Quiz: Do You Know the History of Everything?: HowStuffWorks
Do You Know the History of Everything?
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By: Heather Cahill
6 Min Quiz
Image: Bruce Rolff / Stocktrek Images / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Welcome to the universe, with a history that dates back to billions of years. There are many things to cover over this considerable period from the creation of the universe to the world in which we live today. Maybe you know the history we are making today, but does the history of the past stump you?
Whether you realize it or not, every day you're making history. It doesn't have to be in huge ways, even just how we are living day-to-day can be our legacy. Thinking back on the past, we now study the ways of life that the people before us had. We often share similarities with the people of the past, but we can also find some significant differences. Just think back to the cleaning agent that the Romans used during their day. That's one practice we can probably all agree should stay in the past! Nevertheless, these facts fascinate us. We can only predict that the people of the future will be fascinated with us, too.
Could you recite the history of the world from the moment of its creation? Then you'll have to prove it by taking this quiz!
In 2012, there was a sign of what found on Mars that proved to be groundbreaking?
Finding evidence of water on Mars was something that became a significant discovery in our modern history. While evidence that there had been water there was found, it's still unclear on whether or not it can still be found on the planet. However, it could be the key to unlocking history or secrets behind the red planet.
What brought the United States into World War II?
An attack on the United States naval base in Pearl Harbor by Japan was the reason the United States became involved in World War II. This came two years into the war, which began in 1939. In the four years that followed, the United States gained victory as part of the Allied powers.
There have been four eons since the Earth's beginning. In which eon are we currently living?
The Phanerozoic Eon is the eon in which we are living right now. Surprisingly, Pangea, the supercontinent of our past, both formed and broke apart within this current eon.
A trilobite existed in the Cambrian period, but what is it?
Trilobites were bug-like creatures that were found all over the Earth during the Cambrian period. They were most commonly found in the water, not far from the shore. This time period would have been a bug lover's dream!
The theory of the Big Bang says the universe has been doing which of the following since the explosion?
In the theory of how the Big Bang started the universe, it is thought that it started off with everything in one place, and it is now endlessly expanding. The more the universe expanded, the more it began to cool off and allow organisms to sprout.
Which unusual pet did King Henry III have that was a gift from another ruler?
A trip to the Tower of London nowadays wouldn't be very out of the ordinary. But during the reign of King Henry III, his pet polar bear was kept inside of the tower and allowed to go into the water as well. The bear was a gift from King Haakon of Norway.
Before humans, the dinosaurs were the Earth's inhabitants. The heaviest dinosaur to ever walk the Earth was what?
The Argentinosaurus would be one that many in the world would fear if they were still alive nowadays. Their estimated weight was around 100 tons, but it is even less than the weight of a blue whale.
The second period of Earth's history brought life. What is it known as?
There are four eons in the Earth's very long history. The Archean Eon brought on some of the first life to emerge on Earth. Prokaryotes are organisms that have been traced back to this period, with many others living at this time as well.
An important part of our evolution came from our ancestors. Which human ancestor was the first to discover fire?
Homo erectus showed the first use of fire of the many early human ancestors. There is even evidence to suggest that Homo erectus was one of the first to cook food, helping with evolution over the years.
What is the name of the first satellite ever launched into space?
Sputnik 1 was the Russian satellite that first went into orbit. Unlike satellites such as the International Space Station, Sputnik 1 was extremely small, although that's not what the country had hoped for.
The first urban civilization to exist on Earth is considered to be which of the following?
The city of Sumer was the first of its kind. It's in Mesopotamia and became one of the oldest civilizations in history. Sumerians had prime real estate, as their agricultural base was located between two major rivers. Because of the reliable irrigation, the city of Sumer had the crops to support large populations as they pursued arts and language organizationally.
Bartolomeo Cristofori created which instrument in 1698?
The piano that we know today first got its start in the late 1600s. Over the years, the piano saw improvements from other revolutionary individuals. It's thanks to Bartolomeo Cristofori that we now get to enjoy the sweet sounds of the piano.
Living in what we know today as Mexico, what became the downfall of the Aztecs?
The Aztec civilization was affected severely by diseases that were brought by the Spaniards. One disease that had a devastating effect on the Aztec people was smallpox, which contributed to their downfall.
A Roman emperor did which of the following daily?
Most wouldn't think that a emperor would want to poison themselves, but it was a common practice in ancient Rome. The thought process behind it was that if they poisoned themselves a little bit each day, they would become immune to it.
It might seem like they were around for a long time, but it was short in comparison to the Earth itself. In which era did the dinosaurs exist?
The dinosaurs were around for a very long time on Earth. Throughout their over 100 million year history on the planet, they evolved and reproduced until their extinction. Did you know that a pterodactyl is not actually a dinosaur? It was a reptile!
Nowadays, how has our ability to receive the latest news improved?
The news has been revolutionized since the rapid growth of technology. Almost everyone has a phone with them that allows them to find out something that happened mere seconds earlier at the click of the button. The world has come a long way since the Pony Express!
News had to travel somehow in the past. What was the name of the mail service that delivered letters in the American West?
The Pony Express was an important part of communication in the American West. The service could take a letter across the country for you, but the travel made it a slow alternative. At the time, it was hard to do anything must faster.
Who taught the famous philosopher Plato in ancient Greece?
Socrates, another important philosopher, was Plato's teacher. Plato then became a teacher himself, spreading what he learned to young philosophers such as Aristotle. The three are regarded as some of the greatest philosophers in history.
Queen Victoria was famous for making other things famous. Which of the following was popularized in the Victorian era?
The Christmas tree rose to fame in the Victorian era, after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria set one up in their home. As with many things that the queen did and wore, it became an overnight sensation.
The birthplace of the Renaissance took place in which city?
Florence, Italy, was where the Renaissance truly got its start and became famous for the art that came out of it. However, much more was affected by the time period. Much of the thinking in the world, as well as the political climate, changed during that period.
While we weren't there to see it, we've found evidence of how dinosaurs were born. Do you know the answer?
Dinosaurs gave birth quite similar to how birds give birth today — laying an egg and hatching it. In fact, birds are descendants of these ancient creatures, which can explain a bit about why they both share the same birthing practices.
An important time for our universe, the Hadean Eon brought on the formation of what?
The Hadeon Eon is an important one for our solar system. The planets were formed during this time, as well as our moon. Did you know that the moon was formed by many rocks coming together to form one bigger body?
The Isthmus of Panama connects North America to which part of the world?
The Isthmus of Panama was formed about 3 million years ago. But it's formation has changed the world and the climate of the Earth. Before this narrow strip of land emerged from the water, the Pacific Ocean separated North and South America.. The Panama Canal cuts through the Isthmus of Panama, allowing vessels to pass from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Baltica was the amalgamation of Asia and what other modern-day continent?
Everyone knows Pangea, but after this super continent, there were many more to come. Baltica was one of them and it was a smaller continent during its time. Nowadays, you can get a taste of the ancient Baltica in Europe and Asia.
Important to our survival, from where is the water on our Earth said to have come?
Asteroids are thought to be the origin of the water on Earth, as they carry many of the same chemicals, as well as carry ice. Larger asteroids would have been very capable of putting huge amounts of water on the surface of Earth.
Of the following, Homo habilis, an ancestor to humans, was known to use what?
An early ancestor of humans, Homo habilis knew how to create simple tools to make their lives a little easier. The tools were often used for tasks like carving. Many of these tools have been preserved since their discovery.
World War I was the first war with the involvement of which of the following?
Planes were used heavily for the first time in this worldwide conflict. Each country developed its own planes that would fight from above by taking out enemy airplanes in the air or taking out people on the ground.
Life was once documented through paintings and writing. Today we all have access to better technology. What do we often use to remember our past?
Everyone has a camera in their pocket today. With the popularity of phones and even digital cameras, the world is constantly being documented. The people of the future might find that they have a much easier time to see how we lived in our day.
The name used for the generation born right after World War II is what?
Baby boomers are a unique generation of people born just after the end of World War II. This was a time where a large number of babies were being born, creating a very large generation of kids.
Of the following, which area has made tremendous progress in the United States' political arena in recent years?
Although these three categories only scratch the surface of the many issues in the world, they have become very important in today's society. There's always more we can do to make progress!
The moon landing made history for many reasons. Who was the first man on the moon?
Neil Armstrong will forever go down in history as the first man to set foot on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. It's something many of us could only dream of doing. He did it alongside his fellow astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, while the mission's third astronaut, Michael Collins, circled the moon in the Command Module until Armstrong and Aldrin rejoined him before heading back to Earth.
In 1937, the first technology of its kind emerged. What is it?
This is not to be confused with the personal computer, which came about at a much later date. But the first computers largely dealt with numbers and weren't exactly the same as the computers we know today.
It's a sight to see at any time in history. Who discovered the first nova?
The stars were here long before the human race was, and new stars are constantly being formed. The first to be witnessed and recorded was when Hipparchus, an astronomer, came across one.
Who wore the Star of David during the Holocaust?
The Star of David is a Jewish symbol which the Nazis used to identify Jews during World War II. Over time, these identifiers changed and a number of different symbols and pieces were worn instead.
What word is used for the form that the Earth took on during the Proterozoic Eon?
Snowball Earth is a term given to the Earth during the Proterozoic Eon due to its frozen state. In fact, if we had been alive at this time, you wouldn't have had to be living at the poles to be living where the snow was. Ice covered the entire Earth.
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