives when it eats and dies when it drinks”?
  • The riddle posits an object that lives when it eats and dies when it drinks. It comes in the form of a question and challenges the reader to find the correct answer.

  • What are some popular answers given to the riddle?
  • Some of the most popular answers given to the riddle include fire, fish, and candles. However, the correct answer is salt.

  • Why is salt the solution to the riddle?
  • Salt is the solution to the riddle because it can absorb water and dissolve in it. It can also be added to food to prevent it from going bad, as well as being used to sterilize surfaces and kill certain bacteria.


“What Lives When Eaten But Dies When Drunk?” Root Report. Accessed August 2021 https://rootreport.com/meaning-of-what-lives-when-eaten-but-dies-when-drunk/

“The Answer to the Riddle: What Lives When Eaten but Dies When Drunk?” Bright Side. Accessed August 2021 https://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/the-answer-to-the-riddle-what-lives-when-eaten-but-dies-when-drunk-334710/

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