For Fish Who Like Phones

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

For Fish Who Like Phones

August 12, 2015

Over 100 years ago, phones were big clunky things connected to a wire coming out of the wall. Now they’re sleek thin rectangles that fit in our pocket. And thanks to waterproof cases, cellphones can sink to the bottom of the ocean for weeks, and still work when they’re rescued! While scuba diving in Monterey Bay in California, a guy named Sam (screen name ehtnaerokyug) was wearing his phone in a waterproof case hanging from his neck. But he lost the whole thing when he fell out of his boat. He didn’t realize until after paddling for another 25 minutes, and figured he’d never find it again. That was back in March. In May, another scuba diver in Monterey Bay actually found the phone along the sandy bottom of the bay, and wasn’t even looking for it! The phone actually turned on, so for all we know, maybe fish made a few calls on it, too.

Wee ones: If a fish, an eel, an octopus and a scuba diver all make calls on the phone, how many underwater phone users is that?

Little kids: If the phone was lost in March and found in May, how many months later was it found?  Bonus: If instead it had sat in the water for 6 months, would it have been found by now? (Right now it’s August.)

Big kids: If Sam paddled 25 minutes before realizing he’d lost the phone, then paddled another 25 minutes to go back and find it, how long did he paddle?  Bonus: Luckily the phone didn’t fall into the 11,800-foot-deep crack known as Monterey Canyon. If the phone sank just 500 feet, how much deeper would the canyon have been?




Wee ones: 4 phone users.

Little kids: 2 months later.  Bonus: No, because it would have been found in September.

Big kids: 50 minutes.  Bonus: 11,300 feet.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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