Quiz about Ralphs Dabble In Mythical Ornithology
Quiz about Ralphs Dabble In Mythical Ornithology

Ralph's Dabble In Mythical Ornithology Quiz


Having been an explorer, war historian, genealogist, myth-buster, and natural historian, Ralph the Llama now enters the rather odd field of mythical ornithology. Come with Ralph as he takes a look at some incredible birds found in myths around the world.

A multiple-choice quiz by doublemm. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
doublemm
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
326,539
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
1566
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: colavs33 (10/10), Guest 174 (10/10), piperjim1 (10/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. As the newbie, Ralph is sent to the Middle East to observe one of the largest and most dangerous of all mythical birds - the Roc. Ralph knows how dangerous the Roc can be, having read about how the great bird can tear boats apart. Which literary character is most associated with the Roc? Hint

Sherlock Holmes
Sinbad
Peter Pan
Harry Potter

2. Still getting to grips with his latest occupation, Ralph squints as he views his next subject, Jatayu, who flies high into the sky. Much like a chap named Icarus whom Ralph had read about, Jatayu flew so high that he was in danger from the heat of the sun. Which mythology gives us the stories of Jatayu? Hint

Aztec
Greek
Hindu
Persian

3. For Ralph's third trip, he goes to visit three birds, all of which possess a unique quality. The first is the Chinese Bird of Dawn, which is said to awaken humankind each morning, the second is the powerful Korean Samjogo, and the third is Yatagarasu, which has close links to the Japanese Sun goddess. What is the unique quality which all three birds share? Hint

A silver beak
Three legs
No eyes
Super strength

4. To observe the dietary habits of the rare Firebird, Ralph now travels to Russia, where many stories of this magnificent bird originate. Although it is said to be incredibly uncommon, Ralph is able to spot the Firebird as soon as it appears, due to its glowing plumage. What is Ralph likely to see the Firebird eating? Hint

Nectar
Tree bark
Human flesh
Golden apples

5. Ralph the Llama is ready for another day of bird-watching, but feels that the rain is too heavy for any birds to be flying around. A more senior bird-watcher informs Ralph that these are the perfect conditions to see one of the most impressive mythical birds - the Shang Yang (Rain Bird), which is said to be the cause of this heavy downpour. In which country are you most likely to hear tales of the Shang Yang? Hint

India
China
Japan
The Philippines

6. Now on a group trip to Africa, Ralph the Llama looks forward to catching a glimpse of the Lightning Bird. The group grab their binoculars and raincoats as a thunderstorm approaches, and Ralph becomes rather bemused as he cannot see anything, whereas many around him discuss the bird's long beak and shaggy plumage. Why can't Ralph see the Lightning Bird? Hint

It can only be seen when not looking directly at it
It can only be seen by alpacas, not llamas
It can only be seen by women
It can only be seen by experienced bird watchers

7. Intending to find out about the reproduction of some mythical birds, Ralph comes across a rather atypical example. He excitedly jots down what he sees as this particular bird produces its offspring. Reviewing his notes later, Ralph reads, "...smelly twigs...turned to ash...hot worm..."

What mythical bird was Ralph observing?
Hint

The Phoenix
The Garuda
The Griffin
Broxa

8. Now wanting to view the hunting habits of a mythical bird, Ralph sets out to Iran to look for a bird which is said to prey on elephants. With a name meaning "30 birds", which creature is Ralph hoping to see? Hint

The Ziz
The Turul
The Suzaku
The Simurgh

9. Now aiming to study the migratory paths of some mythical birds, Ralph the Llama seeks out the Ba-bird, which is said to represent the soul of a deceased person, and which must fly to the underworld each night in order to maintain the soul's immortality. In which mythology can tales of the Ba-bird be found? Hint

Egyptian
Norse
Inuit
Blackfoot Indian

10. The Feng Huang is the final mythical bird observed by Ralph. This fantastically coloured creature is taken from Chinese mythology and was formed by the merging together of two other birds - Feng (male) and Huang (female). Which of these qualities is the Feng Huang most closely associated with? Hint

Undying love
Good fortune
Infallible knowledge
Approaching danger


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. As the newbie, Ralph is sent to the Middle East to observe one of the largest and most dangerous of all mythical birds - the Roc. Ralph knows how dangerous the Roc can be, having read about how the great bird can tear boats apart. Which literary character is most associated with the Roc?

Answer: Sinbad

The Roc (or the Rukh) is a huge, white, eagle-like bird and is usually depicted as destroying a boat with its giant talons. This image comes from a story from "Arabian Nights", where the boat of Sinbad is that which is destroyed. The literary sailor then becomes marooned on an island which contains a huge dome in the middle. It soon dawns on Sinbad that this dome is the Roc's egg and the island is its nest.

The Roc was one of the mystical creatures Marco Polo claimed to have seen during his travels.
2. Still getting to grips with his latest occupation, Ralph squints as he views his next subject, Jatayu, who flies high into the sky. Much like a chap named Icarus whom Ralph had read about, Jatayu flew so high that he was in danger from the heat of the sun. Which mythology gives us the stories of Jatayu?

Answer: Hindu

Jatayu flew too close to the sun when, in his youth, he competed with his brother, Sampati, to see who could fly the highest. Jatayu's own wings were only spared as he was sheltered by Sampati, who lost his wings as a result.

Jatayu grew to have "claws as large as an elephant's tusks and as sharp as steel" and he played an important role in the Ramayana, where he took a stand against the evil demon, Ravana.
3. For Ralph's third trip, he goes to visit three birds, all of which possess a unique quality. The first is the Chinese Bird of Dawn, which is said to awaken humankind each morning, the second is the powerful Korean Samjogo, and the third is Yatagarasu, which has close links to the Japanese Sun goddess. What is the unique quality which all three birds share?

Answer: Three legs

The Chinese Bird of Dawn is also known as the Celestial Cock or Cock of Dawn and its morning crow from atop an enormous tree is so loud that it is said to wake humankind each morning. Another three-legged bird found in Chinese mythology is the Sanzuniao, which appears on much pottery of the Yangshao culture.

The Korean Samjogo is held as one of the most powerful mythical creatures, higher even than the dragon.

The Japanese Yatagarasu, as well as being associated with the Sun goddess, Amaterasu, is now a symbol of Japanese football.
4. To observe the dietary habits of the rare Firebird, Ralph now travels to Russia, where many stories of this magnificent bird originate. Although it is said to be incredibly uncommon, Ralph is able to spot the Firebird as soon as it appears, due to its glowing plumage. What is Ralph likely to see the Firebird eating?

Answer: Golden apples

The Firebird's feathers are said to stun all who see them and they can light up even the darkest room. This, we are told, was demonstrated by the son of the tsar, who ripped off one of the great bird's feathers after catching it eating the golden apples in his father's orchard. The golden apples, like those spoken of in Norse mythology, are said to give youth to all who eat them.

The Firebird was also held in high regard by the peasants of Russia, who would hope for the bird to shed a tear, as the tears of the Firebird were pearls.
5. Ralph the Llama is ready for another day of bird-watching, but feels that the rain is too heavy for any birds to be flying around. A more senior bird-watcher informs Ralph that these are the perfect conditions to see one of the most impressive mythical birds - the Shang Yang (Rain Bird), which is said to be the cause of this heavy downpour. In which country are you most likely to hear tales of the Shang Yang?

Answer: China

Whilst the Bird of Dawn, the Yatagarasu and the Samjogo all have three legs, the Shang Yang only has one.

The huge Rain Bird takes up massive amounts of water from nearby rivers and blows it out in the form of rain. This is seen by many in China as a positive action, watering their plants and allowing for a good harvest. However, the Shang Yang sometimes blows out too much water, causing floods. A famous Chinese tale tells of how Confucius predicted that the bird would cause a flood, and so defences were built to minimise the damage.
6. Now on a group trip to Africa, Ralph the Llama looks forward to catching a glimpse of the Lightning Bird. The group grab their binoculars and raincoats as a thunderstorm approaches, and Ralph becomes rather bemused as he cannot see anything, whereas many around him discuss the bird's long beak and shaggy plumage. Why can't Ralph see the Lightning Bird?

Answer: It can only be seen by women

Whilst women are able to see the Lightning Bird, men only see a lightning strike. The bird itself is usually depicted in southern African tales as quite a lanky bird, with long, legs, wings and a long hammer-shaped head.

Also, a Lightning Bird can only be captured at the exact moment when lightning strikes the ground, which, as you can understand, makes it pretty tricky to get hold of.

Finally, it is said that the destruction of a Lightning Bird's nest will bring a storm, but if the eggs are not disposed of, the entire surrounding area will be destroyed.
7. Intending to find out about the reproduction of some mythical birds, Ralph comes across a rather atypical example. He excitedly jots down what he sees as this particular bird produces its offspring. Reviewing his notes later, Ralph reads, "...smelly twigs...turned to ash...hot worm..." What mythical bird was Ralph observing?

Answer: The Phoenix

The Phoenix is arguably the most famous bird in all mythology. Many have added to the description of the Phoenix over the years, but its origins lie in Egypt.

As the Phoenix comes to the end of its 500-year life cycle, it will build a nest of incense twigs and burst into flames. From the ashes, a new Phoenix will be born. This has given rise to the phrase "like a Phoenix from the ashes" to refer to something which has made a comeback. Some sources claim that a worm is born from the ashes, which is then transformed by the sun into a Phoenix.
8. Now wanting to view the hunting habits of a mythical bird, Ralph sets out to Iran to look for a bird which is said to prey on elephants. With a name meaning "30 birds", which creature is Ralph hoping to see?

Answer: The Simurgh

A huge and colourful bird, the Simurgh is said to resemble a peacock. However, this mythical bird is huge in size, capable of carrying elephants and whales in its talons. It is also incredibly old - so old that it has seen the destruction of the Universe three times over!

The story of the Simurgh is a rather philosophical one. After the huge bird lost one of its feathers, 1,000 other birds followed the floating feather through a dangerous journey, which only 30 completed. At the end of the journey they met the Simurgh, and upon looking at the great bird they realised that there was no individuality. They realised that they were all the Simurgh and the Simurgh was them.
9. Now aiming to study the migratory paths of some mythical birds, Ralph the Llama seeks out the Ba-bird, which is said to represent the soul of a deceased person, and which must fly to the underworld each night in order to maintain the soul's immortality. In which mythology can tales of the Ba-bird be found?

Answer: Egyptian

Sometimes represented as a sparrow-hawk with the head of a human, the Ba-bird is usually depicted as hovering over the body whose soul it represents. (The Ba of a person is their non-physical being).

Each night, the Ba-bird would fly to the Underworld, where it would meet with the Ka, or life force, of the deceased person. This would ensure the soul's immortality for the following day.
10. The Feng Huang is the final mythical bird observed by Ralph. This fantastically coloured creature is taken from Chinese mythology and was formed by the merging together of two other birds - Feng (male) and Huang (female). Which of these qualities is the Feng Huang most closely associated with?

Answer: Undying love

The male Feng was linked with the solar cycle and the female Huang with the lunar cycle. The loving relationship the two means that they are commonly used in wedding decorations. The two merged to form the female Feng Huang, which is a symbol of the Chinese empress and is often coupled with the Dragon, which represents the emperor.

As well as being a sign of love, the Feng Huang is a symbol of immortality.

The black tortoise (north), the green Dragon (east), the white tiger (west), and the Feng Huang (south) are said to make up the four quadrants of the heavens.
Source: Author doublemm

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