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Facts of the Week – Groups C, D and F

By Elaine Gallagher   Hi Readers, here in «The English Corner» is a continuation from the last issue of UNONEWS, where I had introduced TRIVIA FACTS, Groups A and B, the two easier groups of trivia questions. In this issue, you’ll see questions in Groups C, D, E and F, with the difficulty level rising from […]

Autor: UNOi

Fecha: 11 de marzo de 2014

Elaine Gallagher 10 cegBy Elaine Gallagher  

Hi Readers, here in «The English Corner» is a continuation from the last issue of UNONEWS, where I had introduced TRIVIA FACTS, Groups A and B, the two easier groups of trivia questions. In this issue, you’ll see questions in Groups C, D, E and F, with the difficulty level rising from C to F.

If you missed the instructions from the last issue of UNONEWS, on how to use these trivia facts, find the previous issue, so you can use the trivia data most effectively and efficiently. ENJOY!  

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1. How fast can a cheetah run?

Up to 70 miles and hour, for short distances

2. What natural boundary separates Spain and France?

The Pyrenees Mountains

3. The increasing scarcity of elephants and rhinos resulted in a 1989 ban on which substance?


4. Where is the country of Armenia?

It is between Europe/Asia, bordered by Turkey to the west and Georgia to the north.

5. Name the vertebrate in the movie version of King Kong, who climbed the Empire State Building in New York City.

A gorilla

6. What bird has the longest tongue?

The woodpecker. Its tongue is 5 times longer than its beak, which means it can seek food 5 inches deep inside tree crevices.

8. Pluto used to be named as a planet, but scientists took its name off the list of officially recognized planets in 2006. WHY?

It wasn’t large enough to be considered a planet.

10. Why is J.K. Rowling famous?

She is the British author of the Harry Potter series of fantasy books about an adolescent wizard.

11. What is a pelican? What is the most unique thing about a pelican?

Its bill…. A pelican is a large, white bird whose bill is very large, about 18 inches (1/2 meter) long.  The bill is used to catch fish.

12. What does the word goober mean?   (It is an English word, not another language.)

Goober is another word for peanut.


Likes to chirp at night? 

A cricket

 Is an uninvited picnic guest?

An ant

Has 8 legs?

A spider

14. What kind of disaster claimed 100,000 lives in Armenia in 1988??

An earthquake

15. What is the longest river in the United States of America?

Mississippi….3,000 miles long (4,800 km)

16. What are the top three languages spoken in the world?

#1. Mandarin Chinese  (885 million)

#2. English  (322 million)

#3. Spanish (266 million)

17. The esophagus is part of what system in the human body?                            

The digestive system

18. What is a haiku?  (hi-coo)

It is a poem, originally from Japan, composed of 3 lines. It is usually about nature, and has no rhyme.  The first line has FIVE syllables, the second line has SEVEN syllables, and the third line has FIVE syllables.


           I see the old trees…..
                   Wide trunks with knots, branches, shade,
                   A place of calm peace. 

19. Five hundred years ago, in the USA and Canada there were  more than 300 native languages, 2/3 of which are still in use. Name three places in USA or Canada whose name is from a native language word,     (MANY possibilities).

Some answers:

Chicago               (city in Illinois, USA),

Mississippi          (a major river and a state in USA),

Massachusetts    (a state in USA)

Ottawa,               (a city in Canada)                               

                   Penobscot,          (a county, a river, and a town in the state of Maine, USA),

Piscataqua           (a river ,the border between Maine and New Hampshire, USA),

Minnesota           (a USA state)

20. What kind of imaginary animal is usually part of a traditional Chinese New Year celebration?

A dragon

21. What is James Bond’s code name?

Double-o-seven (007)

 22. What country has not fought a war since 1815?


23. What is the largest state in the United States of America?


24.  What is the name of the large mountain chain in South America?

The Andes

25. What is the name of the largest desert in China?

The Gobi

26. How far is the Sun from the Earth?

93,000,000 (93 million) miles (1,488,000,000 km)

27. When does the United States of America celebrate its birthday?

July 4th

28. Who is Mickey Mouse’s girlfriend?

Minnie Mouse

29. What sport are you watching if you are watching the Harlem Globetrotters?


 30. What country (originally) did the Volkswagon (VW) come from?


31. What is moss?

A plant

32. What were the Three Little Pigs’ houses made of?

Straw, sticks, and brick

33. What language is spoken in Germany?


34. What is the capital of Cuba?


35. How many years is a generation considered to be?

25 years

36. In MGM movies, what animal is pictured at the beginning of the film, appearing ¿with a roar?

A lion

37. What game are you playing using marbles on a six-pointed star?

Chinese checkers

38. How long does a regulation soccer game last?

Two 45-minute halves    

39. Why do beavers constantly gnaw on wood?

To wear down their teeth which never stop growing

40. What relation to you are your aunt’s children?


41. What type of housing did Eskimos use before they had wooden houses?

Igloos…made of blocks cut from solid ice

42. Near what ocean is San Francisco, California located?

The Pacific Ocean

43. What do we see almost every day that is 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit?

The sun

44. What was the little girl’s name in the «Wizard of Oz»?


45. Polar, Grizzly, Brown, and Black are types of what?


46. How many dwarfs did Snow White meet?


 47. What is the proper name for the sport using bows and arrows?


48. What would you be doing if you were doing the polka?


49. What is the head of a city called?

A mayor

50. What is a person called who eats a meatless diet?

A vegetarian



1. What is the largest lake in Africa?

Lake Victoria (on the border of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania)

2. How many moons does Mars have?


3. One type of invertebrate is a common insect. Some people say it has 100 legs. What is it called?

         A centipede …. (Centi  means 100, and ped means foot, in Latin.)

4. What does this mean?  Can you find a pattern to the numbers   2 – 15 – 14 – 5 – 19 ?

 These numbers spell BONES. The numbers correspond to the letters of the ENGLISH alphabet….Letter # 2 is B, an so on…

5. What vertebrate animal lives near water and uses its large, sharp teeth to cut down small trees?  It uses the wood from the trees to build a lodge (its house) in the water.

A beaver

6. What do camels store in their humps?

Camels don’t store water in their humps; the humps are made mostly of fat.

7. Who became the world’s youngest ever boxing heavyweight champion??

Mike Tyson, when he was 20 years old  (in 1986)

8. Tiananmen Square, a major plaza, is located in which city and country?

Beijing, the capital of China

9. What breed of dog from China bears the name that is English slang for «food»?


10. What was the name of China’s capital before it was changed to Beijing?


11. Where was corn first domesticated by humans?

Mexico….3500 B.C.

 12. What did Alexander Fleming invent?

 Penicillin  (in 1928). He was from Scotland.

13. When was the first motion picture shown to an audience?

1896, over a century ago

14. In Greek mythology, who is the goddess of love?


15. What was Shakespeare’s first name?


16. What is the main religion of Israel?


17. Confucius was an ancient teacher and philosopher. What country was he from?


18. What item can be used to break up light so that all the colors of the rainbow can be seen?

A prism  (A small, clear, solid, pyramid of plastic or glass)

19. Who or what are the «Bee Gees»?

A musical singing group that provided music for the film, «Saturday Night Fever»

20. A RIDDLE: What vertebrate, a mammal, is always ready to take a long trip or journey ?

An elephant, because it always has its trunk. (A TRUNK is a very large suitcase, used to pack things for a long trip.)

21. What do the numbers/dates 1961 and 6009 have in common?

1961 was the most recent year that could also be read upside down. The next date is 6009.

22. Who had the most expensive presidential inauguration ceremony of the 20th century??

George W. Bush,spending $40 million on his three-day inauguration celebration in January 2005. It was his second term as President of the USA, an election he barely won.

23. What does A.D. mean after dates, such as 79 A.D.?

It is Latin, Ano Domini, Year of our Lord, referring to dates after the birth of Jesus.

24. What lengthy word was added to the English language in Disney’s «Mary Poppins» movie, in a song?


25. What country holds the world’s record for talking the most on the telephone?

The United States of America

26. When you tell your sled dog team to «mush..mush», what do you want it to do?          

To run, run  (Eskimo words, the Inuit language)

27. What is a common name for a bison?


28. Where do you sit to eat dinner with a traditional Japanese family?

On the floor

29. Who invented the telephone?

Alexander Graham Bell

30. What is the name of the Queen of England’s main home?

Buckingham Palace

31. What do you call a mountain of ice floating in the sea?

An iceberg

32. With what country do you associate windmills and tulips?


33. Name one of the earliest timekeepers still found in some parks or gardens.

The sundial

34. What is the Punjab?

A district in India

35. What is Superman faster than?

A speeding bullet

36. If you are looking at the Mona Lisa, what kind of building are you in?

A museum or art gallery

37. How many rooms are there in the White House, the home of the President of the United States?

132 rooms

38. How many times did Aladdin rub his magic lamp?

Three times

39. When and where did the first underground railway system (subway) open?

The London Underground opened in 1863,

40. What do ice hockey players chase around a rink?

A puck.  It’s a round, solid rubber item, about 3 inches in diameter.

41. What are dried grapes called?


42. What bird looks like he’s going to a formal party»

A penguin

43. How do Japanese read their books?

From the back of the book to the front

44. What was the first name of the USA President Lincoln?


45. What do the words «bogus’ and «counterfeit» mean?

Fake or false

46. What is hot and fiery and flows from volcanoes?


47.  What is the first number with an «A» in its spelling?

One thousand

48. Where is a human’s sense of balance located?

In the ears

 49. What was Mozart’s middle name?


50. The Morse Code is made up of dots and ……. ?





1. Which two planets do not have a moon?

Mercury, Venus

2.  How did the Canary Islands get their name?

From the Latin word, canis, which means «dog», because there were large, fierce dogs found on the islands when they were first discovered.

3. What was the Spanish Armada?  What happened to it in 1588?

A powerful fleet of ships from Spain, (a navy), once the strongest ships in the known world, but they were defeated by England in a battle in 1588,

 4.  What famous non-Spanish explorer started a great age of exploration and conquest for Spain?

Christopher Columbus, who was from Italy… In 1492, when Spain was still powerful, Columbus led Spain to the New World. It was almost 100 years later (1588) that Spain’s armada, the navy, was defeated by England.

 5. What important geological event happened in Europe in August, 79 A.D.?

Mount Vesuvius exploded, giving off heat blasts and gases that killed 1000’s of people, burying Pompeii in more than 30 feet (10 meters) of ashes falling from the explosion caused by the volcano.

6. Which are the five largest countries in the world, geographically?

1st: Russia,

2nd: Canada,

3rd: China,

4th: United States of America,

5th: Brazil

7. Why is Steve Jobs famous?

He invented / founded the Apple/Macintosh computer company. He died in 2011.

8. Which sport uses the word «LOVE» in scoring?


9. Which was the longest moon landing??

Apollo 17, in 1972 the astronauts carried out scientific mission for 3 days.

10. Which Walt Disney movie star began his career in the 1928 movie, Steamboat Willie?

Mickey Mouse

12. What is the best-selling car ever?

Toyota Corolla

13. Which country has more computers per capita (based on its population percentage) in the world?


14. What are Rosemary and Thyme?

Spices or herbs

15. What is a major score in American football called?

A touchdown

16. What is a more common name for a tortoise?

A turtle

17. What precious jewel is a shiny red stone?

A ruby

18. What snack food, sometimes sold by street venders, means «little arms» in Latin?


 19. What were Longfellow, Poe, Paz, and Stevenson?

Poets…»Authors» is also correct.

20. What do you bake pottery in so the clay gets hard?

A kiln

 21. Who gave a famous speech in the 20th Century that talks about

                   «I have a dream…»

                   Martin Luther King

22. What is a «light year»?

It is NOT time. It is a measure used for huge distances in space, and refers to how long it takes light to travel in a year.  If a star is 100 light years from earth, it means that light leaving that star will take 100 years to be seen on earth.

23. Why is the day after Christmas called «Boxing Day» in the UK?

Because people box-up the left-over food from the Christmas feast to give to others, less fortunate than they.

24. What is the leader of an orchestra called?

A conductor

25. What would you be on if you were traveling on a Chinese junk?

A boat

26. What is the speed of light?

186,000 miles per second…(300,000 km per second)

27. Where is the deepest part of an ocean?

The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.  It is more than 5 miles deep.

28. What are the minerals plutonium and uranium used for?

To produce nuclear power

29. In what country would you use a rupee as money?


30. In what country are the cities of Melbourne and Sydney?


31. Where did Count Dracula live?

In Transylvania (in Europe)

32. How many inches of water are produced when 10 inches of snow melts?

One inch of water

33. In the Bible, who was Miriam’s baby brother?


34. Among mammals, which are the only two capable of distinguishing colors?

Humans and monkeys

35. What is it called when a nuclear reactor overheats and the core melts?

A meltdown

36.  Diabetes is usually caused by the improper functioning of which gland?

The pancreas

37. Why is author Mary Shelley famous?

She wrote the novel Frankenstein.

38. When you melt and mix copper and zinc, what do you get?


39. Two companies invented the CD (compact disc) in 1979, which, for the first time, provided high-quality digital sound in a small, portable format. Which are the two companies?

Philips (a Dutch company)

Sony (a Japanese company)

40. Where in the Ukraine (part of Russia) was there a nuclear explosion in 1986 causing many deaths and great, long-lasting damage to the environment?


41. Johann Strauss composed a famous waltz named for a European river. What is it?

The Blue Danube Waltz

42. By what name is Southern Rhodesia now called?


43. How many binary digits make up a «byte»?

8 (eight)

44. What is Swahili?

The official language of Nigeria, spoken by 35,000,000 (35 million) East Africans

45. CCXXXIV is the Roman numeral for what Arabic number?


46. What is an ancient Chinese calculator called?

The abacus

47. If you are fighting with a «foil», and an  «epée», what are you doing?


48. Tenochtitlan was the capital of what ancient empire of Mexico?

The Aztecs

49. What is a Punnett Square used for?

To predict genetic probabilities between a specific male and female

50. What were Lancelot, Galahad, Tristram, and Percival?

Knights of King Arthur’s Round Table




1. Which planet has the most moons?

Saturn has at least 18 moons.

2. What are the names of the 3 countries, the sea, and the ocean  that border Spain?

         France, Andorra, Portugal; the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea

 3.  What is NaCl?

 It’s the chemical formula for salt.

4. What do the letters of SONAR mean?

SONAR stands for SOund detectioN And Ranging.

5. What was the Magna Carta?

It was an agreement signed by King John of England in 1215, giving a few rights to  the people. It was the first recorded step towards democracy.

 6. Why is the city of Aiea, which is in Hawaii, unusual?

 It is the only city name made up of just vowels.

7. Anwar Sadat was President of which country when he died in  1981?             


8. Who released a musical album called Thriller in 1982, which brought him instant fame?

Michael Jackson

 9. Which city was devastated by an earthquake in 1985, killing more than 10,000 people,  but then hosted the World Cup in 1986??

Mexico City, the capital of Mexico

10. Elected in 1913, how long was Pedro Lascuráin president of Mexico??

Less than one hour, the shortest in world history….

 NOTES:  General Victoriano Huerta overthrew President Madero, and later had him assassinated. Lascuráin served in the interim. Lascuráin was offered positions by Huerta, but left politics and worked in a law school in Mexico City, writing books.

11. After the Sun, earth’s closest star, what is the next closest star to Earth?

Proxima Centuri.   4.3 light years from the sun.

NOTES: It’s really 3 stars close together, but appears as one star from Earth.


The Sun is about 93 million miles from the earth. The star nearest to the Sun is Proxima Centauri. Astronomers measure the distance between stars in units called light-years. A light-year equals 5.88 million million miles (9.46 million million kilometers). This is the distance light travels in one year, at a speed of 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second).

Proxima Centauri is 4.3 light-years from the Sun. It is a dim red star in the constellation of Centaurus that lies at a distance of over 40 million million kilometers, some 270,000 times greater than the distance between the earth and the sun.

12. Which country has the most people of the Muslim religion?


13. What is the oldest musical instrument discovered by archeologists?

A flute, found in France, made of bird bone, more than 25,000 years old, shows humans’ early interest in music.

14. In the world, there are several rare languages, which are part of a group of language «isolates», used in very specific geographic areas, which linguistic scientists have not been able to discover their roots. Name two languages, and tell where each is located as an isolated, small language family, a «language island».

          Euskera, used by the Basque people in Spain and France, living near the Pyrenees Mountains

Burushaski,    used in an isolated section of Pakistan

          Chukchi, used is a small part of Siberia

15. Why aren’t Roman numerals used in mathematics?

They have no zero, and they have no place value, so advanced mathematics and accounting could not use them.

16. What is the total of all matter and energy known to man called?

The universe

17. What is the lowest-pitched wind instrument?

The tuba

18.What city is known as «The Eternal City»?


19. Where was the earliest known written text found in the Americas?

It was found in Oaxaca, Mexico.

NOTES:  It was written by the Zapotec people about 500 B.C.  Two stone slabs, written in the native  writing system shows calendar information.

20. In its lifetime, how many children can a female termite produce?

500 million

21. What Greek word means «Temple of the Muses»?


22.  The winter of 1932 in the United States of America was so cold that what happened for the first time in recorded history?

Niagara Falls, between the USA and Canada, froze completely solid.

23. How long does it take sunlight to reach the earth from the sun?

8 minutes, 12 seconds

24. Who was Euclid?

He born in Greece, and taught in Egypt, living between 325 B.C. and 265 B.C.. Euclid is known as the «Father of Geometry».  His geometry textbook, Elements, served as the western world’s unchallenged standard for two thousand years.

25. Why are Euclid’s dates of life listed backwards?  (born 325 B.C., died 265 B.C.)

Dates are like a number line showing positive and negative numbers. After Christ’s birth, the dates advance forward; but in the years before Christ, the numbers go backwards; the lower the number, the closer it is to Year One, the year of Christ’s birth as recorded on a time line. (There is NO Year Zero.)

26. What board game was invented on the first of August, 1933, during the world’s great economic depression?


27. What is weird about the eating habits of houseflies?

After eating, a housefly regurgitates its food and then eats it again!

28.  We’ve all heard of Mandarin Chinese, the language spoken by more people than any other language in the world. (885 million). There is a second Chinese language, spoken by more than 77 million people in China. What is it?


29. What is the Gutenberg Bible?

The first book published using a printing press, invented by a German, Johann Gutenberg. Prior to this invention (1465), all books were written by hand. Once the printing press was invented, books became easier to acquire.

30. Which country produces more feature films for the cinema than any other country?


31.  What do the letters in the word RADAR stand for?

RADAR stands for Radio Aid to Detection And Ranging.

32. What nationality was the 15th Century explorer, Vasco de Gama?


33. When measuring the height of a horse, what term is used?


34. What kind of scientist studies ocean life?

An oceanographer

35. Who is credited with discovering the Laws of Gravity?

Sir Isaac Newton

36. How many units are in a «gross» ?

144    A box with a gross of pencils, holds 144 pencils.

37. What are the only two mammals that get sunburned?

Humans and pigs

38. What does a seismograph do?

It measures the strength of earthquakes, (using the Richter Scale) .

39. What are aglets?

The plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces are called «aglets»»

40. What state in the USA the smallest land area??

Rhode Island is the smallest state in area in the United States;

41. Why is the science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, famous?

In 1945 he suggested that satellites could be used to transmit and relay telephone and television signals around the planet.  Almost 20 years later, the first commercial satellite was launched. Now, there are more than 200 functioning satellites orbiting the earth.

42. What are the only two animals that contract leprosy?

Humans and armadillos

43. What shape is the Milky Way Galaxy?


44. What is the liquid part of humans’ blood called?


45. In a regular deck of cards, each of the four Kings represents a famous King in history. Who are the four kings?

Spades = David 

Clubs   = Alexander the Great

Hearts  = Charlemagne 

Diamonds = Caesar

46. Why is Lascaux, France famous?

In a cave in Lascaux, the first paintings by humans were discovered. They date back to 32,000 B.C. and show horses, bison, and rhinos.

47. What famous children’s ballet, by Tchaikovsky, features «The Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy»?

The Nutcracker Suite

48.  What do the olive branches on the flag of the United Nations represent?

Olive branches are the symbol of peace.

49. What was the former name of Iran?… of Thailand?

Persia                                      Siam

50. What is the most commonly eaten food in the world?




51. What do these words have in common? palm, ham, shrimp, cell?

         They all have double (or triple) meanings. 

Palm of your hand; a palm tree. Ham that you eat; a person who jokes a lot is said to be a «ham». Shrimp that you eat; a shrimp is a nickname for a short person. Cell in a jail; cell in biology…and other meanings, too.



Stay alert, and find more facts to add to these lists.

Your input will be most welcomed!  


                     ADDITIONAL TRIVIA FACTS


What dog does not ever bark…never?

The Basenji is the world’s only barkless dog.

The Basenji produces an unusual yodel-like sound commonly called a «barroo», due to its unusually shaped larynx. This trait also gives the Basenji the nickname «Barkless Dog».


What is the only poisonous snake in the UK? (UNITED KINGDOM)

The adder is the only venomous snake in the UK. (United Kingdom)

Despite it posing a threat to humans, it is in fact a very timid and non-aggressive creature. This snake is easily identified by the dark zigzag line passing along the back bordered by rows of spots.


What is a baby eel called?

A baby eel is called an elver.

Eels are elongated fish, ranging in length from 5 centimeters in the one-jawed eel to 3.75 meters! Most eels live in the shallow waters of the ocean and burrow into sand, mud, among rocks, or in cracks found in coral reefs. The majority of eel species are nocturnal, and thus are rarely seen.


What are the two longest English words that only contain consonants?

The two longest English words that contain only consonants are «rhythm» and «syzygy».

These two words have six consonants each and don’t contain any vowels.

The word «syzygy» is most commonly used in the astronomical or astrological sense.


What is one of the most famous quotes of Julius Caesar, when he conquered the city of Zela in 47 B.C.?

«Vini, Vidi, Vinci» is Latin for «I came, I saw, I conquered».

It’s a famous Latin sentence reportedly quoted by Julius Caesar in 47 BC as a comment on his short war with Pharnaces II of Pontus in the city of Zela (currently known as Zile, in Turkey).


                                   CAN YOU ADD MORE?