Quiz: Can You Answer These Easy-Peasy Science Questions?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Answer These Easy-Peasy Science Questions?
By: Jonnathan Chadwick
6 Min Quiz
Image: Steve Debenport / E+ / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Science isn't for everyone. There may have come a time in your life when you decided to swear it off and biochemistry became nothing more than a big word. But even if you did, it's impossible to swear off all science. It's all around us everywhere, and even if you can't remember the exact steps of the scientific method, you use them in your everyday life. You don't need an advanced degree to know what planet we live on or that water is wet. You may need one if you wanted to make water or dig to the center of the planet, but you don't have to do that here. You'll just have to remember the formula for water and where the planet is in the solar system. That's pretty simple, right?
Some things are impossible to forget, and more often than not, those things happen to be science-related. Language, math, geography, history and society all contain a bit of science. Can you master this easy-peasy science quiz? Do you know how tsunamis are formed and how caterpillars turn into butterflies? Can you remember what clouds are made of or why the sky is blue? Brush up on your science skills here!
Why is the sky blue?
Light comes from the sun and although it may seem white, it is actually made up of every color of the rainbow. All the particles in the Earth's atmosphere then absorb those colors, but since blue light is a shorter and choppier wavelength than other colors, it gets scattered around the sky.
There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe. What galaxy do we live in?
A galaxy is a collection of space particles, gases and stars all held together by gravity. A solar system is a system of planets and objects orbiting the Sun. There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Our galaxy is called the Milky Way.
Pluto's planetary status was downgraded in 2006. What is the biggest planet in our solar system?
Jupiter is half a billion miles away from the Sun and is the largest planet in our solar system. It is more than double the size of all other planets in the solar system combined and has 79 moons. It takes 12 years for Jupiter to orbit the Sun.
A living thing is something that is alive or was once alive. Which of the following is nonliving?
Soil is not a living thing but is home to many living things. A seed is a living thing that is in a dormant state, and inside a seed is a plant embryo. All living things require nutrients, and all living things excrete waste. Rivers, mountains and dirt are nonliving.
More than 70% of Earth is covered by water and about 30% is covered by land. What does H2O stand for?
Hydrogen loves bonding to oxygen, and when two hydrogen atoms bond to one oxygen atom, water forms. The formula for water is H2O and water can be created in many different ways, both naturally and artificially.
What are clouds made of?
Clouds are made of dry air (gas), water droplets (liquid) and ice (solid). Not all clouds are made of all three states of matter, but all clouds are made of dry air. Dry air makes up about 95% of a cloud, but intense storm clouds might contain a higher percentage of water vapor.
After the Big Bang, the universe was full of a bunch of space particles. How did the Earth form?
Over the course of about 10 billion years, gravity pulled gases and particles together until molecular clouds were formed. One of these clouds collapsed and formed the sun and a ring of particles formed around it. Then gravity took another 20 million years to pull enough gases and particles together to form Earth.
The Earth is both spinning on its axis and orbiting the Sun at the same time. How long does it take for Earth to orbit the sun?
It takes 365.25 days for Earth to orbit the sun, which is one year. Every four years we have a leap year that consists of 366 days. It takes about one month for the moon to orbit Earth and about one day for Earth to complete one full rotation on its axis.
The animal kingdom is made up of reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish and more. Which of these animals is not a mammal?
Sharks are fish and not mammals, but some of them do give birth the same way mammals do. Most fish lay eggs and most mammals give birth to live young. The duck-billed platypus and some anteaters are the only mammals that lay eggs.
Which of these is not one of the basic human senses?
Humans have five basic senses but we also have others like proprioception, which is the sense of space. This allows people to move a fork to their mouth without having to watch their hand the whole way. Our vestibular sense lets us know whether we're sitting down or standing up, or sitting in a moving car or a parked car.
There are about 90 elements that naturally occur on Earth. What is the Earth's core made of?
The Earth's inner core is at the center of the planet and is about 4,000 miles deep, so we haven't actually obtained a sample. It is estimated to be made of an iron and nickel alloy and is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the same as the Sun's surface temperature.
There are 118 elements on the Periodic Table of Elements. What is the most abundant element in the universe?
The most abundant element in the universe is hydrogen, which makes up about 75% of all baryonic matter in space. Hydrogen is atomic number one on the periodic table of elements, meaning its nucleus only has one proton.
The DNA molecule is responsible for coding genetic instructions into every living thing. What does DNA stand for?
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the double-helix molecule that codes the identity of every living thing. It is one of, if not the, most complex molecule in the universe and isn't fully understood. It was first discovered by a Swiss biologist in 1869.
The world is home to more than 100 mountains that are 20,000+ feet tall. What mountain is the tallest above sea level?
Mount Everest rises higher above sea level than any other mountain on Earth, at 29,000 feet tall. The tallest mountain in the world, base to summit, is Mauna Kea, which only rises 13,000 feet above sea level, but also extends 20,000 feet below sea level.
More than 70% of Earth is covered by water. What is the biggest ocean in the world?
The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world at more than 60 million square miles, although all the oceans do connect with each other. The Pacific is also the deepest ocean in the world and reaches about seven miles deep at its deepest point.
There are close to 200 countries in the world. What is the biggest?
Russia is the largest country in the world by land size at more than 6 million square miles, which is bigger than Antarctica. It is only the ninth largest country in terms of population with 144 million residents, which is less than half of the U.S.
There are eight planets in our solar system. What position is Earth from the Sun?
Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are the first four planets from the Sun in order. The third position is apparently the perfect distance from the sun, as Earth is the only planet that sustains life as we know it.
There are more than 30,000 recognized species of fish on Earth. What organ do fish use to breathe?
Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, so fish are able to take in water through their mouths and then their gills are used to absorb oxygen from the water. Once absorbed, fish expel carbon dioxide and excess water through their gills
Humans survive by eating meat, fruits and vegetables. Which of the following is a vegetable?
Avocados, eggplants and tomatoes are all fruits that are commonly mistaken as vegetables. To make things more complicated, chefs sometime consider them vegetables because of their savory tastes, but botanically, they are fruits. Celery is a vegetable
What kind of energy captures, converts and utilizes heat from the sun?
There are many types of energy humans can harness from natural sources, and solar energy might be the cleanest source of renewable energy in the universe. Solar energy absorbs sunlight and converts it into usable energy.
Underwater ecosystems are some of the most mysterious habitats on Earth. What is the largest coral reef in the world?
The Great Barrier Reef is a system of about 3,000 coral reefs that extend for about 1,500 miles in the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia. It is the longest reef in the world. The New Caledonian barrier reef is the longest continuous reef in the world.
How many teeth do adult humans have?
A full set of adult teeth includes four molars that may or may not have been removed at some point in your life. If you have all your teeth, you should have 32 teeth. Teeth are the hardest parts of the human body but there are plenty of ways they can still break.
Hermit crabs have 254 chromosomes and roundworms have two. How many chromosomes do humans have?
Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes to total 46 individual chromosomes. Chromosomes are the building blocks of identity and the first 22 pairs of chromosomes are identical in both males and female humans. The 23rd set controls the reproductive organs.
There are quadrillions of stars in the universe. What is Earth's nearest star?
The sun is the Earth's nearest star as it's only 93 million miles away. It takes just eight minutes for light to travel from the sun to Earth. The North Star (Polaris) is 323 light years away, meaning when you look at it, you are seeing what it looked like 323 years ago.
Of the seven Ancient Wonders of the World, only one is still intact. What is the oldest Ancient Wonder of the World?
The Great Pyramid of Giza is both the oldest Ancient Wonder of the World and the only one that is largely intact. It was built in 2500 BC and is more than 400 feet tall. The first ancient wonder to be destroyed was the Temple of Artemis in 356 BC.
The 21st century has been dubbed the Digital Revolution. What is the internet?
The internet is a system of interconnected computers that can communicate and share with each other. The World Wide Web is not the internet. It is an information system hosted on the internet. You need to use the internet to access the World Wide Web.
Mother Nature is responsible for creating devastating storms. How do tsunamis form?
Normal waves rise and fall with the tide and are caused by the sun and Moon's gravitational pull. A tsunami or seismic wave isn't formed by gravity, but by a displacement of water caused by a sudden motion on the ocean floor. Above-water disturbances can also cause tsunamis, but underwater earthquakes, eruptions and explosions are the usual cause.
All elements on the periodic table are categorized by their state of matter. Which of these is not a state of matter?
Wood is not a state of matter. It is a solid. The three basic states of matter are solids, liquids and gases, but there are other states of matter in science. Degenerate matter and plasma are a couple of the less-popular states of matter.
The deepest hole dug by humans measures a bit more than seven miles deep. How many layers are on Earth?
Earth's atmosphere is five layers thick and Earth itself is four layers thick. The surface of Earth is the crust, which is about 1,800 miles deep. The second layer is the mantle, the third is the outer core, and the center of Earth is called the inner core, which is about 85% iron.
The Periodic Table of Elements lists 118 elements by atomic number. What is the atomic number of helium?
Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe and also has an atomic number of two, which means its nucleus only has two protons. Although helium is extremely abundant, it is so light that it easily escapes Earth's gravitational pull, so mining it isn't the easiest.
How do caterpillars turn into butterflies?
Metamorphosis is when an animal goes through distinct stages of life, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Not all animals go through metamorphosis. Humans are born small and then grow, but tadpoles don't grow into bigger tadpoles, they morph into frogs.
The discovery of DNA, electricity and penicillin are some of the most important discoveries ever, but who discovered gravity?
In 1687, Isaac Newton published his research that outlined the discovery of gravity. He's also known for his Three Laws of Motion, which are the basis of a lot of physics.
The atmosphere is comprised of many different gases. What is Earth's atmosphere mostly made of?
The atmosphere is almost 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen with about 5% of the atmosphere being comprised of other gases. The five layers of the atmosphere are the exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere and troposphere.
There are more than four billion mobile phone users worldwide. What are cellphone batteries made out of?
Cellphones use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that were first created in the 1970s. North America only has one known lithium mine and doesn't produce much of the element. Lithium is mostly produced in Australia, Chile and China.
What is the biological classification for modern humans?
Modern humans are part of the genus called Homo and the species called Sapiens. All humans that have ever roamed Earth, including Neanderthals, are part of the Homo genus, but Sapiens are the only species still on Earth today.
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