Friday, March 23, 2007

The Gross-Out Quiz


Warning: This quiz contains information that you might rather not know.

How much do you really know about gross things? And we're not talking about things that try to gross you out, like horror films or Fear Factor episodes. We're here to see how well acquainted you are with some of the "grosser" corners of the natural world. Good luck.

1 The giant rafflesia, a type of lily, is the largest flower in the world. However, it is better known for smelling like
a) Cheese
b) Dirty socks
c) Rotting meat

2 In a single year, how many descendents can a pair of rats produce?
a) 15,000
b) 1,500
c) 150

3 Tapeworms, a type of intestinal parasite, can grow to be how big?
a) 10 inches
b) 30 feet
c) 70 feet

4 2,200 acres is the size of
a) The biggest spider web ever found
b) The biggest individual mushroom ever found
c) The biggest bat cave ever found

5 Ambergris, an essential ingredient of certain types of perfume, is
a) A fatty substance produced in the intestines of sick whales
b) An oil found in the core of rhinoceros horns
c) The earwax of elephants

6 True or false: Venus flytraps, a carnivorous plant, eat frogs.
a) True
b) False

7 Approximately how much dung does an adult elephant produce each day?
a) 30 lbs
b) 130 lbs
c) 330 lbs

8 "Good night, sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite." True or false: Bed bugs really exist.
a) True
b) False

9 The regal horned lizard isn't too big, but it repels predators in short order with what gross behavior?
a) It skewers them with its horn.
b) It spits a lethal poison.
c) It shoots blood from behind its eyes.


1. Rotting meat: The giant rafflesia, which can weigh 15 lbs and measure up to 3 feet wide, smells like rotting meat. The flowers emit the odor in order to attract carrion flies, which pollinate the flower.
2. 15,000 : As horrifying as it may be, a pair of rats can multiply so fast, they can have as a many as 15,000 descendents in a single year.

3. 30 feet : Tapeworms range in length from about .5 inches to about 30 feet.

4. The biggest individual mushroom ever found, an Armillaria mushroom, takes up more than 2,200 acres of underground space! Like all mushrooms, this one is a kind of fungus, and it is considered one of the largest known multicellular organisms on Earth. It was found in Oregon.

5. A fatty substance produced in the intestines of sick whales. Ambergris*, an essential ingredient of certain types of perfume*, is a fatty substance produced in the intestines of sick sperm whales. An extremely valuable natural product, ambergris prevents the evaporation of volatile oils used to make expensive perfumes. In 1955 a chemist developed a synthetic, much less expensive form of ambergris.

6. True : Venus flytraps do eat frogs! The plants, native to North and South Carolina, feed on insects and other small animals. The creatures are lured by sweet fluids exuded by the plant, which snaps blade-like leaves around its prey. Flytraps then digest their prey with glands located inside their leaves.

7. 330 lbs : Adult elephants poop about 330 lbs each day. Elephants don't have particularly efficient digestive systems, so about half of the food they consume ends up being passed through their body. Not only do they produce a lot of dung, but they do it frequently: Elephants go to the bathroom approximately 15-18 times per day, which works out to each dung pile being about 20 lbs.

8. True :Unfortunately, bed bugs* do indeed exist. They are tiny little flat bugs that hide during the day and come out to feed at night (when people are in bed--hence their name), sucking the blood of humans and other animals. Perhaps they should be called "vampire bugs" instead.

9. It shoots blood from behind its eyes. The well-camouflaged regal horned lizard* remains motionless if approached, but if picked up, it may attempt to disconcert its attacker by puffing up its body and squirting blood, sometimes as far as a few feet, from a reserve behind its eyes.


Ruma said...

Hello Medini,
I am looking for a long lost friend by the same name. If you are the one, do you remember a girl called Ruma who studied with you in school in New Delhi? If so, please reply to;

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