Are You a Master of General Knowledge?


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: PM Images/DigitalVision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

General knowledge is difficult to pinpoint. For most people, it's not all that important for daily life, yet for others, having an expanded general knowledge is vital. Why? Well, if you know enough about a range of subjects, you can fit in just about anywhere.

And it's not that hard to pick up. General knowledge is about following what's going on in the world around you. Try to catch a news bulletin every day. Instead of spending hours on social media, open a news site and get up to date with the world around you. Read about things in history that interest you. We guarantee it will lead you to even more exciting finds.

The key is starting off with things you like to learn about, then moving on from there. But you knew that, didn't you? You are here to try your luck at our tough general knowledge quiz, where you can expect questions about just about anything!

A range of questions faces you, taking in many different general knowledge subjects. These questions span many ages, from ancient history to modern times, planes trains and automobiles ... OK, maybe not!

How do you think you will fare? Will you pass with flying colors? Well, why not take the plunge and let's see what you can score.

In the ancient world, what job did a fletcher do?

A weapon of choice in the Middle Ages, most notably in Britain, the bow could turn the tide of battle. But to be effective, a bowman needed ammunition for his bow in the form of arrows. These would have been made by a fletcher. To fletch an arrow means to add the feathers which aid its flight but in reality, fletchers would make arrows. Blacksmiths, however, would provide the arrow tip.


What is the longest highway in Great Britain?

Running in both directions from north to south, the A1 highway is the longest in Great Britain. And it connects the capital cities in two countries - London, England with Edinburgh, Scotland. It is 410 miles in length.


How many islands are there in the Pacific Ocean?

Certainly an ocean full of islands, the Pacific has more than 25,000 separate pieces of land that can be classed as islands. The majority of these fall under three groups. These are Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.


Who was the American president in 1953?

A brilliant general during World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower entered politics in the 1950s and was elected President of the United States in 1953. He held the office for two terms, up until 1961.


Into which sea does the Nile river flow?

The Nile river flows into the Mediterranean Sea from an area called the Nile Delta. This is 100 miles long and 150 miles wide. Did you know that the Nile is considered an international river? This is due to the fact that it travels through 11 different African countries.


In what year did Jan van Riebeeck arrive at the southern tip of Africa to set up a colony for Holland?

The trip to sail to the East along trade routes circumnavigating Africa was harsh. The Netherlands decided to make a refreshment station near one of the southern points of the continent. A colony there would help provide food and fresh water for passing ships. Jan van Riebeeck was tasked with creating this colony, which later became the city of Cape Town.


In which U.S. state is the volcano, Mount Saint Helens?

Mount St. Helens is an active volcano in the U.S. state of Washington. In 1980, the volcano erupted, prompting 57 deaths and major devastation, including the destruction of 250 homes and millions of dollars of damage to property.


A city which bore the brunt of Nazi occupation in World War II, what is the capital of Poland?

The old town section of Warsaw was largely rebuilt after much of it was destroyed during World War II. To keep it as it once was, paintings from Bernardo Bellotto were used to ensure the rebuild was as accurate as possible. Warsaw is fast becoming one of the must-see destinations in Europe.


Which author wrote the acclaimed fantasy series, "The Chronicles of Narnia"?

First published in the 1950s, "The Chronicles of Narnia" is a series of seven books penned by British author C.S. Lewis. They remain popular today, having sold more than 100 million copies. Lewis was a friend of another famous fantasy author, J.R.R. Tolkien.


Can you name the huge statue that overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil?

At close to 100 feet high, the statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro. This work, built between 1922 and 1931, is made of soapstone and concrete and was built by Heitor da Silva Costa, an engineer from Brazil. It was sculpted by Paul Landowski. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonid, however, designed the face. The statue is one of the seven new wonders of the world.


Name the actor who portrayed the character Forrest Gump in the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name?

Released in 1994, "Forrest Gump" featured Tom Hanks in the title role. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the movie won six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.


The great fire of London took place in what year?

A raging inferno that burned for five days, the great fire of London started on September 2, 1666, and burned to Thursday, September 6. Over 13,200 houses were destroyed, leaving around 90% of the city homeless. It also destroyed 87 churches, including Saint Paul's Cathedral. The fire started at a bakery.


Of all the American states, which does not have a rectangular flag?

Ohio's state flag is a swallowtail shape, making it the only state flag that is not a traditional rectangle. The flag is known as the Ohio Burgee.


Europe is home to thousands of museums. Which is the most visited?

A must-see cultural tour de force, the Louvre is in Paris. It is the biggest art gallery in the world and filled with more than 38,000 objects. In 2018, more than 10 million people walked through its doors.


In sport, which NBA player had the nickname, "The Pearl"?

Earl "The Pearl" Monroe was an NBA basketball star who played for the New York Knicks for much of his career. Know for his flashy style, he was a member of the NBA championship team in 1973 and a four-time all-star.


Which English rock band is named after a flying airship from Germany?

Led Zeppelin is arguably one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Featuring Jimmy Page on guitar, Robert Plant on vocals, John Paul Jones on bass and John Bonham on drums, the band's career was short lived and they have only played together a few times since Bonham's death in 1980.


In our galaxy, which star is closest to the sun?

Also known as Alpha Centauri C, this red dwarf is the closest star (or sun) to Earth's sun. Found in the constellation of Centaurus, it is 4.244 light-years away from the sun.


From the options below, can you pick what is considered to be the oldest fast food chain in America?

White Castle is considered to be the oldest fast food restaurant in the United States. It opened in 1921. McDonald's followed in 1940 and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in 1952. Although other franchises existed before White Castle, most notably, Automat, White Castle was the first to standardize menus and food preparation.


In what year did the original Disneyland open?

The brainchild of Walt Disney, who came up with the idea while watching his daughters on a roundabout in the park, Disneyland opened its doors to the public on July 17, 1955. It had 18 rides at the time, 14 of which still exist. After a slow start, it quickly became one of the top attractions in the United States.


One of the world's greatest footballers, what is Edson Arantes do Nascimento's nickname?

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or Pele as he is known worldwide, burst onto the scene as a teenager playing for Brazil at the 1958 World Cup. He played 92 times for his country, scoring 77 goals and also scored more than 600 goals for his club, Santos. He was a World Cup winner with Brazil on three occasions.


What country was known as Rhodesia from 1965 to 1980?

Rhodesia became the nation of Zimbabwe in 1980 after many years of internal conflict between the white minority rulers at the time and two African liberation organizations, ZANU and ZAPU. Ian Smith, the prime minister, agreed to a multiracial democracy. He was replaced by Abel Muzorewa who brokered a deal with the liberation movements and in 1980, the Republic of Zimbabwe was born.


True or false? Richard Nixon once made a telephone call to the moon.

After the first moon landing by the Apollo 11 lunar module on July 21, 1969, U.S. President Richard Nixon spoke with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin from the Oval Office at the White House. Surely the greatest phone call ever made, right?


A city once divided during the Cold War, which of these is the German capital?

It's a fascinating city, for so long divided into east and west, communism versus democracy. Today, however, Berlin is a city that is thriving. And it is​ massive! In fact, it is nine times the size of Paris.


Who is said to have banished snakes from Ireland?

The legend goes that after he was attacked by snakes, Saint Patrick banished them all into the sea. In reality, the reason for no snakes in Ireland is that it was at one time probably just too cold for them to survive or cross a land bridge from Great Britain. Once the land bridge melted, and temperatures rose, snakes could not cross the sea.


The Roman numeral V indicates which number?

Those Romans sure had a funny way with numbers. For example, 5 is a "V" and 10 is an "X." Just to confuse us even more, "D" is 500.


What chess piece can move only in an 'L' shape?

No chess piece moves quite like a knight. With the ability to move in an "L" shape, knights can be used very strategically and are brilliant pieces for covering small sections of the board as well as launching attacks.


Which famous singer's real name is Reginald Dwight?

Reginald Kenneth Dwight, born on March 25, 1947, is none other than the legendary Elton John. He has always worked with famed lyricist Bernie Taupin and his music has sold more than 300 000 albums worldwide! His rearranged composition, "Candle in the Wind," released after the death of Princess Diana, is the biggest selling single in both U.K. and U.S. since the singles charts began in the 1950s.


Do you know which of these is the largest statue in the world?

The Statue of Unity, situated in Gujarat, India, is an unbelievable 597 feet tall. Add the base and it climbs to 790 feet. It was started in 2013 and completed five years later. The statue depicts Vallabhbhai Patel, the first home minister of the country following independence from Britain. It is twice the size of the Statue of Liberty!


In what year did the Roswell incident, a supposed UFO crash, take place?

Who doesn't love a conspiracy theory? On June 14, 1947, a rancher on a farm in Roswell, New Mexico, found debris spread over a large area. UFO lovers will tell you there were alien bodies as well but the U.S. Air Force says it was merely a high-altitude weather balloon that crashed to the ground. Interest in the incident grew in the 1970s and 1980s with many books, such as "The Roswell Incident" by Charles Berlitz and William Moore, released on the subject.


New Zealand is known as the "Land of the _____."

New Zealand is known to the Maori people who live there as Aotearoa, which translated means "land of the long white cloud." Today, Maori people make up about 15 percent of the population of New Zealand.


Feared fighters, Gurkha soldiers are from which country?

Gurkha soldiers come from Nepal. They are renowned for their fighting skills and bravery, and they joined British forces during World War II. They currently serve in UN peacekeeping forces around the world.


Can you tell us which country is known as the Rainbow Nation?

In 1994, South Africa became a truly democratic country, where every person over the age of 18 could vote. Before this, the African population of the country was suppressed under Apartheid, a form of segregation. The name, Rainbow Nation, was quickly adopted to describe this new democracy.


From these options, pick the year in which Josef Stalin died.

Joseph Stalin was the feared leader of the U.S.S.R. from 1922 to 1952. Not only did he lead the Soviets in defense of their homeland after the German invasion in 1941, he ordered his troops to launch attacks into Germany, eventually taking Berlin in 1945. Stalin also led a purge of what he called "enemies of the working class" in which 700,000 Soviets were executed in the late 1930s. Stalin died in 1953.


In which city of the United States are America's "Big Three" auto manufacturers based?

Not only home to Motown, Detroit is also called "Motor City," with all of America's major vehicle manufacturers based in the city. Detroit is in the state of Michigan.


What is the name of the largest desert on planet Earth outside of the polar area?

Taking up nearly a third of the African continent, the Sahara is huge and certainly the biggest desert in the world outside of the polar areas. It covers an area of 3.5 million square miles.


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