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#12. Challenge your brain with this visual logic brain teaser

In which direction is the bus pictured below traveling?

school bus attention game

Do you know the answer?

The only possible answers are “left” or “right.”

Still don’t know?

Keep reading for the answer and explanation…

When pre-school children are shown this brain teaser, they often answer “left.” Why? “Because you can’t see the door.”

(This works in countries where you drive on the right side of the road, like the US and continental Europe; it would be the reverse in countries where you drive on the left side, such as the UK)

Feel pretty dumb now, don’t you? I did too!

This teaser illustrates a good concept about how our memory works. Imagine if our memories were absolutely perfect. On the one hand, you might have been able to answer this puzzle correctly, since you could compare this image to all the school bus images you have in your mind, and only the ones going left would match.

On the other hand, imagine truly remembering every single detail of every single day of your life. It would be insurmountable to filter through all that data retrieve useful information…you probably wouldn’t have been able to answer the question in hours or even days, trying to retrieve and process every single bus-related memory.

Think about that next time you complain about your memory…

Next brain teaser in SharpBrains’ top 25 series:


PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cognitive ability. Free, and fun for adults of any age!


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88 Responses

  1. chance says:

    This question is like another one i have heard. How do you put a elephant into a refrigerator?
    Then how do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
    The first time i heard it i said you would have to grind both of the animals to put them in, but the preschooler would answer the first part “you open the door and put in the elephant” for the second part they would answer by saying “you open the door take out the elephant and put the giraffe in”.

  2. Theofanis says:

    It depends on what type of bus is it… If the steering wheel is on the left side of the bus, then the bus is going left. If the steering wheel is on the right side of the bus then the bus is going right. 🙂

  3. catiana271 says:

    I thought left the first time……

  4. Coach B says:

    If this puzzle was shown to pre-schoolers who attend school in Japan, their answers might be just the opposite. Why? Because we drive on the other side of the road over here. Thus the door would be located on the opposite side of the bus. these are American kids whose parents are in the U.S. Military stationed in Japan.

  5. sudhi says:

    by nt going to unnecessary views……… its a very good brain teaser………..

  6. sudhi says:

    at the same time… if door is the matter… doors wil be on both sides of the bus…… in our country….. on one side passengers door… and other side drivers door……

  7. John says:

    The answer is 19, because 5 + 3 + 3 + 8 = 19. And YES… this is a comment about the bus. However, if you are not in a country where the driver is on the left side, then the answer is 27. Again, my comment is a teaser within a teaser. Go figure… let me know. 🙂

  8. Kristina says:

    I must really have mental problems because when I first saw the drawing, I thought “Oh, it’s an Airstream caravan.” 🙂 I do have a question – if this is a bus, where is the motor? Front or back (if one can determine which is the front and the back).

  9. tania says:

    no, i dont feel dumb and it doesnt mean those kids are intelligent either. “you cant see the door”? wow, you cant see the driver or the indicator or the windshield or a whole lot of clues that would of helped us find the answer. and also driver sides change in countries and yes the net is international so who ever drew the picture should get their facts right first!!!

  10. casisinus says:

    I think THIS bus could go either way…one must only work his imagination

  11. Deloris says:

    Oddly enough, I guessed “left” not because I didn’t see a door but because I pictured the bus lower in the front toward the left. Really! I saw the front with low suspension so it must be facing the left. Why did I see front low suspension, I don’t know. After I read the thing about the door, I was like, “Oh, I got it right anyway.” LOL

  12. aisha says:

    that is cool

  13. Jesse says:

    The bus a preschooler sees every day would have a STOP sign, flashing red lights and all, on the street side (as opposed to the curb side) of the bus.

    It’s still ambiguous.

  14. Paolo says:

    Many of the previous answers completely miss the meaning of the test, i.e. that to determine which way the bus is traveling (the test says that this is a bus in movement, so it’s a bus in movement) you must SEE that there is not a mayor detail: the door.
    Obviously the image is highly stilized: if there were the steering wheel or the exahust pipe or the lights then there were no test.
    The actual direction is not really important: depends on the nation you are, but still you must think to the door. And if preschooler can give the correct answer is also not important: can YOU give it?

  15. megan says:

    this illustration can go either left or right because there’s no signal directing which was it is correctly going.

  16. london says:

    im from the uk where cars drive on the left and i said right.

  17. Miamia says:

    Well, we sit on left side and our card drive on left side od the road.
    When I looked at this bus, it was driving at left! You have to imagine this and you will also see the door.

  18. Miamia says:

    My mistake. We sit on left side in car, and car drives on right side of the road!

  19. ian says:

    ooops too bad bus can go in reverse

  20. Abhishek says:

    Hi think theofanis is right. Yo! man right logic

  21. jaya says:

    bus is not attached to wheels

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