Share on Facebook

50 Science Trivia Questions People Always Get Wrong

If you can answer 50 percent of these science trivia questions correctly, you may be a genius.

collage of scientific concepts on starry backgroundRebecca Steele/, Getty Images (8)

If you’re a fan of science trivia, you may already know the answers to some of these tricky scientific questions. There are so many amazing science facts that are weird, wacky, and true. Many interesting facts in all areas of the sciences like biology, astrology, and physics can be turned into fun trivia questions.

A lot of people get stumped by what can seemingly be a simple science question—even when it comes to kids’ trivia. Some of the more difficult trivia questions below may surprise you. See how many you can answer correctly.

collage of scientific concepts; a mushroom, airplane, rainbow, and atomRebecca Steele/, Getty Images (4)

Easy science trivia

1. The concept of gravity was discovered by which famous physicist? Sir Isaac Newton. And speaking of gravity, did you know that there are normal things astronauts can’t do in space?

2. How many colors are in the rainbow? Seven. (Psst, there are so many cool facts about rainbows).

3. True or False? Electrons are smaller than atoms. True.

4. What is the name of the tallest grass on earth? Bamboo.

5. Which is the most abundant element in the universe? Hydrogen.

6. What is the hardest natural substance on Earth? Diamond.

7. What is the study of mushrooms called? Mycology. And if mushrooms could talk, here’s what they’d tell you.

8. Can an airplane go in reverse? Yes.

9. Does sound travel faster in the air or in water? Water.

10. Which oath of ethics taken by doctors is named after an Ancient Greek physician? The Hippocratic Oath.

collage of scientific concepts; dna, astronaut, diamond, chalkRebecca Steele/, Getty Images (4)

Hard science trivia

11. What is the largest desert in the world? It’s not the Sahara, but actually Antarctica!

12. True or False? Lasers work by focusing on sound waves. False. “Laser” is actually an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers concentrate light waves, not sound waves.

13. What does DNA stand for? Deoxyribonucleic acid.

14. Do diamonds last forever? No. Diamonds do not last forever. They’ll eventually degrade to graphite, though the process takes over a billion years.

15. What is a material that will not carry an electrical charge called? An insulator.

16. Will there be an impact on your height if you go to space? Yes. You will be taller because you’ll no longer be subjected to gravity. And did you know that outer space actually has a smell?

17. At what temperature are Celsius and Fahrenheit equal? -40.

18. Roughly how long does it take for the sun’s light to reach Earth: 8 minutes, 8 hours or 8 days? 8 minutes.

19. How do airplanes stay in the air? Planes stay in the air because of the shape of their wings. Air moving over the wing gets forced downwards, which pushes the wing up. This push is stronger than gravity, and so makes the plane fly. There’s also a reason why airplane windows are round.

20. What is chalk made of? It comes from limestone, which formed from the shells of tiny marine animals.

nature scientific concepts collaged on peach background; shark, bees, gold, lightningRebecca Steele/, Getty Images (4)

Science trivia about nature

21. Which freezes faster, hot water or cold water? Hot water freezes faster than cold, known as the Mpemba effect.

22. On what continent will you not find bees? Antarctica.

23. What is the only rock that floats? Pumice. It forms from the froth at the top of lava flow, which cools very rapidly.

24. True or False? Chameleons change colors only to blend into their environment. False. Chameleons also change colors for other reasons, like to regulate body temperature, when feeling aggression, and when feeling excited.

25. Can lightning strike the same place twice? If you answered no to this science trivia question, you’re wrong. It is actually more likely that lightning will strike the same place twice.

26. True or false? Shark cartilage can cure cancer. Unfortunately, many still believe that shark cartilage can cure cancer, leading to the killing of sharks. That’s false, and scientists now have proof that there are sharks with cancerous tumors themselves.

27. How long is the memory of a goldfish? Most people would say that goldfish only have a three-second memory. However, their memories actually last for several days.

28. What mountain peak is farthest from the center of the Earth? Many may think the answer to this science trivia question is Mount Everest. However, the peak of Chimborazo in Ecuador is the farthest from the center of the earth.

29. How many bones do sharks have in their bodies? Zero! Instead, they have powerful, flexible cartilage. Sharks are fascinating, if a bit misunderstood.

30. Can gold be created from other elements? Yes. It is possible to create gold from other elements, but it’s so complicated and expensive that it would cost you more to make it than to buy it.

scientific concepts collage; blood, teeth, boneRebecca Steele/, Getty Images (3)

Science trivia about the body

31. What is the heaviest organ in the human body? The liver.

32. How does fat leave your body when you lose weight? Through your sweat, urine, and breath.

33. From which body part does the majority of your body heat escape? This is a trick science trivia question. Most people think the answer is your head, but you lose heat evenly throughout your body.

34. How many senses do humans have? Thought the answer was five? You actually have more—many neurologists identify nine or more senses. Fun fact: There are also things dogs can smell that humans can’t.

35. Which blood type is the rarest in humans? AB negative.

36. How many teeth does an adult human have? 32.

37. How many bones are in the human body? 206.

38. What part of the human body serves the purpose of maintaining balance? The ears.

39. Who has more hair follicles, blondes or brunettes? Blondes.

40. What color is the blood inside your body? Dark red. Although your veins appear blue, human blood contains hemoglobin and hemoglobin is a red protein, so the blood in your body is dark red.

scientific concepts collage; planets, rocket, earth, starsRebecca Steele/, Getty Images (5)

Science trivia about space

41. What is the only planet that spins clockwise? Venus.

42. Can humans see the Great Wall of China from space? No. Unless you’re in low orbit “under a specific set of weather and lighting conditions,” according to Scientific American. Unfortunately, the Great Wall’s composition of clay and stone simply blends in too much to the surrounding landscape for anyone to make it out with an unaided eye from orbit.

43. Is Pluto a planet? No. Pluto used to be identified as a planet in our solar system, but it is now classified as a dwarf planet. See more facts you’ve always believed that are actually false.

44. What was the name of the first man-made satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957? Sputnik 1.

45. What is the biggest planet in our solar system? Jupiter.

46. Which planet is closest to the sun? Mercury.

47. Does the earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the earth? This is an easy piece of earth trivia: The earth goes around the sun.

48. True or False? All radioactive material is man-made. False. The sun and stars emit cosmic radiation that interacts with the earth’s atmosphere. There’s also naturally radioactive material in soil, water, and vegetation.

49. Is the earth flat or round? Humans have known that the earth is round since the time of Ancient Greece.

50. True or False? The center of the earth is very hot. True. The temperature of Earth’s core is almost 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit—as hot as the surface of the sun.

For even more trivia, check out these general trivia questions that will put your knowledge to the test.


Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing is a lifestyle writer with an environmental science journalism background. She covers outdoor recreation, sustainability, conservation, photography, travel, gear and more. When she’s not writing or out photographing landscapes and wildlife, you can find her coming up with a creative woodworking project or out hiking in her home state of Montana. She's also Communications Manager for Outdoor Writers Association of America, based in Missoula, MT.