Camel and Banana Puzzle

A camel is sitting by a stack of 3000 bananas at edge of a 1000 mile wide desert. He is going to travel across the desert carrying as many bananas as he can to the other sides. He can carry 1000 bananas at a time, but he eats one banana every mile. What is the maximum number of bananas the camel can get across the desert? How does the camel do it?

1. Initially 3000 bananas
(a) 1st mile the camel carries 1000 bananas forward and eats 1, it eats 1 banana on the way back.
(b) Again it carries 1000 bananas forward and eats 1, eats 1 going back.
(c) 1000 bananas forward and eats 1.

After 1 mile: (1000 – 1 – 1) + (1000 – 1 – 1) + (1000 – 1) = 2995 bananas left. So for every 1 mile camel eats 5 bananas. So the camel has to travel 200 miles, when the number of bananas left will be 3000 – 200*5 = 2000

2. Now the camel has to make only 2 trips for every 1 mile
(a) 1st mile the camel carries 1000 bananas forward and eats 1, it eats 1 banana on the way back.
(b) 1000 bananas forward and eats 1.

After 1 mile: (1000 – 1 – 1) + (1000 – 1) = 1997 bananas left. So for every 1 mile camel eats 3 bananas.
So to consume next 1000 bananas, the camel has to travel 1000/3 = 333.33 miles.

3. Now the camel is left with 1000 bananas at 200 + 333.33 = 533.33 miles mark. Now
(a) The camel has to travel 1000 bananas forward and eat 1 per mile.
(b) The camel still has to travel 1000 – 533.33 = 466.66 miles. So the camel is going to consume another 466.66 bananas.

Therefore the number of bananas left will be 1000 – 466.66 = 533.33 or 533 (who wants to eat a camel eaten banana anyway 🙂

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