Can You Crush This General Knowledge Quiz?

By: Olivia Seitz
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Can You Crush This General Knowledge Quiz?
Image: Witthaya Prasongsin/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Think you can ace this quiz? Are you the one who always wins on trivia night? Do you study trivia in your spare time? Have you cleared all the cards in Trivial Pursuit? Do you eat, sleep, and dream trivia? Then this quiz is for you!

In our world, General Knowledge is all about the fun stuff. You won't find any 2+2=4 here - only what is commonly referred to as "trivia."

And what exactly is trivia? Trivia refers to snippets of information that, in any world other than the How Stuff Works world, mean little to most people. But you're a trivia buff, the go-to gal or guy for all your friends and family's trivia needs. You're the one who knows that the word "trivia" once referred something that was "trivial" or "trite." But no more! Trivia rules!

Here's a warm-up question: Which state is the largest consumer of Jello? Yeah, we know that one is way out there, but hey, you're the trivia buff.

So, if you think you know who was the original King of Rock and Roll, who is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and the name of the evil wizard in the Harry Potter series, let's roll!

Pssst... Utah is the largest consumer of Jello. Who knew?

Which civil rights activist was famous for refusing to give up her seat on a bus?
Dorothy Day
Rosa Parks
Jane Fonda
Emma Willard
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Rosa Parks' bravery in 1955 resulted in a boycott of the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama. City officials were forced to end segregation on buses.

Which of these letters is not a vowel?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While the letter "y" sometimes behaves like a vowel and other times like a consonant, the letter "w" is a consonant termed a "semivowel." Students often memorize vowels as "a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y."

Who was the original "King" of rock n' roll?
Michael Jackson
Mick Jagger
Elvis Presley
Steven Tyler
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Elvis, the "King," is widely considered to be rock n' roll's first major star. While estimates vary, he's said to have sold over a billion records worldwide.


Agent 007, featured in many movies dating back to 1962, is known as _______ Bond?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sean Connery was the first actor to portray the suave agent, back in 1962's "Dr. No." The most recent Bond, as of 2015, is Daniel Craig, who debuted in the franchise's 2006 movie, "Casino Royale."

What flightless bird went extinct in the 1660s and has a reputation for stupidity?
The dodo bird.
The Labrador duck.
The laughing owl.
The passenger pigeon.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Many people mistakenly believe that dodos were stupid birds hunted to extinction. In fact, scientists believe that animals brought to their island in the Indian Ocean by the Dutch ate the birds' eggs and competed for their food, dooming the birds to extinction.

What plant is traditionally the primary ingredient in wine?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Traditionally, grapes are crushed and fermented to make wine. Some varieties of wine include flavors from other fruits, such as peaches. Although stories persist of people stomping grapes with their bare feet to extract the juice, this was rarely done throughout history. Instead, some form of press was generally used.


The human brain communicates with the rest of the body through networks of what?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nerves propagate signals throughout the body, sending and receiving information. They don't work alone, however. Hormone signals and other chemical messages compliment the electrical information surging through your body.

The poster for which film from the 1950s features three skipping characters, all dressed in bright yellow raincoats and swinging umbrellas?
"Singin' in the Rain"
"Sunset Boulevard"
"A Streetcar Named Desire"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Singin' in the Rain" is a bubbly musical and love story that debuted in the 1950s. The story is woven around the struggles of filmmakers as they adjust to making movies with sound.

What chemical is added to U.S. water supplies in the hopes of improving dental health?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Fluoride is commonly found in U.S. drinking water, toothpaste and other tooth care products. There is data both favoring and disfavoring its use in water, however, and many European countries have opted not to use it.


The famous "I want YOU for the U.S. Army" poster from WWI features an image of whom?
Abraham Lincoln
Uncle Sam
George Washington
An unnamed soldier
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Uncle Sam is a popular personification of the USA. The poster was designed and drawn by James Montgomery Flagg, a famous American artist who lived from 1877 to 1960.

Which of these was not one of Snow White's seven dwarfs?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The seven dwarfs from Disney's "Snow White" were Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy and Sneezy. These names were invented by Disney writers; in traditional texts, the dwarfs are anonymous or have different culturally significant names.

Newton is said to have been inspired by what to describe the theory of gravity?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While it's popular to say the apple fell on Isaac Newton's head, there's no real evidence to suggest this is so. He did, however, have the idea in an apple orchard while wondering why apples always fell straight down.


What is the head of the Roman Catholic Church called?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The election of Pope Francis - Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio - made headlines because he was the first man from the Americas to be elected, and the first non-European man to become pope in over one thousand years.

Which U.S. president is thought to have taught himself how to read and write?
Woodrow Wilson
Abraham Lincoln
Theodore Roosevelt
John Adams
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It might not be accurate to say that Lincoln taught himself how to read and write without any assistance, but it is true that much of his childhood education was self-taught. His parents were probably both illiterate, but his stepmother encouraged his love of learning and helped him get books.

Which English king was famous for beheading his wives?
King Henry VIII
King Edward I
King James III
King Alfred the Great
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Henry the Eighth desperately wanted a male heir, and he was willing to break with the Church to secure a wife who could give him one. Jane Seymour was the only one of his six wives to bear a son.


According to the Big Bang Theory, how did the universe begin?
A rain storm.
An explosion.
A slow, calm expansion.
A meteor shower.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The theory holds that an infinitesimally small point in space, densely packed with matter, burst outward into the universe as we know it. Interestingly, the universe is still expanding and shows no signs of stopping!

In the "Iliad," Greek forces besiege the people of what kingdom?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Trojan war was said to have begun over a woman: a young Trojan man named Paris stole away the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen, from her husband, Menelaus. He came to get her back, and the Trojans refused.

Which American town was famous for its witch trials?
Nashville, TN
Charleston, SC
Salem, MA
Portland, OR
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Salem Witch Trials occurred in the late 1600s, resulting in the death of nineteen and imprisonment for many more. The trials occurred after several hundred years of witch hunts in Europe that resulted in the murder of tens of thousands of European women.


Yellowstone National Park is in which of the following states?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yellowstone National Park spans territory in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Old Faithful, one of the park's most famous geysers, is located in the Wyoming portion of the park.

Which of the following is not an island in Hawaii?
Mauna Loa
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Hawaii (the "Big Island"), Maui, Oahu, and Kauai are some of Hawaii's most famous islands. Mauna Loa is a volcano on the big island that is active.

Which of these foods was invented in Australia?
Hot dogs
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Having a "Vegemite sandwich" is a very Australian thing to do, and many tourists try the stuff when they visit. It's made of yeast and is said to taste somewhat like beer and somewhat like soy sauce.


What famous comic strip, written by Bill Watterson, centered around a young boy and his stuffed tiger?
"Get Fuzzy"
"Calvin and Hobbes"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Calvin and Hobbes" ran from 1985 to 1995. The main characters were named after the famous Protestant theologian, Calvin, and the British philosopher, Hobbes, although Hobbes' personality was modeled after the author's cat named Sprite.

Digestion typically releases what chemical that makes you happy?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Serotonin is known to have many beneficial effects, including lifting a person's mood, reducing anxiety and even increasing libido. Many pharmaceutical products attempt to increase serotonin for individuals who can't produce enough on their own.

In the Harry Potter series, Harry must battle which evil wizard?
Sirius Black
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Voldemort (also called He Who Must Not Be Named) is the series' main villain, who Harry must face before the story can come to a close. His real name is Tom Riddle.


All known elements are organized in something called what?
Index of Elements
Handbook of Chemistry
Periodic Table
None of the above
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Periodic Table of Elements includes all discovered and manufactured elements known to man. As of 2016, the periodic table displays 118 elements.

Who authored "The Lord of the Rings," "The Hobbit," and the many other books which take place in Middle Earth?
C. S. Lewis
J. R. R. Tolkien
George Orwell
George Lucas
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Tolkien is a writer beloved by many, and not just those who gravitate to the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Both "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" were adapted for the big screen by director Peter Jackson.

Which star doesn't appear to move through the sky over the course of a year?
North Star (Polaris)
The sun
Proxima Centauri
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The North Star is so named not because it is the brightest star in the sky, but because its position in the night sky doesn't appear to change. This is because it's almost perfectly aligned with the Earth's axis of rotation!


What animal feeds almost exclusively on bamboo?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Pandas were classified as endangered for a long time because they mainly feed on bamboo shoots, leaves, and stalks, so changes in their habitat were catastrophic. Occasionally, pandas will also eat small rodents and a few other select plants.

Why was the Boston Tea Party so named?
American revolutionaries threw tea off British ships.
British colonials threw a massive tea party in Boston.
The drawn-out battle was sparked over an argument during tea.
All of the above.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Sons of Liberty, a group of revolutionaries that included Samuel Adams, threw tea overboard in protest of Britain's tariffs. The tea lost was worth about one million U.S. dollars in today's currency.

Where is Mount Kilimanjaro?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest of all African mountains, is actually a volcano. Two of its three peaks are extinct, but its main peak, Kibo, is only dormant, meaning it could (in theory) erupt sometime in the future.


Which language is spoken by the most people on the continent of Africa?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Approximately 700 million people in Africa speak English. Arabic is the second most common language on the continent, spoken by more than 100 million people.

The cardinal is the official bird of which of the following states?
North Carolina
All of the above
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The bright red bird known as a cardinal is a popular choice for state bird: seven states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia) claim it as their official state bird!

What is the Taj Mahal?
A large business center.
A monument to learning.
A mausoleum.
A royal palace.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Taj Mahal was built under the orders of Emperor Shah Jahan after the most beloved of his three queens, Mumtaz Mahal, passed away. Its immense size and exquisite beauty draw millions of visitors each year.


Where do penguins live?
Nova Scotia
Antarctica only
Various locales in the Southern Hemisphere
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

New Zealand, Antarctica, Australia, and South America are just some of the places penguins call home. They rarely travel north and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures.

Which of the following foods is properly considered a nut - not a legume or a seed?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Peanuts are actually legumes - think beans and lentils. Pistachios and cashews are both technically seeds, but are commonly grouped with real nuts for cooking purposes.

You Got:
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