The 20 most puzzling questions in modern life – can you answer them?

Do YOU know the answers? From ‘what is an NFT?’ to ‘how do I pronounce Worcestershire sauce?’ – the 20 most puzzling questions in modern life revealed

  • Thirty-four per cent of Brits were puzzled by what an non-fungible token is
  • Many were also baffled by ChatGPT while others were confused by dating 
  • The results comes as Brits spend around 15 minutes a day feeling confused

Home to the world-wide-web and first telephone, it’s safe to say that thousands of intelligent Brits have existed over the years.

Yet researchers reveal that many aspects of modern life completely go over our heads in a study of the most puzzling questions.

Sky Stream surveyed 2,000 Britons to reveal the 20 questions in modern life that puzzle us the most. 

‘What are the rules of modern dating?’ and ‘What is my dog thinking?’ are among the list, with 11 and 17 per cent scratching their heads over these. 

Meanwhile, 31 per cent were bewildered by the AI bot ChatGPT, ranking second on the list just above gas and electricity calculations at 29 per cent.

Researchers reveal that many aspects of modern life completely go over our heads in a study of the most puzzling questions (stock image)

ChatGPT ranked second on the list with 31 per cent of participants thinking it was most baffling

The 20 most puzzling questions (scroll down for the answers 

Confusion over the pronunciation of ‘Worcestershire sauce’ saw eight per cent mixed up while tax returns also stumped 25 per cent. 

But the biggest conundrum of all was non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as 34 per cent could not wrap their heads around their purpose. 

These results come at a time when almost half of Brits insist they are spending more time in a state of confusion this year than last, according to Sky Stream. 

Questions surrounding ChatGPT and NFTs also come in the midst of an artificial intelligence (AI) and technological explosion. 

When ChatGPT was released for free last December, many were excited yet fearful about just how powerful technology has become.

Some employees now admit to using chatbots everyday at work and others are using it to write essays, code and even scripts.

At the centre of what some have referred to as the ‘second Industrial Revolution’, Brits reportedly spend around 15 minutes everyday feeling confused.

Contradicting advice seems to worsen this too, with more than a quarter stressing they are unsure who to believe.

Just over 40 per cent of participants believed they were living in an information overload, while another 40 per cent blamed their confusion on social media. 

As a result, just over 70 per cent now have tricks to tackle this, whether it’s searching for answers on the internet or turning to social media.

Yet, 38 per cent claimed they now simply accept some things will never be understood.

Another 22 per cent admitted to pretending they know something in the hopes of never being caught out.

If you’re stuck here thinking ‘what on Earth is this article about?’, don’t worry.

MailOnline has answered all of the perplexing stumpers below. 

Around 29 per cent of participants were stumped by how energy and gas costs are calculated

‘What are the rules of modern dating?’ and ‘What is my dog thinking?’ are among the list, with 11 and 17 per cent scratching their heads over these


What is an NFT? (34%)

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are generally digital art pieces or music that can be bought or traded online. 

These are unique computer files encrypted with an artist’s signature. As a result, they cannot be replicated, acting as a digital certificate of ownership and authenticity. 

In other words, buying an NFT is almost like the more traditional purchasing of fine art – except in a digital form. 

Artists can sell pieces that may be tricky to advertise otherwise, such as digital stickers.

Depending on the usage rights, purchasers can sometimes post these online.   

How do I use ChatGPT? (31%)

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot that can produce human-like text responses.

This can be used for various purposes such as writing cover letters, code or even planning a wedding.

Here’s how to use it:

How do they work out the price of gas and electricity? (29%)

Individual energy suppliers set their own gas and electricity prices, making it important to choose your provider carefully.

Yet, EDF claims the price you pay for power is largely set by the ‘marginal generation unit’. This refers to whatever power type being used – with gas being cheapest and coal more expensive.

But some energy providers have deals for different times of the day, with lower rates often kickstarting at night.

What exactly is a black hole? (27%)

Black holes are so dense and their gravitational pull is so strong that no form of radiation can escape them – not even light.

They act as intense sources of gravity which hoover up dust and gas around them. Their intense gravitational pull is thought to be what stars in galaxies orbit around.

How they are formed is still poorly understood. Astronomers believe they may form when a large cloud of gas up to 100,000 times bigger than the sun, collapses into a black hole.

Many of these black hole seeds then merge to form much larger supermassive black holes, which are found at the centre of every known massive galaxy.

Alternatively, a supermassive black hole seed could come from a giant star, about 100 times the sun’s mass, that ultimately forms into a black hole after it runs out of fuel and collapses.

When these giant stars die, they also go ‘supernova’, a huge explosion that expels the matter from the outer layers of the star into deep space.

How are interest rates set? (26%)

Interest rates are decided by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. 

This is made up of nine members who aim to ensure that inflation is kept low and stable.

The rate influences what is paid to commercial banks that hold money with the Bank of England. 

This affects the rates at which banks charge people to borrow money.

What are the rules of cricket? (26%)

Cricket is an English game played between two teams of 11 in a large field.

Traditionally, both teams take turn batting and fielding, with the latter being the act of catching the ball. 

Active SG writes: ‘The main objective in cricket is to score as many runs as possible against the opponent.

‘Each cricket match consists of periods known as innings, and the number of innings that each team has will be determined before the match, usually one or two. 

‘During an inning, one team bats the ball while the other attempts to field. Both teams take turns alternating between batting and fielding.’ 

What are macros and how do I work them out? (25%)

Macro-nutrients (shortened to ‘macros’ by those in the know) are nutrients required to give us energy to keep our body functioning.

The three macro-nutrients are fats, carbohydrates and proteins and by consuming the correct amount of macro-nutrients for your desired results, whether that is muscle gain, fat loss or toning up, you are more likely to achieve your bodily goals.

Macros are a fairly simple method to allow you to count your three food groups.

This is worked out via a ratio format, the basic ratio is 40 per cent carbohydrates, 30 per cent fat and 30 per cent protein.

But the exact amount needed should account for your height, weight and desire goal.

How do I do my tax return? (25%)

A tax return involves calculating how much incomes earned is to be paid to the Government as taxes.

Business owners and those with other income, such as support payments, must complete tax returns.

To complete a tax return, head to, or call HMRC and request a form.

Telephone: 0300 200 3610

Outside the UK: +44 161 930 8331

What is the solar system? (20%)

A solar system refers to a group of planets which orbit a host star such as the Sun. 

Earth and Mars are among eight planets bound to the Sun as a result of gravity.

There are also dozens of moons and millions of asteroids and comets in our solar system, according to NASA. 

These come in all shapes and sizes, with the largest asteroid being around 329 miles (530 kilometers) in diameter.

How much protein should I eat? (17%)

Adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day, the British Heart Foundation claims.

Generally, this could be two portions of meat, fish or tofu that fit into the palm of your hand.

Yet, most Brits eat almost twice as much as this which can lead to heart disease and diabetes in the worst cases. 

However, athletes should be fine to eat this amount providing they train more than once a day.

What is my dog thinking about? (17%)

Pet owners can read the minds of their beloved pooches by looking at their body language, research by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance claims.

Happy dogs generally wag their tails, while anxious dogs may growl and back away. 

Experts even believe it’s possible that dogs may even think about the future on a day-to-day basis.

ASPCA cited their wolf ancestors as a reason for this, who would have needed to think about the next meal or a safe spot to rest. 

What is the difference between a noun, verb and adjective? (15%)

Nouns are places, people and things. So, for example, ‘MailOnline’ is a noun (as it’s a thing), and Harry Potter (a name) is also a noun.

Adjectives are often referred to as ‘describing words’, often used in literature to bring a setting to life.

So, ‘delighted’, ‘blue’ or ‘icy’ are all adjectives used to describe different nouns.

Happy Potter (noun) is delighted (adjective).

Finally, verbs are generally referred to as ‘doing words’, used to indicate an action or state is occurring.

Running, walking and smiling are all considered to be verbs.

So – Harry Potter (noun) is delighted (adjective) to be running (verb).  

What is the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’? (14%)

‘Affect’ is used as a verb, while ‘effect’ is generally used as a noun in sentences.

For example, you could say ‘the weather affected his mood’, or ‘the weather had an effect on his mood’.

What are the rules of modern dating? (11%)
According to a study exploring the dos and don’ts of dating, you shouldn’t lock lips until the second date or connect on Facebook until at least the third.

 And don’t even dream of jumping into bed with them before the fourth rendezvous.

The research, commissioned by TLC’s new dating show Undressed, also suggests that men should be the first text after a successful date and women should respond within a quarter of an hour if keen.

When it comes to messaging, a maximum of two kisses is all that is required as an end note. 

Any more might be too ‘over the top’, while any less could apparently come across as ‘cold’. A definite no-no is waiting for the other person to text first. 

Half of the 1,500 Brits quizzed in the study said it was important for their potential love interest to make contact first – which means the other half of daters will be left disappointed.

It seems that ‘playing it cool’ isn’t in vogue anymore either. A third of respondents said they would text back within a quarter of an hour, with only five percent saying they’d wait as long as two hours.

How do I retune a TV? (11%)

Many TV may need to be retuned when a new service launches or a change has taken place.

While this can take place automatically, there may be times when you need to do it manually. 

Freeview explains how to do so on their site: 

How to understand the clocks going back and forwards? (10%)

Clocks have moved forward an hour every spring since WW1 in a bid for longer evenings and to conserve coal, before being reverted back at the end of October.

Simply put, it’s a way of making the most of natural daylight hours at different times of the year. 

In the UK, clocks go forward by one hour at 1am on the last Sunday of March.

They go back again by one hour on the last Sunday in October every year.

How much should I tip? (9%)

It is a dilemma every holidaymaker has faced while dining out overseas: should you leave a tip?

Research shows this largely varies based on where you are in the world, with the US receiving the biggest tips of all at 20 per cent.

Yet, tips are usually 5 to 10 per cent in the UK and Germany, according to Hawaiian Islands.

But in Japan, Sweden, Australia and Norway no tips are expected at all.

Sara Benwell, Consumer Editor at Good Housekeeping, said: ‘In Japan, there is a no-tipping culture, and you may offend your waiter if you try to give him some money, while in America, tips are very much expected, and it’s rude if you don’t leave anything.

‘In France, the service charge must be included in the bill by law. However, many locals will also leave some coins as an extra sign of appreciation.’

How do I pronounce ‘Worcestershire sauce’? (8%)

According to Google, speakers should pronounce it as ‘wu – stuh – saws’.  

The ‘shire’ is not said as it might be in other English words such as ‘Hampshire’ and ‘Barkshire’. 

What goes on a scone first the cream or jam? (7%)

It depends on who you ask.

The scone war has long divided people in Devon and Cornwall, with Devonians preferring cream first, and Cornish, jam first. 

But recently, ChatGPT said it would opt for the ‘Devon method’ of putting the clotted cream on the scone first, followed by the jam on top.

Its choice has enraged many scone fans on Twitter, with comedian Dawn French replying: ‘You are a robot with no taste (literally & figuratively) & no respect for all that is holy. And right.’

The big question was posed to ChatGPT by the @VeryBritishProblems Twitter account.

It replied: ‘As an AI language model, I don’t actually have the ability to eat scones or have a personal preference, but if I had to choose between the two methods, I would probably go for the Devon method of putting the clotted cream on the scone first, followed by the jam on top.

‘I think it’s because the cream acts as a base, allowing the jam to spread more easily and making for a smoother overall taste.

‘However, again, it’s really up to personal preference, and both methods have their merits!’

Yet, late Queen Elizabeth II is said to have preferred the Cornish method, according to Darren McGrady who once cooked for her.

How do I stream the latest TV show? (6%)

Netflix, Sky Stream, Amazon Prime and Disney+ are among numerous streaming services that offer TV shows.

These can be watched on a TV, computer or even a mobile device providing that relevant apps are installed. 

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