Can You Beat Your Friends in This General Knowledge Test?


By: Robin Tyler

7 Min Quiz

Image: kupicoo / arturbo / janrysavy / Lezh / Tomekbudujedomek / Charles Harker / E+ / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

So you think you have what it takes to be the leader of the pack among your friends when it comes to general knowledge?

Do you pride yourself on your ability to remember obscure facts that you read many years ago, keeping them compartmentalized for the day you need to show your friends who's boss in a game of Trivial Pursuit? Well, why not challenge them to this general-knowledge quiz, one that will help show who truly is the king or queen of obscure facts?

So what can you expect in this quiz? Well, the range of general knowledge subjects we cover is vast. It includes a few of the following: sports, space, wars, music, movies, some math and a little bit of geography thrown in for good measure. It truly is a test of a full range of general-knowledge topics.

Luckily, you can take your time and eliminate those answers which are obvious red herrings. If you're still very stuck, use our useful clues that will put you on the right path quickly. So what are you waiting for? Show your friends that you truly are the best when it comes to knowing a range of facts about many different subjects.

Good luck!

In Norse mythology, who is the god of thunder?

Thor is the son of Odin and the defender of Asgard, the city of the Norse gods. He's also the brother of the mischievous Loki. Blessed with incredible strength, Thor wields the hammer "Mjöllnir," which means lightning. This magical hammer can only be wielded by him.


Of the options below, which is the smallest country in the world?

Vatican City, the home of the Pope, is the smallest country in the world. This city-state enclave is found within the Italian city of Rome. It's only home to around 1,000 people and covers an area of 44 hectares. Vatican City came into existence in 1929 at the signing of the Lateran Treaty.


At what U.S. landmark do the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona meet?

The Four Corners monument is the only place in the United States where four different states meet. The monument itself was refurbished in 2010 and consists includes a disk inscribed with the words "Here meet in freedom under God four states," with two words of the phrase residing in each one of the states. This monument is located around 40 miles from the town of Cortez, Colorado.


On which day did the United States declare war on Japan, which saw them enter World War II?

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States had no choice to declare war on Japan. They did so on December 8, 1941, with President Roosevelt calling the previous day "a date which will live in infamy." Interestingly, Britain declared war on Japan nine hours before the United States did. This was in reaction to the Japanese attacks on British colonies, including Hong Kong.


Which cartoon character was the first to get a star on Hollywood Boulevard?

Perhaps Walt Disney's most enduring character, Mickey Mouse was given a star on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles on November 13, 1978. The star was given for his role in animated movies and was presented on the 50th Anniversary of his creation.


Can you identify the only two South American countries that do not border Brazil?

That's incredible, right? Of the 12 countries in South America, only Chile and Columbia do not share a border with Brazil. South America is a massive continent, around 6,890,000 square miles in size. And that shows how big Brazil is as well, to have only two countries not share its border. In fact, Brazil, at 3,300,000 square miles, is almost half the size of South America itself.


In what year was the arcade game "PAC-MAN" released?

Who doesn't love that yellow guy? One of the earliest arcade games, "PAC-MAN" has been swallowing dots, ghosts and our quarters since 1980. It was first released in Japan but came to arcades across the United States a few months later. The game was designed by Toru Iwatani, and its success led to many spin-offs.


Which wrestler was the first to be inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame?

Born André René Roussimoff, this '80s wrestling superstar stood 7 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 520 pounds. He wrestled all around the world but made a name for himself in the World Wrestling Federation. He died in 1993, aged just 43, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same year.


In our solar system, which planet is closest to the sun?

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun in our solar system and just 57,91 million kilometers away from it. In comparison, Earth is 149,6 million kilometers from the sun. Mercury also has the shortest orbit around the sun, taking just 87 days.


Can you name the female singer who died in 2011 as a result of alcohol poisoning?

Amy Winehouse wowed the music business with her incredible voice when she burst on the scene in the mid-2000s. Sadly, she struggled with drink and drugs and was found dead in July 2011 as a result of alcohol poisoning.


When a meteor reaches the atmosphere of the Earth, it's called a _______?

A meteor is an object in space, usually in the form of a rock. When the object enters the Earth's immediate atmosphere, it becomes a meteorite. When it does this, it is extremely visible, even to the naked eye, as it burns up as it penetrates through the atmosphere. This is known as a shooting star.


In what year did South Africa become a sovereign state from Great Britain?

After a closely fought referendum the year before, the white population of South Africa voted to cut ties with Great Britain and become a republic. This was done on May 31, 1961 with C. R. Swart named the first Prime Minister.


True or false? The United States belongs to the Commonwealth.

No, the United States is not a Commonwealth country. What is a Commonwealth country? These are countries that were formerly territories of the British Empire. For example, India, Australia and New Zealand are all considered to be Commonwealth countries. Although the U.S.A. is a former territory of the British Empire, it fought for its own independence and won in 1883.


In a soccer match, how many players are on the field at any one time?

A soccer match sees two teams facing off to try and put the ball in the back of the opponents' net. This registers a goal, and the team with the most goals at the end of 90 mins wins. Each team is comprised of 11 players for 22 in total. They are split as follows into defense, midfield and forwards, usually at a ratio of 4, 4 and 2, but other formations exist as well. The goalkeeper is the final line of defense but not counted in the formation.


Name the rock band that features Dave Grohl on lead vocals and guitar.

Dave Grohl was the drummer in the super successful grunge group Nirvana in the early 1990s. After the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, Grohl recorded songs which he passed out to his friends under the name Foo Fighters. Eventually, Grohl employed other musicians and started touring under the name in 1995. Today, the Foo Fighters are one of the biggest bands in the world.


How would you write the year 2019 in Roman numerals?

Did you get it right? Let's break it down to make it a bit easier. MM = 2000, X = 10, IX = 9, so therefore 2019. This numeric system was used in ancient Rome but still continued long after the decline of that empire.


The Challenger shuttle disaster in 1986 saw the death of a school teacher who was part of the crew. What was her name?

Christa McAuliffe was the lucky teacher to be selected from 11,000 applicants to form part of the Challenger space shuttle mission scheduled for January 28, 1986. While in space, McAuliffe would have conducted various experiments and even given some lessons to children back on Earth. Sadly, she and her fellow astronauts died when the Challenger exploded after take-off.


Can you name the policy of racial segregation employed by the government of South Africa between 1948 and 1994?

Apartheid, which when translated from the Afrikaans language means "kept apart," was a set of laws instituted by the white minority government in South Africa in 1948 to keep the majority black population segregated from them. This saw South Africa become a pariah in world politics. The policy was eventually ended, and the first truly democratic elections were held in the country in 1994.


In 1871, James McNeill Whistler painted a picture that is now a famous American art piece. What is it called?

James McNeill Whistler chose his mother because the model he was meant to paint simply didn't show up. Her mistake ... She could have been famous. In 2003, the painting was valued at $30 million.


Who won the Best Director Oscar in 2010?

In 2010, the Best Director Oscar was won by Kathryn Bigelow for her movie "The Hurt Locker." She beat out a number of Hollywood heavy-hitters in the form of James Cameron ("Avatar") and Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds"). With her victory, Bigelow was the first female director to win this coveted award.


When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., which city did it cover in lava and ash?

The eruption of the volcano known as Vesuvius in 79 A.D. totally destroyed the Roman town of Pompeii. Situated near the modern city of Naples, the ruins of Pompeii were discovered in 1592, and still today, archaeologists continue to dig up the city. Some incredible findings have been discovered here, including victims of the eruption, of which over 1,000 have been found.


Can you name the vocalist for the band Led Zeppelin?

Robert Plant's unique vocal style is as big a part of Led Zeppelin as Jimmy Paige's guitar licks. Many other singers often cite Plant as the standard bearer for how rock vocals should sound.


Video killed the radio star! In what year did MTV start?

MTV first started on August 1, 1981 and was broadcast from New York. It began with a voice over announcing "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," and the first video played was "Video Killed The Radio Star" by the Buggles.


Can you name the first American fighter plane to successfully escort bombers all the way to Berlin during World War II?

It's said that when Hermann Goering, the chief of the German Air Force, was told that American fighters had the range to escort bombers to Berlin, he knew the war was over. With drop tanks, the Mustang could provide fighter cover to all major targets in Europe that the 8th Air Force were bombing at the time.


In mathematics, if you were dealing with angles, triangles and equations which include sin, cos and tan, which branch of math would you be working with?

Trigonometry is the branch of mathematics that studies angles, triangles and the relationship between sides. This field of math is very old and first appeared in Greece in around the third century B.C. Hipparchus is one of the earliest mathematicians to use trigonometry.


Which famous wrestler's real name is Terry Bollea?

Terry Bollea is known under many different stage names, of which the most famous is Hulk Hogan. He was extremely popular during the '80s and is the only wrestler ever to pick up and body slam Andre the Giant.


Which iconic female singer appeared in the Mad Max movie "Beyond Thunderdome?"

"Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" is the third movie in the Mad Max series. Starring Mel Gibson, it was released in 1985. Singer Tina Turner had a major role in the movie, playing the part of Aunty Entity, the ruler of Bartertown. Interestingly, the producers always had Turner in mind for the role.


Our teeth have a layer of tissue which provides protection for them. What is this called?

Four tissue types make up our teeth, with enamel the final part which covers the crown and provides protection. Enamel is tough; it has to be to protect our teeth. Interestingly, it is the hardest substance in the human body.


Which famous baseball player married Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe in 1954?

Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe tied the knot on January 14, 1954. It was a short-lived union, however, and the couple was divorced just over 9 months later in October 1954, although they did remain friends.


Of these celestial bodies, which is the odd one out?

And the odd one out of this group would be the planet PSR B1620-26 b. Why? Well, it's not located in our solar system, unlike the other three. PSR B1620-26 b is the oldest planet ever discovered and is nicknamed "Methuselah" after the man in the Bible who lived over 900 years. It's estimated that this planet is around 13 billion years old. PSR B1620-26 b was discovered in 1993.


Can you name the British prime minister who declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939?

Despite having flown to Munich to speak to Hitler a few years earlier and thinking he had persuaded him to not begin invading countries in Europe, Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany alongside France, after Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.


The Roman numeral "C" indicates which number?

Those Romans sure had a funny way with numbers. I mean, 5 is signified with a "V" and 10 is an "X." Just to confuse us even more, "C" represents 500. So to represent the number 115, you would write CXV.


Can you name the highest mountain in the United States?

The tallest peak in North America is Mount Denali. Found in Alaska, where it forms part of the Alaskan mountain range, Denali is 6190 meters tall during snow season. It was formerly known as Mount McKinley but was changed to Denali, a name it had been called by the native Alaskan people for centuries.


If you were cooking the French dish coq au vin, what meat would you use?

Coq au vin is a traditional French dish of chicken braised in red wine. Other ingredients include mushrooms, garlic, bacon lardons and shallots. When translated, coq au vin means "rooster in wine."


Who composed the musical piece "Symphony No. 40, K. 550 In G Minor?"

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed "Symphony No. 40, K. 550 In G Minor" or simply "Symphony No. 40" in 1788. The work has four movements and was only one of two symphonies that Mozart wrote in the minor key.


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