Puzzles & Quizzes

10 Jeopardy! Questions About Science That Stumped the Contestants

On March 6, Alex Trebek, the long-time host of the wildly popular trivia show "Jeopardy," announced that he has pancreatic cancer. It's a serious diagnosis for a man who helped take knowledge-based game shows from a risky endeavor to a beloved TV staple. As a site that shares Jeopardy's philosophy of making the world smarter, we thought we'd pay homage to Trebek by challenging our readers to some of the show's toughest science- and technology-themed questions.

We searched through the fan-made episode database J-Archive to find some of the most fascinating science-based "triple-stumpers" in "Jeopardy!" history — that is, questions that stumped all three contestants. We'll include the questions at the top of the article and the answers at the bottom. How many can you answer correctly?

1. "The Body of Evidence" for $600

Riding shotgun on the kidneys, these glands weigh barely 5 grams each, but produce vital hormones

2. "The Stones" for $600

A stunning 330-carat star sapphire called the "Star of" this continent is on display at the Smithsonian

3. "Inventors and Inventions" for $800

Around 1917 Northam Warren of Cutex created the first commercial version of this colorful cosmetic product

4. "Biology" for $800

Your baroreceptors are sensory devices that keep this steady

5. "Where Is It?" for 1,000

Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!: In this constellation

6. "We'll Take Your Measure!" for $1,200

Consult a galvanometer to measure amperes of this

7. "Communi'k'ation" for $1,200

Before videotape, TV shows were preserved via this process, filming directly from a TV monitor

8. "Everything Has a Name" for $1,200

As opposed to a dimmer switch, a simple two-setting light switch has this 6-letter name

9. "Element Symbol Fun?" for $1,600

The symbol for this element precedes "Better Blues" in the title of a Spike Lee film

10. "The Human Body" for $1,600

This endocrine gland controls the rate at which cells burn food & produce energy

The Answers

  1. Adrenal glands
  2. Asia
  3. Nail polish
  4. Blood pressure
  5. Orion
  6. Electrical current
  7. Kinescope
  8. Toggle
  9. Molybdenum
  10. The thyroid gland

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Want more? Check out the "Jeopardy! Book of Answers" by Harry Friedman and Barry Garron. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Ashley Hamer March 13, 2019

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