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30 Fun Trivia Questions
What is Trivia?
Trivia is a game where players are quizzed with obscure questions. The word became more mainstream in the 1960s, when Columbia University students Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky created the earliest inter-collegiate quiz bowls that tested culturally significant yet ultimately unimportant facts, which they dubbed "trivia contests."
Dip your feet into the world of trivia and test your friends with the questions below!
General Trivia Questions
1. How many countries are in the UN?
The United Nations was established in 1945 as a replacement for the League of Nations. Its goal is to provide a neutral ground where countries can air their grievances and to help stop wars. The UN has six official languages; Spanish, Russian, French, English, Chinese and Arabic.
2. Which dog breed is noted for its spotted coat?
The Dalmatian is thought to be one of the first dog breeds deliberately bred for specific characteristics. Throughout history, Dalmations were used as hunting and bird dogs. They later became associated with firehouses because they got along with and protected horses during a time when horse-drawn carriages were used to extinguish fires.
3. The American Falls and Horseshoe Falls are better known as?
Answer: Niagara Falls
This famous waterfall is located on the border between Canada and the United States. The name comes from the Iroquois meaning "Thunder of Waters." It is believed that the first European to visit the falls was Samuel de Champlain in the year 1604. Later on in 1829, Sam Patch was the first person recorded to go over the falls and survive. Since that time, many people have attempted to conquer the falls either by walking across on a tightrope or by going over in a barrel. The first person to take a barrel over the falls was Annie Edson Taylor in 1901.
4. What race is known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports?"
Answer: The Kentucky Derby
The first Derby was run on May 17, 1875. The first horse to win was Aristides, who was ridden by Oliver Lewis. The Derby is run every year on the first Saturday in May at the Churchill Downs. Although the race length varied for a time, it is now 1.25 miles long. The event is also known as the 'Run for the Roses".
5. Who was at 17 Burton Street, London on April 21,1926?
Answer: Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth's coronation took place on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey. She and her husband Prince Phillip had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward. During World War II, the Queen served in the military as a member of the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. Her main duty was driving military trucks, and her rank was No. 230873 Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor. She is the Queen of 16 countries.
6. Whose nickname was the Wizard of Menlo Park?
Answer: Thomas Edison
On February 11, 1847, a great inventor by the name of Thomas Edison was born. Among his inventions are the long lasting light bulb, the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the stock ticker.
7. Paul Baumer is the major character in which novel?
Answer: All Quiet on the Western Front
Written by Erich Maria Remarque and published in 1929, this novel describes the terrible life of a German foot soldier. In 1930, it was made into an Oscar winning movie that won for best picture and best director. The film was remade again in 1979.
8. Who invented dynamite?
Answer: Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden on October 21, 1833. He was an armaments manufacturer, chemist, engineer and innovator. Upon his death, he left his fortune to fund the Nobel Prizes. Each year, these prizes are awarded throughout the world to men and women who contribute to the pursuit of peace, literature, medicine, chemistry and physics.
9. What is the capital of Austria?
Located on the Danube river, Vienna began as a Celtic settlement circa 500 BC. It is now the largest city in Austria, boasting a population of 1.7 million people. Famed for its balls, Vienna hosts over 200 of them each year, many of which are held in the palaces of Vienna. The city also lays claim to having the world's oldest zoo.
10. What animal's diet is made up almost entirely of eucalypti leaves?
Answer: Koala Bear
This marsupial is found only in southern Australia. The name comes from the aboriginal language Dharuk and translates to mean 'doesn't drink'. The koala has opposable thumbs and, like humans, actual fingerprints. During the 1900's, the species was nearly hunted into extinction for their lush coats. Thanks to protection measures, koalas are now listed as near threatened and their numbers in Australia are estimated at between 80,000 and 100,000.
11. Which country or state lays claim to the title of being the world's smallest?
Answer: Vatican City
This small state was declared a separate state in 1929 and is headed by the Pope. Its size is around 100 acres (44 hectares) and, at 800 people, is potentially home to the smallest population as well. Vatican City is located in the middle of Rome and separated from the city by a wall. It has its own police force, known as the Corpo della Gendermeria.
12. Where were the 2008 Olympic summer games scheduled to take place?
Answer: Beijing, China
The modern Olympics take place every four years and are divided into summer and winter games. Spectators at the games in Beijing saw 203 countries competing in 28 sports, made up of 302 different events. The Olympic motto is "Citius, Altius Fortius" which is Latin for "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." The Olympic flag is a white background with five joined rings which represent the unity of the continents. The ring colors are: blue, red, black, green and yellow. The flag was first flown during the 1920 games in Antwerp, Belgium.
13. According to the ancient Egyptians, who is the god of fertility, life and death?
According to Egyptian mythology, Osiris was the oldest son of Nut, goddess of the sky, and Geb, the god of the earth. Hieroglyphics containing his name have appeared as far back as 2400 BC. He married his sister, Isis and ruled the earth until he was killed by Seth, his brother. Because of his resurrection as the god of the underworld, Osiris is often associated with the rise and fall of the Nile. He is often depicted as a green being because Egyptians believed that the underworld granted all life.
14. According to the Chinese Zodiac, what is the year 2008?
Multiple stories exist regarding the selection process of the twelve zodiac animals. One myth says Buddha invited all the animals to come and say goodbye to him before he left the earth. The order of the animals in the calendar was based on the order in which they arrived. Another legend says a rat was sent out to issue invitations to a banquet held by the Jade Emperor. The twelve animals were the ones who came.
15. What is General Sherman's (not the civil war veteran) claim to fame?
Answer: World's largest tree
This giant sequoia grows in Sequoia National Park, California. It was named after civil war veteran General William Tecumseh Sherman. While it is the largest currently living tree, the largest historically recorded tree is actually a redwood. Its age is estimated to be somewhere between 2,300 and 2,700 years old.
16. What event began on April 12, 1861?
Answer: American Civil War
South Carolina was attacked when Confederate soldiers attacked Fort Sumter. The Civil War lasted until April 9, 1865. The Confederate army was lead by Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, and the Union was headed by Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. The south lost more than 258,000 soldiers and the north had over 360,000 casualties.
17. Who directed The Passion of the Christ?
Answer: Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York on January 3, 1956. He won two Oscars, one for best picture and one for best director; both awards were for the film Braveheart. He was the first person to be named the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine.
18. Which television show featured Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp and James McDaniel?
Answer: NYPD Blue
This long running show was created by David Milch and Steven Bochco. It first aired in September 1993. The show went off the air after 261 episodes in 2005.
19. If you wanted to visit the baseball hall of fame, where would you go?
Answer: Cooperstown, New York
On June 12, 1939, the hall of fame was dedicated by Lee Ferrick Andrews. The first five men honored in the hall of fame were baseball greats Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson. The hall of fame now features 19 managers, 228 players and 31 organizers and builders.
20. In the novel Dragons of Autumn Twilight, what was the name of the half-elf?
Answer: Tanis Half-Elven
This book first came out in 1984 and was written by Tracy Hickman and Margret Weiss. It is part of the Chronicles trilogy and was the very first of the Dragonlance books. The story begins with the reuniting of a group of friends after a five year separation. The friends were supposed to meet in a town called Solace for a quiet reunion. This reunion does not end up happening, but the unlikely group embarks on a journey that will change their world.
More Trivia Questions for Game Night
21. Who was the first guest star on the Muppet Show?
Answer: Lena Horne
The Muppet Show began in 1976 and left the air in 1981. During its long run, the show featured an incredible number of famous guest stars such as: Steve Martin, Gene Kelly, Rich Little, Alice Cooper, John Denver, and Julie Andrews. The show was produced by the great puppeteer Jim Henson and was based around Kermit the Frog trying to put on a weekly television variety show.
22. If you wanted to take a gondola ride down the Grand Canal, what city would you have to visit?
Answer: Venice, Italy
Venice has historically been known by many names: "the city of bridges," "city of water," and "queen of the Adriatic." The city is located along the Adriatic Sea in the northern part of Italy. It's built in the marshy Venetian Lagoon and is composed of 118 different islands. Venice is called "the floating city," a name that may fade as the city sinks more and more each year.
23. If you were standing on a planet looking up at the moons Europa, Callisto and Ganymede, what planet would you be on?
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and is the fifth planet from the sun. The planet was named after the Roman god Jupiter, the patron god of ancient Rome. It is characterized by a large red spot on its surface and is known as one of the gas giants.
24. Which famous explorer was killed on the Hawaiian Islands?
Answer: Captain James Cook
James Cook was born on October 27, 1728. He made three separate voyages to the Pacific and was the first European to visit Eastern Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, as well as to sail around the islands of New Zealand. He is also credited with mapping the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. He was killed on February 14, 1779.
25. If you wanted to see the Taj Mahal, what city would you visit?
Answer: Agra, India
This famous building was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal, his favorite wife. The emperor gathered together a workforce of over 20,000 men to build the beautiful tomb.The creative unit alone was made up of 37 men. The main gate has the following engraved: "O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you."
26. Which famous gangsters met their end in Gibsland, Louisiana?
Answer: Clyde Barrows and Bonnie Parker
On May 23, 1934, four Texas officers and two Louisiana officers set up an ambush in Gibsland, Louisiana. The officers opened fire on the car carrying Bonnie and Clyde as it approached. When their automatic weapons were spent, the officers unloaded their shotguns and didn't stop until their handguns were also out of ammunition. It was later reported that the bodies of Bonnie and Clyde had been shot between 25 and 50 times.
27. Which famous gem was said to have been stolen from a Hindu statue?
Answer: The Hope Diamond
This blue diamond weighs over 45 carats, is worth about a quarter of a billion dollars, and is said to have been cursed by priests when they found it missing. According to legends, the Hope Diamond was one of the eyes of an Indian temple idol. It once belonged to Marie Antoinette of France, until it was stolen during the French revolution. It's passed through several owners' hands ever since.
28. If you were the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo, which country would you be fighting and who would be leading the soldiers?
Answer: France, Napoleon Bonaparte
This was Napoleon's last battle. The Battle of Waterloo was fought in the fields of Belgium on June 18, 1815. The Duke of Wellington was allied with Gebhard von Blucher, who commanded a Prussian force. Also among Wellington's forces were troops from The United Netherlands, Hanover, Nassau, and Brunswick.
29. You are looking at the famous painting Starry Night. Who is the artist?
Answer: Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh was born in Zundert, Netherlands, on March 30, 1853. His painting style is considered to be Dutch Post-Impressionist. Vincent van Gogh created more than 2000 art pieces during his life, and Starry Night is considered to be one of his best projects. It now hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Starry Night was the inspiration for a number of musical pieces, including 'Vincent' by Don McLean and 'Starry Night' by Canadian Giancarlo Scalia.
30. Who lays claim to the title of being the first Prime Minister of Canada?
Answer: Sir John A. MacDonald
John MacDonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1815. He became the first Prime Minister of Canada on July 1, 1867 and remained in office for 19 years. John was able to achieve six majority governments, a feat which has never been duplicated. During his time in office, John was instrumental in building the railway which crossed Canada from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. Sir John A. MacDonald died on November 5, 1873.