Quiz about Looking for Truth in all the Wrong Places
Quiz about Looking for Truth in all the Wrong Places

Looking for Truth in all the Wrong Places Quiz


The quest for truth can be hard and people are often led astray by unreliable sources, their own biases, or deliberate deception. This quiz looks at times when the truth became muddied with falsehoods.

A photo quiz by agentofchaos. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
agentofchaos
Time
5 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
400,586
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
704
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Rizeeve (10/10), Guest 75 (6/10), Guest 70 (5/10).
photo quiz
1. In 1912, an amateur British archaeologist named Charles Dawson claimed to have discovered fossilized pieces of a skull that represented the much sought after "missing link" between ape and man. This find, which was eventually proven to be a fake in 1953, went by what name? Hint

Solo Man
Piltdown Man
Peking Man
Java Man

photo quiz
2. The Order of the Solar Temple was an esoteric sect that purported to offer initiates access to profound spiritual truths. Instead, initiates found deception and death, as the Order became infamous for the murder and suicide of 53 members in 1994. In their initiation ceremonies, what unusual method was used to create the illusion of "spiritual" phenomena such as apparitions of the spirits of the "Masters of the White Brotherhood" and the Holy Grail? Hint

Actors in costumes
They were real spiritual manifestations
Initiates were asked to visualize them intensely and pretend they were real
Holograms

photo quiz
3. In 1903, inspired by the discovery of X-rays only a few years earlier, French physicist Prosper-René Blondlot was excited to announce the discovery of a new form of radiation that turned out to have the unfortunate property of not existing. What did he call this amazing find? Hint

N rays
Higgs boson
Tachyon particles
Schwarzschild radiation

photo quiz
4. In the 1920s, a mental patient in Berlin who later went by the name of Anna Anderson attracted international attention amidst claims that she was actually what Russian princess who had supposedly been executed by the Bolsheviks?

Answer: (One Word (first name only))
photo quiz
5. The idea that the world would end on December 21, 2012 was propagated by New Age books and websites for years prior to this date. This belief was based on a supposed prophecy deriving from the calendar of what ancient culture? Hint

Egyptian
Mayan
Chinese
Australian Aboriginal

photo quiz
6. In 1951, Kilton Stewart, an anthropologist and psychotherapist, published a paper called "Dream Theory in Malaya" in which he made extraordinary claims that an aboriginal tribe in Malaysia had developed a method of dream control that allowed them to have superior mental and physical health, as well as to create a remarkably harmonious society based on daily dream sharing. What is the name of this tribe? Hint

Sami
Senoi
Inuit
Ainu

photo quiz
7. Although sightings of the fabled Loch Ness Monster have been reported for centuries, Colonel Robert Wilson claimed to have taken a sensational picture of the creature's head and neck in 1934 that was published in a major British newspaper. Arguably the most famous image of the creature, the picture is known by what name? Hint

Plesiosaur photograph
Doctor's photograph
Surgeon's photograph
Nessie's photograph

photo quiz
8. Sometimes scientific fraud might only end up being a nuisance for specialists in a given field, but in other cases it can do tremendous harm to society. One such case occurred in 1998, when Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues published a paper that was subsequently found to be based on faked data that purported to find a link between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and what neurological condition in children? Hint

Down syndrome
Autism
Attention-deficit disorder
Alzheimer's disease

photo quiz
9. Back in the eighteenth century, well before the days of machines like "Deep Blue, Wolfgang von Kempelen built a mechanical marvel that appeared to be an automaton that could play chess that was known by what name? Hint

Electrical Greek
Mechanical Turk
Robotic Arab
Automated Egyptian

photo quiz
10. Sometimes hoaxes can start out as harmless pranks and then take on a life of their own. H.L. Mencken, a noted American journalist, found this out after publishing "A Neglected Anniversary" in 1917, which was a completely bogus history celebrating the supposed 75th anniversary of the invention of what modern household item? Hint

Flush toilet
Bathtub
Refrigerator
Rocking chair


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In 1912, an amateur British archaeologist named Charles Dawson claimed to have discovered fossilized pieces of a skull that represented the much sought after "missing link" between ape and man. This find, which was eventually proven to be a fake in 1953, went by what name?

Answer: Piltdown Man

The Piltdown Man fossil seemed to represent a transitional fossil that combined a human-like cranium with an ape-like jaw and teeth. As it turned out, it only seemed this way because the cranium actually was from a human and the lower jaw was from an orangutan and the teeth from a chimpanzee, with these being deliberately arranged together to look like they came from the same individual.

The bones had been chemically stained to make them look much older than they really were, and the teeth filed to make them look slightly more human.

At the time, many scientists were taken in by the hoax, although some others remained skeptical. The hoax had a detrimental effect on paleontology as it led many scientists to draw incorrect inferences about the evolution of the human skull, while the genuine discovery of prehuman ancestors in the form of Australopithecine fossils in the 1920s was initially ignored in favor of Piltdown Man. Scientists at the time may have let their nationalistic biases get the better of them, as many wanted to believe that humans had evolved in Europe, or even in Britain itself, rather than Africa. Through newly developed dating techniques a group of scientists were able to confirm in 1953 that the Piltdown Man remains were only centuries old and that they were clever fakes. By this time, the scientific community had begun to largely ignore Piltdown Man as an anomaly, as genuine prehuman fossils were being discovered that gave a more accurate picture of human evolution.
2. The Order of the Solar Temple was an esoteric sect that purported to offer initiates access to profound spiritual truths. Instead, initiates found deception and death, as the Order became infamous for the murder and suicide of 53 members in 1994. In their initiation ceremonies, what unusual method was used to create the illusion of "spiritual" phenomena such as apparitions of the spirits of the "Masters of the White Brotherhood" and the Holy Grail?

Answer: Holograms

The Order of the Solar Temple was founded by Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret and combined an eclectic mix of beliefs drawn from Rosicrucianism, UFO cults, and New Age philosophies and was mainly active from 1984 to 1994 in France, Switzerland, and Canada. Members would pay high fees to be initiated in ceremonies held in medieval robes in an underground chamber.

At the climax of these rites, they would experience wondrous sights including the Holy Grail, the sword Excalibur, spiritual "Masters" dressed in white, lightning storms, divine music and gold dust. Around 1990, a lighting engineer named Antonio Dutoit who had become disillusioned with the Order but continued working for Di Mambro for financial reasons confirmed that he had used sophisticated machines that produced holograms, along with mirrors and lighting effects to create convincing illusions during these ceremonies.

In October 1994, Dutoit, his wife, and their three-month old baby were murdered at the orders of Di Mambro, who claimed that the infant was the Antichrist. Later that month, Di Mambro convinced a group of his closest followers in Switzerland and Canada to participate in a mass suicide/homicide that he explained would result in their "transit" to the star Sirius, where they would be reborn in glorious "solar bodies" (whatever that means).

Interestingly, the followers who were duped by Di Mambro were not ignorant or uneducated people but wealthy members of social elites.
3. In 1903, inspired by the discovery of X-rays only a few years earlier, French physicist Prosper-René Blondlot was excited to announce the discovery of a new form of radiation that turned out to have the unfortunate property of not existing. What did he call this amazing find?

Answer: N rays

Around the turn of the century, the study of radiation was just beginning and there was considerable optimism in the scientific community about new forms of radiation being found. Blondlot claimed to be able to perceive changes in the brightness of an electric spark in a spark gap placed in an X-ray beam and believed that this effect was caused by a novel form of radiation he named N rays after his home city of Nancy, France. Amazingly, about 120 other scientists also claimed to be able to perceive this phenomenon, which was supposed to emanate from most substances including the human body.

Unfortunately, scientists outside France were baffled as they were unable to reproduce this phenomenon and thought it might be a perceptual illusion. The illusory nature of N rays was eventually proven by an American physicist, Robert W. Wood, who participated in a demonstration by Blondlot, and surreptitiously removed a prism from the experimental apparatus that was supposedly necessary for N rays to be seen, yet Blondlot and colleagues claimed that they could still see them.

This showed that, without intending to do so, Blondlot and his cronies were seeing what they expected to see rather than observing a real phenomenon. The story of N rays is today considered a cautionary tale in science about the dangers of confirmation bias.
4. In the 1920s, a mental patient in Berlin who later went by the name of Anna Anderson attracted international attention amidst claims that she was actually what Russian princess who had supposedly been executed by the Bolsheviks?

Answer: Anastasia

Anderson was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Berlin in 1920 after attempting suicide, where she remained for two years. She had refused to identify herself and in 1922, one of her fellow patients claimed that Anderson was actually the Grand Duchess Tatiana, although she later changed this to claim that Anderson was Tatiana's sister Anastasia instead. Anderson seems to have accepted this and began calling herself Anna Tschaikovsky, with "Anna" being short for "Anastasia" although she changed her last name to "Anderson" a few years later. Anderson was visited by several people connected to the Russian royal family, who for the most part considered her an impostor, especially considering that she could neither speak Russian, nor recall anything about her supposed former life as a princess, nor explain how she had survived being shot. Additionally, in 1927, a private investigator found that Anderson was actually Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker with a history of mental illness.

Despite this, she received international attention and many people believed that she actually was Anastasia. Her story has inspired many books and films. Anna died in 1984. Her story was finally put to rest with the discovery of the grave of the Russian royal family in 1991, who were identified based on skeletal analysis and DNA testing. This confirmed that the real Anastasia died with the rest of her family. Subsequent tests of Anderson's DNA also confirmed that she was not related to the Romanovs, and confirmed her identity as Franziska Schanzkowska, as her DNA matched those of Schanzkowska's surviving great-nephew.
5. The idea that the world would end on December 21, 2012 was propagated by New Age books and websites for years prior to this date. This belief was based on a supposed prophecy deriving from the calendar of what ancient culture?

Answer: Mayan

The Mayans developed a sophisticated calendar in which time was measured in cycles called "baktuns" that each lasted 144,000 days, i.e. a little more than 394 years. In the Mayan calendar, December 21, 2012 was the end of 13th Bak'tun. A number of New Age books claimed that the Mayans considered that this date marked the end of the world, and proposed all sorts of theories about what this might actually mean, e.g., that the earth would align with the center of the galaxy or collide with a rogue planet, or something else of great cosmic significance.

However, there is no evidence that the Mayans regarded this date as the "end" of their calendar, any more than the end of a century is the "end" of the western calendar, or that they prophesied anything special happening to the world on this date.

In any case, 2012 came and went without incident, apart from making some people look silly and credulous.
6. In 1951, Kilton Stewart, an anthropologist and psychotherapist, published a paper called "Dream Theory in Malaya" in which he made extraordinary claims that an aboriginal tribe in Malaysia had developed a method of dream control that allowed them to have superior mental and physical health, as well as to create a remarkably harmonious society based on daily dream sharing. What is the name of this tribe?

Answer: Senoi

The Senoi people are indigenous to the Malaysian peninsula and subsist mainly by farming, supplemented by foraging, and selling forest products. Kilton Stewart spent time among the Senoi during two short visits in the 1930s, in which he assisted H. D. Noone, an anthropologist who was studying Malaysian aboriginal peoples. Even though he was not able to learn their language, Stewart used interpreters to ask the locals about their dreams and fantasies.

However, the account he published in 1951 of their supposed "dream work" extrapolated wildly beyond the actual data he collected. Specifically, he claimed that parents ask their children about their dreams each morning and teach them how to control them.

For example, if they dream of falling, they are encouraged to turn this into a pleasurable experience of flying, and they are encouraged both to confront danger and seek pleasure in their dreams. Additionally, Kilton claimed that adults engage in daily "dream councils" in which they discuss and interpret each other's dreams, and base important community decisions on these councils. None of these claims appear to be true, as anthropologists who have studied the Senoi closely, including H.D. Noone, have never reported that they practice any such form of dream work, and claims about their superior health and social harmony have been debunked as a romantic fantasy about "tribal wisdom" and its relevance to modern problems.

Despite this, Kilton's claims were enthusiastically embraced by proponents of the "human potential movement" in the 1960s, and many books have been written on "dream work" that repeat Stewart's claims.
7. Although sightings of the fabled Loch Ness Monster have been reported for centuries, Colonel Robert Wilson claimed to have taken a sensational picture of the creature's head and neck in 1934 that was published in a major British newspaper. Arguably the most famous image of the creature, the picture is known by what name?

Answer: Surgeon's photograph

Although the monster is part of Scottish folklore and sightings have been noted since the early Middle Ages, modern interest was sparked in 1933 when a married couple spotted "a most extraordinary form of animal" crossing the road in front of their car, which they described as having a large body, a long neck and no visible limbs.

This sparked intense media interest and efforts to find evidence of the monster's existence. Colonel Robert Wilson, a respected surgeon and gynecologist, claims to have taken the photo while on a fishing trip and sold it to the "Daily Mail." Although many people suspected it was a hoax, no-one was able to convincingly explain its origins.

The truth did not come out until the 1990s, when it was revealed that the "creature" in the photo was actually a toy submarine to which had been added a 'head and neck' made of plastic wood.

The photo was actually taken by Marmaduke Wetherell, a big game hunter and film maker, who was seeking revenge on the "Daily Mail." Wetherell had been hired by the newspaper a few months earlier to investigate the sightings and to find the monster, if possible.

He found enormous footprints on the shore of the Loch leading into the water that he thought belonged to the monster, but which turned out to have been made by a dried hippo's foot, of the kind that were popularly used as umbrella stands. Wetherell was humiliated by this incident, so he asked his stepson, Christian Spurling, a sculptor, to make a convincing model of a sea serpent, and gave the photo to Wilson, who acted as a front man.
8. Sometimes scientific fraud might only end up being a nuisance for specialists in a given field, but in other cases it can do tremendous harm to society. One such case occurred in 1998, when Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues published a paper that was subsequently found to be based on faked data that purported to find a link between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and what neurological condition in children?

Answer: Autism

Wakefield's paper, which was published in "The Lancet", a prestigious medical journal, had obvious scientific flaws, such as a small sample size (12 individuals), no control group, and highly speculative conclusions. Despite this, its conclusions were widely publicized and vaccination rates began to drop off as parents became unnecessarily worried about giving their children autism. Subsequently, 10 of the 12 co-authors on the paper issued a retraction stating that the data were insufficient to establish a causal connection between vaccines and autism.

As if this were not bad enough, in 2010, "The Lancet" issued a full retraction and Wakefield was found guilty by the UK's General Medical Council of 30 charges, including four counts of dishonesty, such as picking and choosing data that fit his conclusions and falsifying facts, and was struck off the medical register.

It also came to light that Wakefield's research had been funded by lawyers engaged in lawsuits against vaccine-producing companies.

Despite all this now being public knowledge, anti-vaccine campaigners continue to spread the untrue claim that vaccines cause autism, which has put countless children at risk of preventable diseases.
9. Back in the eighteenth century, well before the days of machines like "Deep Blue, Wolfgang von Kempelen built a mechanical marvel that appeared to be an automaton that could play chess that was known by what name?

Answer: Mechanical Turk

The Mechanical Turk was a remarkable feat of engineering that was known for playing chess at a very strong level. It consisted of a life-sized model of a human head and torso dressed in oriental garb sitting before a wooden cabinet on which rested a chess board.

It could use its articulated arms to move the chess pieces and could even say "Échec!" (French for "check") during matches. The cabinet had a series of doors that von Kempelen would open to reveal the inner workings of the machine before a game would begin to make the illusion that it was a true automaton more convincing.

In reality, the cabinet contained space in which a chess master could hide, and it was even possible for him to move about within the cabinet when each door was opened one by one to avoid being seen. Through a series of levers, the operator could move the Turk's arms and open and close its hand so that it could grasp the chess pieces. Kempelen built the machine to impress the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and he toured Europe to demonstrate this marvel.

He eventually sold the device and it was in operation for 84 years, during which it played many famous people including Napoleon, before being destroyed in a fire. The secret of its operation remained a mystery to the public during this whole time and was finally revealed to the world after its unfortunate destruction by Dr. Silas Mitchell, the son of its last owner, who decided the mystery was no longer worth keeping.
10. Sometimes hoaxes can start out as harmless pranks and then take on a life of their own. H.L. Mencken, a noted American journalist, found this out after publishing "A Neglected Anniversary" in 1917, which was a completely bogus history celebrating the supposed 75th anniversary of the invention of what modern household item?

Answer: Bathtub

His satirical "history" was filled with made-up "facts," such as that the modern bathtub was invented in 1842 and that President Millard Fillmore had installed the first one in the White House in 1851 despite considerable medical controversy about the adverse health effects of bathing. To add an air of plausibility he included references to impressive sounding but non-existent publications, such as "The Western Medical Repository." Mencken intended to satirize the state of journalism at the time, as newspapers frequently reported fiction as fact, which their gullible readers accepted without question, particularly during the First World War, when blatant propaganda was routinely propagated.

However, eight years later he publicly admitted that the hoax had unintended consequences, as the bogus article was being cited by other writers and had appeared in serious reference works. Birthday calendars even included the supposed day in which Fillmore had introduced the bathtub into the White House. Ironically, many people even believed that his published confession itself was a hoax and that the bathtub history was the real thing!
Source: Author agentofchaos

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