The Ultimate Death Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The Grim Reaper is a personification of death that has been invented and refined over the years to help humans make sense of their own mortality. How much do you know about your own mortality? You can't cheat death, and you can't cheat on this quiz about death, either. So sharpen your scythe and get started.

What causes a death rattle?

A death rattle is a sound made by congestion in the lungs caused by a buildup of fluid.


Which of the following is not one of the top five causes of death in high-income countries?

The top five causes of death in high-income countries, according to the World Health Organization, are coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, lower respiratory infections and pulmonary disease. HIV/AIDS is one of the top five killers in low-income countries.


How long can the brain survive after the heart stops beating?

Brain cells start to die three to seven minutes after the heart stops beating, a point known as biological death.


Do hair and fingernails continue to grow after death?

Sorry, hairs and fingernails aren't magical -- they only seem to grow because the skin shrinks.


Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defined grief as a progression through five distinct stages. What's the correct order for these stages?

You get a gold star if you identified denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance as the correct order.


What is algor mortis?

After the heart stops beating, the body immediately begins to turn cold, a phase known as algor mortis.


What is Balfour's test?

Before the invention of the stethoscope, people performed Balfour's test to check if someone was dead. The test involved sticking needles through the skin into the heart, then watching to see if the needles moved, indicating a heartbeat.


Which medical school wrote the standard definition of death in 1968?

In 1968, Harvard Medical School defined death as irreversible damage to the brain, or brain death.


Who portrayed Death in Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal"?

Bengt Ekerot portrays Death and Max von Sydow plays Antonius Block in Bergman's film about the ultimate game of chess.


How many people perished during the Black Death?

From 1347 to 1351, 25 million people, or one-third of Europe's population at the time, met their end.


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!