Extreme scales

Here's round 3 of the Naked Scientists science pub quiz...
05 May 2020

Interview with 

Ella Gilbert, Hamish Symington, Eleanor Drinkwater, Sam Virtue


Artist's rendition of red blood cells


Katie Haylor and Phil Sansom take the players through the final round of the Naked Scientists science pub quiz...

Phil - Team one, Ella and Sam, here's a question for you.

Q - Which is the rainiest continent. What do you think?

Sam - South America?

Ella - Ooh, interesting. I was going to say, because you get the maritime continent being very wet. I mean it's got to have some tropics in it, right? Yeah. I'm happy to go South America if you like.

Phil - A - South America. Oh, well done. We weren't trying to trick you. It is home to the Amazon rainforest. So the clue's in the name. Very well done. That's the point to you. Excellent work.

Katie - Now team two...

Q - According to the Guinness World Records, where in the world has the highest natural temperature been recorded? So I'm not talking about like an oven or something. Natural temperature. Is it a) Death Valley, California, b) El Azizia, Libya or c) Oodnadatta South Australia?

Hamish - It always used to be Death Valley, but I can't remember if they got another one since...

Eleanor - Sounds like a good answer.

Katie - A - Death Valley, California. Congratulations. Right on the money. According to the Guinness World Records, it was in Libya until 2012 with 58 Celsius. But that recording was since disqualified by the World Meteorological Association. And now the US holds the record at 56.7. The town of Oodnadatta in South Australia holds the record for hottest place in Australia though, recorded at 50.7 Celsius in 1960.

Phil - Team one. Here's your next guest question.

Imene - I'm Dr Imene Bouhlel Bougdhira, a cell biologist at the University of Cambridge. My question for you all is -

Q - Which of these cellular organelles are present in animal cells but not plant cells? a) mitochondria, b) vacuole c) centriole d) nucleus.

Ella - Oh this takes me back to GCSE! I should know this. What do you think Sam?

Sam - I would go with centriole cause I mean I know that they've all got mitochondria, they've all got nucleus. So it's either a toss up between vacuole and centriole. Let's say centriole.

Phil - A - Centriole. Very well done. They're part of this structure that plays this role in cell division and organizing how things get moved around inside a cell.

Katie - Team two, which of the following elements is not found in the human body? And you've got multiple choice here. So is it a) gadolinium, b) chromium or c) actinium. What do you think?

Eleanor - I have no idea. Do you know Hamish?

Hamish - I think chromium is toxic (he said vaguely). Um, I don't know what either of the other ones do.

Eleanor - Let's go for chromium.

Katie - A - actinium. I'm afraid you didn't get the point there. The answer was actinium. Actinium doesn't appear to have any role in living things. In fact, it's extracted from uranium cores and it isn't actually found outside nuclear labs.

Hamish - It's radioactive, so I should have probably got that one.

Phil - All right, team one, this is for you.

Q - Which of the following is the longest dinosaur? a) Argentinosaurus b), Tyrannosaurus Rex, or c) Wannanosaurus. I'm sure you're big fans of all of those dinosaurs, but which was the longest? Ella? Sam?

Ella - When you say longest, do you mean tip to toe?

Katie - Sorry, I mean top of the head to the top of the tail, I think!

Sam - T-Rex we're pretty big. Should we go with that?

Ella - Go on. I've never heard of the other two.

Phil - A - the answer was a) Argentinosaurus, which is this giant dinosaur that was up to around 40 meters long, which is absolutely huge. There's even some controversy about whether it's the biggest of all time. So very tricky one. Well done.

Katie - A fun fact for you. According to Wikipedia, Wannanosaurus was only 60 centimeters long! Right, team 2, your last question in this round contains a musical clue.

Q - Apart from the drums, what instrument is the loudest in a traditional orchestra? Here's your clue for this instrument [sfx]

Hamish - Okay. So it's going to be a brass instrument. I thought it would be trombone. But that was a trumpet, not a trombone.....trumpet?

Katie - You were so close, you were within touching distance of the right answer. Apparently the trumpet often sounds the loudest during performances because it can be quite harsh. But actually according to decibel range, the trombone peaks higher, followed closely by the clarinet.


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