Quiz yourself on the weirdest scientific discoveries of 2023 | Tech News

2023 was a year full of discoveries (Picture: Getty)

Can you believe it, another 12 months over already? It seems they go by faster every year, and before we know it, it’ll be 2050 and we’re living on Mars.

Well, that’s the hope, but there’s quite a lot of scientific discovery to be done before then.

Luckily that’s happening at light speed too, and 2023 was no different, with major breakthroughs in astronomy, space travel, health and medicine.

All very noble pursuits, but let’s not forget about some of the more weird and wonderful discoveries and happenings. You know, the ones that make you think ‘why was anyone even looking into that?’, or just ‘huh?’.

There was no shortage of those either – like the horrifying of the sex life of the Pacific football fish, or what happens when you get worms stoned.

But were you paying attention?

Test your memory of the weirdest stories from 2023 with our quick quiz.

1. In January, Nasa scientists thought they’d discovered the face of which animal on the surface of the Red Planet?

a. A cat
b. A bear
c. A snake
d. An owl

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What ancient DNA helped created this meatball? (Picture: Shutterstock)

2. Bringing animals back from extinction is a major hope for many scientists – but what long-gone creature’s DNA did a team in Australia use to create meatballs?

a. A T-rex
b. A dodo
c. A woolly mammoth
d. A saber-tooth tiger

The Hirota people lived on Tanegashima island, Kagoshima, Japan (Picture: Getty)

3. The Hirota people lived on the southern Japanese island of Tanegashima around 200 CE to 600 CE, but what bizarre activity did parents do?

a. Created alcoholic drinks with breast milk to make the sleepless nights pass quicker
b. Bound their babies’ heads to make them short and flat
c. Left all the children with a single group nanny until they turned one
d. Painted babies bright yellow and orange to scare of predators, who assumed they were poisonous 

Where did red hair come from? (Picture: Getty)

4. Scientists discovered the origin of ginger hair in which 10-million-year-old amphibian?

a. A frog
b. A salamander
c. A newt
d. A toad

5. In November, scientists announced they had discovered something very weird inside the planet. What was it?

a. A watery ocean trapped beneath the crust
b. A diamond taller than the Eiffel Tower
c. A huge hole
d. The remains of another planet

The Scythians were notoriously barbaric (Picture: Rebecca Fudala)

6. The Scythians are a mysterious civilisation, leaving little trace behind for 21st century archaeologists to decipher. However, they did make one gruesome discovery this year regarding what happened to their defeated enemies…

a. The Scythians ate their eyeballs
b. They used their skin to make leather
c. They used them as literal human shields
d. They drank their blood

What can this sea cucumber do (do)? (Picture: Hiyas A. Junio)

7.  This isn’t what you think it is – it’s a sea cucumber, not a sea floater. But what have scientists discovered that this doo doo-like creature can do?

a. Kill liver cancer cells
b. Whiten teeth
c. Treat eczema
d. Help weight loss

8. Scientists at a Swiss university found something extraordinary about the serotine bat this year, but what was it?

a. They can stay awake for up to a week at a time
b. Their tiny teeth are stronger than diamonds
c. They shrink in the rain
d. They use their enormous penis as an arm during sex


The Red Planet ‘bears’ a striking resemblance to a familiar creature (Picture: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona/SWNS)

1. b – a bear. The strange image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from 150 miles above the surface.

2. c – a woolly mammoth. The prehistoric snack was created by Australian company Vow, which aims to use cells from unconventional species to create new kinds of meat.

3. b – parents deformed their babies’ heads. Until this year it wasn’t known if the deformities were natural or deliberate

4. a – a frog. Paleontologists at University College Cork found the earliest evidence of pheomelanin, the pigment that produces ginger colouration, in the ancient specimens.

An ancient collision between Earth and another planet is believed to have formed the Moon (Picture: Deng Hongping and Hangzhou Spher)

5. d – The remains of another planet. Scientists think it belongs to a planet called Theia, which many believe crashed into Earth and formed the Moon.

6. b – and possibly d. Researchers found leather equipment made from human skin at a burial mound, something recorded by ancient Greek historian Herodotus – who also alleged they drank the blood of their enemies.

7. a – kill liver cancer cells. While the animal may look a bit like human faeces, scientists at the University of Philadelphia, USA, have discovered that it might also be able to save lives.

The serotine bat has some frankly astounding sexual behaviour (Picture: PA)

8. d – yes, they use their penis for grip. The bat appears to mate without penetration because its penis is around seven times longer and wider than the females’ vagina, making ‘traditional’ methods of reproduction physically impossible.

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