Survival of the Sheep Puzzle

Survival of the Sheep Puzzle

There is an island filled with grass and trees and plants. The only inhabitants are 100 lions and 1 sheep.
The lions are special :
1) They are infinitely logical, smart, and completely aware of their surroundings.
2) They can survive by just eating grass (and there is an infinite amount of grass on the island).
3) They prefer of course to eat sheep.
4) Their only food options are grass or sheep.

Now, here’s the kicker:

5) If a lion eats a sheep he TURNS into a sheep (and could then be eaten by
other lions).
6) A lion would rather eat grass all his life than be eaten by another lion (after he turned into a sheep).

Assumptions :
1) Assume that one lion is closest to the sheep and will get to it before
all others. Assume that there is never an issue with who gets to the sheep
first. The issue is whether the first lion will get eaten by other lions
afterwards or not.
2) The sheep cannot get away from the lion if the lion decides to eat it.
3) Do not assume anything that hasn’t been stated above.

So now the question:

Will that one sheep get eaten or not and why?

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16 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    no lions will not eat the sheep coz they always want to live like lion

  2. Sunil Kumar says:

    Thats sounds like an ego factor.. “Live like lion”

    But eating grass will then again lead to the same thing.. so wouldnt they prefer eating sheep and “Be a lion”

  3. sudeep says:

    the smartest lion will wait for some time to see if n e of the other lions are interested in eating that sheep.if no 1 comes up,he realizes tat even if he eats the sheep and becomes 1, none of the other lion wud eat him.so atleast he can enjoy his prey,obviously @ the cost of giving up the lion life

  4. Raghavan says:

    Ans: The sheep will not get eaten.
    Reason:
    1. If there was only 1 lion, it would definitely eat the sheep.
    2. If there were 2 lions, each one would think if it eats the sheep, the other one would eat him and hence both wouldnt eat the sheep.
    3. If there were 3 lions, the first lion thats gonna eat the sheep knows that after it eats the sheep there will be only 2 lions left and both wouldnt eat him (by case 2).
    4. In case there were 4 lions, all the lions know that the first one thats gonna eat the sheep will be eaten by one more (by case 3, since only 3 will be left) and hence none would dare to eat it.

    Thus if there were odd number of lions, the sheep would have been eaten.. but since there are even number of lions, the sheep is safe.

  5. mayank says:

    All lions may be waiting for the same. As 1 lion eats up one among the others will again do the same leaving just 1 sheep and no lions!!!

  6. krish2487 says:

    it wont be eaten…
    to quote
    “the lions would rather eat grass than be eaten by other lions”

    if they are dat smart then with an infinite amnt of grass they ll never eat the sheep

  7. Hi everyone..I agree with Raghavan..The sheep would have been eaten, had there been odd number of lions. But now it is safe !! Keep posting more teasers 🙂

  8. chandu says:

    raghavan can u extend ur logic after 4.bcoz i think it wont work for 5 onwards.

  9. the sheep will never be eaten …

    it says ” lion will eat grass and not turn into sheep by eating other sheep and hence get eaten by other lion ” .

    also :– even if theres only one lion and one sheep …. the lion will turn into sheep y eating the sheep so thus even if the lions went on eating sheep [lions those eat sheep and turn into sheep included ] will eventually lead to only one outcome sheep .

  10. Raghavan says:

    @Chandhu
    It will work for cases 5 and beyond in the same way.

    5. If there were 5 lions, the first lion thats gonna eat the sheep knows that after it eats the sheep there will be only 4 lions left and none would eat him (by case 4).
    6. In case there were 6 lions, all the lions know that the first one thats gonna eat the sheep will be eaten by one more (by case 5, since only 5 will be left) and hence none would dare to eat it.

    I cant see a flaw in this..

  11. what if a lion has balls to eat sheep and get eaten by a lion…???!!!

    Inventive Thinking
    Join IBM..!!

  12. Pilot-Pooja says:

    Guess the sheep will be eaten by the first lion, because after it ate it, it will become a sheep and will lose all the traits of lion..this way in the end we will have no lion and 1 sheep..

    How do i know the answer ?

  13. Sunil Kumar says:

    @ Allen Leonard Charles

    Join IBM???

  14. Arun says:

    Sheep will be eaten!!
    If we consider the lions as infinitely logical,then one of the lion might think that since nobody’s gonna touch the sheep I can eat it and still live happily as a sheep…so it’ll eat that one sheep..

  15. Anonymous says:

    ya ya…

  16. chandu says:

    As a result if the lion eats the sheep at the end there will be no lion except for 1 sheep again cos

    Example: let us take that there are 2 lions now and 1 sheep,if the first lion eat the sheep he will turn into Sheep and there will be again 1 lion and 1 sheep.Now instead of starving and eating grass the lion would prefer to eat the sheep and he in turn will become a sheep and will continue to eat grass,as a result in the entire island there will be no lion and there will be only 1 sheep.

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