Trivia

Hard

Who Invented The Countdown?

A Filmmaker
A Boy Scout
A DJ
A Rocket Scientist

Answer: A Filmmaker

It would be easy to assume that the countdown came in with the space race or perhaps the tradition of dropping the New Year’s Eve Ball in Times Square, but we have a movie maker to thank for introducing the world to the countdown.

In his 1929 work Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon)—one of the first sci-fi films—filmmaker Fritz Lang wanted to add a little extra suspense to the rocket launch sequence in the movie. Rather than count from one to ten seconds to mark the launch of the rocket, he used a reverse count—the countdown—to move from ten seconds down to one. The simple reversal proved to be a hit and soon the reverse countdown was in use for everything from actual rocket tests to radio publicity events.

What’s particularly interesting about the film is that it not only introduced the countdown but, due to how closely Lang consulted with actual scientists while producing the film, it proved very prescient. Many of the features that would appear in actual spacecraft made an appearance in his work. The rocket in the film had multiple stages, for example, and the rocket interior had foot straps for the astronauts to hook their feet into to avoid floating around.

Trivia

Hard

Iconic Trivia Column “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” Began Life As?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Heavily Forested Country On Earth Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Is Considered To Have Defined The Genre Of Real Time Strategy Game?

Trivia

Hard

Many Of John Hughes’ Films Take Place In The Shared Imaginary Town Of?

Trivia

Easy

The Rules Governing Civil Discourse Online Are Known As What?

Trivia

Hard

The Web Site For Which 1996 Movie Has Remained Online And Untouched?

Trivia

Very Hard

The First Automotive Assembly Line Was Created By?

Trivia

Hard

Which Browser Was The Default For Mac OS In The Late 1990s?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Planet In Our Solar System With An Indeterminate Number Of Moons Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Game Company Produced, But Never Released, A VR Headset In The 1990s?