Real/Unreal Science

Do you know the difference between real and unreal science? Try our quiz to find out.
Q1: A photon will take 8 minutes to reach the Earth from the Sun. How long does it take the average photon to travel from the Sun's core to its surface?
1. 4,000 minutes
Incorrect. The estimated time taken by photons to travel between the Sun's core and its surface ranges from 10,000 to 170,000 years (40,000 is a broadly accepted average), due to the 'random walk' they take, bouncing between the atoms they meet on the way.
2. 40,000 minutes
Incorrect. The estimated time taken by photons to travel between the Sun's core and its surface ranges from 10,000 to 170,000 years (40,000 is a broadly accepted average), due to the 'random walk' they take, bouncing between the atoms they meet on the way.
3. 40,000 years
Correct. The estimated time taken by photons to travel between the Sun's core and its surface ranges from 10,000 to 170,000 years (40,000 is a broadly accepted average), due to the 'random walk' they take, bouncing between the atoms they meet on the way.
Q2: How long does honey last?
1. 5 years
Incorrect. Honey does not spoil. You could feasibly eat 3000 year old honey.
2. 50 years
Incorrect. Honey does not spoil. You could feasibly eat 3000 year old honey.
3. >500 years
Correct. Honey does not spoil. You could feasibly eat 3000 year old honey.
Q3: How do butterflies taste?
1. With their hind feet
Correct. Butterflies taste with their hind feet, and their taste sensation works on touch – this allows them to determine whether a leaf is edible. They don't have mouths that allow them to bite or chew; instead they have a long straw-like structure called a proboscis which they use to drink nectar and juices. The taste sensors located on the bottom of their feet check whether they should sit on that particular leaf or not.
2. With their wings
Incorrect. Butterflies taste with their hind feet, and their taste sensation works on touch – this allows them to determine whether a leaf is edible. They don't have mouths that allow them to bite or chew; instead they have a long straw-like structure called a proboscis which they use to drink nectar and juices. The taste sensors located on the bottom of their feet check whether they should sit on that particular leaf or not.
3. With their tongue
Incorrect. Butterflies taste with their hind feet, and their taste sensation works on touch – this allows them to determine whether a leaf is edible. They don't have mouths that allow them to bite or chew; instead they have a long straw-like structure called a proboscis which they use to drink nectar and juices. The taste sensors located on the bottom of their feet check whether they should sit on that particular leaf or not.
Q4: If someone started counting to one billion in 2013, in which year would they finish?
1. 2045
Correct. 2045, if it's just you counting. If the entire population of Europe took a number each, it would take a little over a second.
2. 2068
Incorrect. 2045, if it's just you counting. If the entire population of Europe took a number each, it would take a little over a second.
3. 2031
Incorrect. 2045, if it's just you counting. If the entire population of Europe took a number each, it would take a little over a second.
Q5: If you forced all the atoms in all of the human race together, removing all the space between them, how big would the resulting mass be?
1. The size of the UK
Incorrect. The size of a sugar cube, which would weigh around 500,000,000 tons.
2. The size of a peppercorn
Incorrect. The size of a sugar cube, which would weigh around 500,000,000 tons.
3. The size of a sugar cube
Correct. The size of a sugar cube, which would weigh around 500,000,000 tons.
4. The size of a London bus
Incorrect. The size of a sugar cube, which would weigh around 500,000,000 tons.
Q6: Which animal has the largest eye?
1. The blue whale
Incorrect.The colossal squid. The largest known colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) captured in the freezing Antarctic waters of the Ross Sea in 2007 had eyes measuring 27cm in diameter. Each eye has a built-in 'headlight', an organ known as a photophore which can produce light so that whenever the colossal squid focuses its eyes to the front, the photophores produce enough light for the squid to see its prey in the dark.
2. The colossal squid
Correct. The colossal squid. The largest known colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) captured in the freezing Antarctic waters of the Ross Sea in 2007 had eyes measuring 27cm in diameter. Each eye has a built-in 'headlight', an organ known as a photophore which can produce light so that whenever the colossal squid focuses its eyes to the front, the photophores produce enough light for the squid to see its prey in the dark.
3. Moose
Incorrect. The colossal squid. The largest known colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) captured in the freezing Antarctic waters of the Ross Sea in 2007 had eyes measuring 27cm in diameter. Each eye has a built-in 'headlight', an organ known as a photophore which can produce light so that whenever the colossal squid focuses its eyes to the front, the photophores produce enough light for the squid to see its prey in the dark.
Q7: Why are the world's leading physicists in a race to find the perfect way to standardise how a kilogram is defined?
1. Kilograms aren't exactly 1000 grams which skews all measurements
Incorrect. Le Grand K, the international prototype kilogram, IPK, made in 1879 from platinum and iridium alloy, is losing weight. The stability of the IPK is crucial because the kilogram underpins how all standard measurements used across most of the world are defined and structured. As such many countries are now in a race to create the perfect standard for how a kilogram is measured using methods such as varying the metal components or the distance light travels through a vacuum.
2. Le Grand K is losing weight
Correct. Le Grand K, the international prototype kilogram, IPK, made in 1879 from platinum and iridium alloy, is losing weight. The stability of the IPK is crucial because the kilogram underpins how all standard measurements used across most of the world are defined and structured. As such many countries are now in a race to create the perfect standard for how a kilogram is measured using methods such as varying the metal components or the distance light travels through a vacuum.
3. The template was stolen last year from Washington DC
Incorrect. Le Grand K, the international prototype kilogram, IPK, made in 1879 from platinum and iridium alloy, is losing weight. The stability of the IPK is crucial because the kilogram underpins how all standard measurements used across most of the world are defined and structured. As such many countries are now in a race to create the perfect standard for how a kilogram is measured using methods such as varying the metal components or the distance light travels through a vacuum.
Q8: With reference to the evolution of living organisms, which one of the following sequences is correct?
1. Octopus - Dolphin - Shark
Incorrect. Salamander - Python - Kangaroo. Tortoises evolved long before hawks, and sharks have been around a lot longer than dolphins.
2. Pangolin – Hawk – Tortoise
Incorrect. Salamander - Python - Kangaroo. Tortoises evolved long before hawks, and sharks have been around a lot longer than dolphins.
3. Salamander - Python - Kangaroo
Correct. Salamander - Python - Kangaroo. Tortoises evolved long before hawks, and sharks have been around a lot longer than dolphins.
Q9: Which planet has the most mass of any planet in the solar system
1. Saturn
Incorrect. Not only is Jupiter 318 times more massive than the Earth, it has 2.5 times the mass of all the planets in the Solar System combined. Despite having 318 times Earth's mass, Jupiter's gravity is only about 2.5 times our own, because it is so much less dense.
2. Jupiter
Correct. Not only is Jupiter 318 times more massive than the Earth, it has 2.5 times the mass of all the planets in the Solar System combined. Despite having 318 times Earth's mass, Jupiter's gravity is only about 2.5 times our own, because it is so much less dense.
3. Uranus
Incorrect. Not only is Jupiter 318 times more massive than the Earth, it has 2.5 times the mass of all the planets in the Solar System combined. Despite having 318 times Earth's mass, Jupiter's gravity is only about 2.5 times our own, because it is so much less dense.
Q10: How long does it take for a red blood cell to make a complete circuit of the body?
1. 10 seconds
Incorrect. In the bloodstream, red blood cells will live for around 120 days. If they are stored outside our bodies they can live for up to 6 weeks, but they can be frozen for approximately 10 years. Each individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.
2. 60 seconds
Correct. In the bloodstream, red blood cells will live for around 120 days. If they are stored outside our bodies they can live for up to 6 weeks, but they can be frozen for approximately 10 years. Each individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.
3. 3 minutes
Incorrect. In the bloodstream, red blood cells will live for around 120 days. If they are stored outside our bodies they can live for up to 6 weeks, but they can be frozen for approximately 10 years. Each individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.
Q11: Which of the following is a dinosaur?
1. Plesiosaurus
Incorrect. American Robin. Birds are dinosaurs! Since the system of Cladistics is now in use, all descendents in a group are now part of that group. And, since birds are descendents of dinosaurs, they are now considered dinosaurs.
2. Wooly Mammoth
Incorrect. American Robin. Birds are dinosaurs! Since the system of Cladistics is now in use, all descendents in a group are now part of that group. And, since birds are descendents of dinosaurs, they are now considered dinosaurs.
3. Pterodon
Incorrect. American Robin. Birds are dinosaurs! Since the system of Cladistics is now in use, all descendents in a group are now part of that group. And, since birds are descendents of dinosaurs, they are now considered dinosaurs.
4. Perentie
Incorrect. American Robin. Birds are dinosaurs! Since the system of Cladistics is now in use, all descendents in a group are now part of that group. And, since birds are descendents of dinosaurs, they are now considered dinosaurs.
5. American Robin
Correct. Birds are dinosaurs! Since the system of Cladistics is now in use, all descendents in a group are now part of that group. And, since birds are descendents of dinosaurs, they are now considered dinosaurs.
Q12: What is the approximate date for the Earth's formation?
1. 4 billion BC
Incorrect. The big bang occurred around 15 billion years ago and it is estimated that the Earth is 1/3 as old as the universe.
2. 4.5 billion BC
Correct. The big bang occurred around 15 billion years ago and it is estimated that the Earth is 1/3 as old as the universe.
3. 4,000 BC
Incorrect. The big bang occurred around 15 billion years ago and it is estimated that the Earth is 1/3 as old as the universe.
4. 1 trillion BC
Incorrect. The big bang occurred around 15 billion years ago and it is estimated that the Earth is 1/3 as old as the universe.
5. It was there forever
Incorrect. The big bang occurred around 15 billion years ago and it is estimated that the Earth is 1/3 as old as the universe.
Your scored:
There are more stars in the visible universe than all the grains of sand on the beaches of earth