Can You Pass This Tricky General Knowledge Quiz?



By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: StockSnap

About This Quiz

The ability to know facts, general knowledge facts, is often overlooked as a useful skill to have. Not only are you able to keep the conversation going at a boring party but people will be asking you to be part of their team at quiz nights!

And our planet, the humans that live on it as well the wide variety of animals the call Earth home, certainly have some weird and wonderful stories to tell and interesting facts that the average person just doesn't know.

For instance, did you know that "hello" wasn't a greeting used until the telephone came along? Or that most people from South Africa can speak two languages fluently and some of them three? But general knowledge is more than just knowing just interesting facts. It's about knowing our past as well. For example, who was the leader of the United States when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor? Or when did the USA drop the atomic bomb on Japan?

In this tricky general knowledge quiz, you can expect questions like these and many other examples as well. Do you have what it takes to come away with an 80 percent success rate?

Let's see how you fare!

Who composed the musical piece, "Eine Kleine Nacht-Musik"?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed "Eine Kleine Nacht-Musik" or "A little serenade" in 1787. The work has four movements and was composed for violins, viola and cello.


True or false? A Manx cat is a domestic cat with no tail.

Originating on the Isle of Man, Manx cats have no tail or, in some cases, a small stump. This breed has no tail due to a mutation that has occurred naturally over time.


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 which is braised in red wine. Other ingredients include mushrooms, garlic, bacon lardons and shallots.


Of the options below, what is the highest mountain in North America?

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 changed to Denali, a name it had been called by the local people for centuries.


Astronaut is a word derived from the Greek term meaning which of these below?

Star sailor... that's just awesome, isn't it? The Greek words are ástron (star) and nautes (sailor). The word was first used in the way we use it in a 1930 book, "The Death's Head Meteor" by Neil Jones.


The Roman numeral "D" 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, "D" represents 500.


What is the name of the picturesque mountain that overlooks the city of Cape Town in South Africa?

The city of Cape Town is built in the shadow of Table Mountain. Although the mountain is not high, a little over 1,000 meters tall, it has a very flat section, and that is how it received its name.


Which of these British prime ministers 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 not to begin invading countries in Europe, Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany along with France, after Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.


What chess piece can move in any direction and for any number of squares?

One of the most powerful pieces on the chess board, the queen can move in an direction. That means she can cover large pieces of the board at any given time.


Can you name the labor union leader who disappeared on July 30, 1975, and has never been seen since?

Jimmy Hoffa was a controversial figure at the time of his disappearance in 1975. Said to have mafia ties, Hoffa even spent time in prison for jury tampering, fraud and attempted bribery. After his disappearance, he was declared legally dead in 1982 but the case remains open.


What else is the element Mercury called?

Mercury is the letter Hg on the periodic table of elements. It is the only metallic element that is liquid under normal atmospheric conditions.


On which continent is the country Burundi located?

Burundi gained independence from France in 1962. It is a small landlocked country in central Africa with a population of around 10 million. Only around 13 percent of the people in the country live in urban areas.


Who was named British prime minister in 1955?

Eden succeeded Winston Churchill when he retired in 1955. He served briefly from 1955 to 1957, being forced to resign due to ill health.


What is missing from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa?

The painting appears to have no eyelashes or eyebrows. However, high resolution scans provide evidence that they may have originally been painted but over-cleaning has removed them.


In what year was the first Academy Award given?

The first Academy Awards were held May 16, 1929, honoring films from 1927 and 1928. It was an invitation-only affair and held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.


Which of these playwrights wrote "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"?

Written by Tennessee Williams, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" premiered on March 24, 1955, in New York. It won the Pulitzer Prize for drama that same year. A film version with Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor followed in 1958.


What is the most common first name in the world?

Although these things are difficult to count and are indeed not an exact science, Mohammad is thought to be the most popular name in the world. Estimates say it has been given to an estimated 150 million men and boys.


Do you know the last letter added to the English alphabet?

In 1524, "J" was the last letter added to the alphabet. Prior to that, "I" and "J" were used interchangeably by scribes to express the sound of both the consonant and the vowel.


A group of jellyfish is known as a ________.

Seeing that many fish are a school of fish, one would suspect that many jellyfish would be a school as well. No, it's a smack! Go figure! English certainly can be weird sometimes...


The Canary Islands were named after which animal?

No, not birds, but dogs, in fact. In fact, Canaria in Latin is the word for dog. When explorers first came to Grand Canaria, it had hundreds of large dogs on it. It was also a haven for seals, something the Romans called sea dogs!


Which country’s national anthem has no words?

The Spanish national anthem, the Marcha Real, is one of only four national anthems in the world that has no lyrics. The others are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and San Marino.


What did Franklin D Roosevelt call Dec. 7, 1941, - the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. Hoping to totally disable the United States Pacific fleet, they did massive damage, killing 2,335 people and damaging or sinking a number of ships. The U.S. aircraft carriers, however, were not in the harbor at the time. On Dec. 8, the United States declared war on Japan with Franklin Roosevelt delivering his famous "a date that will live in infamy" speech.


Out of these cars, which model has sold the most units in history?

The Volkswagen Beetle (22 million units) and the Model T (15 million) have impressive numbers when it comes to production. But they cannot beat the Toyota Corolla. First introduced in 1966 and still a model today, it had sold more than 40 million units by 2014.


Name the territory that became the 49th state of the United States.

On January 3, 1959, Alaska was the 49th state added to the United States. Alaska is the biggest state in the U.S. with a land area of 663,268 square miles. It is known as "The Last Frontier."


What is the only foodstuff that does not spoil while in an edible state?

Honey doesn't spoil. The oldest jar of honey found is believed to be 5,500 years old and is still edible. Would you try it?


Leo Fender is considered the inventor of the modern electric guitar. Which of these statements about him is true?

Although he might have invented the electric guitar, Leo Fender certainly could not play one. He dabbled in some piano and saxophone, however.


What international organization oversees the game of cricket?

The International Cricket Council (ICC) regulates the game of cricket worldwide. It was formed in 1909 but was first known as the Imperial Cricket Conference. In 1965, it was renamed the International Cricket Conference, becoming the International Cricket Council in 1989. It currently has more than over 100 members, although only 12 nations play Test cricket, the pinnacle of the game.


How many sides does a dodecagon have?

A dodecagon is a 12-sided polygon, formed from the Greek words duo (two) + deka (ten) + gonia (angle). Coins are often shaped as dodecagons, for example, the British one pound coin.


Can you name the closest planet to the sun?

The smallest planet in the solar system, Mercury has it rough! Night temperatures can reach as low as -173°C while daytime temperatures sore to 427°C. Mercury takes 87 days to go around the sun.


The liqueur Ouzo is what flavor predominantly?

The greek liqueur Ouzo tastes predominantly of anise, which is similar to a mild licorice flavor. It is consumed in a number of ways, including very cold as a shot or with water and ice.


When was the Euro introduced as legal currency on the world market?

The Euro was introduced on January 1, 1999, as the single currency of 11 member states of the European Union. Greece became the 12th member state on January 1, 2001, and Euro banknotes and coins were introduced as legal tender on January 1, 2002.


True or false: George Washington had false teeth that were made out of wood.

Many people believe that George Washington's dentures were made out of wood. This simply isn't true. Yes, he had dentures but they were made out of materials such as gold, lead and ivory. Never wood!


Name the automaker who founded General Motors?

William C. Durant founded General Motors in 1908. After saving Buick from certain liquidation in 1904, he used the company as the basis of forming General Motors. Durant went on to form Chevrolet, bringing it into the General Motors stable as well. General Motors is now one of the biggest car producers in the world.


What two numbers are found in binary code?

Binary code is the simplest form of data. It is represented entirely by a binary system of digits consisting of zeros and ones. It still plays a critical role in computing today.


The longest river in North America is which of these below?

It certainly is a close run contest for the longest river in America. In fact, just 11 kilometers divide the first from the second longest. But the Mississippi, at 3,778 kilometers, is longer than the Missouri which clocks in at 3,767 kilometers.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!