Long before bars started offering the now-ubiquitous trivia nights—and, more recently, online trivia leagues gained in popularity—if you wanted to know how your knowledge of random facts stacked up against others, you did one thing: You cracked open a box of Trivial Pursuit, one of the greatest board games ever invented. Invented in 1981, it’s been one of the most successful games of all time, spawning countless editions and niche spin-offs (see: Stars Wars Trivial Pursuit, Book Lovers Trivial Pursuit, World of Harry Potter Ultimate Edition Trivial Pursuit, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum).
Because we’re lovers of great trivia—whether you’re talking fun facts, random facts, animal facts, and facts so mind-blowing they’ll literally make you say, “OMG!”—we picked up the 1991 to 2016 edition of the legendary game and read every card to see which questions left us well and truly stumped. Here they are, with equal representation from each of the six categories: geography, entertainment, history, art and literature, science and nature, and sports and leisure. So read on to see if you’re smarter than we are! And for some great ways to bolster your intelligence, check out these 30 Latin Phrases So Genius You’ll Sound Like a Master Orator.
Who knew that one of the most famous artists of all time possessed so much brute strength?
Fun fact: According to Italian Biographer Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo da Vinci was not only incredibly strong but he was also very, very good-looking. And for more interesting facts to help you ace the next trivia next, check out these 100 Awesome Facts About Everything.
If you’ve ever taken a trip to Egypt, you’ll notice that these hieroglyphs are present on a many ancient structures.
Hint: his invention was explosive in the field.
Aside from being a famous engineer and inventor, Alfred Nobel also “experimented with different techniques for blasting rocks,” according to the folks at nobelprize.org.
The lake has now turned into a graveyard for the various ships that once navigated its waters.
Once one of the largest lakes in the world, the Aral Sea has been slowly drained of its water since the 1960s when the rivers that fed it were diverted for a Soviet project. Next, ask yourself: Are You Smarter Than an Astronaut? Try These Brain Teasers to Find Out.
If you had a beard in the 15th century, you paid for that beauty statement.
But, according to Smithsonian magazine, Peter the Great wasn’t the only ruler to establish a beard tax, as England’s Henry VII did the same.
This slave one of the nation’s foremost master craftsmans.
Philip Reid was a master craftsman and the foreman in the casting of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol building.
Name this Moroccan dish.
Also known as tajine, this dish is a slow-cooked stew with meat, vegetables, and fruit.
His name is quite cinematic.
Stockdale and Perot received one of the best showings by an Independent ticket in American history, receiving 19 percent of the vote.
Hint: it requires two thumbs.
In this case, the Supreme Court struck down a California law that banned the sale of violent video games to kids without parental supervision, claiming that video games are a form of free speech and cannot be restricted.
These two shared a love of football from an early point in their lives.
Weis’ last coaching stint was at the University of Kansas, where he was eventually fired in 2014 for a lack of progress on the field.
Thomas Edison accidentally aided in the invention of a counterculture movement.
Samuel O’Reilly, in 1891, upon discovering that Edison’s electric pen could be modified to introduce ink to the skin, patented a tube and needle to provide an ink reservoir. And if you’re in the market for some ink, check out these 100 Great Tattoos for First-Timers.
Now, nearly every successful author has read their work out loud for a profit.
The first author’s tour was his 1842 Reading Tour.
One could say that their dominance in the field is relentless.
When you type in the web address, it still redirects to Amazon’s site. Oh, and speaking of the online giant: if you’ve got $36,000—and more—to burn, don’t miss these 50 Craziest Things You Can Buy on Amazon.
Named after its apparent resemblance to this animal.
This nebula is approximately 6,300 light years from Earth.
You might have seen a recreation of a battle like this one, pictured above.
This living history group aims to study and recreate Medieval European cultures before the 17th century.
Since 1979, this festival has displayed some of the best garlic-enriched food in the country.
Perhaps one of the most prolific literary feats ever.
Napolean Bonaparte ordered the imprisonment of Marquis de Sade for his works, Justine and Juliette, in 1801.
She was crazy about drumming before she achieved international stardom.
Dan Gilroy was Madonna’s boyfriend for a while, and let her sing lead vocals in his band for a short time while they were dating.
The mecca of the entertainment industry used to reside much further east.
Fort Lee, New Jersey, right outside New York City, was the birthplace of American filmmaking.
Unless you’re into pottery, you probably weren’t even aware of this man’s existence.
His uncle was also a member of Parliament.
Either way, that’s some high turnover.
Throughout six-and-a-half seasons, the ad exec went through nearly two digits’ worth of secretaries.
He must have forgotten about Xylophones and the other 43 Words That Start with “X.”
He was also an accomplished essayist and novelist in the Victorian era.
He is one of the most prolific songwriters of our generation.
Richard Marx has produced hits like “Endless Summer Nights,” “Now and Forever,” and “This I Promise You.”
Sure, the Sahara is dry, but it doesn’t come close to the harsh conditions of this desert.
This plateau in South America is the driest desert in the entire world.
Unless you’ve been to EPCOT, you’ve probably never even heard of this Michael Jackson–themed ride.
Captain EO was actually a science-fiction film written by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and was shown at Disney theme parks between 1986 and 1996.
He created the original Star Trek series.
He became the first TV writer to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Hint: his beret is also infamous.
His portrait has become a symbol of rebellion in popular culture.
It remains one of the most scenic aqueducts in the world.
This Roman aqueduct was built to bring water to the town of Nimes, and is the highest of all elevated aqueducts in the world.
Hint: one of them is the most popular American pastime.
The Triple Crown is awarded to a three-year-old thoroughbred who wins all three races.
And no, it’s not baseball.
For every year since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has maintained its position as America’s oldest past-time. And for more ways to tap into your hidden genius, check out these 15 Podcasts That Will Make You 15 Percent Smarter.
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