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Science Trivia Questions & Answers for the Classroom
1) True or false - there are 206 bones in an adult human body and 300 bones in an infants body?
True. Some bones in infants skulls have not yet fused together.
2) Where does sound travel faster; water or air?
3) What type of organism makes up the oldest known fossil?
Blue-green algae from South Africa at 3.2 billion years old.
4) True or false- most of the dust in your home is made of human skin?
True - up to 70%!
5) True or false - sterling silver is pure silver?
False. It contains up to 7.5% copper
6) Can you lick your elbow?
No. Now be honest, did you try?
7) In terms of attributed human deaths which are more dangerous; snakes, bees, sharks or house flies?
House flies. They are vectors for disease causing bacteria.
8) If you go into space, do you get taller?
Yes, the cartilage disks in your spine expand under zero gravity.
9) What is the hardest substance in the human body?
Tooth enamel.
10) Can you fold a piece of paper in half 7 times?
No, at least not using everyday paper. NB: We've had some feedback about this one. The 'Mythbusters' show did try this and get 8 folds, however this required a paper sheet the size of a football field and further folding required a steamroller! Check this link. Of course, this is a wikipedia stub and as such needs further verification on it's statements. We've followed the stated instructions and only achieved a "7 fold" a couple of times. For most cases it really isn't that possible. Thanks for the feedback!
11) What is trepanning?
An ancient form of medicine which involved making holes in human skull to relieve pressure; don't try at home!
12) Is Obsidian an igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic rock?
13) When and where was the abacus invented?
At least 2000 years ago. It was invented in Mesopotamia, most likely by the Babylonians.
14) What does TCP/IP stand for?
Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol.
15) What survives impacting Earth's surface; a meteor, a meteorite or an asteroid?
16) What causes an Aurora?
Charged particles from solar wind
17) True or false; your body's temperature rises slightly during digestion?
18) What does the Scoville Heat Unit Scale measure?
The heat of chilies
19) Is a tomato a fruit or vegetable?
A fruit.
20) What's the highest recorded surface wind speed?
372km/h! Over Mt Washington, New Hampshire on April 12, 1934.
21)Where are the three smallest bones in the human body? What are they called?
In the middle ear. Collectively called ossicles, the 3 bones are the Malleus (hammer), Incus (anvil) & Stapes (stirrup).
22) What is the collective name of animals and plants that live on a lake bottom?
23) What is the largest living structure on Earth?
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
24) What is the name of the layer of air closest to us in the atmosphere?
25) What is the strongest known magnet in the Universe?
A Neutron Star
26) What temperature and pressure is needed to convert graphite into a diamond?
3000 degrees celsius and 100,000 atmospheres. That's 10132500 kPA, at least 20,000 times more pressure than the pressure inside the average bike tire!
27) True or false - is lightning 3 times hotter than the Sun?
28) Which chemical causes the burning taste sensation when eating chilies?
29) How much salt does the average human body contain?
Around 250 grams.
30) Which is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature?
Mercury (melting point of -38.87 deg Celsius).
Room temperature is usually defined as 25 deg. Celsius. Gallium gets close to also melting at room temperature > it's melting temperature is 29.78 deg. Celsius... almost made it!
31) Which is the hottest planet in the solar system?
Venus, surface temperature 460oC
32) What's the lifespan of a human red blood cell?
Around 120 days.
33) What is oldest living thing known on Earth?
A bristlecone pine in California... it's about 4600 years old!
34) True or false; A modern human's brain is smaller than a Neanderthal's brain?
35) What is the world's tallest grass?
Bamboo. Some species reach up to 39 metres in height.
36) What formation on Earth can have the names tabular, blocky, wedge, dome, pinnacle, dry dock, growler or bergy bit?
37) Which crystalline formations are on cave ceilings; stalagmites or stalactites?
38) Who invented the first battery?
Count Alessandro Volta
39) What is the longest type of cell in the body?
The nerve cell.
40) How far is the moon away from Earth?
Around 376 600 km away.
41) What Australian timber made the London docks?
Turpentine; Syncarpia glomulifera
42) What is opposite to matter?
43) How old is our Sun?
5 billion years... we think...
44) Why do bubbles pop?
They get too dry from the surrounding air.
45) True or false; when lighting hits a tree the water inside the tree boils and expands, blowing the tree apart?
46) If I kept walking in a straight line on a flat surface with no visible features, is it possible to walk in circles eventually?
People often favor one leg over the other. It is possible that over time the discrepancy between the two leg strides may indeed cause you to walk in circles.
47) If you mix all light colours, do you get black, white or a rainbow?
White. Technically adding all colours of light together is called colour addition.
48) What is the symbol for Silver?
49) Is a white gold ring pure gold?
White gold is usually an alloy of gold and a white metal such as silver and palladium. Nickel is no longer used due to skin allergies.
50) What is 'fools gold'?
Iron pyrite crystals.
51) What does a manometer measure?
The pressure of a closed system.
52) What is the Law of Conservation of Energy?
The energy of the Universe is constant; it can neither be created or destroyed but only transferred and transformed.
53) What is the unit measurement for the activity of a radioactive source?
The Becqueral (Bq). 1 Bq = 1 disintegration per second
54) What is a buret?
A long tube of glass usually marked in 0.1mL units that's equipped with a stopcock for the controlled addition of a liquid to a receiving flask
55) Is the stratosphere above or below the troposphere?
Extending 50km above the troposphere.
56) What is a Pyrogen?
A substance that causes fever.
57) What does bile do in you body?
Emulsify fats.
58) What is Xylem?
The hollow woody tissue in plants that carries water and minerals from the roots to throughout the entire plant
59) Where would you find your pinna?
It's your outer ear.
60) What does ATP stand for?
Adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that is used for energy by all cells
61) What is the name given to planets outside our solar system?
Extrasolar planets
62) What is the scientific name of a Sydney Blue Gum?
Eucalyptus saligna
63) Which is the only Australian mammal restricted to alpine environments?
The Mountain Pygmy Possum
64) Is a Tsunami and a tidal wave the same thing?
65) Why is Merino wool so good at keeping you warm in winter?
Merino wool fibres are wavy, not straight. Wavy wool traps air which is an excellent insulator. This trapped air can be heated by the body. 'Fine' wool fibres have 12 repeating waves for every cm, where as 'Coarse' wool fibres have less than 2 waves per cm. Merino wool can be 'Super Fine', making an awesome material for warm sweaters
66) Who has more hair follicles, blondes or brunettes?
67) Which is the rarest blood type in humans?
AB negative. <1% of the population
68) Where is the largest known meteorite crater on Earth?
Vredefort Ring in South Africa, 299km diameter!
69) What is the definition of dust?
A particle small enough to be carried by air currents.
70) Which country has the longest coastline?
Canada, due to the number of northern islands.
71) True or false; nitroglycerine can be used to treat heart attacks?
True. It dilates blood vessels.
72) Why does eyesight change as you get older?
The eye's lens continues to grow throughout life, becoming thicker and less transparent.
73) Do we have the same number of neck vertebrae as giraffe's?
74) When was the first seismograph invented?
Approximately A.D. 200 in China
75) How many separate patents did Thomas Edison file?

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