What's Your General Science IQ?


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Science is one of the most fascinating subjects and yet one of the most misunderstood. It's the study of how our world works: why the sky is blue, why the stars appear to rotate in the sky, how sick people can be made healthy, how planes stay in the air, and a whole host of everyday miracles. Simply having a good sense of how all of this works makes the world a great deal more comfortable. Things that might otherwise seem arbitrary suddenly fall into place, and everything is more orderly and predictable.

Of course, not all of us are blessed with a great scientific instruction in our upbringing -- but all of us can grasp many of the basics simply by being curious and paying attention. So let's see whether you have been doing just that. Do you know the names of all the planets and their orders? Do you know what the force is that keeps water in a spinning bucket? Are you familiar with which areas of study fall into what branch of science, and where and how it might interact with other branches? How about knowing basic terminology in some of these branches? It's time to put your science mind to the test!

The Big Bang Theory is a scientific theory that speculates about what aspect?

Scientists theorize that the universe has been expanding since it was created. And the creation theory they have is called the Big Bang Theory, where a general explosion happened which led to the creation of the universe. What a booming beginning!


The chromosomes determine the sex of human beings. What is the male chromosome indicator?

Male chromosomes are the Y chromosomes while the female’s is the X chromosome. Both chromosomes race from the sperm to the egg, and the fastest chromosome to touch base is the one that grows in the womb. Such a battle of the sexes from the beginning!


When you’re dealing with formulas and chemical reactions of matter, which branch of science are you dealing with?

Chemistry is about studying how matter transforms from one state to another. It’s a combination of many elements indeed...


What do you call the hottest layer of the earth?

The core is indeed the hottest layer of the earth. However, there is an outer core and an inner core, which is technically hotter.


The ocean has tides because the waters are affected by gravity’s pull. Which heavenly body is responsible for this gravity pull?

The moon’s gravitational pull affects the earth as seen through the oceans. That’s why there’s a high tide and a low tide that happens throughout a day.


Which branch of science deals with space, the heavenly bodies, and phenomena connected to them?

Astronomy generally deals with the study of space, the heavenly bodies, and other things floating out there in the universe and how it affects us back on earth. But it has other related sub-branches like cosmology, astrophysics, and planetary science, to name a few. Don't space out!


In a thermometer, readings are registered as C or F. If C is celsius, what does F mean?

The F in a thermometer means Fahrenheit, named after Daniel Fahrenheit. The C for celsius is named after Anders Celsius.


While the average adult human body is composed of the elements oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen, this particular state of matter makes up 50-60% of the body. What is this liquid?

The average adult body is made up of 50-60% water. But when we are born, the baby body is about 78% water.


What are atoms made of?

Atoms are considered the smallest unit that make up matter. Each atom is made up of three particles, namely protons, neutrons, and electrons.


These huge prehistoric reptiles’ existence was apparently wiped out due to a meteorite hitting the earth, as scientists speculated. What are they called?

Dinosaurs were recorded to have appeared first during the Triassic period. They are technically reptiles, but they got really huge!


While hydrogen is the most present element in the whole universe, what element do humans need to breathe here on earth?

Oxygen is technically a gas. It’s an important element to have the respiratory system work in all types of living organisms, especially human beings.


In chemistry, all the elements and their individual details are neatly arranged using a certain system. What do you call this system?

The Periodic table of elements is a neatly arranged table charting all known elements and their corresponding details. The system subdivides elements into metals, non-metals, and gases. You should see a live version of it, containing samples of the elements!


This double helix-shaped thing inside all humans carry our genetic information. What’s it called?

The DNA is technically a molecule that carries our genetic information. Its double helix structure is very familiar to us today since many scientific and even non-scientific pop culture products use the image often.


The universal Three Laws of Motion were theorized by which scientist?

Isaac Newton formulated the Three Laws of Motion. These laws govern a body and the types of forces that could act upon it. The motion part is how the body reacts to these forces.


When you’re studying things like matter, motion, energy and force, which branch of science are you dealing with?

The basic behavior of the universe, in relation to space and time plus matter and motion, is what physics is all about. It is considered as a natural science.


If the planets are part of a solar system, what do you call the larger structure that encloses the solar system?

A galaxy is a huge system made up of many smaller subsystems like our solar system. There are three categories of galaxies, namely the elliptical, the spiral, and the irregular kind.


The troposphere and stratosphere are layers of what?

The earth’s atmosphere is actually is made up of several layers. The most common we know — and the ones nearer to us — are the troposphere and stratosphere. The others are mesosphere, thermosphere, and the exosphere.


Flora refers to the vegetation or plant life specific to a certain timeframe or place. What is its partner term that refers to the animal life?

Fauna is the term that refers to the wildlife of a particular region and/or era. It’s the tandem term for flora.


Approximately how many bones does an average human adult body have?

Humans are born with nearly 300 bones in our body at first. But since the body evolves as we age, with some bones fusing together, the total result of our adult body bone count shrinks to nearly 200 — or 206 to be exact, for the average adult.


Marianas Trench is recorded to have this kind of feat regarding ocean history. What is this record?

It’s in the Pacific Ocean where you can spot the deepest part of the earth’s waters. It’s called the Marianas Trench, or Mariana Trench since it’s near the Mariana Islands near the Asian country of the Philippines.


He is the Greek scholar, upon discovering an important scientific fact, exclaimed “Eureka!” Who is this?

Archimedes was able to formulate how density could be calculated for an irregularly shaped object. He accidentally discovered the solution during his bath time, and he ended up running outside screaming “Eureka!” which roughly translates to “I found it!"


Which planet holds the record for being the hottest one in our solar system?

Venus holds the distinction of being the hottest planet in our solar system. This is because its atmosphere creates a kind of greenhouse effect with the trapped acid gases in it that heats off its surface, reaching more than 400 degrees Celsius!


The human blood contains WBC and RBC, with W meaning white and R meaning red. What does BC mean?

The human blood both contains specific amounts or counts of RBC and WBC. That's red blood cells and white blood cells, and having low counts for their of them could spell disease -- or disaster.


What is the term given to the singular supercontinent that existed before?

Pangaea or Pangea is the name of the single supercontinent that once covered the earth. It was subsequently broken down as the earth evolved through millions of years, ending up with the continental structures we have now.


Which branch of science specifically deals with the study of plants and their processes?

Biology is the forma. scientific study of the earth's plant life. That includes studying how they evolved and what their classifications are -- as well as their good and bad points overall, as living beings.


When we take antibiotics, what are we trying to kill?

Antibiotics are meant to kill off bacteria. That's why it's important not to miss medication if you're on it -- or else the whole curing process won't work for those bad bacteria making you sick!


What do you call that point where an earthquake is said to originate?

An earthquake's origin is called the epicenter. Seismologists study the land movements underneath and around this focal point to see how the earthquake started.


What term is used for animals who could exist both under water and on land?

Amphibians are the versatile creatures of the earth which can both survive above ground and under water. Their bodily structures are built that way. Don'tcha wish humans were like that, too?


While we see lightning from the sky, what does it discharge?

An electrical discharge is what a typical lightning bolt releases. That's why humans have always been curious of how to harness electricity from these heavenly occurrences -- from fictional Victor Frankenstein to nonfictional Benjamin Franklin.


Which theorist formulated evolution through natural selection?

The famed theory of natural selection was formulated by an English scientist named Charles Darwin. He published his studies and findings in the very important book called On the Origin of Species back in 1859.


Which branch of science specifically deals with the study of animals?

The formal scientific study of everything concerning the animal kingdom falls under zoology. Of course this branch of study also has sub-branches, depending on the kind of creatures you want to focus your study on.


While atoms are technically known as the smallest basic unit that make up matter, what unit within it is even smaller than an atom?

An atom has protons, neutrons and electrons alright, but these parts are also made up of smaller parts called quarks. They're also termed as sub-atomic particles.


If light is made up of particles, sound is made up of what?

Sound basically travels through waves. There should be a kind of medium that produces it and delivers it, though.


What’s the other term for marine science?

The physical, as well as the biological goings-on of the oceans are aspects that scientists need to study as well, since it directly connects to and affects us humans. This branch of science is also called Oceanography.


We might think that this branch of knowledge is another subject altogether, but it’s actually known as the science of numbers. What is this?

Talking about numbers, quantity, and space are all domains of the study of Mathematics. Yes, this is a scientific fact.


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