Top Ten Dumbest Web Search Questions

Vesuvius Postcard

“do flights landing in Naples fly over Vesuvius?”

Now, this seems to me to be an especially stupid question. I am not an expert on aviation or air traffic control but it seems very unlikely to me that aeroplane carrying over three hundred passengers landing at an international airport in Italy would want to fly over the top of a 1,300 metre high active volcano because it sounds full of potential hazards to me especially as the Naples airport is only ten miles or so from the crater and at this point would have an altitude of barely higher than the top of the mountain.

The page they were directed to was probably my post about my visit to the mountain.

Another dumb historical question next – “how wealthy are the Romanovs?” and dumb because most people know that the entire Romanov family were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1917 during the Russian revolution.


There are some claimants to the titles of the Russian Tsars but even if they were confirmed to be true descendants they would be extremely unlikely to be wealthy because the Russian communist regime confiscated all their treasure, money and valuables.

I visited Russia in 2012 and posted about the fate of the Romanovs so I guess the enquirer might have ended up on my post about the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg.

Some time ago my favourite was can pubic hair grow more with regain?” and rather disappointingly I have nothing to really compete with that ever again.

I think this may have drawn the person with the question to my post about “Health and Efficiency” magazine

Actually that was a good thing about Health and Efficiency because there were never any pubic detail on show because until the mid 1970s this was strictly censored in British publishing.  In retrospect, the most striking thing about the models’ anatomy was that they were completely without pubic hair, or, for that matter, any other details associated with the genital area of the body.

They were as blank as an ancient Greek marble statue in that department, and in pre computer photo editing days, this was achieved by skilful use of an ‘air-brush’ applied directly to the photo before publication.


Bottoms however were ok it seems…

Being a student of history I am going to begin with a selection of wildly inaccurate historical searches.

The first one is “Why did Shakespeare bring starlings to Australia?”  I think I am obliged to point out here straight away that William Shakespeare died in 1616 and Australia wasn’t settled by Europeans for another couple of hundred years or so after that and although there is much literary speculation concerning possible visits by the Bard to Italy I think it is safe to say that he never went as far as Australia!

Birds of Shakespeare

I imagine that what the question referred to was really about starlings in the USA because here there is a connection.  The introduction of the starling to USA is said to be the responsibility of a man called Eugene Schiefflein who belonged to a group dedicated to introducing into America all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works on the basis that they thought it would be rather nice to hear the sound of Shakespeare’s birds warbling their old world songs on the tree branches of new world America.

Showing a similar lack of historical knowledge is my second search term, “Was El Cid a Muslim?”  Now, El Cid was the great Spanish hero of the Catholic Reconquista which drove the African Moors out of the Iberian Peninsula so I imagine any suggestion that he was a secret Muslim will have poor Charlton Heston spinning in his grave.

Following a visit to Castilla-La Mancha in 2009 I wrote a number of posts about El Cid and I expect the enquirer was sign posted to one of these.

El Cid 1

Next on my historical howlers list is Napoleon Monument in Moscow” What? In his periods of sanity Napoleon did some rather good things but most of the time he was a tyrant and a dictator and a warmonger and in 1812 he invaded Russia and did unspeakable things to the Russian people who were unfortunate enough to be in his way as he marched his army to Moscow.  When he got there the Russian people burnt the city down and so with nowhere to stay for the winter he was obliged to march all the way back again during which his army did more unpleasant things to the Russian people.

I imagine that the chances of there being a memorial to Napoleon Bonaparte in Moscow are about just as likely as there will be a statue of Adolf Hitler.

Napoleon 2

Moving on now from history to science – “see through girls’ clothes” and once again if I had the answer to this one I would surely be a millionaire.  It reminded me of my post about X-Ray Specs which seemed to suggest all sorts of peeking opportunities but in fact never actually worked (or so I am told!)


For this  category  of search terms I have saved my favourite until last and this is it – things to do in Tossa de Marr Spain for clairvoyants”. Now, call me a sceptic if you like but if you can see into the future what on earth does a clairvoyant need with a website of advertised events – why don’t they just look in their crystal ball?

I have been to Tossa de Mar and I have to say that palm reader, soothsayer or clairvoyant that it is a very fine place to visit.

Tossa de Mar Costa Brava Postcard

One of my most successful posts is about the day I attended a Buckingham Palace Garden Party and I get lots of odd Google referrals about this one.  This year my favourite just has to be – “do I get expenses to attend royal garden party?”

Let me take a moment here to explain.  Just to be invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden party is a bit special in itself and believe me there is going to be a lot of expense involved – new suit, new outfit, overnight stay in London, taxi fares etc. and most people would gladly deal with this just to be part of the occasion so I have to say that expecting the Queen to pick up the bill sounds rather republican to me and whoever asked this should not have had an invite in the first place.

Cakes at Royal Garden Party

Next up, I really like this one –what did the captain wear on the Titanic?”

I visited Belfast recently and went to see the Titanic Exhibition and Museum.  It was a super place and I recommend anyone to go there and I think what I learned on that visit may just well help here.

Around the exhibition there are lots of pictures of Captain Smith in his White Star Line uniform so I am forced to conclude that except when he went to bed and most likely put on a pair of pyjamas that this was his favourite form of dress.  Another thing that I can be certain of is that Captain Smith didn’t wear a lifebelt because after the Titanic struck the iceberg he went down with his ship and drowned!

Edward Smith

To finish with this is probably my biggest ever favourite…

What was General Franco’s favourite food?

I am sure that this is a question that only his personal chef could realistically be expected to answer with any authority but my suggestions are…

  • Skewered Republicans
  • Roasted Liberals
  • BBQ’d Communists

Some time ago I tried to visit General Franco’s tomb but the Spanish don’t like Franco any more and it was closed at the time on account of the fact that it was being demolished.

When General Franco met Führer Adolf Hitler I can only assume that either they couldn’t agree on the menu or they were both on a diet…

Franco meets Hitler

Regardless of food, this has to be one of the most awkward historical meetings ever – just look at their faces!

Got any odd Google enquiries – please share!

32 responses to “Top Ten Dumbest Web Search Questions

  1. I don’t have any odd searches, but I do have this:

    Liked by 2 people

    • And this (I especially enjoyed the end):

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t get that link to work!


      • You might try a search (in other words, Google it) on your version of YouTube. I can imagine it being blocked, but I suppose — what will all the current talk of trade restrictions — that humor might fall into restricted content.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe Brittain automatically blocks anything that’s funny from being shown over there. Oh well.

        I could suggest using a VPN that uses servers specifically set up to circumvent country-specific content restrictions, but it’s probably not worth the effort.

        Suffice it to say that you missed out on hilarity.


      • Maybe we just block stuff that isn’t funny? British humour is the finest in the World!


      • Ha-ha-ha . . . now, that’s funny!

        . . . wait; you’re serious!?


      • Deadly. I struggle to think of a genuinely funny US comedian. I have come up with Bob Newhart and Jerry Lewis and I will let you have Bob Hope even though he was technically English which is where he would have got his sense of humour from.

        Being serious, it is a fact that we don’t appreciate each others different styles of humour. In UK we have the unique quality of being able to self mock and laugh at ourselves rather than others. Not many other people understand our brand of satire.


      • OK, seriously, now.

        Both Brittish comedians and comedy shows are and have been popular here, so that alone counters the idea of differences in humor.

        I don’t follow Brittish television statistics, but I thought there have been Us shows that are popular in England. For instance, I thought The Big Bang was one.

        Now, as for humor in general, I think humans differ not so much in what they find funny but on the delivery. That’s where, perhaps, one can hang the hat of culture. I’ve watched some British comedies where the joke is understood if one understands certain things about the culture and is in the know as far as certain expressions and their associated meanings. Again, not that it’s that different, but it’s presented with a different context. Same here in the US.

        I’ll even grant you that few comedy shows currently on American television make me laugh, but now we’re talking age. I’m older, and the target audience for most shows is the 25-45 age group.

        We can speak to who’s funnier, but I think that – other than for purpose of needling each other – there’s not much to discuss.

        For me, the joke has to be clever.


  2. Some very nice Q&A’s you got here Andrew. Enjoyable read


  3. Apparently, volcanic dust is like abrasive talcum powder and if you get it into a jet engine it stops more or less immediately. That was why all flying was stopped because of the Icelandic eruption a few years ago.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I don’t have anything as interesting or weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard there are no stupid questions, but clearly this is not the case.


  6. Here’s a couple from my blog, Andrew

    How big does an inflatable sausage get?
    Is baby oil really made of body parts?

    I get a lot, as well, as to why women sit to the right of a man, but some of the way the questions are put are real classics and do make you wonder if the person asking the question had been drinking before they asked Google.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, better to ask a question and appear stupid for a moment, unless Andrew happens to spot it, put it on his blog and we can snicker at it for ages!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So funny! Mine are totally mundane.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post Andrew. Having never had a link likr that must prove something but I’m not sure what!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well that was fun, Andrew. Now I know where to turn with my weird questions. Must admit, I got a bit hung up on the air-brushing section, however. No thanks. 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I very much love British comedy and prefer it to what is considered funny over here. One of my favorites is “As Time Goes By” with Judy Dench. Our PBS (Public Broadcasting Station) used to run many of your sitcoms daily. I tried to catch them when I could.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post. Amazed about General Ignorance as QI call it. I once went on train from Germany to Stockholm by train and there were England football fans on board who asked – “do we go over the sea then?Really!?”

    Liked by 1 person

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