Few skills are quite as satisfying as that of knowing the answers to a series of random trivia questions. Even if none of the information is actually relevant in day-to-day life, there's just something about that feeling of knowing things. Whether it's the capital of an Eastern European country or the underlying science behind an obscure theory of physics, there's a certain joy to knowing things just for the sake of knowing them.
Our education system these days focuses so much on training our youth to excel at a particular skill, but in devoting ourselves to learning marketable talents, we often forget to learn for the sake of learning. Even if it won't help us get a job in tech, it's kind of fun to know what the underlying causes of the collapse of the Roman Empire were. Although becoming well-versed in Einstein's theory of relativity might not do much for our resumes, it can sure come in handy when participating in trivia nights at the local pub.
There's a whole world of knowledge out there that's worth learning even though it might not have much extrinsic value. There's joy to be had in educating oneself. And being able to beat everyone we know at trivia isn't a bad side product.
What is the capital of Denmark?
We all know the capitals of the world's most famous countries. Few people are unaware that London is the capital of Britain and most everyone knows that Paris is the capital of France. However, once we get into countries that aren't in the news every other day, then it can be difficult to remember which capital is which- especially given that many of the capitals of the world aren't their country's most famous city. For example, one might expect Sydney to be the capital of Australia, but it's Canberra that takes the title. Can anyone name the capital of Denmark?
Which country is known to have the best airlines in the world?
Air travel is never fun. Between the sick people, the crying babies and the cramped quarters, it's hard to walk off of a plane happier than when we walked on (unless the airline streamed episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine- then it's possible). As trying on the patience air travel can be, there are some airlines that are doing pretty darn well in the comfort department. Whether it's tasty food or hot towels, certain companies just know how to do air travel right. So, even though no one wants to board a fifteen hour flight to Australia, flying with certain airlines certainly makes for a more pleasant experience than others. Which country is known for its high class airlines?
Who wrote Pride and Prejudice?
Pride and Prejudice is one of those titles that everyone knows even if no one actually knows what it's about. Alongside books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Gone With The Wind and Jane Eyre, this book is part of the world's classic repertoire, forever revered as one of the must-reads of the last millennium. Thanks to its Colin Firth-centered film made about the book, most everyone knows that Pride and Prejudice is about a romance in the 1800s, but beyond this, not many people are that well-versed in the history of this groundbreaking novel. Does anyone know who wrote it?
Which scientist came up with the idea of gravity?
Gravity was a concept that revolutionized the way we viewed the world. No longer did objects fall when dropped just "because." Suddenly, the world had a theory that explained the reason balls drop to the ground. This theory was one of the most groundbreaking scientific theories in the history of the world. It laid foundations for future scientists to build upon, leading to many of the groundbreaking discoveries modern scientists have made. It is no exaggeration to say that the idea of gravity changed the course of human history forever. Can anyone name which scientist came up with this theory?
Which of these historic battles happened most recently?
We all know the most famous battles throughout history. There were the wars waged by the Romans, there were many pitch battles fought during the Middle Ages, there are the more modern wars of the 1800s, and there are the catastrophic wars of the 20th century during which millions of people lost their lives. Although many of us know the names of the most prominent battles in history, not all of us can pick out the chronology of these battles. Not everyone is a war history buff, so although the names of battles may sound familiar to many of us, it can be more difficult to remember their timing. Which of these battles happened most recently?
How many countries are there in the world?
It can be easy to forget just how many countries there are out there. The world is a wide place, and although we only really hear about a handful of countries in the news everyday, there are a ton of other places out there that don't get all that much media attention. World travelers may be familiar with some of the lesser known countries of the world, but for the regular joes amongst us, it can be difficult to remember just how many countries are out there in this bright, wide world of ours. Can anyone pick out how many countries there are?
Which of the following countries does NOT have a monarch?
For those of us who live in the United States, it can be easy to forget that there are many countries in the world that still have monarchies. Although the Ancient Greeks gave democracy a fair shake back in their day, kingdoms were the go-to form of civilization around the world for well over a millennium. Trusting everyday people with the leadership of the country was seen as ridiculous, with monarchies seen as more sustainable and stable. However, after America tossed monarchical rule to the side, many other countries followed suite. Which of the following countries does NOT have a monarch?
Which of the following is NOT a type of electromagnetic radiation?
Most of us are aware of what electromagnetic radiation is. Alongside buoyancy, gravity and kinematics, it's a must-teach in high school physics courses. And although science classes can be a bit of a bore, learning about waves in physics usually meant taking a slinky to the floor and waving it around like a maniac, so the classes devoted to EMR were usually a little more fun than the rest. Although most of us know the basics of EMR, not all of us know everything there is to know about it. For example, we doubt everyone will be able to pick out which of the following is NOT a form of EMR.
What is the biggest country in the world?
The world is full to the brim of tiny countries. There are some that are barely bigger than a city, and some still that are but a tiny part of a city (Vatican City, anyone?). But some of the most famous countries in the world are the biggest ones. Given the amount of land that they stretch over, they are hard to ignore on the world stage. They tend to control many resources and often they have sizeable populations (but not always- some of the smaller countries in the world can have some of the largest populations, like Japan). What is the biggest country in the world?
Which of these country's people have the longest lifespans?
There are many things that come together to extend life. People can work on their diet, incorporate exercise into their daily routines and take select, life-extending medications. However, a lot of longevity comes down to one thing and one thing only- genetics. When a person has good genes, even a lifetime of poor choices can do little to decrease their lifespan. In some areas of the world, people are unusually long-lived. Whether this is due to genes or lifestyle is up for debate (as per usual, it's likely a mix of the two). Can anyone pick out which of the following countries' people have the longest lifespan?
Which of the following animals is NOT a reptile?
We all know what reptiles are. Or do we? When we think of this group of animals, our minds tend to conjure images of dinosaurs and other scaly creatures. So, in general, we have an idea of what these animals look like, and most of us could probably name four or five of the most famous reptilian species. But when we're tested on what ISN'T a reptile, things can get a little more difficult. There are many animals that share features even though they might not belong to the same group of creatures. Can anyone figure out which of the following animals isn't a reptile?
What percentage of the air is made up of oxygen?
Air. We breathe it every moment of every day, yet many of us don't know that much about it. We know we need it to survive and we know what it feels like when we go without it for more than a few seconds. But when it comes to its composition, many of us have no clue. There has to be oxygen in it, right? But aside from that, what is air made of? Is it ENTIRELY oxygen? Or could there be some other type of gas sprinkled in amongst those oxygen atoms? Can anyone name what percentage of the air is made of oxygen?
Which of the following comedians DOESN'T host a late night show?
We all love comedians. In troubled times, they provide levity and brightness that we might not otherwise find in the daily grind of life. These days, there are a lot of comedians out there. There are those comedians who often found their roots in The Daily Show. There are the stand-ups who tour the world telling jokes to enormous stadiums of people. And there are the alums of Saturday Night Live, who often go on to become movie stars or host talk shows. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget which comedian has done what. Can anyone name which of these comedians has NOT hosted a late night television show?
What are the cells in our nervous system called?
We use them every minute of every day. They're what make us us. Whether they're controlling our gait, putting us to sleep or helping us navigate an awkward work situation, our brain cells are some of the most important cells in our body. But not everyone can pick out their technical name. People might be able to remember from their high school biology classes exactly what these cells are called, but for those of us who have been out of school for awhile now, it can be easy to forget the details of human anatomy. What are these cells called?
True or False: Hair is made up of living cells.
It seems like we'd know a bit more about the thing that we fuss over in the mornings like our lives depend on it. Although we don't actively think about it all that often, hair is such an important part of everyday life. It keeps us warm, it frames our faces and its part of our personal styles. Man or woman, we all take time in the morning to do at least something to our hair, whether that's brushing it out, styling it with gel or curling it JUST enough to be noticeable without it looking like we tried too hard (ladies know what we're talking about). Does anyone know whether hair is made of living cells or not?
True or False: Fish require oxygen.
They live in the water. But does that mean they don't require oxygen? Try and reach back through time into those high school biology classes. There were sections on photosynthesis, human anatomy and cell structure. We all remember learning about the different groups of the animal kingdom, from reptiles to mammals to bacteria. Even though most of us remember the struggle of biology classes, not all of us can recall the specifics of class. For instance, although this question might seem obvious, it's surprising how many people aren't sure of this answer. Can anyone figure out whether fish require oxygen or not?
Which country is Greenland part of?
Greenland. It's that place near Canada that's not green at all, contrary to its misleading name. Greenland is covered in enormous glaciers and flying over it looks like flying over an enormous snowball. People might remember it from the Ben Stiller movie The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, in which the main character visits this place in search of a lost photograph. Although most of us have heard of this part of the world, not all of us can pick out which country this land is actually part of. Can anyone figure out which of the listed countries Greenland belongs to?
Which author wrote The Lord of the Rings?
Most of us have seen (and obsessed over) The Lord of the Rings. There's just something about the story. Between its species-spanning friendships, its epic battles and its sweet romances, there's something in it for everyone. And it's not just a fantasy, either. There are a lot of deeper themes woven into the story of The Lord of the Rings. It's the hobbits, not men or Elves, that save Middle Earth from destruction, proving that even small people can accomplish great things. Also, friendship is a major theme, with many of the characters unable to accomplish their quests on their own and requiring the assistance of their companions. Can anyone name who wrote this epic series?
Who wrote The Great Gatsby?
This is one of the greatest novels of the United States. It tells of the story of a man in love. Having fallen for a woman named Daisy in his youth, Gatsby spends his young adulthood trying to emulate the type of man she would be interested in. That type of man? In a word, rich. When he finally reunites with her later in life, everything seems peachy at first, until Daisy finds out where his wealth actually came from. For most of his life, Gatsby just wanted to recapture a moment of us past, unable to move on and live his life. Who wrote this classic?
What language is spoken in Brazil?
During the last millennium, Europeans have set forth and conquered much of the world. From the English to the French to the Spanish to the Dutch, Europeans saw a world without Europeans in it and decided it was ripe for the taking, even if people were already inhabiting the land. As a result, much of the Americas, Australia, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia saw extensive European influence and colonization. Brazil was one of these places, with Europeans settling its shores and going on to change the course of South American history. Can anyone name what language is spoken in Brazil?
How often are the Winter Olympics held?
The Olympics are an amazing time for citizens of the globe. Countries around the world come together to compete in a language common to all: sports. It's an opportunity to discover new places, with the games held in different cities every time. The Olympics are a chance for obscure cities to make a name for themselves on the world stage. They've been held in places like London, Beijing, Vancouver and Athens, but the honour of hosting the games is not reserved for famous cities. Many smaller cities have also hosted the games. Does anyone know how often the Winter Olympics are held?
Which of the following series boasts Daenerys Targaryen as a main character?
We are living in the golden age of television. From Breaking Bad to Black Mirror, there are an abundance of high quality TV shows on air these days, making it hard to pull ourselves away from our living room sofas. Between the writing, the special effects and the stellar actors, it's hard for people not to find a TV show that resonates with them in this day and age. The same goes for movies. In a nutshell, storytelling these days is just on point. With so many people watching TV and movies, most everyone is able to identify key figures in popular shows and films. Which show has Daenerys Targaryen as a main character?
Which of the following historical events occurred first?
We all know the basics of history. Although most of us couldn't name the core figures of the Renaissance or the key thinkers of the Enlightenment, we know that these events happened, just like we know the Middle Ages happened. There have been enough films about these eras in history that most all of us have a general idea of what they were like. But not all of us can name the order in which these types of events happened. From movies like Shakespeare In Love or Sherlock Holmes, we might be able to summarize what life in the era might have been like. But can anyone name which of these events occurred first?
How often does a leap year occur?
Every once and awhile, an extra day is added to the year to make sure our calendars all stay accurate. This extra day is added at the end of February, and often, children born on this day claim they don't have a birthday every year. And, technically, this is true. Kids born on February 29 often celebrate their birthdays the day before during the years that don't have this extra day. In some ways, leap years are a good excuse for people to claim they're younger than they are. Unable to celebrate birthdays every year, this means they're younger, right? Well, no. But it's nice to dream, right? How often do leap years occur?
What is the name of Harry Potter's red-haired sidekick?
Anyone who grew up during the age of Harry Potter should know the answer to this question. Really, anyone who's ever been on the Internet should know the answer to this question. Harry Potter is to pop culture as Kim Kardashian is to reality television. The Wizarding World that J. K. Rowling created has become one of the most celebrated stories of all time, enriching the lives of both children and adults alike. So, even for those readers who don't consider themselves Potterheads, naming Harry Potter's sidekick shouldn't be too difficult. What is the name of the character in the picture?
Which of the following animals does NOT live in the arctic?
The arctic may seem inhospitable, but life finds a way to thrive in most every environment on Earth. Even underneath the very ice sheets that cover the ocean, life can be found, defying expectations and perceived limitations at every turn. So, although the cold and limited food of the arctic might seem prohibitive to life, many different species call the far north hone. Some of these animals hibernate in the winter and burrow into the snow, while others live their lives beneath the waters of the ocean, but all have found a niche in the northern stretches of the world. Which of the following species does not live in the arctic?
Who is the richest person in the world?
From the economic system that brought us Uber and McDonald's, we also get ridiculously rich billionaires with more money than the entire GDP of some countries. Sure, capitalism has been good in the realm of consumer satisfaction, but when it comes to economic equality, it doesn't have a stellar track record. While millions of people around the world live in abject poverty, others are sailing around the Mediterranean on slick yachts, taking in the sights of Europe from their own personal hotel on the water. We get the appeal of wealth, but sometimes, it's a bit over the top. Can anyone name who the richest person in the world is?
Where in the United States did the Salem Witch Trials occur?
The Salem Witch Trials were a stain upon the history of the United States. Mass hysteria ran rampant, turning neighbours against each other, but mostly, turning popular opinion against women. When people start to panic, common sense tends to vanish like a willow the wisp on the wind, and when crowd mentality kicks in, things get even worse. When mass hysteria set in during the Salem Witch Trials, it was women who paid the price, with many burned at the stake for their supposed "witchcraft." Although most people know the gist of what happened during these trials, not everyone can name where they happened. Can anyone pick out the location of this tragic event?
Which of the following creatures is NOT in Star Wars?
For anyone who thought the era of Star Wars was the 1970s and 1980s, think again. Star Wars has undergone a rebirth in the last five years, with an entire new trilogy hitting theatres and captivating young audiences. Now, there are Star Wars super fans from the ages of 5 to 65. Most every generation since the late 1900s has had a Star Wars film premiere during their youth, so the appeal of this popular series spans generations. Most people are familiar with the many creatures of Star Wars. But can anyone pick out which of these creatures was NOT in the series?
True or False: Heliocentricism refers to the history of the Greeks.
We've all heard the term. It sounds fancy, with all those syllables, but it really has quite a simple meaning. Most people who have studied history have probably come across this term multiple times, especially if they've spent some time on the history of the Scientific Revolution and the Renaissance. Travellers might also be familiar with the term, as most history museums have at least a small section that discusses the meaning of this word and its impact on history. So, can anyone who's taking this quiz figure out the answer to this question? Does heliocentrism refer to the history of the Greeks?
Who is the King of the Gods in Greek mythology?
We all know the basics of Greek mythology. But, given how much mythology is out there in the world, it can be easy to confuse the myths of different cultures for one another. When we learn European history, it becomes obvious how the myths of different European cultures have influenced each other over the years. The Romans borrowed the gods of the Greeks put stamped new names on them. Even Christianity was influenced by Greek mythology. Although most of us are familiar with the basics of Greek myth, not everyone has been exposed to these stories. Can anyone name the King of the Greek Gods?
Which author wrote The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn?
The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn is a classic of America's literary tradition. It tells the story of a young boy fleeing an abusive father. Along the road, he befriends a runaway slave and together, they embark on a series of adventures while rafting down a river. It is simultaneously about frontier life, the thirst for adventure, the dreams of childhood, the search for freedom and social justice, all told from the perspective of a young child with minimal education. All in all, it is a tale of America, showing that everyday people have just as much to say as the great thinkers of Europe. Who wrote this classic?
True or False: There is no sound is space.
This is a tough one. Although most of us haven't actually been to space, we have a general idea of what it's like from the movies. A person goes on a spacewalk in one of those giant suits and talks with Houston on the radio (hopefully not to say, "We have a problem."). In the movies, when a giant battle occurs in space, there are always loud sounds and explosions that make our seats vibrate in the theatres. But is this scientifically accurate? Is there actually sound in space? Well, sound is a longitudinal wave that travels through a medium. From this information, can anyone figure out the answer to this question?
During which decade did America enter World War II?
World War II was one of the most tragic events of the 20th century. Millions of people met their end during this war and the lives of millions more were changed forever. Although many European countries entered into this war shortly after Germany started its expansion, America waited a little bit longer. The United States only joined the Second World War after the events at Pearl Harbour. Although most people know the gist of World War II's history, not everyone is as well-versed in the specifics of its chronology. Can anyone name the decade in which America joined the war?
Who plays Captain America in the Marvel movies?
The 2010s have been the decade of the superhero movie. After Iron Man blasted into theatres in 2008, all eyes were on Tony Stark. Marvel only built its following from there, expanding its universe to include Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and Black Widow. Then, The Avengers took the world by storm, and since then, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown meteorically, with Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Ant-Man taking the stage. And Avengers: Infinity War was the icing on the cake, bringing all of our favourite heroes together to battle the biggest super villain of all: Thanos. Can anyone name who plays Captain America?