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Take the MailOnline science quiz and test what you really know about life and the universe


1. How long will it take to fall through the airless, frictionless hole all the way through the ground?

Answer: 42 minutes

Although building a tunnel through the center of the Earth would be quite an engineering challenge, if you could fall through it, you would accelerate as you travel.

Gravity’s pull will gradually decrease until you experience a brief moment of zero gravity at the center and you slow down and stand on the far side.

This only works if you assume there is no air resistance or friction in your tunnel, so it must be a complete vacuum.

2. What is spaghetti?

Answer: What happens to a person falling into a black hole?

This is the scientific term for what happens to a person falling into a black hole.

A black hole is a completely collapsed star. If you were to fall into a black hole feet first, you would discover that the force of gravity on your feet was greater than that on your head because your feet are closer to the center of mass of the black hole.

What will initially be irritation will become an irresistible, painful force, stretching your body longer and longer until it becomes a long, spaghetti-like structure.

3. What is behavioral science?

The answer: the study of animal behavior

The name is derived from a combination of the Greek word for personality and – flag.

The field first began as a discipline in the 1950s when Konrad Lorenz began examining the instinctive behaviors of animals.

4. When it is 9pm on Christmas Eve in London, what time is it at the geographic North Pole?

Answer: 9 p.m

Time on Earth is random. In an effort to ensure that 9pm corresponds roughly to the same point in the day, humans have divided the world into different time zones.

Each time zone divides the planet like an orange segment, representing 15 degrees of Earth’s longitude. While most have clear one-hour limits, some have time differences of 30 minutes or 45 minutes.

However, each time zone does, in fact, meet at the geographic North Pole. This means that you are in every time zone at once and depending on which direction you step in, you will end up in a different time zone.

To make it practical, the polar region is set in GMT, which is the same time as in London during the winter.

5. On multiple choice tests with four options, which answer is most likely to be correct?

Answer: the second

Humans find it difficult to generate random patterns. For the four-choice questions, there is a tendency to get more answers with the second-choice correction. With five answers the last option is slightly better but there is no apparent bias with three answers.

If the choice is between “true” and “false”, there are always more “true” answers.

6. What is as far as you can see with the naked eye?

Answer: 2.5 million light-years away

The human eye is very sensitive and is able to detect only a few photons in the right conditions. It was widely believed that it was possible for humans to spot a naked candle flame from about 30 miles away, but researchers have recently shown that the true distance is about 1.6 miles.

However, we are also able to distinguish light from distant stars and galaxies. On a dark night away from artificial light, it should be possible to spot the Andromeda Galaxy – our nearest neighboring galaxy, located 2.5 million light-years away.

7. Why are the cells that make up your body called cells?

Answer: It looks like the rooms in which the monks lived

In his 1665 book Micrographia, Robert Hooke described what he saw when he examined thin sections of cork through a recently developed piece of technology called a microscope. The structure of the cork, he said, consisted of “an endless array of small boxes, which he said resembled the rows of cells in the dormitory of a monastery. The name stuck and is now used to describe the many types of living biological cells from bacteria to those that make up the largest animals on the planet.”

8. To the nearest thousand feet, what is the highest altitude a bird has been seen flying?

The answer: 38,000 feet

While light aircraft usually operate at an altitude of about 12,000 feet, modern aircraft sail between 30,000 and 42,000 feet. In comparison, most garden birds rarely fly above 2,000 feet and there are some waterfowl that fly as high as 4,000 feet.

Mallard ducks have been seen flying as high as 20,000 feet while pelicans can reach 37,000 feet.

However, the world record goes to Ruppell’s Griffon – a species of eagle with a wingspan of 10 feet. It has been recorded flying at 38,000 feet. Sadly, the bird responsible was only discovered after it was sucked into an airplane engine.

She did not survive the encounter.

9. To the nearest thousand, how many hairs are there on a typical human head?

Answer: 10,000

A human hair is between 0.02 and 0.2 mm in diameter, and it usually grows about 10 to 15 mm per month. While not everyone has the same number of hairs—some are more talented than others—on average, we have about 10,000 hairs on our head.

Blond people by nature tend to have more hair than average, while people with red hair tend to have less hair than average.

10. What is the red liquid that comes out of a beef joint or rare steak called?

Answer: myoglobin

In contrast to blood, the fluid coming from meat is clearer and more of a pale red color than the blood circulating in the body.

Blood contains a protein compound called hemoglobin, which binds oxygen from the lungs and carries it throughout the body.

Each hemoglobin carries four oxygen molecules. On the other hand, myoglobin carries only one oxygen molecule.

It acts as a buffer of oxygen in the muscle tissue before it is used.

11. Who invented the traditional incandescent light bulb?

Answer: Joseph Swan

While Thomas Edison is often credited with inventing the electric light bulb, it was Sir Joseph Wilson Swan who showed it shining The light bulb that used a carbon filament eight months before Edison in 1879.

However, Swan did not apply for a patent. Fortunately, the court ruled that Swan got there first and Edison’s claim was overturned. Then the couple created a joint venture – the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Company.

12. How many computers did former IBM President Thomas Watson predict the world would need?

Answer: 5

Although there is some doubt as to whether Thomas J Watson actually made the prediction at all, he is widely credited with having reversed the sentiment of the 1940s with the prediction that the world would only need five computers.

It turns out he was very wrong and there are an estimated 2 billion desktop computers in circulation and roughly the same number of smartphones.

13. What did Albert Einstein issue US Patent No. 1,781,541 of 1930?

The answer: the refrigerator

While he may have developed the theories that form a large part of the foundations of modern physics, helped scientists unlock the mystery of black holes and paved the way for the atomic bomb, Einstein only ever patented one.

Together with his colleague, and former student, Leo Szilard, Einstein patented a refrigerator design where there were no moving parts and the refrigerant was under constant pressure.

Use a mixture of two compounds, one of which can be extracted quickly to bring down the pressure and hence the temperature. Unfortunately the design was not widely used.

14. Why was the sheep called Dolly Dolly?

Answer: It is named after Dolly Parton

Dolly the sheep caused a sensation around the world when the news of her birth broke. As the world’s first cloned ewe, it was cloned from a mammary cell taken from a long dead ewe.

The scientists behind the project named her Dolly after country singer Dolly Parton, who was known for her impressive range of lungs.

15. Which part of the tongue contains taste buds that detect salt?

The answer: all of it

The human tongue contains between 3,000 and 8,000 taste buds, which are usually replaced every two weeks. The idea of ​​grouping taste buds into specific areas of the tongue dates back to the beginning of the 20th century when a map of the tongue showing such areas that were more or less sensitive was misinterpreted.

In fact, this is a myth. Taste buds are distributed over the surface of the tongue.

16. How long did our common ancestor live with mice?

Answer: 75 million years

Humans and mice share about 70% of the same genes. However, the last time we shared a common ancestor was 75 million years ago, during the height of the dinosaurs’ rule.

Only after a massive asteroid strike wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago could our mammalian ancestors thrive and evolve rapidly to fill the niches left by the now-extinct reptiles.

17. If there were no greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, what would be the average surface temperature of the Earth?

Answer: -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit)

Although carbon dioxide has gained a somewhat negative reputation for its role in climate change in recent years, it is actually an essential part of our global climate and the reason why there is currently life on Earth.

In fact, the combined effect of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases helps raise the temperature of our planet by about 33 degrees.

18. How many mirrors are there on the James Webb Space Telescope?

Answer: 18

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope contains a giant, shiny mirror made of 18 gold-plated hexagons. Measuring about 21 feet (6.5 meters) in diameter, it collects and focuses light of various wavelengths, from visible light to infrared. These come from distant celestial bodies, such as stars and galaxies.

Gold enhances the reflectivity of the mirrors, allowing them to reflect infrared light, which is what most astronomical objects emit.

19. What is the real name of “rocket science”?

The answer: astronautics

The scientific name for rocket science is arguably the least fun term; Astronauts. It comes from the Greek word “astro” meaning star and “nautos” meaning sailor.

The field involves the design, development and operation of spacecraft and related technologies.

20. The oldest animal ever known was…

Answer: slugs

Ming clam was a mollusk species Arctic Islandwhich was discovered off the coast of Iceland in 2006. Researchers determined that the Ming is at least 507 years old, making it the oldest living animal ever recorded.

Unfortunately, during a research project in 2006, Ming was accidentally killed when researchers opened it up to determine his age.

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