Spuds Illustrated

Image: Wikimedia Commons

I just found this visual explication of the potato paradox — if potatoes are 99 percent water by weight, and you start with 100 pounds of potatoes and let them dehydrate until they’re 98 percent water, what’s their new weight?

The surprising answer is 50 pounds. Blue boxes represent water, orange non-water. So to double the share of the non-water portion we have to halve the amount of water.

(I had thought it was the setting that made this so confusing, but it turns out real potatoes are 80 percent water! So it’s not as outlandish as I’d thought.)