The world we live in is quite a fascinating one and there’s always something new to learn daily. Although one can say that we have explored and learned about the world, it is not enough to compare with the things that we are yet to discover. Science trivia questions and answers is one sure way we can learn more about how the world and our environment works and also make new discoveries.
If you are ready to learn new things and widen your knowledge about the world around you, these science trivia questions will surely help you achieve that. These science trivia questions and answers range from easy to hard; and at the end of each question comes the answer. This compilation of science-based questions is meant for all ages, not only for knowledge acquisition but also a sure way to have fun.
Our Comprehensive List of Science Trivia Questions and Answers
1. Where does sound travel faster; water or air?
Sounds usually travel faster in the water when compared with air because water particles are packed more densely. Although it takes more energy to generate sound waves in water, once it is done the sound waves move faster than on air.
2. What is the name given to planets outside our solar system?
Answer: Extrasolar planets or Exoplanet
An extrasolar planet is a planet that is found outside our solar system. Its planetary system is called HR 8799 system and they usually orbit a star, which is a part of their own solar system. The exoplanet was first discovered in 1917 and the evidence was further noted in 1988. Did you know that there are over 4000 confirmed exoplanets while about 6,000 await further confirmation?
3. When was the first seismograph invented?
Answer: Approximately A.D. 200 in China
A seismograph is an instrument used to record seismic waves caused by earth-shaking phenomena like earthquakes and explosions, among others. The seismograph was invented by a Chinese astronomer named Chang Heng in 132 A.D.
4. How old is the universe?
Answer: The Universe is at least 13.8 billion years old, but probably not more than 20 billion years old.
The universe must be as old as the oldest thing that can be found in it. Hence, astrophysicists determine the age of the universe either by measuring the oldest light or taking measurements of galaxies or perhaps go hunting for stars.
5. If you mix all light colors, do you get black, white, or a rainbow?
Technically adding all colors of light together is called color addition. When mixed, the light colors become light. Sunlight appears white which aids the colors of the rainbow to appear through refraction. However, in art, when mixed, these light colors will give something dark because it is oversaturated with pigment.
6. What type of organism makes up the oldest known fossil?
Answer: Blue-green algae from South Africa at 3.2 billion years old.
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are an ancient group of photosynthetic microbes that occur in most inland waters. The Cyanobacteria said to have an extensive and oldest fossil record is from Archaean rocks of western Australia and is about 3.5 billion years old.
7. What is the world’s tallest grass?
Bamboos are diverse groups of evergreen perennial flowering plants in the subfamily of Bambusoideae of the grass family, Poaceae. Depending on the species, Bamboos can grow as tall as 4.5 – 12m, which is between 15 and 39 feet. In some parts of the world, it Bamboos can be used for scaffolding, fences, bridges, and building.
8. Which scientist proposed the three laws of motion?
Answer: Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist, astronomer, author, theologian, and mathematician best remembered as one of the most influential scientists of all time. He propounded the three laws of motion, which was introduced in his book, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687; Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).
9. What is the name of the planet that spins the fastest and completes one whole rotation in just 10 hours?
Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet in our Solar System and it rotates at least once within 10 hours, which is very fast considering its size. This means that Jupiter will be experiencing the shortest days among all the other planets in our Solar System.
10. What is the smallest city in the world?
Answer: Vatican city
Vatican City is the world’s smallest city, and it is surrounded by Rome, Italy, which is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The city is only 0.17 square miles, which is not even a quarter of the size of the next smallest country, Monaco.
11. What does ATP stand for?
Answer: Adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that is used for energy by all cells
Adenosine triphosphate, otherwise known as ATP, is the molecule responsible for carrying energy in the cells of all living things. It absorbs chemical energy that comes from the breakdown of food molecules and further releases it to fuel cellular processes in the body.
12. Who invented the first battery?
Answer: Count Alessandro Volta
The first electric battery was invented by Count Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist, and chemist, in 1800, and it was called voltaic pile. He stacked discs of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) separated by a cloth soaked in salty water, with wires connected to both ends of the stack to produce a continuously stable current.
13. What’s the lifespan of a human red blood cell?
Answer: Around 120 days
In the human body, the red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, as well as bringing carbon dioxide back to the lungs. The red blood cells are usually formed in the bone marrow and are believed to have an average life span of approximately 120 days.
14. What is the strongest known magnet in the Universe?
Answer: Magnetar (which is a form of the Neutron star)
A Neutron star generates the most intense magnetic field in the universe. However, the field strength of a magnetar is a thousand trillion times stronger than Earth’s and is so intense that it heats the surface to 18 million degrees Fahrenheit.
15. What is the Law of Conservation of Energy?
Answer: The energy of the Universe is constant; it can neither be created nor destroyed but only transferred and transformed.
In chemistry and physics, the law of Conservation of Energy states that the energy of an isolated system remains constant and is said to be conserved over time. A simple example is chemical energy being converted to kinetic energy when a stick of dynamite explodes.
16. True or false – there are 206 bones in an adult human body and 300 bones in an infant’s body?
Answer: True. Some bones in infants’ skulls have not yet fused together.
When a baby is born, he has about 300 bones and these bones eventually grow together to form 206 bones when the baby grows into an adult. This is because some of the baby’s bones are made of very flexible cartilage (a firm tissue softer than bone).
17. What is the scientific name of a Sydney Blue Gum?
Answer: Eucalyptus Saligna
Eucalyptus Saligna, also known as the Sydney blue gum or blue gum, is a species of medium-sized to tall tree that mostly grows in eastern Australia. They belong to the family, Myrtaceae, and its distribution is usually along the coast from New South Wales, Batemans Bay to south-eastern Queensland.
18. Which country has the longest coastline?
Answer: Canada, due to the number of northern islands.
Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world, measuring 243,042 km (including the mainland coast and the offshore islands). Other countries with similar coastline include China (14,500 km), the United States (19,924 km), Russia (37,653 km), and Indonesia (54,716 km).
19. What can be measured using the Geiger counter?
A Geiger counter often referred to as a Geiger-Muller tube, is a device that is used for detecting and measuring all types of radiation, including alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. It consists of a pair of electrodes that are surrounded by a gas, and these electrodes have high voltage flowing across them.
20. What formation on Earth can have the names tabular, blocky, wedge, dome, pinnacle, dry dock, growler, or bergy bit?
An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that has broken off a glacier or an ice shelf that floats in the open water, usually an ocean. Further disintegration of these icebergs is called bergy bits or growlers.
21. Is a Tsunami and a tidal wave the same thing?
Answer: No, because they are different and unrelated phenomena.
Tsunamis are caused by water displacement as a result of an undersea earthquake or a landslide, while Tidal waves are caused by the moon & Sun’s gravitational pull combined with prevailing winds and water currents.
22. Where are the three smallest bones in the human body? What are they called?
Answer: In the middle ear. They are – Malleus, Incus, and Stapes
Collectively these three smallest bones are found in the middle ear and they are also known as ossicles. They include the Malleus (hammer), Incus (anvil) & Stapes (stirrup).
23. Which of Newton’s Laws states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?
Answer: The third law of motion
Newton’s third law of motion describes the simultaneous and mutual interaction between one object and another, as well as the nature of their resultant force. For instance, if object X exerts a force on object Y, then object Y also exerts an equal and opposite force on object X.
24. What’s the highest recorded surface wind speed?
Answer: 372km/h! Over Mt Washington, New Hampshire on April 12, 1934.
The highest wind gust ever recorded on the surface of the earth is at Mount Washington, located in New Hampshire, in the United States. On April 12, 1934, Mount Washington Observatory staff recorded a wind speed of approximately 372km per hour, and this mountain has held this record for several years now.
25. How much salt does the average human body contain?
Answer: Around 250 grams.
The human body contains many salts, however, sodium chloride, also known as table salt, is the major one, and it makes up about 0.4 percent of the body’s weight. The body of an average adult human being contains about 250g of salt or roughly half of a pound.
26. What is the phenomenon that explains why people tend to refuse to offer help when there are other people present during an emergency called?
Answer: The Bystander Effect
The Bystander effect is a social psychological theory that states that individuals are less likely to help a victim (maybe an accident victim or bullying) when there are other people around. Although there are reasons why do so, either they are not friends or might perceive the person to be wrong or perhaps lack knowledge about the incident.
27. Animals that are active during dawn and dusk are called what type of animals?
Dawn and Dusk are cooler times of the day and at such times, animals get the opportunity to avoid predators while still being able to source for food. Several animals are Crepuscular, including domestic cats, foxes, bats, desert rodents, deer, and skunks, among others.
28. Which is the rarest blood type in humans?
Answer: AB negative. <1% of the population
AB negative is the rarest among the eight main blood types. About less than 1% of the world’s population has it. While some blood types are rare and also in demand, the demand for AB negative blood type is quite low, hence there is no much stress finding it.
29. What type of animal was Dolly, the first-ever living creature to be cloned?
The first animal was successfully cloned from an adult cell at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. It was originally named 6LL3, however, the cloned lamb was later named Dolly the sheep, after actress and singer Dolly Parton.
30. The joints in the human body are designed to allow bones to interface and move. However, the type of bone that is rigid and doesn’t allow movement is called?
Fibrous joints, otherwise known as fixed or immovable joints, are those joints that are connected by dense tissues which consist of mainly collagen. They have no cavity but are linked through the fibrous connective tissue. Interestingly, the skull bones are connected by fibrous joints known as sutures.
31. What is the red pigment found in vertebrates that functions in oxygen transport?
Haemoglobin is a type of protein that can be found in the red blood cells that carry oxygen in the body. It is also responsible for the red coloration of the blood. While the levels of Haemoglobin present in the body can vary from one person to another, research has shown that men do have higher levels than women.
32. Where is the largest known meteorite crater on Earth?
Answer: Vredefort Ring in South Africa, 299km diameter!
Vredefort crater is the largest known crater on Earth and was over 300 kilometers (190 miles) across when it was formed. The remains can found in the Free State province of South Africa and it was named after the town of Vredefort, which is near its center.
33. What is the collective name of animals and plants that live on a lake bottom?
There are varieties of animals that live in lakes, and the collective name given to such plants and animals is Benthos. Some examples of Benthic organisms include mussels, worms, shrimp-like crustaceans, oysters, and clams.
34. Is Obsidian an igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rock?
Obsidian is a type of igneous rock that is formed when molten rock material cools quickly above the ground. Did you know Obsidian is actually glass and not a mixture of minerals?
35. What name is given to the most recent supercontinent?
The supercontinent is the collective name used to describe all of the continental landmasses when they are nearest to each other, and the most recent supercontinent to incorporate Earth’s major landmasses was Pangea. It was about 300 million years ago that the seven continents of the world formed one massive supercontinent called Pangea.
Fascinating Science Trivia Questions & Answers
36. What does a manometer measure?
Answer: The pressure of a closed system.
A manometer is an instrument used to measure the absolute pressure of liquid or gases. It’s of two types, analog and digital.
37. True or false; nitroglycerine can be used to treat heart attacks?
Answer: True. It dilates blood vessels.
Nitrates help to prevent chest pain, as well as limit the number of attacks and treat available symptoms of a heart attack. Nitroglycerine is a type of nitrate as it helps dilate the blood vessels.
38. What is the hardest substance in the human body?
Answer: Tooth enamel
The tooth enamel is the outermost covering and visible part of your teeth. Its color varies from light-yellow to blue-like white or gray, and also contains a higher percentage of minerals. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance that can be found in the human body and can be stronger than a bone.
39. What is the oldest living thing known on Earth?
Answer: A bristlecone pine in California… it’s about 4600 years old!
The Pinus longaeva is a long-living species of bristlecone pine tree that can be found in the higher mountains of California, Utah, and Nevada in the United States. Although Antarctic glass sponges and the quaking aspen could be much older than bristlecone pine, their ages are assumed from educated guesswork. The bristlecone pine is said to be around 4600 years old.
40. Which chemical causes the burning taste sensation when eating chilies?
Capsaicin is one of the active components of chili peppers, which belong to the genus Capsicum. The chemical is usually irritant for mammals, especially humans as it produces a burning sensation with it comes in contact with mucous.
41. When a substance goes from one state to another, what is it called?
Answer: Change of state
When a substance is heated, its internal energy increases, and the movement of its particles increases. During this process, bonds between the particles are broken, either by melting or evaporation to form a liquid or a gas.
42. What is the unit measurement for the activity of a radioactive source?
Answer: The Becquerel (Bq). 1 Bq = 1 disintegration per second
The becquerel, often denoted with Bq, is the unit measurement for radioactive activity. The becquerel counts how many particles or photons (in the case of wave radiation) are emitted per second by a source. One decay per second equals one becquerel.
43. Which is the hottest planet in the solar system?
Answer: Venus, with a surface temperature of 4600C
Although Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and gets more direct heat, it is not the hottest planet. Planetary bodies temperature tends to get colder the farther they are from the sun. However, Venus is quite an exception. Not only is it the second planet from the sun, but its proximity and dense atmosphere made it the hottest planet in our Solar System.
44. What is the quality of an object that allows it to float on water?
Buoyancy is the tendency of an object to float when submerged in water. An object floats when the weight of the object is balanced by the upward push of the liquid on the object. However, the upthrust of the liquid increases with the volume of the object that is underwater, and it is not affected by the depth of the water.
45. Which is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature?
Mercury is a dense, silvery d-block element, which turns into a liquid at standard temperature and pressure, with a melting point of -38.87 degrees Celsius. Its room temperature is usually defined as 25 degrees Celsius. The only other element after mercury is bromine. However, other metals such as gallium, rubidium, and caesium melt slightly above room temperature.
46. What is the Milky Way?
Answer: The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System
The Milky Way is a large spiral galaxy that contains the Earth’s Solar System. It contains between 100-400 billion stars and these stars form a large disk whose diameter is about 100,000 light-years. The Milky Way is about 13.51 billion years.
47. Why does eyesight change as you get older?
Answer: The eye’s lens continues to grow throughout life, becoming thicker and less transparent as you age.
When you advance in age, your eyesight also tends to change, which can lead to suffering from longsightedness, otherwise known as Presbyopia. When the lens of the eyes becomes more rigid, focusing the retina directly from a far object to a closer one is more difficult, leading to blurred vision.
48. When a solid matter transitions to gas immediately without having to pass through the liquid state, it is called?
Sublimation is simply the process in which a substance transforms directly from the solid phase to the gaseous phase, without undergoing the intermediate liquid phase. A clear example is the process of snow and ice changing into water vapor in the air, without first melting into water.