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Quiz about Dreaming of the Red Planet
Quiz about Dreaming of the Red Planet

Dreaming of the Red Planet Trivia Quiz


Mars, the red planet, has long inspired the human imagination and this quiz looks at some examples of this from ancient times to the modern day.

A multiple-choice quiz by agentofchaos. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
agentofchaos
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
401,134
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
145
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. Mars is named after the Roman god of war and was associated with war gods in several other ancient cultures. In Babylonian astronomy, the planet was named after what deity of fire, war, and destruction? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The traditional symbol of Mars, a stylized representation of a shield and spear, is widely recognised today as a symbol of the male sex. In medieval alchemy, it was also used to represent what metal? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The two moons of Mars were only discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall, an American astronomer. Yet, in a remarkable instance of literary foresight, a popular satirical novel published in 1826 mentioned that Mars has two moons. What is the name of this famous novel that features journeys to such fabulous lands as Brobdingnag and Lilliput? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In the 2000 movie, "Mission to Mars," astronauts discover a giant face on the surface of what region of Mars, that in real life contains a rock formation that was once popularly claimed to be an image of a humanoid face? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The "Barsoom" series of books, about a man named John Carter who is mysteriously transported from Earth to Mars, was by what American pulp fiction author, who also created the character Tarzan? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The live action TV show "Supergirl" regularly features a character called the Martian Manhunter, whose real name is what? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. In the sci-fi novel "Stranger in a Strange Land," Michael Valentine Smith is a human raised by Martians who returns to Earth and starts a new religion. This inspired Oberon Zell-Ravenheart to start an actual new religion, with what name taken from the novel? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The Mars hoax was a widely circulated email that began around 2002, claiming that what would happen to Mars on August 27, 2003? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Philip Jose Farmer wrote a science fiction novel in which an expedition to Mars finds a mysterious colony already living there ruled over by an entity claiming to be what religious figure? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The title of the British TV show, "Life on Mars," about a policeman from 2006 who wakes up in 1973 after a car accident, derives from a song by what English glam rocker? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Mars is named after the Roman god of war and was associated with war gods in several other ancient cultures. In Babylonian astronomy, the planet was named after what deity of fire, war, and destruction?

Answer: Nergal

Babylonian cosmology recognized seven planets, which included the sun and the moon, each of which was associated with an important deity. The reddish appearance of Mars led many ancient peoples to associate it with war and destruction, and the Babylonians were no exception, as Nergal was a god of the underworld who was responsible for a variety of catastrophic events, including forest fires, plagues, and wars.

In one myth he attacks the city of Babylon because he was feeling bored. The Babylonians also originated the custom of a seven-day week, with each day being named after one of the planetary deities.
2. The traditional symbol of Mars, a stylized representation of a shield and spear, is widely recognised today as a symbol of the male sex. In medieval alchemy, it was also used to represent what metal?

Answer: Iron

Alchemists associated various metals with the seven classical planets recognized in astrology. For example, gold was associated with the sun (which was considered a planet in astrology, although today it is understood to be a star), copper with Venus, and mercury with - you guessed it - Mercury.

As the Roman god Mars was associated with war, iron was associated with Mars because of its use in the making of steel weapons. Coincidentally, the red color of Mars is due to the presence of iron oxide in the planet's surface.
3. The two moons of Mars were only discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall, an American astronomer. Yet, in a remarkable instance of literary foresight, a popular satirical novel published in 1826 mentioned that Mars has two moons. What is the name of this famous novel that features journeys to such fabulous lands as Brobdingnag and Lilliput?

Answer: Gulliver's Travels

In "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift, the narrator mentions that astronomers on the flying island of Laputia had discovered two moons orbiting Mars. Swift might have got the idea from a memoir published by the great astronomer Johannes Kepler, in which he misinterpreted a coded anagram by Galileo as stating that Mars had two "children," i.e., moons, although when properly decoded the anagram actually stated that Saturn had rings.
4. In the 2000 movie, "Mission to Mars," astronauts discover a giant face on the surface of what region of Mars, that in real life contains a rock formation that was once popularly claimed to be an image of a humanoid face?

Answer: Cydonia

In 1976, the Viking orbiter took images of the Cydonia plain on Mars that revealed a blurry image of mesa that looked remarkably like a human face. This was the subject of a number of books that speculated that the "face" was built by a vanished Martian civilisation. Unfortunately for believers in this theory, subsequent Mars missions have taken higher resolution images of the mesa and revealed that the "face" was an optical illusion that appeared when the mesa was viewed from a certain angle with the right illumination.

Otherwise, it appeared to be a rather ordinary and naturally formed hill. In "Mission to Mars," the face actually is an artefact of an ancient civilisation who abandoned the planet following a natural catastrophe that made it inhospitable to life and have gone to live elsewhere. Additionally, the Martians were responsible for seeding the primitive Earth with DNA in the hope of creating intelligent lifeforms.
5. The "Barsoom" series of books, about a man named John Carter who is mysteriously transported from Earth to Mars, was by what American pulp fiction author, who also created the character Tarzan?

Answer: Edgar Rice Burroughs

The "Barsoom" series, which was published in eleven volumes, is a combination of the sword-and-sorcery genre with science fiction. John Carter is an action hero who is adept at sword fighting and undergoes many epic battles on Mars. The books go into great detail about the culture, language, and races of Mars, and have been very influential on the science fiction genre. One of the books, "The Chessmen of Mars," describes the rules of a game called "Jetan" or "Martian Chess." This game proved popular with fans, and has since been adapted to several computer versions!
6. The live action TV show "Supergirl" regularly features a character called the Martian Manhunter, whose real name is what?

Answer: J'onn J'onnz

J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter, originated as a DC comics character in 1955, and has been a mainstay of the fictional DC universe ever since, featuring prominently in several incarnations of the Justice League. The character on the TV show has substantially similar powers and origins to the comic book version, e.g., he thought he was the last survivor of the race of Green Martians (although it was later revealed that a few others survived), is a shapeshifter who can assume any guise, is telepathic, can fly and phase through solid objects, and so on. On the show, he is a friend and mentor to Supergirl.
7. In the sci-fi novel "Stranger in a Strange Land," Michael Valentine Smith is a human raised by Martians who returns to Earth and starts a new religion. This inspired Oberon Zell-Ravenheart to start an actual new religion, with what name taken from the novel?

Answer: Church of All Worlds

In the novel, Michael Valentine Smith is the sole survivor of an expedition to Mars, who has been raised since childhood by the native Martians, who have many strange reality-altering powers that they endow him with. Upon returning to Earth, whose culture he finds quite alien, he is eventually inspired to start his own religion that he calls the Church of All Worlds. Oberon Zell-Ravenheart was deeply impressed by this novel and founded his own version of the Church of All Worlds in America in 1961.

The Church's website states that Oberon was "so inspired by the vision of a Nest -- a close-knit group seeking a deep knowing of each other" that he decided to bring Heinlein's vision to life. The Church is a Neopagan organisation that focuses on "Gaea," a name for the Earth Mother Goddess, although they describe themselves as having no dogma and welcome people of all faiths.

As in the novel, members are referred to as "water brothers."
8. The Mars hoax was a widely circulated email that began around 2002, claiming that what would happen to Mars on August 27, 2003?

Answer: Mars would appear as large as the moon due to its closeness to the Earth

August 27, 2003 was a special date, as Mars came closer to the Earth than it had ever been in over 50 thousand years. The email hoax, which was accompanied by an image of Mars and the Moon side-by-side, stated that "The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!" and made the absurd claim that "Mars will look as large as the full moon." Even though Mars was unusually close, it was nowhere close enough to appear as anything larger than a bright dot. Astronomers had at the time noted that if one looked at Mars through a telescope with a "modest 75× magnification" it would appear to be as large as the moon.

However, the email hoax left out the part about using a telescope and implied that this effect would occur to the naked eye. The hoax has resurfaced several times, often with digitally altered images of Mars being close to the Moon, with altered dates stating that Mars will soon be approaching close to the Earth again soon.
9. Philip Jose Farmer wrote a science fiction novel in which an expedition to Mars finds a mysterious colony already living there ruled over by an entity claiming to be what religious figure?

Answer: Jesus

In "Jesus on Mars," astronauts from Earth discover a society living underground composed of both members of an advanced alien race called the Krsh and humans who are descended from people the Krsh brought from Earth 2000 years earlier. Shortly after the Krsh and their human passengers arrived on Mars, they were visited by an entity who claimed to be the resurrected Jesus Christ and who is still living among them in the present day.

However, rather than orthodox Christianity, the religion he preached was a form of Judaism in which he is the Messiah, and not the incarnation of God but a man chosen by God to be his adopted son. Jesus displays many extraordinary powers, such as being able to resurrect the dead.

The main protagonist, astronaut Richard Orme, struggles with his own religious faith and the question of whether this Jesus person was actually sent by God or not.

Although Jesus is very serious about his claim to be the Messiah, at one point he lets on to Richard that he may actually be an alien energy being who originated on a planet the Krsh visited, although his exact nature is never definitively explained. Philip Jose Farmer stated that he was inspired to write this novel after having a dream about being in a library and seeing a book called "Jesus on Mars."
10. The title of the British TV show, "Life on Mars," about a policeman from 2006 who wakes up in 1973 after a car accident, derives from a song by what English glam rocker?

Answer: David Bowie

The David Bowie song "Life on Mars?" originally appeared on the album "Hunky Dory" in 1971 but was released as a single in 1973, and reached number three in the UK charts. Notable for its cryptic lyrics, the BBC described it as a "slew of surreal images" like "a Salvador Dalí painting." In the TV show, the Bowie song is playing on the main protagonist's iPod when he is run over.

The plot of the show is deliberately ambiguous about whether he has actually traveled in time or is hallucinating or even in the afterlife.
Source: Author agentofchaos

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor LeoDaVinci before going online.
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