How much Gross Science do you know?


By: J.P. Naomi

6 Min Quiz

Image: Youtube

About This Quiz

Everybody can love science, especially when it's disgusting!!! Think you have what it takes to ace this ultimate gross science quiz? Try your luck now!

Who hosts Gross Science?

Anna Rothschild has a bachelor's degree in biology from Brown University, and a masters degree in science journalism from NYU.


What is "pee-cycling"?

Ancient Romans used urine to whiten their teeth, and a protein isolated from urine in the 1950s was used for fertility treatments!


On a farm, what does an anaerobic digester do?

In an oxygen free container, organic waste (poop and compost, for example) is eaten by microbes that produce methane gas that can be used as energy to produce heat and electricity. The leftover material (digestate) can then be used for fertilizer!


Which of the following could be living on your contact lenses?

Fungi, amoeba, and bacteria are a few of the organisms that could cause microbial keratitis which could be very severe if contracted. 0.2% of contact wearers get microbial keratitis which can be caused by these organisms because your contact lenses trap them inside, and can be a kind of selection for 'superbugs' that are resistant to medications. These superbugs can start eating through your cornea!


Viruses, like herpes, hiding in your ________, can lead to brain damage.

In extreme cases, it has been shown that herpes virus hiding in neurons of your brain can result in an impaired ability to remember groups of things like animals, colors, or tools.


What is trypophobia?

Not really universally accepted as a real phobia, but some research suggests that this fear of small holes/patterns of holes may be derived from ancient patterns on poisonous animals, and became an evolutionary response to avoid things that look like that!


Who's smelly, sweaty t-shirt does scientific evidence say you would prefer to wear in an emergency?

A scientific study has shown that people tend to think of their own groups as an extension of the self, highlighting the profound impact of our associations on our perception of the world.


In a scientific context, what are boogers?

Boogers, snot...they are made up of water, lubricating proteins called mucins, salt, antibodies, and lysozymes. They keep our nasal passages moist, and trap dirt, and also contribute to our sense of smell.


A compound isolated from _____________ (capable of causing convulsions and blurred vision) is being studied as a possible new treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Phoneutria, the Brazilian Wandering Spider, is one of the most venomous spiders in the world, 18 times more potent that a Black Widow spider! The venom from Phoneutria can cause priapism, a very long-lasting, painful erection!


What have researchers recently been making with yeast that lives inside wasps?

Beer is made from: water, grain, hops, and yeast. It is said that 50% of the flavor of beer comes from yeast. Scientists have isolated a yeast from wasps and other insects and have been testing how this affects the flavor of different beers!


What causes holes to form in Swiss cheese?

Cheese is made from milk, salt, enzymes (rennet), and bacteria. The specific bacteria used to make Swiss cheese produces carbon dioxide during fermentation. This carbon dioxide gets trapped, which leads to the formation of holes in the cheese.


Why is the Sardinian cheese, casu marzu, translated as "rotten cheese"?

Live insect larvae, maggots, are introduced to whole Pecorino cheeses to promote an advanced level of fermentation. This results in a very soft soft cheese, and some people eat the cheese without removing the maggots!


Which of the following animals use their poop to protect themselves?

The self defense technique that the hoopoe bird, which is native to Israel, employs is squirting fecal syrup into the eyes of predators.


Which of the following has the largest penis proportional to their body size in the animal kingdom

The penis of a male barnacle can reach up to 50 times the length of the barnacles’ body.


Why do most sand tiger sharks die in the womb?

Sand tiger shark embryos cannibalize their littermates in the womb, with the largest embryo eating all but one of the embryos. This strategy results in the sand tiger sharks having larger babies than other shark species so they are a bit more protected from other predators


Which of the following could start to rot with cocaine use?

A dangerous drug called levamisole is being mixed with cocaine, and is known to destroy white blood cells and kill your skin, particularly dangerous to your earlobes.


What potential illness could a person have if their breath smells like nail polish remover?

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high.


A person with a bladder infection may have urine that smells like:

Symptoms of a bladder infection (also called a UTI-urinary tract infection) include frequent urination and burning urination.


The sweat of a person suffering from schizophrenia may smell like:

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which a person exhibits abnormal social behavior and failure to understand what is real.


Scrofula, a particular infection of the lymph nodes, could result in the patient smelling like:

Scrofula is a tuberculosis infection that affects the lymph nodes in the neck.


Skin that smells like freshly baked bread could indicate that the person has:

The bacteria Salmonella typhi, causes the infections disease typhoid fever, which leads to high fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headache, and loss of appetite.


What are formed when debris trapped in your tonsils hardens or calcifies?

Tonsils are made of tissue that contains lymphocytes which are cells that prevent and fight infections. Tonsil stones, called tonsilloliths, can occur when bacteria, dead cells, and mucous get trapped in the nooks and crannies of the tonsils.


Why do neuroscientists love California sea slugs?

The California sea hare have a simple nervous system with 20,000 large, easily identified neurons. They are also hermaphrodites (can be male and female at the same time) and is known to form mating chains with up to 20 animals!


How fast does a sneeze travel?

A sneeze is an involuntary respiratory convulsion.


How far away from the body does a sneeze launch mucus?

Different links to sneezing have included: sudden exposure to bright light, sudden decrease in temperature, a breeze of cold air, a particularly full stomach, or a viral infection.


How far can vomit particles travel?

Researchers studying norovirus have shown that vomit particles can spread over 84 square feet of a room.


A strange place where the bacteria Listeria is able to survive and reproduce is:

Listeriosis primarily affects the eldery, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with a weakened immune system, so it is very important to wash your food!


There is a relationship between the reproduction of figs and ________.

The fig wasps help pollinate figs, and the fig itself becomes a nest for tiny fig wasps. An enzyme called ficin breaks down the carcass of a female wasp who dies inside an edible fig, which makes the wasp a part of the fruit.


The fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis parasitizes and kills a ____________, then grows a stalk-like fruiting body from the corpse.

Yar Tsa Gumba, the local name for Ophiocordyceps sinensis, is found in mountainous regions of India, Nepal and Tibet and has long been valued as an aphrodisiac and treatment for fatigue and cancer in traditional Chinese medicine.


After 6 months of drinking milk after birth, what do baby koalas eat for a few weeks?

The baby koala, called a joey, stimulates the mother's behind which makes her release pellets, but also a runnier, protein-rich substance, called pap which is full of the mother's gut bacteria and helps the baby grow.


Hagfish produce ___________ with thread-like fibers, so it may be useful to make clothing.

Hagfish are not really fish and they don't have jaws, so they evolved to produce this slime for protection - when attacked, the slime and fibers inside will clog the gills of the attacker.


Suriname toads are born by ______________________.

The Suriname toad (Pipa pipa) is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.


Which small, shelled creature is capable of castrating a male crab and convincing the crab that he is pregnant?

The parasitic barnacle Loxothylacus panopaei injects itself into a male mud crab and extends a portion outside so that male barnacles can aid in reproduction. The male crab remains alive, and even cares for the growing barnacle babies until they are born!


_____________ is a defense tactic employed by sea cucumbers in which they eject parts of their guts to scare predators away.

A similar behavior is exhibited by some starfish that evert their stomachs through their mouths to eat their prey.


The carnivorous pitcher plant secretes a sweet nectar that attracts ____________ which get trapped and can be digested by the plant.

Found in the peat swamp forests of Borneo, Nepenthes bicalcarata is a carnivorous fanged pitcher plant that has a symbiotic relationship with the Camponotus schmitzi ant.


Explore More Quizzes

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on