Is This Common Knowledge Fact True or False?


By: Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Think you know enough to prove the crowd wrong? Over the years, assumptions, mistranslations and misunderstandings can lead to all sorts of widespread mistakes. There are a lot of things the average person would assume to be fact-based universal truths that completely miss the mark. New advancements and discoveries are made in all sorts of fields every day, meaning that leading authorities can even prove themselves wrong from time to time. This is a natural part of learning and discovery across the board.    

However, this can create confusion for the average person, who doesn't spend a lot of time with their nose buried in a scientific journal. In fact, sometimes people pass down incorrect or outdated information for generations and generations. Unfortunately, many people become emotionally attached to opinions based on incorrect information and are unwilling to admit that they don't have the full picture. Just because you have heard people say or insist something is true often, doesn't necessarily mean its true. 

If you are a fact-based machine that isn't afraid to step away from the crowd, you don't always trust "they say" as a reliable information source, and if you think you know what's true and what's false, give this quiz a whirl! 

True or false: Milk is essential to your health.

Despite clever marketing, milk is not actually essential to your health. The majority of people who are not of European descent are actually lactose intolerant, and dairy makes them sick. There are numerous other sources of calcium and vitamin D out there.


True or false: SUVs are one of the safest types of cars you can buy.

Many SUV's are top-heavy and more difficult to handle than standard cars. For this reason, single-vehicle crashes in SUVs and pickups are actually more likely to be fatal than crashes in other types of vehicles.


True or false: The blood in your body is red.

While some believe that blood is blue but looks red when exposed to oxygen, this is not true. Your blood is red both in and out of your body.


True or false: Raw vegetables and fruits are always better for you.

It depends on the type of fruit of vegetable. While some are better raw, others, like onions and garlic, are actually more nutritious after they are slightly cooked.


True or false: Goldfish bowls are bad for goldfish.

Goldfish naturally grow to be quite large and keeping them in a tiny bowl is bad for their health. This is why many die shortly after being brought home.


True or false: Eating hot sauce regularly causes stomach cancer.

Tabasco sauce causing stomach cancer is a popular urban myth. In fact, researchers have been exploring the possible anti-cancer benefits of capsaicin, the chemical compound which makes chili peppers spicy.


True or false: Elephants can't jump.

While this seems impossible, there are actually a number of mammals that can't jump. These include sloths, hippos and rhinos.


True or false: The more water you drink, the healthier you are.

While it is important to stay hydrated for your health, people have actually died from fatal water overdose. Too much water dilutes your blood of salt which can cause the brain and organs to swell and even cause death.


True or false: Norway is not a member of the European Union.

Norway has several cooperative agreements with the EU, but it is not a member of it. Many of the EU's ideals are different from Norway's.


True or false: Frankenstein is the name of the doctor, not the monster.

In Mary Shelley's novel, Dr. Victor Frankenstein is the creator of the creature. In the book, this creature is only referred to as "The Monster" and never given a name.


True or false: You can do eye exercises to improve your vision.

Eye exercises have never been scientifically proven to guarantee stronger and better vision. For that, you need glasses.


True or false: If you have an open wound, you can use alcohol as an antiseptic.

Alcohol can disinfect intact skin, but when applied to open wounds it kills both germs and some of the exposed human tissue. This can cause wounds to heal way more slowly than they should.


True or false: The Big Bang was an explosion.

The Big Bang was not a destructive explosion in the way that we understand explosions. It was a massive expansion of space.


True or false: Chinese is the most commonly spoken language in the world.

China is the world's largest country, home to about a fifth of the entire world's population. They speak various dialects of Chinese, making it the world's most spoken language.


True or false: If you are impaled by something, you shouldn't pull it out of your body yourself.

If the object is large, seek professional care. The placement of the object may be helping to keep you alive by blocking the wound from bleeding out.


True or false: A person's hair and fingernails continue growing after death.

While this appears to be true, things are not always as they seem. The hair and nails look longer after death because the skin shrivels, exposing their roots.


True or false: Men are naturally better at math than women.

Men and women actually test similarly and have similar grades in classes ranging from grade school through to the doctorate level. Women and men show similar aptitude when it comes to math skills.


True or false: Ponies are not just baby horses.

Baby horses are called foals. Ponies are a tiny breed of horse.


True or false: Freedom of speech means that you can say whatever you want without consequences.

Freedom of Speech means that the government cannot punish, penalize or imprison you for your stated opinions. However, you cannot say threatening things at the airport or yell "fire" in a public place when there's no fire.


True or false: Humans can only access 10% of their brains.

While we may only use portions of the brain at a time to focus on certain tasks, that does not mean most of the human brain is dead weight. A different part might be used to focus on driving or catch a ball than to complete a math problem, but that does not mean the majority of the brain is never used.


True or false: Shaving makes your hair grow back darker.

While hair appears thicker and darker when it grows in, this is just because it is new hair. Shaving does not affect your hair's pigment but does cause you to grow new hair, which looks thicker and feels coarser than more worn down old hair.


True or false: Feeding bread to ducks is bad for them.

Bread is not good for ducks. It can lead to malnutrition and diseases which can be fatal.


True or false: Cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis.

While it can sound annoying, painful or potentially damaging, there is actually no evidence that cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis. People who do this have about the same chance of getting arthritis as anyone else.


True or false: Dolphins are mammals.

Many sea creatures, such as dolphins, whales and porpoises, are mammals. They are warm-blooded and have to make trips to the surface to breathe.


True or false: Human eyes are the same size at birth and death.

Human eyes do grow a small amount after birth, especially during the first two years of life. By puberty, eyes reach their full size.


True or false: Einstein failed math in school.

Einstein was a lifelong math genius who mastered integral and differential calculus as a teenager. He did, however, struggle with non-math subjects, especially French.


True or false: It takes seven years to digest swallowed gum.

Any gum you swallow will be partially digested and the rest will pass through you normally. None of the gum will stick around for years.


True or false: The Great Wall of China can be seen from space.

Astronauts cannot make out many details of earth's structures with the naked eye from space. According to astronauts, the Great Wall blends into the landscape that surrounds it.


True or false: Chocolate is bad for dogs.

Eating chocolate can be fatal for dogs. This is because chocolates contain theobromine, which can cause a fatal reaction in dogs.


True or false: Bulls are angered by the color red.

Bulls are actually color blind. They become angry because matadors actively antagonize them and the waving flag annoys them.


True or false: China is the world's most populous country.

With a population of roughly 1.4 billion people, China is the most populous country in the world. 20% of the world is Chinese.


True or false: A duck's quack doesn't echo.

This old myth is not true. A duck's quack echoes just like any other sound.


True or false: Bats are blind.

The old saying "blind as a bat" just doesn't hold any weight. All bats can see, and bigger bats can see three times better than humans can.


True or false: Coffee is bad for you.

While too much of almost anything is bad for you, in moderation coffee is a source of antioxidants. It has also been medically linked to a reduced chance of getting certain cancers and diseases.


True or false: The most common name in the world is Muhammad.

While the most popular name varies by culture and region, globally the name Muhammad and variations of it is the most popular. Check the global phone book for more than 150 million men and boys with that name.


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!