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Lunchtime at the Fish Pond

A fish is resting at the NE corner of a rectangular pool. A heron standing at the NW corner spies the fish. When the fish sees the heron looking at him he quickly swims towards the south. When he reaches the south side of the pool, he has the unwelcome surprise of meeting the heron who has calmly walked due south along the side and turned at the SW corner of the pool and proceeded due east, to arrive simultaneously with the fish on the south side. Given that the pool measures 12 units by 6 units, and that the heron walks as quickly as the fish swims, find the distance the fish swam. Aryabhata (India, ca 500) Click here to reveal the answer

"Lunchtime at the Fish Pond," Convergence (August 2007)