Quora’s a great platform — sorted by pretty much every major category you can think of, you’ll find a lot of questions you probably wondered about (or have the opportunity to ask) and get answers from people who know what they’re talking about.

Like most sites, with the sheer influx of content it’s hard to sometimes sort out the good from the bad, and here we’ve picked out a list of questions that are guaranteed to pique your interest.

10. When Did We First See Earth From Space?

Ok so place your bets.  If your first guess was the day man landed on the Moon, you’d actually be wrong. There’s only one answer on this question, and that tells us about the date October 24th, 1946. Turns out, the Nazi scientists who developed the V2 Rockets, decided to forsake war for science: by strapping a camera onto the rocket, they managed to enact a wild plan to land the rocket after taking a  photo from outer space. And what do you know, it worked. There are images in the link, and you have to admit, they’re pretty cool.

9. What is it like living on Earth after living in Space?

One thing I love about Quora is the fact you often get people who’ve genuinely experienced some certain rare experiences, and this is one of them. An actual astronaut answered it (Garrett Reisman, formerly of NASA) and his experience tells us mostly about the following: gravity is a pain to get used to again.

Thanks to gravity, your bodily functions are messed up, from holding things to standing up, but humans are a remarkable species, who bounce back fast. Also food is nicer here, so he says. I trust a NASA astronaut on this statement.

My favorite bit about his answer is this remark : So when people ask me what was the difference between a long-duration spaceflight and a short-duration spaceflight, I have a quantifiable answer: a half-cheeseburger and a half-beer!

8. What is it like working with Christopher Nolan?

Like before, we have another first-hand expert on the topic coming out to answer. This time, it’s legendary composer Hans Zimmer (you might know him for scoring a lot of major films, from Lion King to obviously a few of Nolan’s biggest hits like the Dark Knight Trilogy)

What Mr. Zimmer had to say about Christopher Nolan is that he is a man who doesn’t get in the way of creativity, instead directly working with Hans Zimmer to create the score for the films and make it sound as genuine as possible.

7. What are the most mind-blowing tricks used during any war?

It’s pretty hard to choose a best answer here; they’re all good reads and hard to talk about in detail without just quoting the answers here.

But one that really struck out for me is the use of avalanches by Austrians during WWI. After one bad incident killing some 300 Austrians, they realized they can use weaponize avalanches. And so they did by shelling the mountains to trigger them and kill Italians en masse. Brutal, but clever.

6. Why can’t movie studios predict which movies will flop?

I love the best answer for this one. The top comment is a very insightful read considering the various factors the film industry uses for greenlighting a movie, and uses several movies — both hits and flops — as comparison for what works and what doesn’t.

It mostly boiled down to a lack of vision with making big budget films that were poorly executed.  But even then, sometimes expectations get subverted with seeming flops that end up turning into steaming hits. Unpredictable, but sometimes, the right cast, timing, and making the best of resources just churns out the real hits. Definitely a must read for a good insightful look into the film industry.

5. How would you answer the question, “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?”

Two things I love are community answers with no fixed ‘correct’ answer, and xkcd (a glorious science and philosophy humor — amongst other genres — webcomic by Randall Munroe) references used as replies in a situation.

There’s a lot of nice little input from various people here (with a common point being how humans tend to obey social norms to not feel left out) but the xkcd comic points out how people probably jumped for a reason (“What if the bridge — or in this case cliff — was on fire?”) despite it being the sane choice not to tell us a little something about how humans behave when faced with the burden of social norm. A social experiment described in another top comment also drives this point home.

4. What is it like to be a travel show host?

Ok so which one us hasn’t wanted to go travelling, and better yet, get paid for it? This sounds like a dream job for a lot of people I know, but what’s the reality of it?

Travel show host Janet Hsieh of Fun Taiwan/Fun Asia answers. To boot, her opinion is that it’s a cool job, with free items and constant travel being obvious perks. But she also remarks about the downsides of the job, like the inability to choose where to go, or the extraneous work put into filming episodes, or the fact constant travel wears you out mentally and physically and make you miss out on a lot of events in your friends and families’ lives.

3. What are some trippy thought experiments?

So for context, a thought experiment or Gedankenexperiment (German for the former) is an experiment  that takes place in imagination, due to inability to actually practically carry out said experiment for whatever reason.

Now while most people have heard of thought experiments like Schrodinger’s Cat, the best answer in this thread is one that is a bit relevant today.

Maxwell’s Demon is mentioned, and the thought experiment basically boils down to the theory of how we might be living in a holographic universe (i.e not like a computer simulation, but rather a 2D universe where we live a 3D reality). Very recently in fact, scientists found the first observable evidence of this theory, so it was really interesting to point out here. Reality is sometimes mindblowing, isn’t it?

2. If Hitler was so bad, why didn’t people around him just kill him?

The question seems more relevant than ever as growing dissatisfaction with the new President of the United States rises. With many likening Trump to Hitler, the question arises as to why people didn’t just get rid of Hilter (by violence) back then?

The first answer speaks up a lot about why someone like Hitler could come into power, talking a lot about helping the Germans recover their pride and nation under a leader who promised to make things again. Sounds oddly reminiscent of someone doesn’t it? But funnily enough that didn’t stop people from trying, as another answer mentions about it. Hitler’s time was a strange time.

1. What is the most interesting fact that you know and I don’t, but I should?

I love threads like this one, because there’s always a random assortment of odd and/or interesting facts that a lot of people don’t know and make for great things to talk about when conversations get slow in real life.

Now, while I just wanna point out nearly every answer, my personal pick from this thread about how our vision impairs our ability to perceive time correctly, as in our sense of time is muddled by our eye movement and the lag in the time it takes to process said movement. We feel this illusion that time feels a little longer this way, even though our brain assumes we were already experiencing it. Think about all the times you felt bored in the classroom just looking around and five minutes felt like an hour. This was probably why. Maybe the trick is to close your eyes and sleep in the classroom after all to let time pass faster.


compiled by Nuhan B. Abid