In a Single Bound

Q: Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building?
A: Of course!  Buildings can’t jump!

Explanation: Kangaroos are well known for being able to jump high and far with their powerful legs.  Buildings, on the other hand, cannot jump.

This joke is funny because the expected answer is that no, kangaroos cannot jump higher than the Empire State Building (they can only jump about 30 feet).  Everyone knows that buildings cannot jump. Because we know that buildings cannot jump, we are thinking about the kangaroo jumping as high as the 1,250 foot Empire State Building. Clearly impossible!

What if we replaced the Empire State Building with a frog so the question reads, “Can a kangaroo jump higher than a frog?”  Now we know that we are comparing who can jump higher.  It all depends on how you understand the question and what the kangaroo is compared to.  Logic says the answer to the question is no but the joke looks at the illogical and we laugh.

Learn more about kangaroos here:

And learn more about the Empire State Building here:

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About stfleming

Reader, writer, teacher, thinker and dreamer. Lector, escritor, profesor, pensador y soñador. I teach in Lima, Peru. Enseño en Lima, Peru.
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