Field of Science


Big Balls (a quiz)

Do you have what it takes to conquer this special-edition, oversized quiz?

1. Data from a NASA telescope recently revealed two giant balls of:
a. ice and rock, hurtling toward Mars
b. garbage, lodged in an air-circulation chute on the International Space Station
c. energy, sandwiching the Milky Way galaxy
d. gas and dust, blocking our view of the Orion nebula

2. Using an iPhone app called Track your Happiness, researchers at Harvard found that:
a. people who daydream the most are the happiest
b. 10% of people claim to never daydream
c. focusing on the task at hand makes people unhappy
d. daydreaming makes people unhappy

3. Last week, researchers reported that ozone depletion is causing:
a. sunburned whales
b. skin cancer in penguins
c. deeper tans among Brazilians
d. a reversal of global warming

4. Researchers in Vietnam discovered a previously undocumented, all-female lizard species...
a. on a menu
b. in a pet store
c. living in their luggage
d. after running one over

5. A British team has proposed a new design for a Mars rover. Instead of rolling across the sandy terrain like Spirit and Opportunity, their rover would:
a. crawl
b. walk
c. fly
d. hop

6. Meanwhile, a new study on pterosaurs says that the 500-pound flying dinosaurs may have launched themselves into flight in a manner similar to:
a. high jumping
b. pole vaulting
c. skipping
d. trapeze-ing

7. New research has revealed which of the following about parrotfish mucus?
a. Parrotfish trap their prey in spit-bubble nets
b. Parrotfish create elaborate spit castles as part of their courtship routine
c. Parrotfish spit contains a potent antiviral agent
d. Parrotfish sleep in spit cocoons to deter bloodsucking predators

8. Scientists at MIT built a robotic tongue in order to study the physics of:
a. dogs lapping water
b. cats lapping water
c. camels spitting
d. goldfish eating

9. Haven't you ever wondered how a fruit fly larva (also called a maggot) keeps its squishy little body from shriveling in the sun while it's munching on rotten fruit? The answer, scientists recently announced, is that the maggot:
a. has tiny eyes all over its body to detect the sun
b. creates a protective spit tunnel as it chews
c. excretes urine from every part of its body
d. ...I'm sorry, I grossed myself out too much to write a fourth option.

10. With testes weighing in at almost 14% of its body mass, the title of World's Largest Testicles has been claimed by a species of:
a. lemur
b. parakeet
c. cricket
d. primitive hominid

Answers are in the comments.

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