A Techy Riddle for Your Friends to Solve

Now you’re kindly invited to conduct this experiment which is something like a riddle. The purpose is to find out how familiar your friends are with technology. You have to ask the following questions to five different people around you.

A Techy Riddle for Your Friends

Those people can be of any age between 0 and 99, and can be either male or female.

Feel free to contact them as you prefer to communicate: By email or by phone (in the case that you have one close at hand). You can even share this post on your social networks!

The questions are as follows.

What Can It Be?

  • It has depth
  • It’s on your computer screen
  • It’s just barely visible to the naked eye
  • It is digital

What Can Those Things Be?

Wait a moment, there are billions in there!

  • They are colored
  • They are on your tablet and on your smartphone
  • They are building blocks, like atoms
  • There are many of them on the Internet
  • They are on your pics!

Ok, now we are done.

The Answer Is: Pixels

Did your experiment go ok? We would love to hear from you and find out what the people of your choice told you.

Your pixelated friends

Did they solve the riddle? If not, your pixelated friends should learn what a pixel is and what color depth means.


When zooming a digital picture you’ll probably notice that it’s actually made of lots of adjacent squares arranged side by side across the image area. Each of those squares is a pixel.

Figure 1. What do you see in this picture?

Figure 1. What do you see in this picture?

Figure 2. The squares above come together to make this cute sparrow

Figure 2. The squares above come together to make this cute sparrow

Color Depth

Color depth is the number of bits that your computer needs to color a pixel. This is an important term in the world of digital images which is also called bits per pixel (bpp).

Thus, for example, an image with a color depth of 8 bits means 2^8 = 256 so each and every single of its pixels is colored using a 256-color palette.

Bits Colors Name
1 2^1 = 2 Monochrome
2 2^2 = 4 CGA
4 2^4 = 16 EGA
8 2^8 = 256 VGA
16 {2}^{16} = 65,536 XGA, High color
24 {2}^{24} = 16,777,216 SVGA, True color

From 30 bits (30/36/48-bit) on since billions of different colors can be represented then we are talking about deep color.

As you can see, nothing escapes from zeros and ones in our digital world, and pixels are no exception.

The Most Common Image Formats Used

Once you fully understand how pixels are combined together in order to form pictures, then you’ll easily understand the tech terms involved in describing the most popular image formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF and TIFF. We’ll show them to you in our next post. See you soon!

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