Only People With a PhD Can Get All of These General Knowledge Questions Right!


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

General knowledge is like finding hidden treasure -- you'd be surprised at the things you can learn. Sometimes, it seems like Ph.D. holders are the only ones who can answer such difficult questions. Are you as smart as a person with a Ph.D.? Find out by taking this General Knowledge quiz!

If you've had three strikes and you're out, what sport are you playing?

In baseball, once you swing and miss the ball three times, you're out. Your team has to send in the next batter in line.


Which city is known as the Big Apple?

New York became known as the "Big Apple" supposedly because of the writer John Joseph Fitz Gerald, who used the term in his work. It caught on because songs and entertainment writers also started using the nickname.


What do you call the popular campfire comfort food, made out of marshmallows and chocolate?

S'mores are a DIY activity that ties sugar in with and chocolate. They're hot and gooey and now come prepackaged for summer camping.


According to Einstein, what is the speed limit of the universe?

According to Einstein, the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe. No matter what happens, nothing can travel faster than light.


Why is California known as the Golden State?

California is known as the Golden State because of the great gold rush of 1848. Other people say it’s also about the state’s official flower, the yellow poppy. Most sources, however, point to the gold rush.


What was the Holocaust of World War II all about?

The Holocaust of the Second World War was the organized killing of as many as six million Jews in Europe. However, if you include everyone else who were sent to the camps, the numbers could have reached 17 million.


Old Faithful is a geyser that erupts at regular intervals. In which national park is it located?

Old Faithful is located in Yellowstone National Park. The name is said to be taken in part from the Grand Canyon. There are many hot springs and camping grounds within the park.


Which desert city is known as the famous Sin City?

It’s no wonder that Las Vegas is known as the Sin City. It’s a city where gambling and other vices are very much legal. Surprisingly, prostitution isn't allowed.


This big boat became legendary when it was sunk by an iceberg. What was its name?

The Titanic was supposedly the world's largest passenger liner at the time. It went down in history, not for being big, but for colliding with an iceberg, which sent it sinking to the bottom of the ocean.


What supposedly hit Benjamin Franklin's kite when he was flying it in a storm?

Benjamin Franklin was said to have been flying a kite with a key attached to it in a storm, to see how lightning and electricity were related. It turns out that lightning didn’t hit the kite. Franklin, however, observed a build-up of static electricity in the loose threads of the kite string.


What math symbol has no value?

Zero is a unique number in math, as it has no value. It represents a “nothing." Zero is important in defining some math ideas, such as negative numbers.


Who is the only recent US President that started out as an actor?

Ronald Reagan started out as an actor before making the jump into politics. Before becoming the President, he was the governor of California.


If you're thinking of a touchdown in a game, what sport are you thinking of?

In American football, a touchdown is when you get the ball to the enemy's end zone or goal. It's worth six points.


What supposedly fell from a tree, and helped Sir Isaac Newton think about gravity?

The legend says that when Newton saw an apple fall from a tree, he started thinking about why it happened. He was later able to formulate the theory of gravity from the event.


What is the preferred meat and usual star of most Thanksgiving meals?

Turkeys are easy to raise, and they grow quickly. Also, they are usually cheaper than other meats, so they became a preferred food item for Thanksgiving.


If you're dribbling the ball, what sport are you playing?

Basketball requires that you bounce, or “ dribble,” the ball on the ground continuously as you make your way to the other team's basket. Dribbling techniques have been developed, so players can run fast while doing it from one part of the court to another.


Which national tragedy forever changed how Americans viewed terrorism in 2001?

When two passenger planes crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the USA experienced significant death and devastation, nationwide. Many national policies and actions concerning foreign affairs have been influenced by the 9/11 tragedy.


"I cannot tell a lie," this pioneering President said when, as a child, he was asked if he cut down a cherry tree. Who was this President?

The story about George Washington and the cherry tree served to show how honest he was, even as a child. However, the story is probably just that -- a story.


What is handheld food item from Mexico basically meat and beans rolled up in very thin bread?

In the original Mexican version, a burrito was just meat, beans, and whatever else was around. These days, you can have it in many ways, like with sour cream or with various veggies.


What's the name of this old Texan church that became the site of a famous battle?

The Battle of the Alamo marked a turning point in American history. The event served to unite many Americans in the Mexican-American conflict.


It’s about riding a wave back to the beach (on a shaped plank) without getting a wipeout. What do you call this water sport?

Surfing is all about riding a wave with your board to see how long you can be pushed, before it breaks onto the beach. When in competition, the plus points come in with the rider’s skill and grace in action.


Which city is known as the City of Angels?

Los Angeles literally translates to “of the angels,” or “the angels.” The city's name is a shortened version of “The town of our lady the Queen of Angels of the River Porciúncula.”


What "negative" galactic object did Stephen Hawking concentrate a lot of his research on?

Stephen Hawking’s research on black holes led to the discovery that these galactic objects could release radiation. Initially, it was believed that a black hole was so powerful that nothing escaped, even light.


Which isolated American state is called the Aloha State?

In Hawaii, “aloha" can mean many things, from a "hello" to "goodbye," and even "love," depending on how it's used. In 1959, the Hawaiian state adopted "The Aloha State" as their official nickname.


What was the name of the military operation where American soldiers and other Allied forces intervened in the Iraq-Kuwait conflict in 1991?

Operation Desert Storm was when the United States and United Nations' allies went up against Iraq. This was because Iraq invaded and conquered Kuwait, which it claimed as its 19th province. Some analysts say that debt and oil were the reasons for Iraq’s actions.


In the game of tennis, what does "love" mean?

"Love" means that a tennis player has zero points. Some people say this is based on the French term “oeuf" or egg, which is a term for zero.


When the Cold War ended, what did Berliners bring down on November 9, 1989?

The Berlin Wall was a prominent symbol of the Cold War, a wall that separated two sides -- the Communist and “First World” sides. On November 9, 1989, protesters from both sides of the wall destroyed it.


With what geometric shape do you use pi, or 3.14159?

Pi, or 3.14159, is a constant value. If you multiply the diameter of a circle by pi, you will get the circumference of the circle. It will work for any circle, regardless of size. In other words: pi = circumference divided by the diameter.


What happened in America between 1929 and 1939 that made a lot of people jobless?

The Great Depression started with the Wall Street stock market crashing of 1929. From there, the world went through an entire decade where economies in many countries suffered. The end of World War II lifted the global economy and ended the Great Depression.


If the Nile River is in Africa, then where is the Amazon River located?

The Amazon River is located in South America. The river’s paths go across many countries in the continent.


When you’re in Florida, this national park offers airboat rides through marshes and river paths. What is the name of this national park?

The Everglades National Park is home to 20% of the southern part of the Florida Everglades. This area has birdwatching, boating, biking, and camping facilities.


This building towers over the Seattle skyline. What is its futuristic name?

The Space Needle is technically an observation deck placed on very high stilts -- about 600 feet tall. The observation deck is also a rotating restaurant, known as SkyCity.


What Asian-located war affected American culture deeply, especially during the 70s?

The Vietnam War triggered cultural and social unrest in the USA. The lessons learned from the Vietnam War have affected how the country chooses to act when foreign allies are involved in wars.


Which American President resigned from office?

President Richard Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974, after the Watergate scandal. Then-President Nixon had been secretly recording conversations in the White House.


Who invented the telephone?

Born in Scotland, Alexander Graham Bell secured the patent for his telephone invention in the US. But when he died, he was living in Canada.


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