A lot of general trivia questions and answers can be found online, however, this particular list is guaranteed to not just entertain you and your friends but also teach a few things we can bet that you never knew. The list of 40 questions touches on different subject matters; from literature to geography, history, and art. No one will certainly be left out from this well-curated trivia question list.
General Trivia Questions and Answers
1. Who wrote Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet?
Answer: William Shakespeare
The English playwright, who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist, wrote the three Tragedies. Julius Caesar was first performed in 1599, Macbeth in 1606, and Hamlet, Shakespeare’s longest play, in 1609.
2. How many states make up the United States of America?
The United States of America is made up of 50 states, including two of which do not have land borders with the main country. These two states are Alaska (located in the far northwestern part of North America) and Hawaii (located in the mid-Pacific). District of Columbia or Washington D.C. is not a state but a federal district under the authority of Congress.
3. Which German city is famous for the perfume it produces?
The German city of Cologne, which Germans call Köln, was the hometown of Italian expatriate Johann Maria Farina who created a fragrance and named it after the city. The fragrance, Eau de Cologne (water from Cologne) is still famous around the world today and is still produced in the city.
4. When did the First World War start?
World War I, also known as the Great War, began in June 1914 after the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. His murder was the main catalyst for the start of the war across Europe that lasted until November 1918. The war pitted the Central Powers (mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey) against the Allies (mainly France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and, from 1917, the United States). More than 70 million military personnel were mobilized for the war, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest, with an estimated 9 million combatant deaths and 13 million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war.
5. Where is the smallest bone in the body?
The smallest bone in the human body is the stapes. It is located in the ear and has a size of 3 x 5 mm. The ear further houses two other of the smallest bones in the human body – the malleus and incus.
6. Which is the only mammal that can’t jump?
Unlike most mammals, the bones that make up the legs of an elephant are all pointed downwards. This means that they do not have the spring required to push them off the ground.
7. What’s the name of the famous big clock in London?
Answer: Great Westminster Clock (Big Ben)
Officially known as the Great Westminster Clock, Big Ben is the nickname of the famous tower clock located at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament, in the London borough of Westminster. Known for its accuracy and for its massive hour bell, which weighs 15.1 tons (13.7 metric tons), the world’s largest four-faced chiming clock chimes every 15 minutes and the sound can be heard for a radius of up to 5 miles.
8. Who painted the Sistine Chapel?
Between the years of 1508 to 1512, Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo worked on what has turned out to be one of his most important and famous works; the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, which include the iconic depiction of the creation of Adam interpreted from Genesis.
9. Which planet is nearest the sun?
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun in the solar system. Compared to earth which takes about 365 days to circle the sun, it only takes Mercury 88 days to do so.
10. What is the largest ocean in the world?
Answer: Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is not just the largest but also the deepest ocean in the world. The body of water, which covers more than 63 million square miles and contains more than half of the free water on Earth, is bounded by the continents of Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south.
11. How many prongs are there on a fork?
There are four prongs on a fork, however, this was not always the case as the fork has gone through various changes in design over the years. Forks originally had only two or three prongs which were perfect for piercing food but not for collecting it. Four prong forks became the norm after the cutlery became essential for both scooping and piercing food.
12. How many events are there in the decathlon?
Ten track and field events make up the decathlon which is contested mainly by male athletes. These events, which are typically held over two consecutive days, include 100 metres, Long jump, Shot put, High jump, 400 metres, 110 metres hurdles, Discus throw, Pole vault, Javelin throw, and 1500 metres. Decathlon winners are determined by the combined performance in all.
13. What money/currency is used in Japan?
The national currency in Japan is the Japanese Yen (¥). Including the ¥2,000 note that is very rare, the yen has notes in denominations of ¥1,000, ¥5,000, and ¥10,000.
14. Which English monarch voluntarily abdicated the throne?
Answer: Edward VII
Edward VIII, who became king on 20 January 1936 following the death of his father King George V, was the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne after he chose to marry American divorcée, Wallis Warfield Simpson. His decision to marry Wallis was opposed and condemned by the British government, the Church of England, and the public. Since he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, he abdicated on 11 December 1936 and was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI.
15. What country gave Florida to the USA in 1891?
Florida was under colonial rule by Spain and Great Britain at different times during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the years after American independence, Spain’s hold on the peninsula became tenuous as numerous boundary disputes developed with the United States. In 1819, after years of negotiations, Florida became the property of the United States when Spanish minister Do Luis de Onis and U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams signed the Florida Purchase Treaty. Florida was first organized as a U.S. territory in 1822 before it was admitted into the Union as a slave state in 1845.
16. What famous formula was invented by Albert Einstein?
Answer: E = mc2
E = mc2 is an equation derived by Albert Einstein that explains his theory of special relativity which expresses the fact that mass and energy are the same physical entity and can be changed into each other. E represents units of energy, m represents units of mass, and c2 is the speed of light squared.
17. Which Italian leader was terribly afraid of the evil eye?
Answer: Benito Mussolini
The evil eye is a ‘look’ or ‘stare’ believed to bring bad luck for the person at whom it is directed. The superstitious curse or legend originated in Ancient Greece and Rome. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury and the former prime minister of Italy was a believer.
18. What is the most popular language in the world?
About 1.268 billion people in the world speak English, making it the most popular language in the world. The West Germanic language was first spoken in early medieval England and has since become the leading language of international discourse in the world today. English narrowly edges out Mandarin Chinese which has over 1.120 billion speakers, making it the most important language to learn.
19. What famous superhero character was played by Christopher Reeves?
Answer: Super Man
Award-winning actor Christopher Reeve is best known for playing the superhero character in Superman (1978) and its three sequels. His acclaimed performances in the role have prompted many to describe him as the only person to have embodied the altruistic sincerity of the character.
20. What is the most popular Christmas song ever?
Answer: “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” is not only the most popular Christmas song of all time but also the best-selling single of all time. It is estimated to have sold in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
21. What is the longest river in the world?
The river Nile, which is about 6,650 km (4,130 mi) long and has a drainage basin that covers eleven African countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of Sudan, and Egypt, has been historically considered the longest river in the world. This has, however, been contested in recent times by research that suggests that the Amazon River may be slightly longer.
22. What is the tiniest tree in the world?
Answer: The Dwarf Willow
The world’s tiniest tree is arguably the dwarf willow (Salix herbacea) which grows to a mere 1-6cm in height. The dwarf willow is distributed widely in alpine and arctic environments around the North Atlantic Ocean.
23. Who invented the telephone?
Answer: Alexander Graham Bell
Inventors such as Elisha Gray and Antonio Meucci developed the talking telegraph, however, it is Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer Alexander Graham Bell that is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He went on to co-found the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885.
24. How many actors have won the triple crown of acting?
Answer: Twenty Four (15 women and 9 men)
The Triple Crown of Acting is a term used to describe actors who have won an Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award in the acting categories. Only twenty-four people have achieved this feat, starting with Helen Hayes who was dubbed the First Lady of American Theatre. British actress Glenda Jackson is the latest person to have completed the triple crown. Other notable winners of the triple crown include Maggie Smith, Al Pacino, Helen Mirren, and Viola Davis among others.
25. What is the name of the famous building that houses the president of the United States?
Answer: White House
Since John Adams in 1800, the White House has been the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. The property, which is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service.
26. When was Iraq invaded by the United States?
Answer: March 19, 2003
The United States, along with a coalition of forces from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland, invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003. America’s reason for invading the country was to remove “a regime that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, that harbored and supported terrorists, committed outrageous human rights abuses, and defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world.”
27. Who gave his name to the month of July?
Answer: Julius Caesar
July was originally called Quintilis in the Roman calendar before its name was changed around 450 BCE by the Roman Senate in honor of Roman general Julius Caesar. It is the month of his birth.
28. Who is the richest man ever?
Answer: Mansa Musa
Mansa Musa I of Mali is widely regarded as the richest person who ever lived although there is no accurate way to quantify his wealth. The ruler of the Malian empire acquired his riches from the production and trade of salt and gold which accounted for more than half of the world’s supply at the time.
29. What activity other than jumping are kangaroos good at?
Answer: Self Defense (Striking and Kicking)
Kangaroos are fairly good at kickboxing. Balancing on their tails, a kangaroo can lean back and kick out. The huge muscles in their legs and big claws on their feet ensure that the kick is painful and damaging. They are also known to box, as male kangaroos engage in a type of boxing as a way of determining who wins a particular female as a mate.
30. What’s the hardest rock?
Diamond is regarded as the hardest known material in the world. The only material that comes close to it is granite which measures 6 on the Mohs scale while the diamond measures 10 on the Mohs scale.
31. How many American presidents have been assassinated?
Answer: Four (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy)
While there have been numerous assassination attempts on the presidents of the United States, only four sitting presidents have been killed. The first was Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James A. Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, and John F. Kennedy in 1963. In all of these cases, a firearm was used as the attack weapon.
32. What is the capital of South Africa?
Pretoria is one of the three capital cities of South Africa, however, since it is the home of the executive (administrative) arm of government, it is regarded as the de facto capital of the country. The other two capitals are Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).
33. Who is the tallest person to ever play in the NBA?
Answer: Gheorghe Muresan
Romanian retired professional basketball player Gheorghe Muresan, who played for teams like the Washington Bullets/Wizards and the New Jersey Nets, is the tallest player ever to have played in the NBA with a listed height of 7 feet 7 inches (2.31 m). During his time in the NBA, he was notably named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for the 1995–96 season.
Muresan slightly edges out Sudanese-born American basketball player Bol Bol who was measured by the Guinness Book of World Records at 7 ft 6 3⁄4 in.
34. What is the name of the river that flows through the British capital city of London?
Answer: River Thames
The river Thames, which is also notably the cleanest river in the world that flows through a major city, is the famous river that flows through central London. It provides a captivating backdrop to many top tourist attractions in the city, including Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and the London Eye. The river starts from its source at Thames Head near the hamlet of Kemble and ends after 229 miles in the North Sea near Southend-on-Sea.
35. Which writer had more than 70 pen names?
Answer: Lauran Paine
Lauran Paine was an American writer who wrote over 1000 books in various subjects and genres, including westerns, romance, and science fiction. Paine resulted to using various pen names and pseudonyms because his publishers only accepted a limited number of books under a single author’s name. Some of the names he wrote under are Mark Carrel, Clint O’Conner, Jim Slaughter, John Kilgore, Clay Allen, A. A. Andrews, Claude Cassady, and Cliff Ketchum among others.
36. What killed Diana, Princess of Wales?
Answer: Car Crash Injuries
Princess Diana died in a hospital in the early hours of 31 August 1997 after she was injured in a car crash at the entrance to the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. Other occupants of the Mercedes-Benz W140 vehicle, her partner Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul were pronounced dead at the scene while bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived with serious injuries.
37. What is the most widely-eaten meat in the world?
Even though a few religions like Judaism and Islam prohibit their members from eating pork products, it is still the most widely-eaten meat in the world. This is according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization which says that 36% of the world’s population eat pork, 33% eat poultry, 24% eat beef, and 5% eat goats/sheep.
38. Who invented the electric light bulb?
Answer: Thomas Edison
American inventor Thomas Edison has often taken the credit for inventing the light bulb but he didn’t actually invent the incandescent bulb. Many engineers before him had worked on the light bulb, including Humphry Davy in 1802 and British scientist Warren de la Rue in 1840. What Edison did was to improve on the ideas that existed, developing a light bulb that was practical by correcting flaws such as the extremely short life span and high electric current needed to operate.
39. Which nail on the finger grows the fastest?
Answer: Middle Finger
The nail on the middle finger grows faster than the nails of any of the other fingers due to the length of the terminal phalanges (outermost finger bones). This is because the length of the terminal phalanges determines how the nails grow.
40. Where is the longest bridge in the world located?
The longest bridge in the world is the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, located on the rail line between Shanghai and Nanjing in Jiangsu province. The bridge, which opened in June 2011 and spans 102.4 miles (165 kilometers), is part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway.
There you have it, we hope you enjoyed it. If you are married, you can also check out some of these brilliant ideas for creating your own newlywed trivia game questions which you can play with friends and families.