Calling all trivia junkies! Let’s jump right in and see just how smart you are. Can you name which math symbol has no value? What about the U.S. state that’s home to Area 51? Can you give the name for a group of ravens? What’s the capital of Australia?
If you answered zero, Nevada, congress or unkindness, and Canberra, then you’re probably a trivia master.
But here’s a “trivial” question for you: Do you know where the word “trivia” comes from? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word comes from the Latin trivialis, meaning “found everywhere, commonplace.” This is derived from the Latin noun trivium, "a meeting place of three roads.” The general belief is that this meeting place, or “crossroads,” would be about the same as a modern-day street corner, where so-called “common” folk would pass through and have everyday, common (hence, “trivial”) conversations. This is why the word “trivial” carries a meaning of “little value or importance,” according to the Oxford Dictionary.
That said, we like to think that no matter how seemingly “unimportant” trivia facts are, that doesn’t make ’em any less interesting or fun. In fact, we believe that being a trivia master earns you the ultimate bragging rights among your friends. After all, if you can recall, for example, which U.S. president made the first presidential radio broadcast, then you must be pretty smart!
So, take pride in your general knowledge abilities!
But, being a trivia master is so much more than memorizing facts and being smart. If you’re good at trivia, then you probably have at least a few of the following qualities. You have a love of knowledge and, if you don’t have an answer, you have a burning desire to find one. You’ve always got your eyes and ears peeled for new information, soaking it up like a sponge. Books are your best friend; you read voraciously. You’re not afraid to explore new topics — you might be an expert in ’80s movies and WWII planes, but you’re still willing to learn about world languages (by the way, do you know the most widely spoken language in the world? It’s Chinese). You stay on top of current events and have plenty of sources for your news. You most likely killed it at Brain Quest as a kid. There’s a lot of information out there, but you know how to soak it up, compartmentalize and build a database, and then recall the facts quickly when needed.
So, are you still up to trying the Hardest General Knowledge Quiz You’ll Take Today? Think you might know which creature can lift up to fifty times its body weight? Or, where the Serengeti is located? Or which vitamin is responsible for giving carrots their bright orange color? Or, which bug sometimes has six legs and sometimes eight? Or, what was the first music video played on MTV?
If any of those questions ring a bell, don’t wait — see if you’re smart enough to ace this quiz!
How much do you know about how car engines work? And how much do you know about how the English language works? And what about how guns work? How much do you know? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks is about more than providing great answers about how the world works. We are also here to bring joy to your day with fun quizzes, compelling photography and fascinating listicles. Some of our content is about how stuff works. Some is about how much you know about how stuff works. And some is just for fun! Because, well, did you know that having fun is an important part of how your brain works? Well, it is! So keep reading!