Off topic: Examination howlers
Thread poster: Narasimhan Raghavan

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
English to Tamil
+ ...
Jan 17, 2004

Here you'll find a selection of "howlers" from various examinations in which the students' knowledge was somewhat questionable! What makes them so funny is that they were written in all seriousness.

In some rocks we find the fossil footprints of fishes.
Many dead animals of the past changed to fossils while others preferred to be oil.
Sir Isaac Newton invented gravity.
Mare Curie did her research at the Sore Buns Institute in France.
The largest mammals are to be found in the sea because there is nowhere else to put them.
Involuntary muscles are not as willing as voluntary ones.
Methane, a greenhouse gas, comes from the burning of trees and cows.
The spinal column is a long bunch of bones. The head sits on the top and you sit on the bottom.
Water is melted steam.
Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.
The leopard has black spots which look like round soars on its body. Those who catch soars get leprosy.
A cuckoo does not lay its own eggs.
To remove air from a flask, fill the flask with water, tip the water out and put the cork in, quick.
The three cavities of the body are the head cavity, the tooth cavity and the abominable cavity.
Most books say the sun is a star. But it still knows how to change back into the sun in the daytime.
The cause of dew is through the earth revolving on its own axis and perspiring freely.
Hot lather comes from volcanoes, when it cools it turns into rocks.
The earth makes a resolution every 24 hours.
Parallel lines never meet unless you bend one or both of them.
A right angle is 90 degrees Farenhight.
Genetics explains why you look like your father and if you don't, why you should.
A supersaturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold.
The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects.
An example of animal breeding is the farmer who mated a bull that gave a great deal of milk with a bull with good meat.
If conditions are not favourable, bacteria go into a period of adolescence.
Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.
When oxygen is combined with anything, heat is given off. This is known as constipation.
As the rain forests in the Amazon are shrinking, so are the Indians.
The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to.
You can listen to thunder after lightning and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don't hear it, you got hit so never mind.
When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire.
H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water
When you smell an oderless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide
Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars.
Blood flows down one leg and up the other.
The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader.
Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire.
The body consists of three parts- the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowls, of which there are five - a, e, i, o, and u.
The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana.
The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.
A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is.
Equator: A managerie lion running around the Earth through Africa.
Germinate: To become a naturalized German.
Planet: A body of Earth surrounded by sky.
Vacumm: A large, empty space where the pope lives.
To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose.
For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower then the body until the heart stops.
For fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above the hand instead. Or put the head between the knees of the nearest medical doctor.
For dog bite: put the dog away for sevral days. If he has not recovered, then kill it.
For asphyxiation: Apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead.
For head cold: use an agonizer to spray the nose untill it drops in your throat.
To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow.
Enjoy a happy week-end!


Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:38
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Another one for the collection Jan 17, 2004

Thanks for those, Narasimhan.

One of my husband's students gave a well thought out answer to this question: "why is it better to put 2 holes in the top of the can of condensed milk before pouring?"

Answer: what goes in as air comes out as milk (why bother going shopping I ask myself)


Peter Webb
Local time: 19:38
German to English
Great entertainment! Jan 18, 2004

These are priceless, aren't they? Thanks for including them!


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:38
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Some of these are very old Jan 18, 2004

I remember hearing the one about the Equator being "a menagerie lion running round the Earth" when I was at school, and that's over 60 years ago!

At that school, the library contained bound volumes of the humorous magazine "Punch" back to about 1875. I often looked at them and found jokes which were still being used in the comics of the day (1940s) or on the radio.


Dorota Cooper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:38
English to Polish
+ ...
howlers Jan 18, 2004

My mother, who is also a member of this site and an English teacher, had a student a few years ago who came up with a whole new English language. As I helped my mother check all her students' tests, I came across many hilarious sentences, of which one still is my personal best. The students were supposed to transform the following sentence into the passive voice:

"Will Charles water the plants?"

The result was somewhat surprising:

"The plants has ben water by Will Charles." (original spelling... It was rather hard to forget)


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