Take the MailOnline Science Quiz and test what you REALLY know about life and the universe

1. How long does it take to fall through an airless and frictionless hole through the Earth?

Answer: 42 minutes

While building a tunnel through the center of the Earth would be a major engineering challenge, if you were able to get through it, you would speed up while traveling.

The gravitational pull will gradually decrease until you experience a brief moment of weightlessness in the center and slow down by stopping on the far side.

However, 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 spaghettification?

Answer: What happens to a person who falls into a black hole?

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

A black hole is a star that has completely collapsed. If you were to dive into a black hole feet first, you would find that the gravitational pull on your feet was greater than on your head, because your feet are closer to the black hole’s center of mass.

What was originally an annoyance has turned into an excruciatingly painful and overwhelming force, stretching your body longer and longer until you are a long, pink, spaghetti-like structure.

3. What is ethology?

Answer: The study of animal behavior.

The name comes from a combination of the Greek “character” and “-ology”.

The field first became a discipline in the 1950s when Konrad Lorenz began to study the instinctive behavior of animals.

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

Answer: 9pm

Time on Earth is arbitrary. In an attempt to ensure that 9 p.m. corresponds to roughly the same moment of the day, people have divided the world into different time zones.

Each time zone divides the planet like an orange segment, which accounts for 15 degrees of Earth’s longitude. While most of them have clear boundaries of one hour, there are some with a time difference of 30 or 45 minutes.

However, virtually all time zones meet at the geographic North Pole. This means that it is in every time zone at the same time, and depending on which direction you step in, you will end up in a different time zone.

However, to make this practical, the polar region is set to GMT, the same time as London in winter.

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

Answer: Second

It is difficult for humans to generate random patterns. For questions with four answers, there are usually more answers with the second choice. With five answers, the final version has slightly better scores, but with three, there is no obvious bias.

When choosing between “true” and “false”, there are almost always more “correct” answers.

6. What is the farthest thing you can see with the naked eye?

Answer: 2.5 million light years.

The human eye is very sensitive, being able to detect just a few photons under the right conditions. It is widely believed that people can spot the flame of an open candle at a distance of about 30 miles, but recently researchers have shown that the real distance is about 1.6 miles.

However, we can also distinguish light from stars and galaxies much further away. On a dark night, far from artificial light, it will be possible to make out the Andromeda Galaxy – the nearest neighboring galaxy to us, which is located at a distance of 2.5 million light years.

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

Answer: They look like the rooms where the monks lived.

In his book Micrography 1665, Robert Hook described what he saw while examining thin sections of cork with a newly developed technology called a microscope. He said that the structure of the cork consists of “an endless group of tiny boxes, which, according to him, resemble the rows of cells in the dormitory of the monastery.” The name stuck, and they are now used to describe 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, at what altitude was the bird observed flying?

Answer: 38,000 feet.

While light aircraft typically fly at around 12,000 feet, modern airliners fly between 30,000 and 42,000 feet. By comparison, most garden birds rarely fly above 2,000 feet, and some waterfowl fly up to 4,000 feet.

Mallard ducks have been observed to fly up to 20,000 feet and whooper swans can reach 37,000 feet.

However, the world record is held by Ruppel’s gryphon, a type of vulture with a wingspan of 10 feet. It was recorded at 38,000 feet. Unfortunately, the responsible bird was only discovered after it was sucked into the plane’s engine.

He did not survive the meeting.

9. How many hairs, to the nearest thousand, are on a typical human head?

Answer: 10,000

Human hair is 0.02 to 0.2 millimeters in diameter and typically grows 10 to 15 mm per month. While not everyone has the same amount of hair — some have more follicles than others — we have an average of about 10,000 hairs on our heads.

Blondes naturally have more hair than average, while redheads have less.

10. What is the name of the red liquid that flows from a piece of beef or a steak with blood?

Answer: myoglobin

Unlike blood, fluid from meat is clear and a duller shade of red than blood that circulates through the body.

Blood contains a protein complex called hemoglobin that binds oxygen from the lungs and transports it throughout the body.

Each hemoglobin carries four oxygen molecules. Myoglobin, on the other hand, carries only one oxygen molecule.

It acts as a temporary store of oxygen in muscle tissue before it is used up.

11. Who invented the traditional incandescent light bulb?

Answer: Joseph Swan.

Although Thomas Edison is usually credited with inventing the light bulb, Sir Joseph Wilson Swan actually demonstrated red-hot a lamp that used carbon filament eight months earlier than Edison in 1879

However, Swan did not apply for a patent. Fortunately, the court ruled that the Swan won the first case and dismissed Edison’s claim. The couple then formed a joint company, the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Company.

12. How many computers does former IBM chairman Thomas Watson estimate the world will need?

Answer: 5

While there is some doubt as to whether Thomas J. Watson actually made this prediction at all, it is widely known that he mirrored the sentiment of the 1940s by predicting that the world would only need five computers.

It turns out he was wrong: there are about 2 billion desktop computers in circulation and nearly as many smartphones.

13. What was Albert Einstein granted U.S. Patent #1,781,541 in 1930?

Answer: Refrigerator.

Although he may have developed the theories that form much of the foundation of modern physics, helped scientists solve the mystery of black holes, and paved the way for the nuclear bomb, Einstein only patented one invention.

Together with his colleague and former student Leo Szilard, Einstein patented a design for a refrigerator that had no moving parts and kept the refrigerant under constant pressure.

It used a mixture of two compounds, one of which could be quickly extracted to reduce the pressure and therefore the temperature. Unfortunately, the design was not widely adopted.

14. Why was Dolly the sheep named Dolly?

Answer: Named after Dolly Parton.

Dolly the sheep made a splash all over the world when it became known about her birth. As the world’s first cloned sheep, it was cloned from a mammary gland cell taken from a long-dead sheep.

The scientists behind the project cheekily named her Dolly, after country singer Dolly Parton, known for her impressive, uh, lungs.

15. In what part of the tongue are taste buds that detect salt?

Answer: All this

The human tongue has 3,000 to 8,000 taste buds, which are usually replaced every two weeks. The idea that taste buds are clustered on specific areas of the tongue dates back to the early 20th century, when a map of the tongue showing areas that were more or less sensitive was misinterpreted.

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

16. How many years ago did our common ancestor live with mice?

Answer: 75 million years.

Humans and mice have about 70% of the same genes. However, the last time we had a common ancestor was 75 million years ago, at the height of dinosaur rule.

It wasn’t until a massive asteroid impact wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago that our mammalian ancestors were able to thrive and evolve rapidly to fill the niches left by 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°C (-0.4°F)

While carbon dioxide has gained quite a bad rap in recent years due to its role in climate change, it is actually an integral part of our global climate and the reason why we currently have life on Earth at all.

After all, the combined effect of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases contributes to an increase in the temperature of our planet by about 33 degrees.

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

Answer: 18

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has a shiny, giant mirror made up of 18 gold-coated hexagons. It is about 21 feet (6.5 m) in diameter and collects and focuses light at different wavelengths, from visible light to infrared. They come from distant celestial objects such as stars and galaxies.

Gold increases the reflectivity of mirrors, allowing them to reflect the infrared light emitted by most astronomical objects.

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

Answer: Astronautics.

The scientific name for rocket science is perhaps the least funny term; astronautics It comes from the Greek word “astro” – a star and “nautes” – a sailor.

This field includes the design, development and operation of spacecraft and related technologies.

20. The oldest known animal of all time was…

Answer: Mollusk

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

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