Echo Riddle

Nationality: American
Primary Language: English
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Performance Date: 02/21/2024


Riddle: I speak without a mouth and hear without ears. I have no body, but I come alive with wind. What am I? 

Answer: An echo


The informant grew up in Los Angeles, and has lived there her entire life. She first heard this riddle in the 4th grade, when her teacher wrote it on the white board for their “riddle of the week.” Each day, they would get an additional hint until someone guessed it. This particular riddle (which was told in the winter) was the first one that never got properly guessed. When the teacher revealed the answer, the informant decided it would be her go-to riddle if someone asked for one. When I was unable to guess the answer, the informant laughed because it reminded her of when she would ask people the riddle on the playground.


I find riddles especially interesting because, in my experience, the narrator gets joy out of the recipients inability to answer. I think that this particular riddle is interesting because it is less “intuitive” than many riddles. Riddles have a unique historical context as they appear throughout mythology (ie. the myth of the Sphinx). It is also interesting because this is a myth that I heard when I was in elementary school (in a different part of the United States), but it remained the same. I think that this myth is particularly interesting because it is not something necessarily tangible, and thus not something that listeners would immediately guess.