Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about the oceans?
"Jeopardy!" has been a staple of American entertainment for decades. First debuting in 1964, the show's current iteration has survived for more than 7,000 episodes since its 1984 rebirth. Fans enthusiastically follow along with host Alex Trebek, and some of them even shout answers at their televisions. And there have been plenty of answers during the show's historic run: J! Archive, a fan-compiled database, has documented over 300,000 clues (and counting). That's a deep reservoir of knowledge.
If there's one topic that comes close to filling all those episodes with clues, then it's the world's oceans. Earth’s vast oceans are complex and sometimes not well understood, but they are hugely important to the world's ecosystems. Oceans cover more than 70% of Earth's surface. They drive weather patterns and house millions of species, ranging from microscopic protozoa to gargantuan blue whales. Although over 80% of the world's oceans remain unexplored, it's proven that oceans are delicate ecosystems sensitive to temperature fluctuations, pollution, overfishing, and other issues.
While the Earth's oceans are one continuous body of water, the five oceans all have unique ecosystems and climates. There are likely many oceanic species left to discover and myriad questions to answer, making the oceans a perfect “Jeopardy!” topic. From coral shallows to deep trenches, “Jeopardy!” enthusiasts and marine biology whizzes alike will enjoy this fascinating quiz about the world's oceans.
Stacker used the J! Archive to compile a list of questions about the oceans from 36 seasons of "Jeopardy!" Stacker's slideshow covers topics ranging from the formation of Earth's oceans billions of years ago to the present threats oceans are facing from climate change. Read on to learn about ancient reptiles, the gravitational pull of the moon, and much more.
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- Clue: An alarming 2019 environmental report called for action to reduce the 8 million tons of this substance going into oceans every year.
- Category: THE U.N. REPORTS
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Nov. 1, 2019
What is plastic?
Plastic pollution is a massive problem in the world's oceans. The crisis is twofold. One, plastic endures: Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists today. And two, we produce, use, and throw away plastic in excess. As much as 50% of all plastic is used only once before being thrown away; and only 9% of all plastic ever used has been recycled. Unfortunately, plastic production has ramped up in recent years; in the last decade, more plastic has been produced than in the whole of the previous century.
- Clue: The Laptev and Barents Seas are parts of this remote ocean.
- Category: THE OCEANS
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: April 13, 2018
What is the Arctic Ocean?
The Arctic Ocean is the world's northernmost body of water; and at just 6.1 million square miles, it's also Earth's smallest ocean. However, this ocean is crucial for mitigating climate change. The Arctic Ocean is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, and scientists are scrambling to understand the impacts.
- Clue: The mix of water and chemicals that made up Earth's oceans billions of years ago is often called this kind of "soup."
- Category: "P" IS FOR SCIENCE
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: July 24, 2019
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What is primordial (or primeval)?
The Primordial Soup Theory is one of several leading theories of how life began on Earth. The theory holds that life began on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago from a mixture of chemicals and energy from lightning.
- Clue: The ancient oceans were a scary place, populated by giant sharks and lizards like this long-necked one.
- Category: SOMETIMES A GREAT OCEAN
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: May 11, 2010
What is a plesiosaur?
These reptiles were once found throughout the Pacific Ocean and in what are now European waters. Scientists believe the plesiosaur used its long, flexible necks to catch fish to eat.
- Clue: At 28,374 feet, the Puerto Rico Trench is this ocean's deepest point.
- Category: THE WORLD'S OCEANS
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Nov. 6, 2009
What is the Atlantic?
The unusually deep seafloor in the Atlantic Ocean extends beyond the trench and toward Puerto Rico. It is located at the point where two tectonic plates slide past each other.
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