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The Snake in the Hole

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A snake slides through a long cylindrical hole in the ground at 6 centimeters per second. The hole is 7.98 meters in length. The snake takes 14 seconds to enter the hole.

1. What is the length in centimeters of the snake ?
Answer: 84

2. How many seconds does the snake take to exit the hole after entering it?
Answer: 133

Solution:

It is important to note that
Distance = Speed × Time.

1. The snake has entered the hole when its tail just comes into the hole. It is given that 14 seconds elapse from the time the snake's head enters the hole till its tail enters. Thus,

Length of the snake = Distance traveled in 14 seconds
= (6 cm/s) × (14 s) = 84 centimeters.

2. The snake has exited the hole when its tail just leaves the hole. The distance traveled from the time the snake's tail just enters the hole till its tail just leaves the hole equals the length of the hole. Thus,

Time for the snake to exit the hole after entering it =
Length of the hole / Speed = (7.98 m) / (6 cm/s) = (798 cm) / (6 cm/s) = 133 seconds.

Food for thought:

Are there any inaccuracies in the answers above? Does it matter that the bodies of snakes are usually wavy and not straight when they move?


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