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Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about the oceans?

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

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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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #1

- 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

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Jeff J Mitchell // Getty Images

Answer #1

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.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #2

- Clue: The Laptev and Barents Seas are parts of this remote ocean.
- Category: THE OCEANS
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: April 13, 2018

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Answer #2

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.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #3

- 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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Haim Rosenfeld // Shutterstock

Answer #3

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.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #4

- 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

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Dan Kitwood // Getty Images

Answer #4

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.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #5

- 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

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Richard Varcoe/Caladan Oceanic LLC // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #5

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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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #6

- Clue: A busy shipping lane, the Strait of Malacca between Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, links these two oceans.
- Category: DIRE STRAITS
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: June 4, 2007

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Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica/Volvo Ocean Race // Getty Images

Answer #6

What are the Indian and Pacific Oceans?

The Strait of Malacca is the world's second-busiest waterway. It has been in continuous use since ancient times, by Roman, Greek, Chinese, and Indian traders.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #7

- Clue: Many explorers once sought this Arctic Sea route connecting two oceans.
- Category: "NORTH" POLL
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: March 9, 2005

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NASA // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #7

What is the Northwest Passage?

The Northwest Passage connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic. It has until recently been more or less impassable because of ice, but with climate change, commercial traffic can move through the Arctic for the first time.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #8

- Clue: These marine habitats are called the "rainforests of the oceans."
- Category: OCEANS
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Oct. 9, 2000

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Donald Miralle // Getty Images for Lumix

Answer #8

What are coral reefs?

Some of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, coral reefs contain thousands of species. While coral uses photosynthesis to survive, they're not plants—they are closer relatives of sea anemones and jellyfish.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #9

- Clue: Among the rivers that feed this ocean are the Zambezi and the Shatt Al-Arab.
- Category: OCEANS & SEAS
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Jan. 8, 1997

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NASA images by Reto Stöckli // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #9

What is the Indian Ocean?

The Indian Ocean is the world's third-largest ocean. It covers about 20% of the Earth's surface and is over five times the size of the United States.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #10

- Clue: Two oceans meet at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost extremity of this continent.
- Category: WORLD GEOGRAPHY
- Value: $500
- Date episode aired: Oct. 31, 1990

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Answer #10

What is Africa?

Only about 2.5 hours from Cape Town, South Africa, Cape Agulhas has long drawn tourists who can put one foot in the Atlantic and the other in the Indian Ocean. Its name means "needles" in Portuguese.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #11

- Clue: The deepest part of the oceans of the world is the Mariana Trench in this ocean.
- Category: GEOGRAPHIC WORLD RECORDS
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: May 10, 1989

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Ethan Daniels // Shutterstock

Answer #11

What is the Pacific Ocean?

Only two people have ever reached the deepest point of the Mariana Trench, located in the wester part of the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines. The trench is almost seven miles below the ocean's surface. For scale, if one were to put Mount Everest in the Mariana Trench, its peak would sit a mile below sea level.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #12

- Clue: The biggest iceberg ever sighted, larger than Belgium, was in this ocean.
- Category: OCEANS
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: April 24, 1986

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European Space Agency // Wikimedia Commons

Answer #12

What is the South Pacific?

The iceberg was dubbed "B-15," and it broke away from Antarctica in the year 2000. B-15 is now almost completely melted, which comes as no surprise to scientists considering how long it has been getting pushed around by currents and fluctuating ocean temperatures.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #13

- Clue: In the 1520s this man captained the first European expedition to cross the Pacific Ocean.
- Category: THE OCEANS
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: April 13, 2018

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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

Answer #13

Who was Magellan?

Although he was born in Portugal, Spain sponsored Magellan's expedition, much to the consternation of Portugal's King Manuel I. By the time the expedition returned to Spain, there were only 18 men left of an original crew of 260.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #14

- Clue: Hurricanes originate in this region of the world's oceans near the equator marked by calm, light winds.
- Category: THE OCEANS
- Value: $2,000
- Date episode aired: Dec. 15, 2016

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Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica/Volvo Ocean Race // Getty Images

Answer #14

What are the Doldrums?

The Doldrums is where trade winds from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres meet. The warm temperatures force air to rise, causing storms.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #15

- Clue: This process that originally formed the oceans also forms dew.
- Category: AIR
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: March 6, 1998

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jessicahyde // Shutterstock

Answer #15

What is condensation?

The Earth cooled below 212 degrees Fahrenheit about 3.8 billion years ago. That caused rain to form, filling the basins that are now our oceans.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #16

- Clue: 1/5 of the freshwater entering all oceans comes from this river that flows northeast to the equator.
- Category: SOUTH OF THE EQUATOR
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Nov. 4, 1997

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Alexandr Vorobev // Shutterstock

Answer #16

What is the Amazon?

The Amazon River is the world's largest drainage system. It is about 4,000 miles long, equal to the distance from New York City to Rome, Italy.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #17

- Clue: An arbitrary separation between these two oceans has been placed at the longitude of Tasmania—147°E.
- Category: WORLD GEOGRAPHY
- Value: $300
- Date episode aired: Feb. 5, 1990

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Jag_cz // Shutterstock

Answer #17

What are the Pacific and Indian Oceans?

The meeting point, the South East Cape, of these two oceans is located far from civilization. It is about a two-hour walk from the nearest town.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #18

- Clue: The Drake Passage joins these two big bodies of water.
- Category: WORLD GEOGRAPHY
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Dec. 20, 1988

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Foto 4440 // Shutterstock

Answer #18

What are the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans?

The Drake Passage averages about 11,000 feet deep. It is one of the most difficult areas in the world to traverse by sea.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #19

- Clue: The meridian of Cape Agulhas, Portuguese for "needles," is the boundary between these two oceans.
- Category: BODIES OF WATER
- Value: $Final Jeopardy!
- Date episode aired: April 26, 1995

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Dewald Kirsten // Shutterstock

Answer #19

What are the Atlantic and Indian Oceans?

Cape Agulhas is the southernmost point in Africa. It is now a national park in South Africa.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #20

- Clue: It's the directional name given to the ocean that surrounds Antarctica.
- Category: THE WORLD'S OCEANS
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: Nov. 6, 2009

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Unsplash

Answer #20

What is the Southern Ocean?

The Southern Ocean is the world's "newest" ocean. It was declared its own ocean in 2000.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #21

- Clue: The three oceans the equator crosses.
- Category: ON THE EQUATOR
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: March 27, 2006

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Elizaveta Galitckaia // Shutterstock

Answer #21

What are the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans?

Sea levels are actually higher near the equator, because of "equatorial bulge." This refers to the fact that the Earth's diameter is wider at the equator.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #22

- Clue: These variations in the level of the oceans have the most variation at the new moon.
- Category: SCIENCE
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: June 13, 2018

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Ollyy // Shutterstock

Answer #22

What are tides?

Because of the moon's gravitational pull, the ocean bulges on the side of the Earth nearer to the moon and on the side farthest away from it. This effect is called the tidal force.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #23

- Clue: Off Mindanao, the 34,580' deep trench named for this country is one of the deepest spots in all the oceans.
- Category: LAND DOWN UNDER ADJACENT-ISH
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: May 27, 2016

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Answer #23

What is the Philippine Trench?

The trench is also called the Mindanao Trench or Mindanao Deep. It is more than 600 miles long long and just shy of 35,000 feet deep.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #24

- Clue: The smallest and shallowest of the world's five oceans is this one.
- Category: GEOGRAPHY CLASS
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Nov. 22, 2013

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Answer #24

What is the Arctic Ocean?

The Arctic Ocean is the least understood of the world's oceans, because of its remoteness and frigid climate. It centers on the North Pole.

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

Clue #25

- Clue: It covers 70 million square miles.
- Category: THE WORLD'S OCEANS
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Nov. 6, 2009

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Willyam Bradberry // Shutterstock

Answer #25

What is the Pacific Ocean?

The Pacific Ocean is the world's largest. It covers more than half of the free water on Earth.

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