HowStuffWorks Newsletter Quiz

By: Coryn Briere  | 

Answers for June 25, 2022, Quiz

1. Which is the most dangerous place for shark attacks?

  • Volusia County, Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Queensland, Australia
  • South Africa

Volusia County, Florida, has had 337 attacks since 1882, according to the International Shark Attack File. That's not only the highest number of shark attacks recorded in Florida, but it's more than South Africa, whose attacks occurred over 2,798 miles (4,503 kilometers) of coastline, as opposed to a single county.

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Read More: 10 Most Dangerous Places for Shark Attacks

2. True or false: Dyson fans use a lot of electricity and have higher consumption ratings than regular fans.

False. Dyson fans are extremely energy efficient, so they'll keep you comfortable without increasing your electricity bill.

Learn More: How the Dyson Bladeless Fan Works

3. What did a woman named Mary Toft allegedly give birth to in 1700s England?

  • Bunnies
  • An egg
  • A demon child

Toft and her husband hid baby bunny rabbits under the sheets and pretended that she was giving birth to them. She was apparently very distressed, having suffered a miscarriage only the month before.

Take Our Hoax Quiz

4. Which plant would not do well with the addition of diluted coffee in its soil?

  • Hydrangeas
  • Roses
  • Lily of the valley
  • Azaleas

Coffee and coffee grounds are acidic and, while there are some plants that love an alkaline soil and won't do well with the addition of coffee, such as lily of the valley, lavender and honeysuckle, some plants absolutely thrive in an acidic soil.

Explore More: Don't Toss That Joe! Use Diluted Coffee to Fertilize Plants

5. True or false: Using ammonia is a safe method for keeping your dog out of your garden.

False. Do not use ammonia as a dog repellent. While ammonia will keep dogs away from almost anything because the smell irritates their noses, it can cause damage to their throats and stomachs if consumed. Always check with your vet before using any chemical or substance around your pets.

Read More: How to Make Homemade Dog Repellent

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June 18, 2022

1. EGOT is the acronym for those who have won each of the major entertainment awards, as in an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Who has not achieved EGOT status?

  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Elton John
  • John Legend
  • Whoopi Goldberg

Surprisingly, Elton John has not achieved EGOT status because he has not yet achieved an Emmy.

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Learn Which 17 Talented People Have Achieved EGOT Status.

2. True or false: In 1938, thousands and thousands of Americans believed that Martians had landed in New Jersey and were preparing to attack.

True. On Oct. 30, 1938, thousands and thousands of Americans believed Martians were invading the United States. They'd been listening to the radio, when the program was interrupted by a news bulletin that Martians had landed in New Jersey and were preparing to attack. Panic ensued, as people tried to figure out whether, and where, to flee, and how to protect themselves from the poisonous gas the Martians were said to be releasing in New Jersey.

Dive Into These 13 Crazy Hoaxes That Duped the World.

3. How much were contestants on "America's Next Top Model" reportedly paid?

  • $20,000 for the entire season
  • $500 per day
  • $40 per day

Showrunner Tyra Banks got some pretty bad press when it came out that each contestant made only $40 per day, plus a small stipend. They also had to foot the bill for their own food!

Take Our "Secrets of Reality Shows" Quiz.

4. What is the main automotive problem that would cause your steering wheel to shake only when the brakes are applied?

  • A busted motor mount
  • Bad CV joints
  • A problem with the rotors
  • Loose lug nuts

When you apply the brakes, the rotors are exposed to intense heat that must be dissipated evenly across its surface for a smooth stop. Rotors tend to wear down over time. As this happens, the metal may become thinned out or warped in certain spots. When the brake pads grip the rotor at high speeds, these imperfections cause a rumbling in the brake pedal that's then transmitted to the steering wheel.

Additional Info: Why Does Your Steering Wheel Shake When Braking?

5. True or false: If your car is overheating, you cannot put water alone in the radiator to cool it down.

False. While it's best to use a mix of coolant and water in your radiator, water alone will do in a pinch. But it's important to add it properly.

Learn More: How to Put Water in a Car Radiator

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June 11, 2022

1. True or false: Before the modern baby bottle, children in France would often suck directly from an animal's teat.

True. Before the modern baby bottle was properly fine-tuned, children in France (and likely other areas) would often suck directly from an animal's teat.

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Further Reading: What Did People Do Before Infant Formula Was Invented?

2. Tarsiers are among the smallest known primates. They are also the planet's only primate species that is _____________.

  • Entirely carnivorous
  • Nocturnal
  • Native to Australia

Tarsiers are the planet's only primate species that is entirely carnivorous. They eat the best that the Southeast Asian forests offer, including insects, lizards and even snakes.

Learn More: The Tarsier Is One Weird Primate, and Yes, We're Related

3. How many states does the Appalachian Trail pass through?

  • 6
  • 11
  • 14
  • 17

The Appalachian Trail passes through these 14 states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Step Into More: Meet All 11 of America's National Scenic Trails

4. True or false: All humans have belly buttons.

False. All placental mammals have belly buttons. That includes cats and dogs and beluga whales, although it's often harder to see them on animals. Yet oddly enough, not all humans have belly buttons.

Read More About Belly Buttons

5. Everyone has a philtrum. Where is it?

  • The space between the eyebrows
  • The groove above the upper lip
  • The curve of the upper ear

Also known as the medial cleft, the philtrum probably helped with sense of smell back in the day. Now, it's pretty much irrelevant, as people rely more on sight than smell to get by.

Take Our Body Parts Quiz!

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June 4, 2022

1. True or false: Tiger sharks, bull sharks and great white sharks are responsible for 99 percent of all shark attacks.

True. Tiger sharks, bull sharks and great white sharks are responsible for 99 percent of all shark attacks, according to the International Shark Attack File.

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Bite Into More: The 10 Most Dangerous Sharks

2. Leopard seals are pagophilic. What does this mean?

  • They live mostly on ice packs.
  • They only eat krill.
  • They live on their own for most of their lives.

Leopard seals are pagophilic, meaning they mostly live on ice packs, and they're primarily found in Antarctica, though they have been sighted off Australia, South America, New Zealand and South Africa.

Further Reading: Leopard Seals Are Apex Predators of the Antarctic

3. True or false: Subtitles and closed captioning are the same thing.

False. There are two ways that viewers can read what's going on in their favorite videos: subtitles and closed captions. Though the terms are used interchangeably, there is a notable difference between the two.

Learn More: What's the Difference Between Closed Captioning and Subtitles?

4. A bite from the lone star tick can trigger an allergic reaction to the consumption of _________.

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Red meat

A bite from the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) can trigger an allergic reaction to the consumption of red meat.

Read More: Alpha-gal Syndrome: The Meat Allergy Caused by a Tick

5. Which state uses the most area codes in America?

  • Texas
  • California
  • New York
  • Montana

Today the U.S. has more than 325 area codes in use. Most are assigned to a specific geographic area, though some are not. California currently uses 36 area codes, the most of any state.

Dial Up More: What Do Digits in Phone Numbers Mean?

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May 28, 2022

1. The "Viking Age" (as it's popularly known) lasted from about ____________.

  • 800 to 1050 C.E.
  • 1350 to 1503 C.E.
  • 105 to 55 B.C.E.

The "Viking Age" stretched from about 800 to 1050 C.E. Throughout this period, Scandinavian sailors invaded, colonized and/or explored much of Europe and the North Atlantic.

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Take Our Viking Quiz

2. How many years of growth are required before jabuticaba trees begin to bear fruit?

  • 1 to 2 years
  • 4 to 6 years
  • 6 to 8 years
  • 10 to 11 years

Jabuticaba trees require six to eight years of growth before they begin to bear fruit, and seed-grown trees can take up to 20 years before they begin to produce the small, four-petal white blooms that are the precursor to jabuticaba berries.

Taste More: Jabuticaba: The Superfruit That's Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

3. True or false: Around one in 10 Americans will have a kidney stone at some point in their life.

True. Every year, half a million people visit the emergency rooms in the United States with kidney stones, and around one in 10 Americans will have a kidney stone at some point in their life.

Read More: Kidney Stones Are Excruciating, But the Source of Pain Is Surprising

4. Which of the following statements about the country of Andorra is true?

  • It only has two fast-food joints.
  • It's ruled by co-princes from different countries.
  • Its residents live underground.
  • It's the smallest country in the world.

Andorra is the only co-principality in the world. Rather than being ruled by a single person, there are two chiefs of state in Andorra, each coming from one of Andorra's neighbors. The current president of France and the bishop of La Seu d'Urgell, Spain, serve as the two princes of Andorra.

Read five other facts about Andorra.

5. True or false: The U.S. has had control over the island Saipan since the Spanish-American War.

False. Although the U.S. took control over Saipan after the Spanish-American War, it eventually fell under German control from 1899 to 1914. It was then taken by Japan during WWI. During WWII, the U.S. and Allied forces invaded, and the Japanese lost the nearly monthlong Battle of Saipan. The U.S. occupied the island and installed a military air base there, which became a turning point in WWII.

Explore More: Saipan Is the Most Beautiful U.S. Island You May Not Know

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May 21, 2022

1. Which common garden plant can be eaten?

  • Hydrangeas
  • Daffodils
  • Hostas
  • Lily of the valley

Hostas are actually edible. Hostas are a delicacy that can be harvested and prepared without much fuss, adding both a healthy dose of interest and a spate of vitamins and minerals to the dinner table.

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Taste More: Did You Know You Can Eat Hostas?

2. True or false: Trypophobia is a persistent, intense fear of large, deep bodies of water.

False. Trypophobia is a fear or disgust of closely packed holes.Thalassophobia is a persistent, intense fear of large, deep bodies of water.

Read More About These Phobias: Thalassophobia: Do You Fear the Deep Ocean?, Why Are People With Trypophobia Horrified By Holes?

3. Which element is one of the three elements known to exist during the Big Bang?

  • Lithium
  • Oxygen
  • Nitrogen

The element with atomic number 3 is also one of the three elements known to exist during the Big Bang.

Explore More: Everyone's on the Hunt for the Element Lithium

4, True or false: Following the north indicated by your compass will take you to true north (the North Pole).

False. To get to the North Pole, or true north, just following your compass needle won't work. Since Earth's magnet isn't perfectly aligned with the geographical poles, there is a difference between true north on a map and the north indicated by your compass.

Navigate More: How to Find True North

5. Which of the following is not an example of gothic architecture?

  • Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris
  • Pantheon, Rome
  • Westminster Abbey, London
  • Duomo of Milan

Gothic architecture originated in the Middle Ages in France and expanded throughout Europe through the 12th and 16th centuries, where today you can see magnificent, detailed towering buildings that take center stage. A few famous examples include the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Duomo in Milan and London's Westminster Abbey.

Read More: The 5 Key Characteristics of Gothic Architecture

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May 14, 2022

1. The hamsa symbol, which often appears to consist of three fingers with two thumbs, is traditionally believed to provide:

  • Defense against disease
  • Eternal life
  • Defense against the evil eye
  • Inner peace

It's an image recognized and used as a sign of protection at many times and in many cultures throughout history, traditionally believed to provide defense against the evil eye, a powerful notion in many of those cultures.

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Read More: The Hamsa Symbol Is Found in Many Cultures, But What Does It Mean?

2. True or false: Mangrove trees sequester carbon better than the rainforest.

True. Mangrove trees sequester carbon even better than the rainforest, with the world's mangrove forests taking in more than 6 billion tons (5.44 billion metric tons) of carbon each year.

Explore More: How Mangrove Forests Are Great for the Planet

3. True or false: It is likely that the planets will align at least once in your lifetime.

False. While there are certainly headlines about it from time to time, planetary alignment is virtually impossible. Even seeing all the planets on the same side of the sun in the sky is incredibly uncommon.

Related Reading: How Often Will the Planets Literally Align for You?

4. How long are most lightning bolts?

  • 2 to 3 miles (3.2 to 4.8 kilometers)
  • 5 to 6 miles (8 to 9.7 kilometers)
  • 8 to 9 miles (12.9 to 14.5 kilometers)
  • 12 to 13 miles (19.3 to 20.9 kilometers)

While most lightning bolts are 2 to 3 miles (3.2 to 4.8 kilometers) long, the world record flash was observed to stretch 477.2 miles (768 kilometers) across three U.S. states — Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas — in 2020.

Read More: How Lightning Works

5. True or false: Rhubarb is legally classified as a fruit, even though it's actually a vegetable.

True. In 1947, a U.S. Customs court in Buffalo, New York, deemed rhubarb to be a fruit, because cooks primarily use it that way. By legally classifying rhubarb as a fruit, the court made it so that rhubarb could be taxed with smaller import fees — even though rhubarb wasn't really a fruit. Yep, despite the legal classification, rhubarb is actually a vegetable in botanical terms.

Rhubarb Reading: The Poisonous Veggie You Can Totally Eat

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May 7, 2022

1. What defense mechanism do hagfish use to protect themselves against predators?

  • They secrete slime.
  • They wrap around their predators to strangle them.
  • They use their strong jaw.

"Hagfish their slime as a defense against gill-breathing predators, like sharks," explains Salisbury University physiologist Noah Bressman. "When a bites down on a hagfish, the hagfish contracts muscles surrounding their slime glands, causing them to secrete their slime exudate into the water. This concentration then rapidly expands into the fish's mouth, attaching to the gill arches. With the gills clogged, the fish may choke and suffocate from the slime, causing them to release the hagfish."

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Read More: This Eel-like Slime Machine Is a Predator's Nightmare

2. True or false: All Scottish families have their own unique tartan.

False. Just because you have a Scottish surname or can trace your genealogy back to Scotland, that doesn't mean that your family has its very own unique tartan. That's because those types of family tartans are only associated with certain Highland clans and not everybody's Scottish heritage traces back to the Scottish Highlands.

Learn More: Do All Scottish Families Have a Tartan?

3. True or false: About one-third of people do not get goosebumps.

True. According to Mitchell Colver, an instructor of special topics at Utah State University, about two-thirds of people get goosebumps and the remaining one-third do not. One possible explanation is their personalities. Colver has found that people who are classified as being "open to experience" — one of the Big Five Personality Traits — are more likely to get goosebumps than people who are less open to experience. The reason? They're more apt to have a more deeply emotional reaction to new experiences.

Related Reading: Why Do Certain Experiences Give Us Goosebumps?

4. Why is haggis, Scotland's national dish, banned in the U.S.?

  • It contains horse meat.
  • Making the dish requires the use of unpasteurized milk which is illegal in the U.S.
  • Livestock lungs cannot be used as food for humans in the U.S.
  • Haggis production involves inhumane treatment of animals.

The authentic version of haggis has been banned from import in the U.S. since 1971. This is because the U.S. Department of Agriculture decreed that livestock lungs cannot be used as food for humans because they can contain stomach fluid, which is a serious foodborne illness risk. (You can buy haggis in the U.S., albeit one made without the all-important sheep's lungs.)

Get a Taste: What's So 'Offal' About Haggis and Why's It Banned in the U.S.?

5. True or false: There is an organization that oversees the authenticity of tomato varieties that claim to be heirlooms.

False. There's no heirloom tomato certification or "tomato police" overseeing the authenticity of the varieties that claim to be heirlooms.

Explore More: How Are Heirloom Tomatoes Different From Regular Tomatoes?

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April 30, 2022

Answers for April 30, 2022, Quiz

1. True or false: Espresso refers to a type of coffee bean.

False. If you think espresso refers to a type of coffee bean, think again. It's actually a coffee preparation method, and it was first developed in Italy in the 19th century.

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Read More: Why Italian Is the International Language of Coffee

2. Who did Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson quote at the White House after her recent Supreme Court confirmation when she said "I am the dream and the hope of the slave"?

  • Alice Walker
  • Rosa Parks
  • Malcolm X
  • Maya Angelou

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson quoted Angelou at the White House after her recent Supreme Court confirmation. "I am the dream and the hope of the slave," said Jackson, referencing a line in Angelou's poem "Still I Rise."

More Quotes From Maya Angelou

3. Which mountain is the tallest in the solar system?

  • Mount Everest
  • Olympus Mons
  • Mauna Kea
  • Mount Chimborazo

The tallest mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons on Mars. It's hard to conceive, but this giant stratovolcano rises 16 miles or 84,480 feet (25 kilometers) above the surface of the red planet – and is one of a dozen huge volcanoes on Mars. For comparison, the tallest volcano on Earth, Mauna Kea, is just 6 miles (10 kilometers) high, and only 2.6 miles (4.1 kilometers) can be seen above sea level.

Read More: The Tallest Mountain in the Solar System Is Much Higher Than Everest

4. True or false: As a result of the Watergate scandal, Martha Mitchell earned herself a psychological term. The Martha Mitchell effect is defined as "a misinterpretation of a person's justified belief as a delusion."

True. Martha Mitchell became a punchline of the Watergate era, cast as a boozed-up gossip hound instead of a political whistleblower. Not only was she a victim of gaslighting, she even earned her own psychological term, the Martha Mitchell effect, defined as "a misinterpretation of a person's justified belief as a delusion."

Delve Into More: Martha Mitchell: The Woman Who Knew Too Much About Watergate

5. Which is known as the world's oldest method of brewing coffee?

  • Vietnamese egg coffee
  • French press
  • Turkish coffee
  • Filter coffee

The oldest method of preparing a cup of joe is Turkish coffee. By boiling a mix of water, coffee that's been ground so fine it could pass as cocoa powder and a bit of sugar, you get an unfiltered brew that brings clarity to the famous Turkish proverb: "Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love."

Sip on More: Turkish Coffee Is Steeped in Tradition — And Easy to Make

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April 23, 2022

1. Casu marzu is an illegal cheese made only on the island of Sardinia. Which live creature is in this cheese?

  • Termites
  • Baby wasps
  • Maggots
  • Caterpillars

Casu marzu, as we said, is a cheese made only on the island of Sardinia. The cheese starts out as a typical pecorino and when aged, cracks form, allowing for a special ingredient to enter the wheel — cheese skipper flies (Piophila casei). "While it ages in the open air, the cheese naturally dries out and cracks, which allows for a particular type of 'cheese fly' to climb in and lay eggs," Julia Birnbaum, cheese expert and founder of Philly Cheese School, says via email. When the eggs hatch, maggots squirm and wiggle in the cheese.

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Munch on More: Would You Eat Casu Marzu, the Illegal Cheese With Maggots?

2. True or false: To prevent your jeans from fading in the washing machine, you can freeze your jeans to kill bacteria and odor.

False. Levi's used to recommend freezing jeans to kill bacteria and odor, something that was later proven to be a myth.

Explore More: How Long Should You Really Go Without Washing Your Jeans?

3. Which statement about budgies is true?

  • All budgies are parakeets, but not all parakeets are budgies.
  • All parakeets are budgies, but not all budgies are parakeets.
  • Budgies and parakeets are not related.

While some people refer to budgies by their full name, budgerigars, some call them parakeets. An easy way to remember the difference is that all budgies are parakeets, but not all parakeets are budgies.

Read More: Budgies Are Super Social and Make Great Pets

4. True or false: El Camino de Santiago is a narrow walkway that was once the world's most dangerous hiking trail.

False. Don't confuse el Caminito del Rey with el Camino de Santiago. El Camino is Spain's most famous walking path, an ancient pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela, a city in northwestern Spain. El Caminito del Rey is a unique pathway about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northwest of Málaga in southern Spain.

Precarious Reading: Hiking el Caminito del Rey, Once the World's Most Dangerous Trail

5. What percentage of the retail gas price is determined by the actual cost of crude oil?

  • 36.2 percent
  • 53.6 percent
  • 61.5 percent
  • 68.7 percent

The U.S. Energy Information Administration breaks down on its website what percentage of the retail fuel price is determined by each of the four main components in the gas price: The cost of crude oil (53.6 percent), taxes (16.4 percent), distribution and marketing costs (15.6 percent) and refining costs and profits (14.4 percent).

Read More: Why Gasoline Prices Vary From Station to Station

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April 16, 2022

1. True or false: Polaris, also known as the North Star, is the brightest star in the sky.

False. Its looming presence leads some people to think of it, mistakenly, as the brightest star in the sky (it's actually the 48th brightest).

More Starry Knowledge: Why Is the North Star So Stellarly Important?

2. What is the technical term for the twinkling of stars?

  • Celestial pulsations
  • Astronomical scintillation
  • Celestial emissions
  • Astronomical fibrillation

At night, the atmosphere makes some heavenly bodies appear to flicker and shimmer. The technical term for this phenomenon is "astronomical scintillation." You probably know it by a different name: twinkling.

Learn More: Why Do Stars Twinkle?

3. Approximately how many new stars does the Milky Way create each year?

  • 2
  • 7
  • 15
  • 33

While the creation of new stars has slowed, it's never completely stopped, according to this Clemson news release. The Milky Way, for example, creates about seven new stars each year.

Learn More: How Much Starlight Has Been Emitted Since the Beginning of Time?

4. True or false: Thousands of years ago Vega was our North Pole star and will be again in the future.

True. Vega used to be the North Pole star around 12000 B.C.E. and will be again around the year 13727.

Explore More: 7 Eye-catching Facts About the Bright Star Vega

5. The process by which a star produces energy from hydrogen and other elements is called ______.

  • Combustion
  • Nuclear fission
  • Nuclear fusion

Stars produce energy by way of nuclear fusion. Smaller atomic nuclei fuse to produce larger nuclei, which not only release energy but also create different chemical elements. Most commonly, stars fuse hydrogen to produce helium, but the larger the star and the more its hydrogen is consumed, the more helium is fused into still heavier elements.

Take Our Stars Quiz!

April 9, 2022

1. What's the difference between a castle and a palace?

  • Palaces were built for protection; castles were meant for showing off.
  • Castles were built for protection; palaces were meant for showing off.
  • There is no difference between a castle and a palace.

Castles were built throughout Europe and the Middle East primarily for protection of the king and his people. Palaces, on the other hand, have no defensive purposes. They're meant for showing off — big time.

Read More: What's the Difference Between a Castle and a Palace?

2. True or false: When the design for the Louvre Pyramid was initially presented, it was called an "architectural joke."

True. When the design was initially presented, the pyramid "sparked much media controversy and unleashed passions on both aesthetic and technical grounds," according to a press statement from the Louvre.

Dive Into More: 7 Dazzling Details About the Louvre Pyramid

3. True or false: The Parthenon is located in Rome, Italy.

False. The Parthenon and the Pantheon are often confused as being the same thing because the names are super similar. But the two are very different; they're not even located in the same country. The Parthenon, for instance, is in Athens, Greece, and the Pantheon is in Rome, Italy.

Explore More: What's the Difference Between the Pantheon and the Parthenon?

4. Who built the world's biggest dome at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence?

  • Michelangelo
  • Andrea Branzi
  • Filippo Brunelleschi
  • Giulio Romano

More Details: How Brunelleschi Built the World's Biggest Dome

5. True or false: The St. Louis Arch is as wide as it is tall.

True. It may not look like it, but the arch is actually as wide as it is tall (630 feet [192 meters] in both directions). The reason it appears longer from top to bottom is thanks to an optical illusion — since you rarely look at the arch straight on, your eyes perceive it to be significantly taller than it is wide.

Read More: How the St. Louis Arch Stands Against All Odds

April 2, 2022

1. Tournai used to be the capital of France. Which country is it now in?

  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Andorra
  • Italy

The borders of France have changed over the centuries, so long ago Tournai was within the nation's limits and was the capital. Now it is part of Belgium.

Take Our European Capitals Quiz

2. True or false: Roughly 5 percent of the general population has at least one bad dream per week.

True. About 5 percent of the general population has at least one bad dream per week, says clinical psychologist and sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus in an email interview. "Nightmares typically happen during REM sleep, during the middle and later portions of the night," he explains.

Read More: What Causes Nightmares, and How Can You Lessen Them?

3. Which period of British history is Netflix's hit show "Bridgerton" set in?

  • Tudor
  • Georgian
  • Regency
  • Victorian

The visually decadent hit show "Bridgerton" is back for its second season, after scoring Netflix a massive hit in 2020. Set in 1813 London during the oh-so-romantic Regency period, "Bridgerton" quickly wrecked previous Netflix viewership records, with 82 million households worldwide tuning in during its first four weeks of release.

Explore More: What 'Bridgerton' Gets Wrong – and Right – About Regency England

4. Sherbet, that combo of frozen fruit and dairy, is pronounced:

  • SHER-but
  • SHER-BERT
  • sor-BAY

Sherbet is pronounced SHER-but. Contrary to popular opinion, there is only one "r" in "sherbet" — and it's not in the second half of the word. Sorbet (pronounced sor-BAY) is similar to sherbet, but it has no dairy in it.

Take Our Pronunciation Quiz

5. True or false: There are three kinds of bourgeois.

True. According to Camille Chevalier-Karfis, a native Parisian who teaches classes on French language and culture, there are three kinds of bourgeois: Parisian bourgeois who are the "crème de la crème," close to nobility and rich; bourgeois de province, who are the middle-class lawyers and doctors, etc; and the petite bourgeois who are "self-employed people like shopkeepers and artisans who also want their share of it all." All three categories, she assures us, follow the same codes of the bourgeois.

Read More: How Did 'Bourgeoisie' Become a Bad Word?

March 26, 2022

1. True or false: The juice of maqui berries has an antioxidant content between two and six times higher than juices of other superfruits.

True. The juice of maqui berries has an antioxidant content between two and six times higher than juices of other superfruits, including pomegranate, blueberry, açai and cranberry. The berries are also particularly rich in anthocyanins, which is what gives them the deep purple color and may be responsible for so many of the health benefits.

Explore More: The Maqui Berry Isn't Just a Superfood; It's Also a Superfruit

2. What is the world's smallest country?

  • Liechtenstein
  • Vatican City
  • Monaco
  • St. Lucia

Vatican City is a mere 0.2 square mile (0.52 square kilometer), which is smaller than New York City's Central Park. Nevertheless, it has its own post office, telephone system, radio station, banking system and even its own currency, the Vatican euro. About 800 people live here, 75 percent of whom are members of the clergy.

Learn More: What's the Smallest Country in the World?

3. Ohio's Serpent Mound belongs to a class of structures called effigy mounds, which were commonly built in the shape of animals like bear, lynx, bison or birds. What purpose did they often serve?

  • Place for meditation
  • Playground for children
  • Burial site for ancient people
  • Defense mechanism against enemies

Serpent Mound belongs to a class of structures called effigy mounds, which were commonly built in the shape of animals like bear, lynx, bison or birds, and often served as burial sites for ancient people. Although no human remains or artifacts have been found in the sinuous, grassy hillock that is Serpent Mound, some graves and burial mounds stand nearby, probably built by the Adena culture — the Fort Ancient people's predecessors in the area — around 500 C.E.

Dig Deeper: Ohio's Serpent Mound Is an Archaeological Mystery

4. True or false: Dogs can distinguish more colors than the average human.

False. Dogs can distinguish fewer colors than the average human. Like most other mammals, dogs are dichromats, which means they have only two types of cones in their eyes. However, even with just two types of cones, dogs can see somewhere around 10,000 different shades.

Eye More: What Colors Can Dogs See?

5. What is the formula for hydrogen peroxide?

  • H2S
  • NaHCO3
  • HCl
  • H2O2

Hydrogen peroxide (formula H2O2) is a chemical compound that's a combination of hydrogen and water. The clear liquid acts as a mild antiseptic and comes in various potencies depending on its purpose.

Read More: Why Does Hydrogen Peroxide Come in a Brown Bottle?

March 19, 2022

1. Which currency is considered the oldest living currency in the world?

  • Spanish peso
  • Pound sterling
  • Indian rupee
  • American dollar

Although the United Kingdom was a founding member of the European Union, and remained so until its famous 2020 Brexit split, it never adopted the euro as its currency. Instead, it kept its pound sterling, considered the oldest living currency in the world.

Read More: The Fascinating Stories Behind 5 of the World's Big Currency Symbols

2. In 2020, the United States consumed an average of about ____ million barrels of petroleum per day.

  • 4.50
  • 11.41
  • 18.19
  • 26.20

The United States consumed an average of about 18.19 million barrels of petroleum per day in 2020.

Explore More: How Long Will the U.S. Oil Reserves Last?

3. True or false: No-fly zones have only been utilized three times in history.

True. No-fly zones have only been utilized three times in history — in parts of Iraq, following the 1991 Gulf War; in Bosnia in 1992; and Libya in 2011 [source: Brooke-Holland and Butchard]. Those crises were situations in which the U.S. and NATO used their superior air power to stymie authoritarian rulers of less powerful countries from brutally suppressing rebellions and terrorizing civilian populations.

Learn More: How No-fly Zones Work

4. Why is Women's History Month celebrated in March?

  • It's the month when Susan B. Anthony was born.
  • It grew out of a labor march in New York City that gave rise to International Women's Day on March 8.
  • Women got the right to vote in March in England and the U.S.

In February 1908, 15,000 women marched in NYC demanding better pay and the right to vote. The Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman's Day a year later to remember the event. At an international women's rights conference on March 8, 1910, a German activist named Clara Zetkin suggested the creation of an International Women's Day. This eventually became a month-long event.

Take Our Quiz: Fearless Females

5. True or false: Cheetahs were extremely common pets in ancient Egypt.

True. Cheetahs were extremely common pets in ancient Egypt, were common hunting companions in the Middle East during medieval times — in fact saddles were made with special cheetah seats! — and Akbar the Great, ruler of the Mughal Empire in South Asia during the 16th century, was said to have kept as many as 1,000 trained cheetahs.

Read More: Cheetahs: The Big Cats That Can Totally Pass You on the Interstate

March 12, 2022

1. At just over 4 ounces (119 grams), what's the smallest monkey in the world?

  • Squirrel monkey
  • Pygmy marmoset
  • Cotton-top tamarin
  • Talapoin monkey

There are more than 20 subspecies of marmosets including the pygmy marmoset, the world's smallest monkey, which weighs an average of just over 4 ounces (119 grams) and measures just over 5 inches (12 centimeters) in length. Pygmy marmosets are indigenous to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Brazil.

More Monkey Business: Marmosets Are Tiny, Upper Canopy-dwelling Monkeys

2. Who was the first woman to live in the White House?

  • Barbara Bush
  • Martha Washington
  • Mary Lincoln
  • Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams was the first woman to serve as second lady of the United States when John became the first vice president in 1797. She was the first woman to live in the White House (or the president's house as it was then known) in 1800. And in 1824, six years after her death, her son John Quincy Adams was elected president, making her the first woman whose husband and son both attained the highest elected office in the land. (Barbara Bush was the second.)

Read More: Abigail Adams, the Founding Mother Who 'Remembered the Ladies'

3. True or false: About half the world's supply of zippers comes from one manufacturer.

True. YKK produces more than 7 billion zippers, about half the world's supply of zippers, according to Slate. It is the preferred zipper of many fashion designers due to its reliability. YKK also produces the machines that make the zippers.

Zip Right Up: Why Do Most Zippers Say "YKK" on the Pull-tab?

4. The longest single lightning bolt ever recorded covered a horizontal distance of:

  • 121 miles (194 kilometers) [about the distance between San Diego and Los Angeles]
  • 240 miles (386 kilometers) [about the distance between Dallas and Houston]
  • 477 miles (768 kilometers) [about the length of Idaho]
  • 770miles (1,240 kilometers) [about the length of California]

Aided by the latest satellite technology and after a painstaking data-checking process, the World Meteorological Association certified that the longest single lightning bolt ever recorded covered a jaw-dropping horizontal distance of 477 miles (768 kilometers) over parts of the southern United States April 29, 2020 — spanning from near Houston, Texas, to southeast Mississippi — smashing the previous 440-mile-long (708-kilometer-long) record of a megaflash that zigzagged over southern Brazil on Halloween of 2018.

Further Reading: 477-mile-long Horizontal Lightning: Myth or Megaflash?

5. True or false: Chilli powder and paprika are interchangeable, they are just labeled differently because they're created in different regions of the world.

False. Just because paprika is the same rich color as chili powder (or chipotle chili or ancho chili powders) doesn't mean you can use the seasonings interchangeably. In many cases, the seasoning labeled "chili powder" in most cabinets is a blend of spices, including garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and various chili powders. The chili's heat or sweetness could be very different from the paprika called for by your recipe. When the recipe calls for paprika, it's best to use actual paprika.

Learn More: Paprika Is Way More Than Just Deviled Egg Dust

6. Saffron is more expensive by weight than gold. How many flowers does it take to yield 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of saffron?

  • 25,000
  • 50,000
  • 170,000
  • 210,000

It takes up to an estimated 170,000 individual flowers to yield just 1 pound of saffron, according to Business Insider. Like buying a tailored suit or piece of fine art, the wildly high cost of this innocuous red spice comes from the sheer human power it takes to harvest it correctly.

Spicy Reading: Why Saffron Is More Expensive Than Gold

Feb. 26, 2022

1. True or false: Sea otters belong to the weasel family.

True. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are in the weasel family, native to the North Pacific Ocean, from California, north along the Pacific coasts and islands of Alaska, and down the eastern edge of the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia.

Read More: Sea Otters Are the Party Animals of the Sea

2. The arctic fox has the warmest pelt in the Arctic and can survive temperatures as low as _____.

  • -10 degrees F (-23 degrees C)
  • -58 degrees F (-50 degrees C)
  • -102 degrees F (-74 degrees C)

Their compact body, short muzzle and legs, and small rounded ears minimize the amount of surface area that is exposed to the cold air. Additional reasons they can thrive in a frozen habitat include a thick, layered fur coat that traps a layer of air and preserves body heat, and fluffy tails that cover their heads like a built-in blanket for added insulation when they curl up to sleep

Read More: Baby It's Cold Outside! How the Arctic Fox Survives Frigid Temps

3. What animal has been observed to "clap" their flippers underwater, likely as a mating behavior?

  • Seals
  • Killer whales
  • Penguins

It seems that only male seals clap underwater, and they usually target other seals with their smacks. The authors of the study that observed this behavior hypothesize that the clapping functions as a mating behavior "to ward off potential competitors and/or advertise fitness to females."

Read More: Seals Clap Underwater to Communicate

4. What is the longest-living vertebrate known to science?

  • Bowhead whale
  • Greenland shark
  • Galapagos giant tortoise
  • Koi fish

It's estimated Greenland sharks can live up to approximately 400 years, beating out the former record-holder — a species of bowhead whale — that can live up to 211 years. A Greenland shark, alive today, could have been swimming in the deep in the 1600s. Wow.

Read More: A Greenland Shark Living Today Could Have Been Alive in 1620

5. What animal causes the most human fatalities every year?

  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Snakes
  • Mosquitoes

The most dangerous animal of all is no bigger than a thumbnail. By transmitting disease-causing pathogens, mosquitoes are estimated to be responsible for between 725,000 and 1 million human deaths per year, making them far and away the most lethal animal on Earth.

You Might Like: The Cassowary Is the World's Most Dangerous Bird

Feb. 19, 2022

1. How many species of bear are there on Earth?

  • 3
  • 8
  • 54
  • 124

There are currently eight different species of bears living here with us on planet Earth, but it's a bit more complicated than that. Take, for instance, the brown bear (Ursus arctos), whose range extends from the United States, through Canada and far into China, Russia and Scandinavia. There are many subspecies of the brown bear that hang out in very specific nooks and crannies: the Gobi desert, for instance, or the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka.

Read more: Alaska's Kodiak Bear Is One of the Planet's Biggest

2. How long does it take for sloths to digest a meal fully?

  • A few days
  • Up to two weeks
  • Up to a month
  • Up to a year

Along with a substantial amount of time spent sleeping, sloths conserve energy by breaking down their food much slower than most animals. While it takes the human body about a day to digest a meal fully, the sloth digestive system spends up to a month doing so.

Read more: 10 Worst Adaptations in the Animal Kingdom

3. True or false: Pandas eat a fourth of their weight every day and poop 40 times a day.

Pandas have to eat a fourth of their weight every day, and that's largely because their all-vegetarian diet isn't actually all that good for their digestive system. Which also might be why they poop 40 times a day: That's one adaptation that isn't going to do the panda any favors

Read more: Why don't pandas hibernate?

4. True or false: Some prey species mimic dangerous species (like wasps) to avoid predation. This adaptation only works when the dangerous species' numbers are greater than prey numbers, and when both species occur in the same geographic area.

According to Finkbeiner, Batesian mimicry only works under the right circumstances. For starters, looking tough, poisonous or disgusting is only effective if a predator actually learns to avoid you because of it. Secondly, the species the mimic is modeling itself after has to occur in the same geographic area as the mimic — if not, the predators in their area might not even know to avoid them because they hadn't learned to avoid the model species to begin with. And finally, the frequency or number of the model species present in the landscape has to be higher than the number of mimics present – otherwise predators might start to learn that some of the mimics go down pretty smooth.

Read more: Batesian Mimicry: How Copycats Protect Themselves

5. In descending order, what are the hottest parts of the sun?

  • Core > Surface > Atmosphere
  • Surface > Atmosphere> Core
  • Core > Atmosphere > Surface

At 27 million degrees Farenheit, the sun's core is the hottest part of this celestial body. The temperature then cools down as you get closer to the surface, which is between 6,700 and 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit (3,700 to 6,200 degrees Celsius). At the corona — the outermost atmospheric layer about 1,200 miles (2,100 kilometers) from the surface — the temperature soars to an astonishing 900,000 degrees Fahrenheit (500,000 degrees Celsius).

Read more: Weird Physics: The Closer You Get to the Sun, the Cooler It Gets

Feb. 12, 2022

1. True or false: Humans can acclimate to cold conditions as a result of repeated exposure.

True. Acclimation is a slow, physiological change to the body that allows it to handle a different environment — in this case cold temperatures. Acclimation can take place over a few days, weeks or even months. Our bodies have evolved to get used to cold temperatures when necessary. There are three ways our bodies cope with cold: cold habituation, metabolic adapations and insulative adaptations.

Read More: Can Our Bodies 'Learn' to Withstand Frigid Temperatures?

2. True or false: One kilogram is equal to about 2.2 pounds.

True. One kilogram is equal to 2.2046 pounds, to be precise.

You Might Like: What's an Easy Way to Convert Celsius Temps to Fahrenheit?

3. True or false: The sun doesn't rotate on its axis.

False. Galileo had discovered that the sun — like numerous other celestial objects — rotates on an axis. But aside from the length of time, the manner in which the sun rotates is different from that of a rocky planet such as Earth.

Read More: Does the Sun Rotate?

4. True or false: The practice of Shinrin-yoku involves bathing in natural springs as a meditative experience to take in the forest atmosphere.

False. While the practice of "Shinrin-yoku" is called "forest bathing," it actually refers to the practice of strolling in a forest until you find an attractive place to stop and sit, and then letting yourself soak in the forest through your senses for at least 15 minutes.

Learn More: Shinrin-yoku: The Soothing Practice of Forest Bathing

5. In how many U.S. states is it legal to adopt someone older than you?

  • None
  • One-third
  • Two-thirds
  • All

In two-thirds of states, you don't even have to be older than the son or daughter you are adopting. Arizona has the most restrictive law, only allowing adult adoptions for adoptees who are between 18 and 21)

Read More: Why Adults Adopt Other Adults

Feb. 5, 2022

1. True or false: Most classified documents in the U.S. are exempt from ever being declassified.

False. A 2009 executive order issued by then-President Barack Obama generally compels classified documents to be marked for automatic declassification 10 to 25 years after release. There are only a few exceptions, such as information that identifies a confidential human intelligence source or design details for weapons of mass destruction, which can be kept from public view indefinitely.

Dive Into More: 6 Startling Revelations From Declassified U.S. Government Documents

2. What's the fastest sport in the Winter Olympics?

  • Bobsled
  • Speed skating
  • Alpine skiing
  • Luge

Luge is the fastest winter sport in the Olympics with lugers hitting top speeds of over 130 km/h (81 mph). It's also one of the most dangerous. To say the athletes who race down the icy, high-banked tracks at incredible speeds are a special breed is an understatement. If you think it's anything like when you were a kid and went sledding down your ice-covered streets, you'd be way wrong. Luge is like street sledding — on steroids.

Read More: How Luge Works

3. What does someone practicing reducetarianism limit in their life, but not eliminate?

  • The amount of stuff they own
  • Internet and phone usage
  • Animal products in their diet

Reducetarianism promotes eating less red meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs and other animal products. The beauty of becoming a reducetarian is that you don't have to totally give up anything — although should you discover that you might not miss the surf 'n turf platter and cheesy bacon knots it's certainly OK to say buh-bye. The aim is simply to reduce your intake of animal products and ultimately replace meat and dairy with higher quality alternatives. 

Further Reading: Not Ready for Vegetarianism? Try Reducetarianism

4. True or false: In the U.S., if you register as the copyright holder of a song, that copyright not only lasts your lifetime, but an additional 70 years after you die.

True. As a copyright holder of a song, the copyright will last your entire lifetime, plus 70 years, meaning your grandkids could still collect fat royalty checks.

Read More: Can 'One-hit Wonders' Live Off Royalties Forever?

5. True or false: Despite standing on Antarctic ice for months while incubating their eggs, penguin feet don't freeze because of a special adaptation that restricts blood flow to their legs.

True. Penguin feet hold on to heat by restricting blood flow in really cold weather, keeping foot temperature just above freezing. Penguin legs work like a heat exchange system; blood vessels to and from the feet are very narrow and woven closely together, cooling the blood from the body on the way to the feet and heating the blood as it returns to the body.

Learn More: Why Penguin Feet Don't Freeze

Jan. 29, 2022

1. According to interviews with convicted burglars in the U.S., how many break-ins are planned ahead of time?

  • One-third
  • Half
  • Three-quarters

Rather than being professional thieves, the typical profile of a burglar is a 17-year-old kid who is looking to quickly grab something valuable and scram. Burglaries are typically over within five minutes and often within one minute. A lot of the time the door isn't even locked. If they come in and rummage, they rummage quickly and get out of there.

Read More: Do Porch Lights Really Stop Burglars?

2. True or false: Peacocks are classified as flightless birds.

False. Many people believe that peacocks are flightless, but this is not strictly true. Making up to 60 percent of its body length, a peacock's tail feathers are up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) long, but this doesn't get it very high off the ground. The maximum height it can cover is up to the lowest branch of a tree.

Explore More: Birds Fly, Right? Meet 7 That Totally Can't

3. In hobo code, which is a series of hieroglyphic phrases supposedly known to American hoboes, what does the symbol of a cross mean?

  • Religious talk will get you food
  • Church offering shelter
  • Help if sick
  • Will feed for chores

The lore of the hobo code seems to have originated with Leon Ray Livingston, better known as A-No. 1, America's self-proclaimed "most famous tramp who traveled 500,000 miles (804,672 kilometers) for $7.61." Livingston expounded the use of the hobo code to a variety of newspapers as he traveled throughout the country and published the code in his 1911 book titled "Hobo Campfire Tales." It's important to note that his books are generally considered to be wildly exaggerated stories grounded in mere kernels of truth.

Read More: Reading the Rails: What Was the Hobo Code?

4. True or false: In the United States, an employer or ex-employer can take money back from you if you were overpaid.

True. If you are overpaid, your employer has the legal right to take back the full amount. Even if the employee has left the company and moved on, the former employer has all the rights to reclaim the overpaid money. The statute of limitations on collecting overpayments differs from state to state.

Read More: If Your Boss Overpays You, Do You Have to Give the Money Back?

5. True or false: One of the biggest differences between polar bears and other bears is that polar bears don't hibernate.

True. Females go into a sort of semi-hibernation toward end of their pregnancy, but they don't experience the drop in heart rate and body temperature that characterizes real hibernation. They mostly just rest and sleep a lot in the months immediately before and after they give birth.

Read More: How Polar Bears Work

Jan. 22, 2022

1. Black boxes record vital flight information that can help answer why a plane crashed. When was the first airplane black box devised?

  • 1914
  • 1953
  • 1988
  • 2006

The first airplane black box was devised by Australian chemist David Warren in 1953 after a series of de Havilland Comet commercial jet crashes. He was reportedly told by his supervisor to drop the idea; thankfully, he did not.

You Might Like: Earth's Black Box Warns of Planet's End Due to Climate Change

2. True or false: Supermarket stickers that get placed on fruits and vegetables won't cause any harm if digested.

True. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the chemicals and materials used in any sort of label attached to food to ensure that they don't pose a safety risk. Even so, you don't want to eat them, since they have no flavor or nutritional value.

Read More: What Do the Numbers on Those Tiny Produce Stickers Tell Us?

3. True or false: The majority of home break-ins occur at night.

False. According to FBI statistics, the majority of residential burglaries happen during the day, not at night under the cover of darkness.

Further Reading: How to Protect Your Packages From Porch Pirates

4. How many gallons of water does it take to make a typical pair of jeans, from growing the cotton to manufacturing?

  • 15 gallons (the size of a small fish tank)
  • 145 gallons (roughly 2.5 rain barrels)
  • 2,000 gallons (roughly 48 bathtubs)

Whatever color your clothes are, the process to make them that way is probably pretty toxic. Apart from the use of toxic reducing agents, denim pigmentation uses a huge amount of water. A pair of jeans can take up to 2,000 gallons (7,570 liters) if you consider the water it takes to grow the cotton, dye the fabric and manufacture the pants.

Read More: A New Green Solution for Dyeing Blue Denim

5. What part of lionhead rabbits grows so fast that when it's not maintained, it can cause health problems for the rabbit?

  • Nails
  • Teeth
  • Fur
  • Eyelashes

Hop Into More: Lionhead Rabbits Have Great Hair, But Are They Great Pets?

Jan. 15, 2022

1. True or false: The impact of an asteroid only 200 meters wide would wipe out almost every living thing on Earth.

False. For an asteroid to wipe out most everything on Earth, it would have to be massive; scientists estimate it would take an asteroid about 7 to 8 miles (11 to 12 kilometers) wide crashing into the Earth.

Read More: What If an Asteroid Hit Earth?

2. What food item is forgotten the most by DoorDash drivers?

  • Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory
  • Sodas from McDonald's
  • Breadsticks from Domino's Pizza
  • Fries from Burger King

Before the pandemic, the food item forgotten the most on DoorDash was cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. At the restaurant, baggers kept the cold cheesecake separate from hot items, but then forgot to hand it to the delivery driver.

Eat More: 8 'Bad' Foods That Are Actually Good for You

3. True or false: If an individual is subpoenaed to produce documents for the courts that they do not have, they are not obligated to create them or procure them if they are out of their possession.

True. A named individual (responder) is only obligated to produce documents that exist and are already under his/her custody and control ( source).

Read More: Can You Ignore a Subpoena?

4. True or false: An object's velocity takes into consideration its vector (directionality). For example, running one circular lap of 400 meters in two minutes would yield a velocity of 0.

True. Velocity is a "vector quantity," velocity incorporates both magnitude and direction. On the other hand, speed is a "scalar quantity," a phenomenon that deals with magnitude — but not direction.

Read More: What Is the Formula for Velocity?

5. How long did it take 67-year-old Emma Gatewood to walk the Appalachian Trail, the longest walk-only footpath in the world, in 1955?

  • 36 days
  • 146 days
  • 329 days

Gatewood's hike was notable because of her advanced age, and because she was the first woman ever to complete the trail in a single season.

Explore More: Grandma Gatewood Hiked Into Appalachian Trail History at Age 67

Jan. 8, 2022

1. True or false: An easy way to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius is by using the formula:

(Fahrenheit temp. – 30) ÷ 2 = Celsius temp.

True. To do a rough approximation of Celsius using Fahrenheit you subtract 30 from the Fahrenheit degrees, then divide your answer by 2.

Read More: What's an Easy Way to Convert Celsius Temps to Fahrenheit?

2. True or false: While DoorDash's revenue jumped 268 percent from 2019 to 2020, they didn't end up making any additional profit.

True. The reason that DoorDash has continued to lose money is because they make very little incremental profit when those food orders are placed. According to an analysis by Deutsche Bank, the average DoorDash order was worth $36 during the pandemic. If DoorDash pocketed 30 percent, the company earned $10.80 plus another $2 or so for the service fee. That might sound like a lot per order — especially when it's multiplied by hundreds of millions of orders — but that $12.80 is gross revenue. You still have to subtract the costs of doing business.

The biggest expense for apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats is paying the drivers. Next are advertising and marketing costs, including those "Free $25" promotional campaigns to attract new customers. And then there are returns and refunds, which really eat into the bottom line.

Read More: Who (If Anyone) Makes Money Off Food Delivery Apps, Like Uber Eats?

3. True or false: Driving a car without the gas cap in place can cause serious damage to the engine.

False. A capless gas tank doesn't harm the engine nor does it let the fuel spill out of your car. That's because cars usually have a flapper valve that prevents fuel from leaking out. However, the cap acts as a shield against mud or dirt particles, which may damage the engine if it's left open.

Read More: Is It Bad to Drive Without a Gas Cap?

4. Fact or myth: Every snowflake is unique and structurally different.

Fact. Every snowflake really is different from one another. You might find some that are exceedingly similar (particularly at the beginning of a flake's development) but fully formed snowflakes are indeed structurally different, if only by tiniest of degrees.

Read More: Is Every Snowflake Actually Unique?

5. According to one study, 52 percent of people making New Year's resolutions were confident they'd stick it out. What percentage of people actually stuck to their resolutions?

  • 5 percent
  • 12 percent
  • 32 percent

"Exercise more" topped the list for 50 percent of resolution-making Americans, closely followed by "save money," and "eat more healthily." "Lose weight" and "reduce stress" occupied positions four and five and were set by a third of poll respondents.

Read More: Why Do People Make New Year's Resolutions?

Jan. 1, 2022

1. How many more years will Earth survive before the sun uses up all its hydrogen?

  • 3 million years
  • 64 million years
  • 7.5 billion years
  • 21 trillion years

Scientists suggest that in about 7.5 billion years, the sun will use up its hydrogen and switch to helium, which will turn it into an even bigger ball of hot gas. It will burn up both Mars and Earth, notes NBC MACH. According to NASA, the sun is about 4.5 billion years old.

Read More: How Old Is Earth and How Did Scientists Figure It Out?

2. True or false: Every single planet in our solar system, except for Earth, was named after Greek or Roman deities.

True. Astronomy has always been popular with those who study the capital "C" Classics. Seven out of the eight planets in our solar system were named after Greek or Roman deities. You're living on the only exception to that rule.

Read More: Who Named Planet Earth?

3. True or false: Extinction events appear at random throughout Earth's history.

False. In a study, published in Geoscience Frontiers in November 2021, researchers from New York and California helped pinpoint an important fact about our planet that has huge implications for us: the Earth has a "pulse," or regular peaks of geologic activity. Every 27.5 million years, we can expect an uptick in geologic activity which often results in mass extinction.

Read More: Turns Out Earth's Pulse 'Beats' Every 27.5 Million Years, But Why?

4. True or false: Living microorganisms have been collected from the stratosphere, several species of which have not been found on Earth.

True. UV radiation and extreme temperatures make the stratosphere a rough place for living things. To survive up there, some bacteria depend on sun-blocking pigments and protective outer shells. Fast DNA reparation is another life-saving trick. Hitching rides on storms and volcanic eruptions, microbes use the stratosphere as an atmospheric superhighway. Here, winds carry them across the continents at great speeds, allowing the microbes to disperse. The fact that life can tolerate our stratosphere — even for limited periods — could profoundly impact the hunt for Martian organisms.

Read More: The Stratosphere: Where Birds and Planes Fly and Bacteria Thrives

5. True or false: The magnetic north pole is not stationary and its shifts have been accelerating in the last 40 years.

True. Before the mid-1990s, it was — as the journal Nature reports — traveling at speeds of around 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) per year. Its current clip? About 55 kilometers (34 miles) annually.

Read More: Earth's Magnetic North Pole Has Rapidly Shifted in the Past 40 Years

6. True or false: In most parts of the world, high ocean tides happen only once a day.

False. High ocean tides happen twice a day. We experience one when the moon is overhead and, counterintuitive as this may sound, a second high tide takes place when the moon is on the opposite side of Earth. Low ocean tides occur during the periods between those points. (The centrifugal force of our rotating planet helps account for the strange arrangement.)

Read More: Rising Rock: Earth's Crust Has Its Own Tides, Too

Missed checking a previous week's quiz? We've added the answers to a bunch of those, too, below.

Dec. 25, 2021

1. True or false: Hens have been known to spontaneously become roosters.

True. The typical hen-to-rooster transition begins with an end to egg-laying and progresses to behaviors and physical traits. A hen will start strutting and crowing, gain weight and grow the quintessential rooster wattles, dark feathers and cockscomb atop its head. The result is essentially a sterile rooster. As far as the experts know, this change only happens to females; a rooster-to-hen conversion has never been documented.

Read More: What the Cluck? How a Hen Turned Into a Rooster

2. What statement about racoons is not true.

  • They wash their food.
  • They can be found in 49 of the 50 states.
  • Raccoons only keep one solitary den.
  • They are excellent swimmers.

Raccoons have multiple dens and will switch between them every few days.

Read More: Raccoons Are Super Smart Urban Survivors

3. True or false: Leeches completely lack any hard components, including teeth.

False. Leeches have three sets of teeth, totaling 300 tiny, razor-sharp, highly effective cutting instruments. Without all those teeth, leeches wouldn't be doing much bloodsucking at all.

Read More: 10 Crazy Facts You Didn't Know About Animals

4. Fact or myth: Lemmings jumping off cliffs en masse is a regular annual occurrence.

Myth. This myth stems from the migrations observed in one lemming species: the Norwegian lemming. During the peak years of this species, a large number of individuals migrate out of their normal habitat and die in large numbers. It's unclear what causes these migrations, but social stress, food shortage or predators are candidates. Suicide is not a good explanation.

Read More: Lemmings Jumping Off Cliffs En Masse Is a Myth

5. Which animal below has red blood, while the rest does not?

  • Octopus
  • Spider
  • Salamander
  • Horseshoe crab

The list of invertebrates that rely on hemocyanin instead of hemoglobin is a long one. Hemoglobin is a key ingredient in the circulatory systems of nearly all vertebrate animals. Yet many spineless creatures use an alternative protein: Hemocyanin. Both are capable of binding to and transporting oxygen. But whereas hemoglobin contains iron atoms, hemocyanin incorporates copper. As a result, blood containing the latter protein looks markedly different from our human blood. When hemocyanin-rich blood becomes oxygenated, the copper turns it blue.

Learn About the Benefits of Blue Blood: 5 Animals Whose Blood Isn't Red

6. Flamingos aren't pink at birth. How do they acquire pink feathers?

  • Eating shrimp
  • Sunlight exposure
  • Hormones
  • Molting

They acquire pink feathers by eating shrimp, meaning pinkness isn't something the birds inherit from their parents. Instead, the color is a reaction to an individual flamingo's environment. So those vibrant pink complexions are part of the flamingo's phenotype, but not its genotype.

Read More: Flamingo Rumps Produce 'Rouge' to Primp Pink Plumage

7. True or false: Mules get their "stubborn" label because they have a deep-seated tendency toward self preservation – so they don't let owners overwork them or typically put them in danger. 

True. Donkeys and mules both have reputations as animals with, um, mulish personalities. They're widely seen as stubborn. Willful. Obstinate, even. Guess what? They aren't. A study done by Canterbury Christ Church University and Devon's The Donkey Sanctuary showed that when it came to showing flexibility toward solving a problem (learning to learn), mules came out on top, followed by donkeys, with horses and dogs bringing up the rear. So why the common misperception? Mules -- and donkeys -- are smart. Really smart. They also have a deep-seated tendency toward self-preservation. So they won't let owners overwork them, nor will they typically put themselves in danger. These characteristics led to the "stubborn" label

Read More: 10 Completely Wrong Sayings About Animals

Dec. 18, 2021

1. With 116 lanes, what country has the largest bowling alley in the world?

  • United States
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Japan

Today Japan has the largest bowling alley in the world, with 116 lanes. Did you know that your bowling ball should weigh about 10 percent of our body weight?

Learn More: 12 Striking Facts About Bowling

2. True or false: Brown noise gets its name from the bowel-loosening and digestive effects it has on humans and primates.

False. Brown noise emphasizes bass notes even further, almost completely eliminating high frequencies from its profile. Natural brown noises can be things like roaring river rapids, heavy rainfall and distant rumbling thunder. This type of noise is named not only for a color, but also for Scottish scientist Robert Brown. In the 1800s, Brown observed pollen particles moving randomly in water and devised a mathematical formula to predict these movements. When this randomizing formula is used to generate electronic sound, a bass-heavy noise profile results. Brown noise is sometimes known as red noise.

Learn More: You Know White Noise, But What's Pink Noise and Brown Noise?

3. True or false: The majority of U.S. states require a court order to allow adoptees' access to their original birth certificates.

True. Only 10 states in the country now offer U.S.-born adoptees and their birth parents unfettered access to original birth certificates: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island. But in 18 states, from Arizona to North Carolina to Wyoming, a court order is required to allow adoptees' access to the originals.

Read More: U.S. Adoptees May Soon Gain Access to Their Original Birth Certificates

4. True or false: Low-Earth orbit, where most satellites reside, is heavily regulated. There are rules about light pollution, atmospheric pollution from launches, atmospheric pollution from reentry and collisions between satellites.

False. There are very few regulations for low-Earth orbit. One simulation showed that in the near future one out of every 15 points you can see in the sky will actually be relentlessly crawling satellites, not stars. This will be devastating to research astronomy and will completely change the night sky worldwide.

Read More: Without Regulation, the Night Sky Will Be Twinkling With Satellites, Not Stars

5. True or false: Cutting up a dryer sheet with dull scissors can actually restore some of their cutting ability.

True. And that's not all! Find out what other dryer sheet hacks people have come up with over the years.

Read More: 16 Clean and Fresh Uses for Dryer Sheets

6. Americans eat 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of added sugar annually. What percentage do soft drinks account for?

  • 10 percent
  • 25 percent
  • 50 percent

Twenty-five percent of the sugar Americans consume annually come from soft drinks, according to the American Heart Association. Fruit drinks account for another 11 percent.

You Might Like: What's the Difference Between White Sugar and Brown Sugar?

Dec. 11, 2021

1. Which president so profoundly believed in astrology that his entire schedule was planned according to astrology charts?

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Richard Nixon
  • Bill Clinton

Both Ronald Reagan (No. 40) and his wife, Nancy, were believers. After Reagan survived an assassination attempt in 1981, the two leaned more heavily on the practice. So heavily, in fact, that Reagan's entire schedule was planned according to his astrology charts, including the takeoff and landing times of Air Force One, the presidential airplane.

Read More: America's Past Presidents Had Some Really Weird Habits

2. Every morning, what did President Calvin Coolidge (No. 30) have rubbed all over his head while he enjoyed breakfast in bed?

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Coconut oil
  • Pickle relish
  • Olive oil

Calvin Coolidge enjoyed having petroleum jelly rubbed all over his head every morning, while he enjoyed his breakfast in bed, believing that it was good for his health.

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3. True or false: Some of Benjamin Franklin's changes to the English alphabet are still used today.

False. He published his new phonetic alphabet in 1779, as well as some letters written in the new mode, but it never caught on. In theory, it was a great idea. Franklin removed six letters from the alphabet that we already knew (c, j, q, w, x and y), as he found them redundant. For example, the letter k could handle the hard c sound, and the letter s could supply the soft c sound, so c got the boot. Franklin also added six more characters (two vowels and four consonants) to add clarity in pronunciation of specific sounds. For example, he made a new consonant to describe the "ng" sound at the end of, say, running or reaping.

Read More: Ridiculous History - When Benjamin Franklin Remade the Alphabet

4. True or false: One of Benjamin Franklin's lesser-known inventions was the flexible catheter tube, made for his brother who suffered from kidney stones.

True. As an inventor, Franklin created many much-needed items that we still use today. Bifocals are a popular invention of his, as is the lightning rod. He also invented things you wouldn't normally associate with him, including swimming flippers (for the hands), flexible catheters and an odometer.

Read More: Top 10 Ben Franklin Inventions

5. For what purpose did Thomas Jefferson continually breed and raise geese?

  • Fresh eggs and poultry
  • Foraging on grass, geese are great 'ecological lawn mowers'
  • A steady supply of quills
  • To serve as guard animals, as he had a fear of dogs

Thomas Jefferson was said to be such a fan of quill pens that he kept white geese at Monticello for the purpose of supplying feathers for his quills. He wrote something like 20,000 letters during his lifetime, so it makes sense that he'd want a flock of geese around to provide him with plenty of writing instruments.

Read More: You'll Never Guess Why Thomas Jefferson Raised Geese

6. Within 24 hours of assuming presidency, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, what did President Lyndon B. Johnson order to be done in the White House?

  • All animals to be removed
  • Phones to be installed everywhere
  • All windows to be blocked out with blinds
  • The entire building to be wheelchair accessible

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office on Nov. 22, 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Within 24 hours, President Johnson ordered a dramatic increase in the number of telephones in the White House communications system.

Johnson had phones installed absolutely everywhere — beneath dining tables, coffee tables and end tables, in bathrooms and on window sills, according to Johnson aide James Jones' oral history for the LBJ Presidential Library. Johnson basically built a wired mobile phone network, using phones as call-relay points, so he would never have to end a call. The White House was already wheelchair accessible by that point, which was put into place by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Read More: Ridiculous History - LBJ Talked on the Phone More Than a Teenager

Dec. 4, 2021

1. True or false: Funeral homes do not have to accept caskets that clients buy online or from third parties.

False. It's a federal law that funeral homes must accept all outside caskets, including ones that are bought online or from Costco.

Read More: Grave Matters: Why Are Caskets So Expensive?

2. True or false: In Ghana, bodies often spend months or even years inside refrigerated storage units while the family of the deceased organizes the funeral.

True. After the date and time are set, and the coffin's paid for, the event can proceed. Ghanaian funerals are lengthy, expensive affairs that can last for three full days at a time. Apart from the guests, a typical list of attendees can include musicians, DJs, photographers, caterers and bartenders. Visitors can help the family recoup some of the costs by raising funds on-site — while also making time to dance the night away.

Satisfy Your Curiosity: Ghana's Fantasy Coffins Are to Die For

3. What is true about seahorses?

  • They don't have a stomach, so they must eat constantly.
  • They are extremely fast swimmers.
  • They have multiple mates throughout their mating season.
  • Females give birth to the young.

Seahorses don't have teeth or even a stomach like other marine species. How do they eat? Instead of a mouth that opens and closes like ours, they have a tube for a snout that they use to suck in all their food like a vacuum. They eat pretty much anything small enough to fit through their mouth, which primarily is shrimp-like creatures, baby fish and other small organisms. Because they don't have stomachs, they have to constantly eat.

Learn More: Seahorses Have Hotels! Plus 9 Other Amazing Seahorse Facts

4. What country invented toothpaste?

  • Iran
  • Egypt
  • Greece
  • China

The Egyptians had a lot of trouble with their teeth, in large part because their bread had grit and sand in it, which wore out their enamel. While they didn't have dentistry, they did make some effort to keep their teeth clean. Early ingredients of their toothpaste included the powder of ox hooves, ashes, burnt eggshells and pumice, which probably made for a less-than-refreshing morning tooth care ritual. Archaeologists also have found toothpicks buried alongside mummies, apparently placed there so that they could clean food debris from between their teeth in the afterlife. Along with the Babylonians, they're also credited with inventing the first toothbrushes, which were frayed ends of wooden twigs.

Explore More: 10 Amazing Ancient Egyptian Inventions

5. True or false: Apple varieties like Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Red Delicious can be up to one year old by the time they hit the shelves.

True. Apple-harvesting season is very short (about two months in the fall), so in order to extend their lives after picking, apples are usually treated with a gaseous compound called 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) that blocks ethylene. That's not all. By modifying the environment that apples are stored in (mostly by modifying oxygen, carbon dioxide and ethylene and keeping apples cool), certain varieties of apples can be stored up to one year. But not every apple is equally storable. Some fragile-skinned types, like Cortland, Jonagold and Crispin, should be eaten soon after they are picked.

Bite Into More: Your Grocery Store Apple Could Be a Year Old, But That's OK

Mafia Quiz, Nov. 27, 2021

1. True or false: The Italian Mafia (La Cosa Nostra) controls one in five businesses in Italy.

True. Here in the U.S., it's easy to get a sense of the Mafia's business activity through its influence in New York City, where it still hauls trash and erects skyscrapers.

Read More: 10 Businesses Supposedly Controlled by the Mafia

2. What term is so strongly associated with the Mafia that in some parts of the U.S. it's synonymous with "the mob"?

  • "Jackhammers"
  • "Sanitation crew"
  • "Funeral director"
  • "Debt collectors"

The Mafia favors unregulated or cash-based businesses that require the strength and stomach to do things members of polite society avoid. Waste management, for example, has become so strongly tied to organized crime that in some parts of the country the term "sanitation crew" might as well be synonymous with "the mob."

You Might Like: A Gangster's Gangster: Bugsy Siegel's Life and Times

3. True or false: The Mafia's connection to pizzerias is largely overstated and inflated by the media.

False. The Mafia's foodie reputation has a rich history. In the 1980s, for instance, the Sicilian Mafia relied on the so-called "pizza connection" to ship heroin and cocaine to mob-run pizzerias in towns throughout the U.S. using cans of San Marzano tomatoes. Today, mob-run pizzerias, restaurants and cafes are everywhere. An estimated 70 percent of restaurants and bars in downtown Rome are thought to be in the hands of organized crime, producing more than $1.35 billion euros per year.

You Might Like: Racketeering Isn't Just a Crime for Mobsters

4. Roughly translated to English, la cosa nostra means:

  • Keep your nose clean
  • Our thing
  • I took care of that problem. It's in the trunk.
  • What's owed

The FBI misunderstood what recently immigrated mobsters meant when they referred to their lifestyle, or "their thing." Instead, the term came to refer to the Italian-American mob.

Take the Full Quiz: The Ultimate Mafia Quiz

5. True or false: It is estimated that up to 5 percent of the entire planet's GDP gets laundered illegally every year.

True. Money laundering is a ubiquitous practice. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reckons that somewhere between $800 billion and $2 trillion goes through the rinse cycle every year. That's in the neighborhood of 2 to 5 percent of the entire planet's GDP!

Read More: How Money Laundering Works

6. True or false: The entire Mafia is united by one single head — the "boss" or "don."

False. There is no head of the Mafia. The Mafia is not a single group or gang — it is made up of many families that have, at times, fought each other in bitter, bloody gang wars. Most of the other U.S. families are simply named for the city where they operate. Thus, you have the Philadelphia family, the Buffalo family, the Cleveland family and so on.

Read More: How the Mafia Works

Nov. 20, 2021

1. What country requires parents to pick from an approved list of 7,000 baby names, all using traditional spellings?

  • France
  • Denmark
  • China
  • Iran

Denmark, in particular, has some of the most restrictive naming laws. In order to abide by the country's Law on Personal Names, parents may select a name from a list of 7,000 approved names for both boys and girls, all using traditional spellings. To give a child a moniker that is not pre-approved requires review by government officials. Of the estimated 1,100 names that are scrutinized annually, about 20 percent are rejected. Among the thrown-out names? Anus, Pluto and Monkey. On the approved list? Names like Benji, Molli and Fee.

Read More: You Can't Name Your Baby That!

2. True or false: The first person to coin the term "agnosticism" was English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), a fierce defender of Charles Darwin against religious critics who accused him of denying God's role in creation.

True. As a scientist, Huxley didn't bother himself with "beliefs." He sought after the truth. And the truth of any proposition — that God created the vast diversity of nature or that it evolved from natural selection — could only be proven by the evidence. Huxley said that agnosticism itself wasn't a "creed" or set of beliefs, but a principle, namely "that it is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty."

Read More: What's the Difference Between Agnosticism and Atheism?

3. What company is the largest producer of tires?

  • Hot Wheels
  • Toyota
  • Element Skateboards
  • Lego

LEGO produces a ton of toy cars and vehicles (as of 2016 about half of LEGO sets included wheels), so that means they produce a ton of LEGO tires to go with them. And even though none will fit your car, bike or motorcycle, Guinness notes, the LEGO tires are made of a rubber compound similar to tires on domestic cars.

Read More: You'll Never Guess What Company Makes the World's Most Tires

4. True or false: A Navy SEAL has never been left behind on a mission or been taken prisoner.

True. There are currently about 2,450 active-duty SEALs (1 percent of all Navy personnel). From day one in SEAL training, trainees are taught the importance of teamwork. Focus is not on the individual. The fact that the SEALs have never left another SEAL behind on a mission is a testament to this belief system. Throughout their training, they learn more and more why teamwork is necessary in the type of work they will soon be entering: SEALs are performing tasks that may not be possible for a single man to accomplish but can be possible for a team composed of men who have the same training and skills. Their success depends on what they can do together as a team.

Read More: How the Navy SEALs Work

5. Which of the following devices was invented to assist someone with a disability?

  • Typewriter/Keyboard
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Sewing machine
  • Dishwasher

Everyone these days has at least one keyboard, but that wasn't always the case. The typewriter was the brainchild of an Italian inventor named Pellegrino Turri. He noticed that his friend, Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano, couldn't write letters by hand, due to her blindness. So, in 1608 he developed the first-ever incarnation of the typewriter, which involved keys and metal arms with raised characters. Turri also invented carbon paper as a way to provide ink for the machine. The typewriter has since morphed into the computer keyboard.

Read More: 8 Everyday Items Originally Invented for People With Disabilities

6. What brand created the first commercially successful laundry pod in 2012?

  • Gain
  • Persil
  • Tide
  • Arm & Hammer

Laundry tablets were first introduced in the 1960s when Procter & Gamble released Salvo. The tablets didn't dissolve well and were off shelves by 1970. A decade later, P&G tried again with Cheer Power pouches. Consumers were not impressed by these either. It wasn't until 2012 that laundry pods found their place in the greater laundry-doing world. That's when P&G finally had success with Tide PODS and many others have followed in their pod footsteps since. Now the market is flooded with all brands of laundry pods.

Read More: Which Works Best: Laundry Pods, Powder or Liquid Detergents?

Nov. 13, 2021

1. True or false: The hundreds of creepy dolls hung up on La Isla de las Muñecas (a popular macabre tourist spot) were put up by just one man.

True. A man named Julián Santana Barrera (the island's caretaker and the young girl's uncle) found his niece's body after she had drowned. Anguished by the loss of his niece and his inability to save her, Barrera began collecting dolls, hanging them up all over the island in an attempt to appease her spirit and assuage his grief. But Barrera was clearly a troubled man, and he soon began to disfigure the dolls. Some dolls are decapitated, others have crushed or painted faces or no limbs.

Read More: Shhh! Don't Wake the Creepy Dollies on La Isla de las Muñecas

2. What is the most common technique used to discover planets outside of our solar system?

  • Extremely powerful telescopes
  • Measuring the dimming of a star that happens to have a planet pass in front of it
  • Observing stars "wobble" as a result of orbiting planets

All of these methods are used to discover new planets outside of our solar system, but "transit" events are the most common way planets are discovered.

Explore More: 5 Ways to Find a Planet (From NASA)

3. True or false: Of the roughly 4,000 planets discovered by scientists, only one planet has been observed (but not verified) that lies outside our Milky Way galaxy.

True. In a paper published Oct. 25, 2021, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a team of astronomers and astrophysicists has put forth a new planetary candidate farther away than we've ever seen before. It's called M51-ULS-1b and is located in Messier 51, also called the Whirlpool Galaxy. While humans might never see — or even confirm — the existence of M51-ULS-1b, even its theoretical reality paves the way for more discoveries in the deep reaches of space beyond anything discovered before.

Learn More: Researchers Find First (Potential) Planet Outside the Milky Way

4. True or false: Rainbows are only visible during the day.

False. Rainbows can also occur at night. An evening rainbow is called a moonbow, or lunar rainbow. Moonbows are created when light reflected by the moon hits water droplets in the air. Before you think a moonbow can't be a rainbow if it's made from water and moonlight (not sunlight), remember that moonlight is actually reflected sunlight; the moon doesn't give off any light.

Bust More Myths: 10 Myths About Rainbows

5. True or false: All dolphin species reside in salt waters.

False. There are five dolphin species that live in freshwater rivers; one of them is the Amazon's pink river dolphin. They are distantly related to saltwater-adapted ocean dolphins. In addition to their distinctive pink color, the Amazon's pink river dolphins have another feature that sets them apart from their saltwater cousins. Unlike oceanic dolphins, which have a dorsal fin that protrudes from their backs, pink river dolphins have a hump instead.

Read More: Among Other Amazing Creatures, the Amazon Has Pink Dolphins

6. If you want to sharpen your scissors, what do you cut?

  • A piece of folded up tin foil
  • A stainless steel scrubber
  • A tin soda can
  • A glass cleaning cloth

If those old scissors are getting too dull to use, there's an easy foil-based fix. Tear a sheet of aluminum foil off. Fold it into four quarters. This should result in four foil layers. Then, all you have to do is cut the foil repeatedly. The act of doing this will result in shiny, sharp scissor blades!

Read More: 9 Amazing Hacks for Aluminum Foil

Nov. 6, 2021

1. What's an example of a "lonely negative" or "unpaired word"?

  • Disgruntled
  • Unhappy
  • Disorder
  • Reborn

While the word disgruntled exists, is it possible to be gruntled? The answer is not really. So, why do some words only exist in the negative form, like disgusted, ineffable and unraveled?

Learn more: 'Disheveled,' 'Disgruntled': Why Are Some Words Only Used in Negative Form?

2. True or false: In the original ending of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl is also devoured by the wolf along with her grandmother.

True. In the Grimms' version of the story, "Little Red Cap," Little Red Riding Hood is also devoured by the wolf, but she and her grandmother are then rescued by a hunter who arrives just in the nick of time. Instead of shooting the wolf, he cuts his belly open with a pair of shears, and the girl and her grandmother miraculously emerge, unscathed.

Read more: 10 Fairy Tales That Are Way Darker Than You Realized as a Kid

3. The Odyssey, written by Homer in eighth century B.C.E., solidified Odysseus through millennia as a kind of hero's hero. What kind of writing was the Odyssey?

  • One long, unbroken monologue
  • An epic poem
  • It was written in prose (i.e., regular speech).
  • It was written as a script for a play.

The Odyssey was an epic poem divided into 24 books. Nowadays, Odysseus might not be considered much of a hero. He was famous for being able to disguise himself, for tricking people, for lying, for saving his skin, even at the expense of maybe his crew members.

Read more: Odysseus and His Not-always Heroic Odyssey

4. True or false: The poaching of elephants for their ivory tusks in Gorongosa National Park created a selective pressure that favored tusklessness. In the span of just 15 years, the number of elephants born without tusks more than doubled.

True. Elephants being born without tusks is unusual, since tusks are typically advantageous for elephants: The massive animals use the tusks for everything from defense to stripping bark from trees. Stranger still, nearly all the tuskless elephants born were female.

Read more: Ivory Poaching Led Only Female Elephants to Evolve Tuskless

5. True or false: The origins of Halloween and the Day of the Dead are the same.

False. Although they're celebrated at the same time of year and share an affinity for skulls and sweets, the origins of Halloween and Day of the Dead are completely different. Halloween started as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain. The Celts believed that the veil between the living and dead grew thin around the fall harvest — also the Celtic New Year — allowing ghosts and ghouls to slip in. The Celts dressed up as monsters and goblins to scare off evil spirits and have a little fun in the process. Meanwhile, a version of Day of the Dead existed in pre-Hispanic Mexico as far back as 3,000 years ago.

Learn more about its origins: 10 Lively Facts About the Day of the Dead

Oct. 30, 2021

1. True or false: Magic Erasers — touted for cleaning just about anything from grease to tarnish — are composed of only one ingredient.

True. Magic Erasers are made with melamine resin foam, there are no other added chemicals in them.

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2. What might constitute a "trigger" for someone suffering from misophonia?

  • An object or surface that is colored yellow
  • The sound of someone chewing
  • The thought of being buried alive
  • A surface with many dense holes

Misophonia is a relatively newly classified condition in which people are angered by body sounds like chewing, swallowing, knuckle-cracking or breathing. Interestingly, although leaf blowers aren't mentioned in the diagnosis parameters, it does stand to reason that misophonia may be related — even if distantly — to people's dislike of noisy garden equipment because they are extra sensitive to sound. And it often begins in childhood.

Read More: Why Do People Find Leaf Blowers So Irritating?

3. The blue-ringed octopus holds enough venom to kill more than 20 humans within minutes. How many recorded deaths have been from this octopus's bit?

  • 3
  • 84
  • 432
  • 8,783

Only three known deaths have been from blue-ringed octopuses. Since they are nocturnal, shy, and give plenty of warning when agitated, bites are a rare occurrence.

Read More: The Tiny Blue-ringed Octopus Is the Ocean's Deadliest

4. True or false: A micronation is a small country that has less than 50,000 citizens, such as Monaco or Vatican City.

False. Micronations are generally tiny realms tucked into nooks and crannies on the map, where someone has proclaimed sovereignty that's not recognized by the rest of the world. One such micronation is the Republic of Nirivia on the northern part of Lake Superior, which was named after Nirvana.

Read More: The Republic of Nirivia: A Magical Micronation That Semi-exists on Lake Superior

5. Flyting has been around for centuries. What is a modern example of flyting?

  • Rap battles
  • Pick up lines
  • Wedding vows
  • A personality change after drinking

Flyting is an exchange of insults in verse form. As Dr. Elizabeth Elliott, senior lecturer in English literature at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland, says, "There's a long history of people insulting each other in poetry." It extends even to today, as scholars have made the connection between rap battles and flyting.

Learn More: Flyting Words: The Medieval Origins of the Insult Rap Battle

6. True or false: All of the ingredients in a witches brew — such as eye of newt and toe of frog — are simply ancient terms for herbs, flowers and plants. 

True. When practicing black magic, mustard seeds (i.e., eye of newt) cast a spell of strife, confusion, discord and disruption. Interestingly enough, though, other types of mustard seeds are thought to provide protection against witches. Legend goes that witches are predisposed to counting and picking up things, so if you scatter mustard seeds around your front door, bed or property, the witch will never have time to get to you as she will be busy counting mustard seeds [White, Hand].

Read More: Is Eye of Newt a Real Thing?

Oct. 23, 2021

1. True or false: While spider silk is superior in strength, silkworms are the main producers of silk for fabrics because spiders can't cohabitate without eating each other, making harvesting spider silk extremely labor and space intensive.

True. Silkworms are easy to farm in large numbers, but spider silk is stronger and tougher. It took 1 million spiders, 70 people, and four years to create an 11-foot by 4-foot textile made completely from golden orb spider silk.

You Might Be Interested In: The Invasive 'Fortune-teller' Joro Spider Is Getting Cozy in the U.S.

2. The Audubon Mural Project commemorates birds in the U.S. that are being threatened by climate change. If humans don't reduce their carbon footprint and global temperatures, roughly _____ of North America's birds may become extinct in the next 60 to 80 years.

  • 1/8
  • 1/4
  • 1/2
  • 3/4

According to climate science studies in a 2019 National Audubon Society climate watch report titled, "Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink," 389 vulnerable bird species are in danger of extinction by the end of the 21st century. Fortunately, the report also shows that three-quarters of these threatened species can be protected if we stabilize carbon emissions and keep global heating below 34.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius).

Read More: Audubon Mural Project Artists Paint Birds on the Brink

3. You see a person walking with the aid of a cane. What would an all-white cane and a cane with a red segment signify, respectively?

  • Partially blind; completely blind
  • Completely blind; partially blind
  • Completely blind/deaf; completely blind
  • Completely blind; partially blind/deaf

Not all canes are white. A cane with a red segment at the bottom means the user has low vision or is visually impaired, but not totally blind. An all-white cane typically signals the user is totally blind. Those canes that have red and white stripes are for users that are both hearing and visually impaired.

Explore More: Self-navigating Cane Could Better Lives for Visually Impaired

4. True or false: Deserts are one of the best places to "hibernate" aircrafts when they are not in use.

True. When an airliner is parked for a while, there are a number of things that the airline has to be concerned about, including humidity corroding engines over time. Airlines all over the world had to park and store their fleets during the pandemic, stashing them in places ranging from the Australian outback to the Mojave Desert in California. By one count, 16,000 aircraft — about two out of three airliners in use — was in hibernation by May 2020, the Spanish newspaper Atalayar reported. (Many of those planes have since been returned to service.)

Read More: Putting Planes in Hibernation Is Complicated; Waking Them Up Is Even Harder

5. True or false: False-negative rates for COVID tests are generally rare, whereas false-positives are far more common.

False. Some of the molecular tests, done via nasal or throat swabs, or by testing saliva and other bodily fluids, carry a false-negative rate of 20 percent. False-positive rates for COVID tests are generally rare; a March 2021 review of four rapid COVID-19 tests found that the tests correctly gave a positive COVID-19 result in 99.6 percent of patients who took it. Another review of 16 different rapid tests found that the antigen tests correctly ruled out infection in 99.5 percent of people who had symptoms and in 98.9 percent of people without symptoms.

Read More: How False Positives Work (and What They Could Mean for Your Health)

6. True or false: It is possible to jump-start a gas car with a hybrid car and vice versa.

True. In general, hybrid vehicles can be jump-started just like a regular car with a conventional gas engine. Not all traditional gasoline cars are the same, of course, but all gas powertrains work pretty much the same, which makes it easy to learn how to jump-start a gas car. However, the unusual layout of many hybrids' powertrains can cause some confusion at first. If you need to use a hybrid car to jump-start another car, the smaller 12-volt battery is what you'll need to use.

Discover More: Can You Jump-start a Hybrid Car?

Oct. 16, 2021

1. The CDC estimates up to _____ percent of adults have a fear of needles that can have effects on their health care, including skipping much-needed vaccines.

  • 5 percent
  • 10 percent
  • 25 percent
  • 45 percent

CDC estimates that up to 25 percent of adults have a fear of needles. If you experience severe emotional and physical responses when you think of or are around needles, you might have trypanophobia.

Read More: Trypanophobia: When the Fear of Needles Has You Stuck

2. True or false: The more phones/devices you have connected to your Wifi the slower your Wifi will be, even if they aren't actively sending or receiving data.

True. Surprisingly, even if a connected device isn't actively sending/receiving data, it will still consume some of the available bandwidth. What this means is that if you have many devices connected, you can start to see slowdowns or drops in your WiFi connection.

Read More: 6 Reasons Your WiFi Keeps Disconnecting and How to Fix It

3. True or false: Crack sealing — AKA the tar squiggles that appear on roads — can keep a road from deteriorating further and makes the road a lot smoother for driving.

False. While it does delay deterioration, crack sealing doesn't usually make the road any smoother; in fact, some motorcyclists call the patches "tar snakes" and complain that they cause accidents and damage to bikes.

Read More: What Are Those Squiggles of Tar on the Road?

4. True or false: The thin atmosphere on Mars makes all types of hovercrafts inoperative.

False. In the short time since NASA's Perseverance rover landed in Mars' Jezero Crater Feb. 18, 2021, it's already made history. Among other achievements, the Ingenuity helicopter detached from the rover shortly after they landed on Mars and became the first craft to fly in the atmosphere of another planet.

Learn More: Nine Months on Mars: Perseverance Makes Major Milestones

5. What was Andy Gibb's first song that hit No. 1 in the U.S. and Australia?

  • "Shadow Dancing"
  • "An Everlasting Love"
  • "I Just Want to Be Your Everything"
  • "(Our Love) Don't Throw it All Away"

In 1976, Andy moved to Miami and began working on his first album, "Flowing Rivers." His first hit "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" was written by Barry and went to No. 1 in the U.S. and Australia in 1977. This was followed by "Love Is (Thicker than Water)," another No. 1 hit. The album went platinum. Yet Andy was insecure in his abilities and felt that much of his success was due to his family connections rather than his talents.

Read More: 5 Things We've Always Wondered About Andy Gibb

6. True or false: Shamanism is not associated with any particular religion nor is it itself a religion.

True. While there are spiritual and mystical connotations to the term, the term "shaman" in and of itself is in no way tied to a specific religion or creed. A variety of formal religions are said to have roots in ancient shamanic traditions, but the specific practices and beliefs vary.

Read More: What Is a Shaman and Can Anyone Become One?

Oct. 9, 2021

1. True or false: A person can nominate themself for a Nobel Prize.

False. You cannot nominate yourself for a Nobel Prize. Nominations for the four most technical Nobel categories — physics, chemistry, medicine and economic sciences — are exclusively by invitation only. Each prize has its own standing Nobel Committee, which sends out nomination requests to roughly 3,000 people, all leading academics in the field and former Nobel recipients.

Read More: Can You Nominate Yourself for a Nobel Prize?

2. True or false: The Nobel Prize comes with a cash reward.

True. From the start, the Nobel Prize gained international attention for the hefty cash award that came with the honor. The very first Nobel Prizes awarded in 1901 came with cash prizes equivalent to nearly $900,000 each in 2018 U.S. dollars. While the value of the prize dipped in the middle of the last century, it made a comeback in the 1990s. The 2021 Nobel Prizes are each worth 10 million Swedish krona (around $1,165,216).

3. What event did Elvis' death completely overshadow in 1977?

  • An unusually strong signal from space that telegraphed letters and numbers.
  • The death of C.S. Lewis, who wrote "The Chronicles of Narnia."
  • President Reagan issuing the "first real tax cut in nearly 20 years."

On Aug. 15, 1977, Jerry Ehman saw an unusually strong signal from a radio telescope that was scanning the cosmos in hopes of picking up communications from an extraterrestrial civilization. Instead of the typical random numbers, there was a stream of both letters and numbers telegraphing a radio transmission 30 times louder than the background buzz of deep space. Ehman was so amazed he circled the code and wrote the word "wow!" next to the printout. Scientists searched in vain for the signal, but couldn't pick it up again. Even today, the "wow" code remains unexplained.

Read More: 10 Monumental Events That Were Overshadowed by Other Events

4. True or false: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard University, as shown in 2010's "The Social Network."

True. Zuckerberg left the Ivy League school in 2005, but Harvard gave him an honorary degree 12 years later.

Take the Full Quiz: Reel vs. Real History: How Accurate Are Your Favorite Movies?

5. True or false: Round windows replaced square windows in airplanes because they are much stronger and resist deformation.

True. Engineers determined that the sharp edges of the planes' squared windows created natural weak spots, causing "metal fatigue failure." These corners were easily stressed, then further weakened by air pressure at high altitude. Rounded windows, on the other hand, are able to distribute the pressure evenly because they have no corners for stress to concentrate, reducing the likelihood of cracks or breaks. Circular shapes are also stronger and resist deformation, making them more able to withstand the repeated pressure differences between the inside and outside of the aircraft.

Read More: Why Are Airplane Windows Round?

Oct. 2, 2021

1. True or false: New archeological evidence dates our species setting foot in North America to around 23,000 years ago.

True: Footprints were unearthed at White Sands National Park in New Mexico, which were made by a group of teenagers, children and the occasional adult, and have been dated to the height of the last glacial maximum, some 23,000 years ago. That makes them potentially the oldest evidence of our species in the Americas.

Read More: The Proof Is in the Footprints: Humans Came to Americas Earlier Than Thought

2. True or false: Uranium glass gets its characteristic glow and tint from the radioactive material uranium, which makes the glass unsafe to collect in your homes.

False: Uranium glass is something that is radioactive — just like everything else. The radioactivity is comparable to the exposures you get from flying in an airplane, or inhaling air in your home, which has radon in it. So, for all practical purposes, there is no risk or an infinitesimally small risk associated with uranium glass. Which, for collectors and admirers, is good news. Because glass that glows is pretty cool.

Read More: How Uranium Glass Got Its Glow On

3. True or false: Coconut palm trees are native to the Hawaiian Islands.

False: The lineage of palm trees has been traced to regions of India, Northern Africa, regions of Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific Islands. Though coconut palms aren't native to the Hawaiian Islands, they are commonly found growing there and elsewhere in the Pacific. Atlas Obscura reports that nearly 40 percent of the world's islands exist within the climate zone that's hospitable to coconut trees.

Read More: Coconut Palm Trees Could Save Your Life on a Desert Island

4. How much more powerful is the James Webb Space Telescope than the Hubble Space Telescope?

  • 5x
  • 30x
  • 100x

Slated for a Dec. 18, 2021, launch date from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, Webb was built by an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and is charged with answering some very ambitious questions. It also will take astronomers closer than ever to the beginning of time, granting glimpses of sights long hypothesized but never before seen, from the birth of galaxies to light from the very first stars.

Read More: How the James Webb Space Telescope Works

5. True or false: A leech can survive in a human throat for over a week.

True: In 1895, a man named Surgeon-Lieutenant T. A. Granger of the British Indian Army drank water out of a rainwater tank when he suddenly felt something catch in his throat. When he tried to cough it up, he couldn't. Then, the thing caught in his throat began to move. He had difficulty swallowing and felt like he was going to choke on the writhing obstruction, and it caused him to vomit and to spit up blood repeatedly. A 2.5 to 3 inch-long leech was pulled out by a doctor 11 days later.

Consume More: Here's What Happens When You Swallow a Leech

6. True or false: Car dealerships do not have the right to refuse test-drives to customers.

False: Here are some common scenarios where the dealership might decline to let a customer test a car:

  • The person does not have a driver's license.
  • The person appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The car they want to drive is rare or unusual.
  • The car they want to drive is very high performance.

Read More: What Happens If You Wreck a Car on a Test-drive?

Originally Published: Nov 19, 2020

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