Do You Know More About Science Than the Average American?



By: Gavin Thagard

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

"Science means constantly walking a tightrope between blind faith and curiosity; between expertise and creativity; between bias and openness; between experience and epiphany; between ambition and passion; and between arrogance and conviction-in short, between an old today and a new tomorrow." - Heinrich Rohrer 

Science can be both difficult and mesmerizing. It challenges us and changes the way we look at the world and everything in it. How much do you know about science, though? Do you know more than the average American? Here's a quiz where you can find out!

Science can seem simple or unnecessary to those who lack curiosity, yet in reality, nothing could be more important. Science structures how we think, how we look at the world, how we progress and act each day. Science is the build up and application of knowledge. Without it, we wouldn't be able to create new ideas to shape a better, more accurate world. In a sense, we would be stuck. That's why it's important to study and know science. 

Do you know your science? Do you know the basics of the solar system or how the human body operates? How about earth science? How much do you know about plants and animals? Take this quiz and find out!

What does Earth orbit?

For centuries, people thought the Sun orbited around the Earth. However, Nicolaus Copernicus changed human thought with his heliocentric theory, stating that the Sun was at the center.


What theory says humans evolved from animals?

Religion is extremely influential all around the world. Many people deny evolution because of their religious beliefs.


Who's credited with the Theory of Evolution?

Charles Darwin's theory showed that nature governed the world instead of a supernatural agent. The concept of "survival of the fittest" was part of his work.


Shark bones are made of what?

Sharks have incredible noses. They can smell blood from miles away.


Do antibiotics work on the flu?

Antibiotics cannot fight viruses. Therefore, they won't work on the common cold or the flu.


What's the fastest ground animal in the world?

When cheetahs are hunting, they will hide in tall grass. Once prey is spotted, cheetahs use their amazing speed to catch up.


What orbits Earth?

The Moon is a natural satellite that rotates around Earth. The same side of the Moon is always facing Earth.


What's believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

The dinosaurs went extinct around 66 million years ago. Nearly three-quarters of life on Earth was destroyed during that time.


What changes the temperature at which water boils?

Water boils at a lower temperature when at a higher altitude. If you cook, this can affect how you prepare your meals.


Humans breathe out what?

Carbon dioxide is a odorless gas. It is found naturally in the atmosphere.


What was the first satellite in space?

Sputnik was launched by the USSR in 1957. It was only 23 inches in diameter.


What converts carbon dioxide into energy?

Carbon monoxide is used in photosynthesis. It's combined with sunlight and water to promote growth.


Which of these is lighter than air?

We've all seen balloons floating away into the atmosphere after a birthday party. This is because they are filled with helium.


How many teeth do adults have?

Humans have two sets of teeth throughout their life. The first set of teeth is shed during childhood.


What measures earthquakes?

The strongest earthquake ever recorded had a 9.5 magnitude. It occurred in Chile in 1960.


What is hot liquid rock under the Earth called?

Magma in Hawaii is unique compared to other places. Here, magma consists of mainly molten rock and less dissolved gases.


Earthquakes in the ocean cause what?

In 2011, Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. After the earthquake, the island nation was pounded by tsunamis.


What's the largest rainforest on Earth?

The Amazon rainforest covers over 5.5 million square kilometers. The Amazon also holds the Amazon river, the second-longest river in the world.


When does magma turn to lava?

Magma is only considered lava when it exits the Earth. When molten lava rests in a crater above the ground, it's called a lava lake.


What is a cloud made of?

Clouds are formed when water on the Earth evaporates. That water condenses when it reaches cooler air.


What is the center of a hurricane called?

The eye of a hurricane can be quite deceiving because everything seems calm. However, the strongest winds in a hurricane surround the eye's wall.


What's the loudest animal on Earth?

A blue whale's voice can reach 188 decibels. That's louder than a jet.


Is cooking a chemical change?

A chemical change involves turning one material into a new one. It is also called a chemical reaction.


What's the largest non-polar desert in the world?

The Sahara Desert is located in North Africa. It is almost the size of the entire United States.


Which clouds are large and puffy?

Cumulous clouds can grow in size until they form thunderstorm clouds. Thunderstorm clouds are also called cumulonimbus.


Which type of energy is based on movement?

Kinetic energy is determined by an object's mass and speed. It is measured in joules.


What is another name for rain, sleet or hail falling?

Rain occurs when water in a cloud becomes too heavy. Gravity then forces the water to the ground.


What part of the body uses the most energy?

The brain consumes 20% of the body's energy. Most of that energy is used by the neurons to send signals throughout the body.


What is lightning looking for on the ground?

Lightning seeks the quickest route to a positive charge. That includes you, if you're not careful.


What does sound come from?

The speed of sound is 322 meters per second. There are jets in the Air Force that can fly several times that.


What causes thunder?

Thunder is the result of lightning. You can tell how far away a storm is by determining how long it takes thunder to reach you after a lightning strike.


What type of energy does food produce?

Chemical energy is stored in the bonds of chemical compounds. This energy is released during a chemical reaction.


What's a rhino's horn made of?

Rhinoceros comes from the Greek words rhino and ceros. Those words mean hair and horn respectively.


What's the hottest planet in the solar system?

Venus is the second planet from the Sun. The average temperature on the planet is 864 F.


What's the most common element in the Earth's crust?

46% of the Earth's crust is made up of oxygen. The second most common element is silicon.


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