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"I don't believe it!" True or False Quiz

This is hopefully an interesting facts True or False Quiz. It is aimed more to be more of a discussion based activity with members deciding between them which answer to go for. Hopefully it will be an activity to have fun with, with members replaying "Never!" or "Really?" or indeed "I don't believe it!"

Let me know if you can think of any other questions to include in a future Part 2 quiz.

If you click on the first photo, a slide show will open.

There's a lot here, 80 questions in fact, so one idea is to give each table of guests a couple of rounds to do. Or you could split it into two sessions, of course.

Round 1. Food & Drink

​"It's the real thing."

T or F. The original 'Coca Cola', invented in 1885, contained Cocaine in its ingredients?

T or F. There is no way of telling boiled eggs from raw eggs until you break them open?

T or F. The spice Saffron is worth its weight in gold?

T or F. Steak contains more protein than broccoli?

T or F. French fries originated in France?

T or F. 'Terry's Chocolate Orange' used to come in lemon, apple & greengage flavours?

​T or F. At the end of World War 2 children had to be taught how to eat a banana because they had never seen or tasted one?

​T or F. McDonald's 'Filet O' Fish' was invented for Catholics?

​T or F. In the 17th century rich people used to rent a pineapple and carry it around with them under their arm as a sign of their great wealth?

​T or F. Carrots were originally purple?

Song break ...

'Food Glorious Food', 'Oliver'

Round 2. Animals

​T or F. Does the Duck Billed Platypus lay eggs?

​T or F. The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland?

​T or F. Humans share about 99% of our DNA with Chimpanzees?

​T or F. The blue whale is the biggest animal to have ever lived?

​T or F. A dog sweats by panting its tongue?

​T or F. Octopuses have nine brains?

​T or F. Penguins and Polar Bears can happily co-exist (unless the Polar Bear hasn't got any Seal to eat)?

​T or F. Hen's teeth are not that rare?

​T or F. Although they love to drink it, cats are actually lactose intolerant to cow’s milk?

​T or F. Pigs roll in the mud because they don’t like being clean?

Song break ...

'If I Could Talk To The Animals', Rex Harrison

Round 3. People

​T or F. Cleopatra was in a relationship in Rome with Julius Caesar?

​T or F. Napoleon Bonaparte was of below-average height?

​T or F. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian?

​T or F. Mother Theresa was in fact a mother?

​T or F. Margaret Thatcher invented 'Mr Whippy' style ice cream?

​T or F. Prince Harry is taller than Prince William?

​T or F. Usain Bolt can run faster than a Cheetah?

​T or F. Pope Francis is the first Pope from the Americas?

​T or F. Barack Obama was born in Kenya?

T or F. Rishi Sunak and his wife are richer than King Charles?

Song break ...

Round 4. Geography

​T or F. Australia's diameter is wider than the moon?

T or F. The Great Wall of China is longer than the distance between London and Beijing?

​T or F. The Channel Tunnel between England and France at 31.5 miles long is the longest undersea tunnel in the world?

​T or F. The river Nile is the longest in the world?

​T or F. It is claimed tropical rainforests account for 20% of the oxygen we breathe?

​T or F. Lightning is seen before it’s heard because light travels faster than sound?

​T or F. Hurricanes spin anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and Cyclones spin clockwise in the southern hemisphere?

​T or F. Switzerland's currency is the Euro?

​T or F. Russia is the biggest country in the world?

T or F. Mount Everest is growing shorter?

Song break ...

Round 5. Movies

​T or F. The snow in 'The Wizard Of Oz' was made out of asbestos?

​T or F. The shower scene in the movie 'Psycho' was the first to feature a knife penetrating flesh?

​T or F. You can actually have breakfast at 'Tiffany's'?

​T or F. Sean Connery wore a toupee in every one of his James Bond Movies?

​T or F. Olivia Newton-John's songs in the movie 'Grease' were actually sung by another singer?

​T or F. Dave Prowse, the 'Green Cross Code Man' also featured in the first 'Star Wars' movie as Darth Vadar?

​T or F. Harrison Ford was too old to be Sean Connery's son (in real life) in the movie 'The Last Crusade'?

​T or F. The 'Titanic' ship cost more to build than the move cost to make?

​T or F. 'Highclere Castle', the set of 'Downton Abbey', is associated with Tutankhamun?

​T or F. Tom Cruise actually trained as a fighter pilot for his 'Top Gun' movies?

Song break ...

Round 6. The Human Body

​T or F. The skull is the strongest bone in the human body?

​T or F. The liver is the largest organ in the human body?

​T or F. Humans lose more than 80% of heat from their feet?

​T or F. It’s impossible to sneeze while your eyes are open?

​T or F. There is only one part of the body that can't heal itself?

​T or F. It is impossible to read with your eyes shut?

​T or F. The smallest bone in the human body is in the ear?

​T or F. About 14% of the UK population has red or ginger hair?

​T or F. Most people in the UK have blue eyes?

​T or F. (Try it) While sitting down, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles. While doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right-hand. Your foot will change direction?

Song break ...

Here is a chance to use some of those body parts ...

Round 7. Transport

​T or F. The spike on top of the 'Empire State Building' was for docking airships? (Not for King Kong to grab onto!)

​T or F. The 'Flying Scotsman' was the first train to reach a speed of 100mph?

​T or F. Howard Hughes's 'Spruce Goose' flew only once?

​T or F. The VW Beetle is the best-selling car of all time?

​T or F. Flying in an aeroplane is statistically safer than driving in a car?

​T or F. The 'International Space Station' is designed to hold a crew of 60 people at any one time?

​T or F. 'HMS Artful' nuclear submarine can stay underwater without surfacing for 25 years?

​T or F. 'Concorde' is the fastest passenger jet to have ever flown?

​T or F. There are in fact, as Katie Melua suggested, nine million bicycles in Beijing?

​T or F. The orbiting speed of a 'Space Shuttle' was 17,500mph?

Song break ...

Round 8. Music

​T or F. Elvis Presley never toured the UK?

​T or F. The first Brit to win 'Eurovision' was Sandie Shaw in 1967 with 'Puppet On A String'?

​T or F. 'The Green Green Grass Of Home' is about a man facing hanging for his crimes?

​T or F. Only one of 'The Beatles' could read or write music?

​T or F. Kate Bush invented the wireless microphone headset?

​T or F. Adele won an Adele look alike competition?

​T or F. Despite being a best selling artist with three number one albums, Amy Winehouse never had a number one UK hit?

​T or F. Elton John never wrote any of the lyrics for his songs?

​T or F. The best-selling single of all time is 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen?

​T or F. The best-selling album of all time is Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’?

​T or F. HM Queen Elizabeth 11 always got up and danced when ABBA's 'Dancing Queen' came on at a party?

Song break ...

ROUND 1. Food

TRUE. The drink was invented in 1885 by John Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia, who made the original formula in his backyard. Pemberton’s recipe contained cocaine in the form of an extract of the coca leaf, which inspired the “Coca” part of the beverage’s name. The “Cola” comes from the kola nut (which contains caffeine, another stimulant).

FALSE. You don’t have to break the egg to see if it’s boiled or raw. Simply try and spin it on the table – if it spins, it’s definitely boiled.

TRUE. With a gram of the sought-after spice selling for up to £75, saffron is more expensive than gold because harvesting it is so laborious. Each crocus flower yields just three stigmas which are picked by hand by an army of volunteers and then dried to create the precious saffron strands.

TRUE. The protein amount in 100 grams of porterhouse steak is around 23 grams. Clearly, when equal amounts are compared, broccoli has barely any protein compared to steak. On average, we could say that 100 grams of lean steak has 30 grams of protein while 100 grams of steamed broccoli has 4 grams of protein.

FALSE. We have Belgium to thank for the crispy fried goodness.

TRUE. 'Terry's Chocolate Orange' has HISTORY. It was predated by 'Terry's Chocolate Apple' of 1926; it was once joined by 'Terry’s Chocolate Greengage', and the short-lived 1970s experiment of 'Terry’s Chocolate Lemon'.

TRUE. On November 9, 1940, the Minister of Food, Lord Woolton, ordered a complete ban on the import of bananas. The tropical fruit had to be transported in refrigerated ships, which were needed for the war effort. The sudden dearth of the soft, sweet tropical fruit was a devastating blow to Britons.

TRUE. The McDonald's 'Filet-O-Fish' is a by-product of Catholic fasting. It was developed in 1962 by Lou Groen who ran the Cincinnati franchise and couldn't sell burgers on Fridays or during Lent to his mostly Catholic customers.

TRUE. Pineapples used to be expensive! In the 1700s and 1800s. They were looked at as rare and exotic and cost up to $8,000. People would rent them out to be the centrepiece at their party or carry them around under their arm as a sign of wealth.

TRUE. Before the 16th-17th century, almost all cultivated carrots were purple. Orange carrots are believed to have been cultivated by Dutch growers who took mutant strains of the purple carrot and developed them into the modern-day variety.

ROUND 2. Animals

TRUE. Platypus are monotremes - a tiny group of mammals able to both lay eggs and produce milk. They don't have teats, instead they concentrate milk to their belly and feed their young by sweating it out.

TRUE. You probably wouldn't think of a magical horned creature typically seen on children's lunchboxes as a national symbol! But it's true, the unicorn really is the official national animal of Scotland. And our love for this famous mythological creature dates back many centuries.

TRUE. Genetic studies for decades have estimated that humans and chimpanzees possess genomes that are about 98.5 percent similar. In other words, of the three billion base pairs along the DNA helix, nearly 99 of every 100 would be exactly identical.

TRUE. And that includes dinosaurs! Reaching a maximum confirmed length of 29.9 meters and weighing up to 199 tonnes, it is the largest animal known to have ever existed.

HALF TRUE. Merocrine sweat glands function similarly to human sweat glands. Located in your dog's paw pads, these glands activate when your pet is hot to cool them down. This is why you might notice damp paw prints on the ground during particularly hot days. They also lose heat through panting and evaporation.

TRUE. Octopuses have 9 'brains'. One central brain is used for overall control. At the base of each arm is a group of nerve cells which can control each arm independently, acting as smaller brains.

FALSE. Polar bears live exclusively in the northern artic circle. Penguins live exclusively in the southern hemisphere. They never meet, unless in a zoo maybe?

FALSE. Come on! Hen's don't have teeth!

TRUE. Did you know that most cats are lactose intolerant? It's true. While they'll happily lap up the white stuff if you present it to them, for many cats this “treat” will result in stomach cramps and that's no fun.

FALSE. Pigs have few sweat glands and their muddy baths help keep them cool.

ROUND 3. People

TRUE. At the time of their meeting, Cleopatra was 21 and Caesar was 52 years old. They quickly entered into a love affair after their meeting; their relationship would continue for a few years until Caesar's death. The two of them had a son together named Ptolemy Caesar, also known as Caesarion.

FALSE. But was Napoleon really short? In fact, he was probably of average height. According to pre–metric system French measures, he was a diminutive 5′2. But the French inch (pouce) of the time was 2.7 cm, while the Imperial inch was shorter, at 2.54 cm. This would have made him 5'7.

TRUE. In 1938 Hitler's doctors put him on a meat-free diet and his public image as a vegetarian was fostered. From 1942, he self-identified as a vegetarian.

FALSE. Of course she wasn't. Nuns take a vow of celibacy. (Although of course some nuns become nuns later in life, after motherhood.)

FALSE. "An oft-told anecdote in British left circles associates Thatcher with the invention of soft ice-cream, which added air, lowered quality and raised profits. Lyons certainly worked on this new product, but there is no firm evidence that Thatcher directly assisted in its invention."

FALSE. Prince Harry is 6ft 1 tall (1.86m). This makes him 2 inches shorter than brother William but four inches above the average height for a man in the UK.

FALSE. Running as fast as 70mph, a cheetah is 45 miles per hour faster than Usain Bolt. While the answer may not surprise you, Usain Bolt is no match for a cheetah in terms of speed and agility. However, with adequate training, Usain Bolt may have enough endurance to beat a cheetah in an endurance or long-distance competition

TRUE. Francis, formerly known as Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected the Roman Catholic Church's 266th Pope in March 2013. The first pontiff from Latin America (Buenos Aries in Argentina) was also the first to take the name Francis.

FALSE. Barack Obama was born in Honolulu in Hawaii.

TRUE. Rishi Sunak and his wife sit on a fortune of £730,000,000. That's around twice the estimated wealth of King Charles III. Remember this whenever he talks about making “tough decisions” that working class people will pay for.

ROUND 4. Geography

TRUE. Australia's diameter is 600km wider than the moon's. The moon sits at 3400km in diameter, while Australia's diameter from east to west is almost 4000km. The moon, as a sphere, has more surface area, but it's still pretty amazing.

TRUE. The 'Great Wall of China' is 21,000 km (13, 000 miles) long, whereas London to Beijing is 8143 km (5,060 miles).

TRUE. The 'Channel Tunnel' is the longest undersea tunnel in the world: its section under the sea is 38km long. It is actually composed of three tunnels, each 50km long, bored at an average 40m below the sea bed. They link Folkestone (Kent) to Coquelles (Pas-de-Calais).

FALSE. The longest river in the world, measured from its mouth to its most distant, year-round source, is likely the Amazon, which flows 4,345 miles from the Peruvian Andes through Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean. However, much depends on how you measure it. The Nile is 4,132 miles long.

TRUE. Tropical rainforests are often called the “lungs of the planet” because they generally draw in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. It is estimated that the Amazon rainforest alone provides 18% of the oxygen we breathe.

TRUE. Sound travels much slower than the speed of light. The speed of sound in air is about 340 metres per second. Whereas, the light will travel through the vacuum at a speed of 300 million metres per second. Hence we see the lightning before we hear the thunder and the gap gets shorter the nearer the storm.

TRUE. Hurricane air flow moves counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. This is due to the rotation of the Earth. Hurricanes are called Cyclones in the southern hemisphere.

FALSE. The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc.

TRUE. The largest country in the world is Russia with a total area of 17.1 Km² equivalent to 11% of the total world's landmass. Second place comes Canada with a total area of 10 Km² and then comes China with 9.7 Km².

FALSE. The collision between the two continental plates is still happening today. India continues to creep north by 5cm (2in) a year, causing Everest to grow by about 4mm (0.16in) per year (although other parts of the Himalayas are rising at around 10mm per year).

ROUND 5. Movies

TRUE. It was 1939, before the hazards of asbestos were known. Everyone remembers the iconic snow covered poppy field scene with snow falling over Dorothy and her friends. White chrysotile asbestos was used to recreate real snow. Also, Ray Bolger, who played the Scarecrow, stuffed his costume with asbestos to protect himself from scenes which involved fire.

FALSE. The infamous 'shower scene' involved no actual knife wounds. Unlike modern horror films, 'Psycho' never shows the knife striking flesh. There is blood, but not gallons of it. The 'horror' was created through the power of suggestion.

FALSE. There are in fact no restaurants or cafes inside the jewellers store 'Tiffany's'.

TRUE. Whilst Sean Connery was a rather hirsute gentleman, there was not much of it on his head.

FALSE. Olivia Newton-John had a great voice. However, she nearly missed out on 'Grease' because she thought she was too old at 28 to play a teenager.

TRUE. As well as helping keep us safe on the roads, Dave Prowse played Darth Vadar in the original 'Star Wars' trilogy. He also played the manservant in 'A Clockwork Orange'.

TRUE. When the film was released in May 1986, Connery was 56 and Ford was 44, leaving a mere 12-year age gap between the on-screen father and son.

TRUE. It cost more money to make the movie 'Titanic' than it did to actually construct the original ship. The movie's cost was $200 million. The ship's cost was $7.5 million ($150 million when adjusted for inflation).

TRUE. Highclere Castle was owned by Lord Carnarvon, who financed the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb in the 'Valley of the Kings' by Howard Carter in 1922?

TRUE. It's not just a stunt for 'Top Gun'. Tom Cruise is actually an experienced pilot who's been in possession of a professional license since 1994. In an interview with James Corden, Cruise mentioned that he has a flying license for several types of aeroplane, including fighter jets and commercial flights.

ROUND. The Human Body

FALSE. The strongest and longest bone in the human body is the femur or the thighbone.

FALSE. The skin is the largest organ. It weighs an average of 3.6 kg (8 lbs.) The liver is the second largest.

FALSE. We lose 80% of heat through our head, so it is indeed best wear a hat in cold weather.

TRUE. It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. It is a protective function, but it is untrue that your eyes would pop out if you sneezed when they were open.

TRUE. Teeth can't heal themselves, hence our visits to the dentist and our fillings!

FALSE. Blind people read using Braille text.

TRUE. Once sound waves reach the ear drum they vibrate three bones known as the ossicles, which are made up of the malleus, the incus, and the stapes. The stapes is the smallest bone in the human body.

FALSE. 4% of the UK population has ginger hair. However, in Scotland the trait is stronger, with between 6-13% being redheads. Edinburgh is considered the 'redhead capital' of the world.

TRUE. While blue eyes used to be the least common colour and were seen as a rarity, 48% of the British population now have blue eyes. This is followed by green eyes at 30%, with a mere 22% of the British population having brown eyes.

TRUE. The left side of the brain cannot manage two opposite movements in the same moment, so the brain combines the movement to a similar motion. When you switch to the left foot, there is no problem because the right side of the brain controls your foot movement, while the left side can focus on drawing the number 6.

ROUND 7. Transport

TRUE. In 1929, the 'Empire State Building' was proclaimed to be the tallest building in the world, topped with a dirigible mooring mast that could 'accommodate passengers for the already existing transatlantic routes, and for the routes planned to South America, the West Coast, and across the Pacific'. However, for safety reasons no airships ever docked there, although a publicity stunt faked a photo of one doing so.

TRUE. It was on 30th November 1934 that the 'Flying Scotsman' achieved the first properly authenticated 100mph for a steam engine. This was while she was running between Leeds and London. The Flying Scotsman was saved for the nation and is now in the ownership of the 'National Railway Museum'.

TRUE. Designed to carry more than 700 troops, the 'Spruce Goose' flew only once. In 1947 in Long Beach harbor, it grabbed about 70 feet of air for about a mile. Hughes — who piloted the test flight — said it needed more development. He never let it fly again.

FALSE. With over 21m sales, the original People's car was the best-selling car of all time until the late 1990s. With 37.5m units sold, the 'Toyota Corolla' currently holds the top spot.

TRUE. A Harvard University study found that the odds that your airplane will crash are one in 1.2 million, and the odds of dying from a crash are one in 11 million. Your chances of dying in a car accident, meanwhile, are one in 5,000.

FALSE. The 'ISS' is designed to accommodate a crew of 6 astronauts at any one time.

TRUE. Nuclear submarines can manufacture their own air and fresh water, so in theory if there was a nuclear war they could stay underwater for 25 years maximum. Food would probably run out well before then though and watching the same DVDs over and over would get very boring.

TRUE. From 1976 until 2003, the 'Concorde' was the world's fastest passenger jet, with a cruising speed of 1,354 mph. That's more than double the speed of sound (767 mph, or Mach 1), and it meant passengers could get from New York City to London in under three hours. The fastest passenger aircraft in service today is the '747-8 Intercontinental' which has a top speed of Mach 0.86.

TRUE ish. Are There Really 9 Million Bicycles in Beijing? Well there were in 1996 about 9.2 million bicycles, or 2.5 bikes per household in Beijing. But the population has grown to 21.3m, so there's likely a great many more today.

TRUE. The retired US space shuttles, like all low Earth orbit vehicles, re-entered earth's atmosphere at very close to their orbital velocity of 17,500mph (25,000kph, 7,800m/s). It slowed itself down by backwards firing rocket engines and banking. No wonder it needed all those heat tiles!

ROUND 8. Music

TRUE. Why did Elvis never perform live in the UK? The reason behind Elvis' UK omission has little to do with the man himself, but rather his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It is reported that Colonel Parker was in fact an illegal Dutch immigrant who did not hold an American passport. He feared if he left the USA he would not be let back in.

TRUE. The United Kingdom's five winners are Sandie Shaw with the song 'Puppet on a String' (1967), Lulu with 'Boom Bang-a-Bang' (1969 in a four-way tie), Brotherhood of Man with 'Save Your Kisses for Me' (1976), Bucks Fizz with 'Making Your Mind Up' (1981) and Katrina and the Waves with 'Love Shine a Light' (1997).

TRUE. This country song is about a condemned prisoner who longs to escape to 'the green, green grass of home'. It was inspired by a crime scene in the film 'The Asphalt Jungle'.

FALSE. None of them could! “None of us could read music… None of us can write it.” John Lennon admitted this about the band in a 1980 'Playboy' interview, “but as pure musicians, as inspired humans to make the noise, they [Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr] are as good as anybody.”

TRUE. Kate Bush and her team invented the wireless microphone headset so she could dance freely and sing at the same time in her 1979 'Tour Of Life'.

TRUE. BBC got Adele to enter an Adele-lookalike competition in 2015 when she released her new album, '25'. The competition, hosted by Graham Norton, features Adele in prosthetics and heavy make up to confuse all the other ‘Adeles’. She calls her new persona Jenny, who she says is a nanny. When she meets the other Adele impersonators, absolutely no one recognises her. She talks to them about how Adele took her sweet time to bring out a new album and also pretends to be sick and nervous. When it is her turn to sings, she pretends to miss her cue and when she finally launches into her song, ‘Make You Feel My Love’, the surprised look on the ladies’ face is something to behold.

TRUE. Sadly this is true. Amy Winehouse never had a UK number one single. However, her first album 'Frank' was a critical success and was nominated for the 'Mercury Prize'. The song 'Stronger Than Me' won her the 'Ivor Novello Award' for Best Contemporary Song and her follow-up album 'Back to Black' went on to become an international success and one of the best-selling albums in UK history. At the 2007 Brit Awards she received the award for 'Best British Female Solo Artist'. The song 'Rehab' won her a second 'Ivor Novello Award'. At the 50th 'Grammy Awards' in 2008, she won five awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night.

TRUE. His songwriting partner Bernie Taupin wrote all the lyrics and Elton John composed the music. Elton would, however, tweak the lyrics to make them fit the music.

FALSE. The best-selling single of all time with 50m units sold is 'White Christmas'. Elton John's re-release of 'Candle In The Wind' for Princess Diana comes in at second place with 33m sales. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' had 4.3 million sales and is the third biggest-selling single of all time in the UK. It has been streamed over 190 billion times internationally, making it one of the most listened to songs in history.

TRUE. Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album ever. However, the Beatles' 1967 album 'Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' has been voted "the most important rock 'n' roll album ever made".

TRUE. The Queen was reportedly a fan of ABBA’s 'Dancing Queen' and loved to dance along to the music. BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans told a friend that Her Majesty made the revelation during a dinner at Windsor Castle, much to the amusement of guests. She apparently said: “I always try to dance when this song comes on, because I am the Queen, and I like to dance.”


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