1256: Questions

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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To whoever typed 'why is arwen dying': GOOD. FUCKING. QUESTION.
Title text: To whoever typed 'why is arwen dying': GOOD. FUCKING. QUESTION.

  • A larger version of the picture can be found here.


Google, a rather popular internet search engine,[citation needed] has a feature known as autocomplete that guesses at search queries before they are fully typed out. These guesses are generally made based on popular searches by other people. From time to time, a particularly strange or hilarious one may be found, as is evidenced in this comic.

The largest pictured questions are: "Why are there slaves in the bible" and "Why are there ants in my laptop".

All of the questions in the comic are "why" questions, so many of them are predicated on false assumptions, such as "Why are there pyramids on the moon". Originally, all these questions and many more (33,171 in total) could be found at http://xkcd.com/why.txt (archived version).

There are many reasons Randall may have chosen to highlight so many disparate questions without answers. Some questions have simple answers, some are difficult, some have many different potential answers, but all of them show humans seeking knowledge. There are no stupid questions.

Title text

The title text is a reference to the Peter Jackson films of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where Arwen becomes sickly for unspecified reasons as the plot advances, apparently giving Aragorn a more personal reason to fight. The only explanation given is by Elrond, who says "As Sauron's power grows, her [Arwen's] strength wanes." This subplot is entirely absent from the original novels.

From IMDB:
Arwen, like her father (and brothers) is considered to be a Half-Elf, the result of a union between an Elf and a mortal human. The Half-Elven of Middle-earth get a choice, to remain immortal and return to the West (Valinor) or to become mortal and to die as humans do. Elrond chose to remain an Elf. Arwen (like her uncle Elros) chooses to become mortal in order to wed and remain with Aragorn. Elrond senses this; this is what he means when he says that Arwen is dying. It is the same as in The Last Unicorn, when the unicorn is given the form of a human woman and can feel that she is no longer immortal ("I can feel this body dying all around me"). According to Tolkien, though, after Aragorn dies in the year 120 (Fourth Age), Arwen returns to Lórien, where she dies by choice the following winter.

Selected answers

The tables below have been created so as to split the comic into almost entirely arbitrary blocks, which have then been identified with similarly arbitrary numbers. As a general rule, section numbers work top to bottom, then right to left. A Reddit user has also answered all the questions.

Illustrated Panels

Question Possible answer
Why aren't my arms growing? Arms stop growing because longer arms would not be a very useful way to spend resources. Human DNA has programmed the body to gradually ossify (turn to bone) the growing arms and legs, closing the epiphyseal plate (the flat plate at the end of each long bone), at which point they stop growing. Alternately, the muscles of the arm, which may have been the intended subject of the question, may fail to grow if not exercised with appropriate resistance, repetition or frequency; if nutrition is insufficient; if insufficient recovery time is given; or if sufficient levels of certain hormones like growth hormone or testosterone are not present.
Why are there ghosts? There is no hard evidence of ghosts. The reason you are seeing ghosts could be pareidolia or some cognitive bias.
Why are there squirrels? Squirrels are the product of a long sequence of evolution, like any other animal. They persist because they effectively reproduce and compete for resources within their niche, but they are also the product of many circumstantial events that has led to them being the way they are.
Why is sex so important? Sex is important biologically because it is the primary method of reproduction in many different species. It is important culturally because it causes hard-to-control urges that affect behaviour, plays an important role in human relationships, and serves as a key form of reproductive labor. However, it can be of varying importance to different people (see asexuality).
Why aren't there guns in Harry Potter? In the Harry Potter universe guns do exist and are mentioned at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when the news gives a warning that Sirius Black has one. Muggle technology (human inventions) are often looked down on by wizards - the majority of half-blooded wizards won't touch one, let alone a wizard extremist like Voldemort. Not only does any Muggle device more complex than a wristwatch interfere with magical artifacts, but wands are usually more versatile than most guns; a revolver can't shoot lightning, summon items or teleport its user. Finally, while Harry himself may or may not consider using firearms due to his Muggle upbringing, Harry Potter is set in the United Kingdom (which has stricter gun laws than, say, the United States).

Section One

Question Possible answer
Why do whales jump? Partly to get air, partly because it's an effective way to catch prey near the surface, and partly because they just seem to find it fun - it's like going into outer space![actual citation needed]
Why are witches green? See The Wizard of Oz. The Wicked Witch' green skin looked really good in the film's Technicolor.
Why are there mirrors above beds? Often, these are used by couples to view themselves during sex.
Why do I say Uh? See Why do we say 'um', 'er', or 'ah' when we hesitate in speaking?.
Why is sea salt better? The question likely refers to the difference between common Fortified table salt and usually more expensive sea salt. While a major part of both of these is sodium chloride (NaCl) the idea behind the claim is the different composition mostly in regard to trace elements of sea salt compared to "normal" salt. Table salt's composition is often influenced by a country's health department and thus addition of trace elements is regulated. While these regulations are based on scientific studies there remain to be debates concerning the additions, such as iodine.
Why are there trees in the middle of fields? Many images of fields contain singular trees in the middle of them. While there exist such trees it is likely an artistic choice to give a more pleasing or aesthetically satisfying image compared to just a field. In modern agriculture those would in fact be quite troublesome since they are a hindrance to large machines used and a new tree would be unlikely to grow in a constantly worked field, although they can be useful in fields for grazing animals, since they provide shade. Before mechanized agriculture, such trees would also be planted to give the workers a place rest in the shade without having to go all the way back from a large field.
Why is there not a Pokémon MMO? Pokémon is a popular franchise, spanning game consoles, anime series, a trading card game, and many other things. Among fans, it is a frequent topic of discussion why a Pokémon massively multiplayer online game has not been officially announced by the series' developers Game Freak, as they often predict that such a game would be extremely popular and bring in massive revenue for the company. However, if Game Freak were to develop a Pokémon MMO the MMOs would be strong competition against the console games and therefore reducing the Pokémon demographic significantly. The mobile app Pokémon Go has since partly filled the MMO niche, with multiplayer interactivity through item drops and fighting at gyms.
Why is there laughing in TV shows? Sitcoms were once filmed with an audience, so the actors could respond to their reactions. That's the historical reason there were laughs in TV shows. The tradition continues, with the difference that now the laughter mostly comes from recorded tapes. See Laugh track.
Why are there doors on the freeway? Highway/freeway noise barriers sometimes have doors in them to allow workers access to both sides of the barrier. They also serve as emergency exits in case of large traffic collisions (which can cause fire and smoke), for people to leave on foot.
Why are there so many svchost.exe running? See svchost.exe.
Why aren't there any countries in Antarctica? Antarctica is the southernmost continent and is by large covered in ice and in general pretty cold. While it is a regular target of tourists and researchers it also lacks native human inhabitants. At the moment, the territorial claims concerning Antarctica are mostly handled via the Antarctic Treaty System. In short there are a few countries who claim certain parts of the continent as their own in theory but so far it is considered neutral territory and most maps don't concern themselves with displaying the (in some regards disputed) territorial claims because they do not matter at this point in time. If there are ever any worthwhile resources discovered, this might change.
Why are there scary sounds in Minecraft? To add atmosphere and to give players hints when there is a dark cave nearby. See Ambience Minecraft Wiki.
Why is there kicking in my stomach? See Feeling Your Baby Kick. Here, stomach means abdomen.
Why are there two slashes after http? See Sir Tim Berners-Lee admits the forward slashes in every web address 'were a mistake'.
Why are there celebrities? There are certain people who are more respected and well-known than other people, whether it be because of their acting career, major advancements to science, or a sex tape.
Why do snakes exist? The question is rather general and likely based on a widespread dislike for the reptilians. Be it due to their appearance, their spread, or the danger a few snakes pose to humans (often due to being venomous) many people have a dislike for snakes and would prefer them to not exist (similar to spiders).

In regard to "why do snakes exist on earth?": Because evolution. Snakes fill a gap in the ecosystem as predators and hunt different species, including vermin. Snakes are in that regard similar to many other predatory animals. The question on why snakes developed with their distinct streamlined shape is still debated but likely it either provided an advantage when burrowing or swimming.

Why do oysters have pearls? From Wikipedia:
Pearls are formed inside the shell of certain mollusks as a defense mechanism against a potentially threatening irritant such as a parasite inside the shell, or an attack from outside, injuring the mantle tissue. The mollusk creates a pearl sac to seal off the irritation. Pearls are commonly viewed by scientists as a by-product of an adaptive immune system-like function.
Why are ducks called ducks? See Duck#Etymology. According to Wiktionary, the noun duck can be traced back to the Proto-Germanic word dūkaną ("to dive, bend down"), and, in turn, the Proto-Indo-European dʰewb- ("deep, hollow"), which is the origin of the verb to duck. The link between the noun and the verb comes from ducks' tendency to dive under water for short periods of time.
Why do they call it the clap? Paris' medieval Red Light district was called "les clapiers" (the rabbit cages), therefore people were getting gonorrhea there
Why are Kyle and Cartman friends? The question relates to the TV show South Park. Both are children living in the small titular town in Colorado. Cartman is widely accepted to a be very bad person, one of his many character flaws being his antisemitism. Kyle on the other hand is a Jew. However, both, along with two other kids, Stan and Kenny, are the core focus of the show (or used to be) and to some extents are considered to be friends. While there are episodes which show Cartman being not entirely a horrible person and him holding Kyle in a position of at least a worthy adversary, most of the time the question should be "Why is anyone friends with Cartman?" However, they most likely remain "friends" because they are in the same class at school and are therefore "forced" to be around one another.
Why is there an arrow on Aang's head? Aang is the main character of the TV series Avatar - The Last Airbender and features as part of a large body spanning tattoo an arrow on his head. These tattoos are made to replicate the markings of one of the shows fictional animals, the air bison which are regarded as the original air benders. They are given to human air benders once they attain the status of masters. Because Aang acquired this status very early in life he was already tattooed accordingly.
Why are text messages blue? This likely refers to iMessage chat being blue. These messages are blue when sending a message to another apple device. When sent as an SMS message, they will be green.
Why are there mustaches on clothes? Because some people buy them. Mustaches, especially handlebar-style mustaches, were a popular fad at the time of this comic.
Why are there mustaches on cars? Fuzzy pink mustaches are used to designate cars in the Lyft service.
Why are there mustaches everywhere? See Movember
Why are there so many birds in Ohio? There are an estimated 400 bird species in Ohio, but there are 2.74 nesting pairs per acre.
Why is there so much rain in Ohio? Lake-effect rain develops in the same manner as lake-effect snow.
Why is Ohio weather so weird? See Lake-effect snow.

Section Two

Question Possible answer
Why are there male and female bikes? From Wikipedia:
Historically, women's bicycle frames had a top tube that connected in the middle of the seat tube instead of the top, resulting in a lower standover height at the expense of compromised structural integrity, since this places a strong bending load in the seat tube, and bicycle frame members are typically weak in bending. This design, referred to as a step-through frame or as an open frame, allows the rider to mount and dismount in a dignified way while wearing a skirt or dress.
Why are there bridesmaids? See Bridesmaid#Origin and history.
Why do dying people reach up? In many works of fiction dying people are regarded with an outstretched arm, grasping for unseen objects towards the sky. In all likelihood this originates in the idea of heaven as the place where (good) people go after death. People "reach for the light" which is seen when dying according to similar beliefs or possibly for already dead relatives or other associated people waiting for them. An alternative hypothesis is that they want to hug/touch their loved ones one last time.
Why aren't there varicose arteries? Blood moves through veins due to irregular pressure from skeletal muscles combined with valves to control direction. In varicose veins these valves malfunction affecting blood flow. In arteries blood flow is produced directly from pressure caused by the heart.
Why are old Klingons different? From Wikipedia:
For Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), the Klingons were retconned, and their appearance and behavior radically changed. To give the aliens a more sophisticated and threatening demeanor, the Klingons were depicted with ridged foreheads, snagged and prominent teeth, and a defined language and alphabet. Lee Cole, a production designer, used red gels and primitive shapes in the design of Klingon consoles and ship interiors, which took on a dark and moody atmosphere. The alphabet was designed as angular, with sharp edges harkening to the Klingon's militaristic focus.[5] Costume designer Robert Fletcher created new uniforms for the Klingons, reminiscent of feudal Japanese armor.

Additionally, there is an in-universe explanation: A Klingon augment virus was deployed to make enhanced warriors, but accidentally made weaker Klingons with human-like features. These afflicted Klingons were the ones seen in the original series.

Why is programming so hard? Programming is the art of writing instructions for a computer to do. Since the computer has a limited set of instructions for you to use it involves a new way of thinking for many. It is also hard because the computer itself is not smart or adaptable to unexpected problems. For instance, when humans are told to sort books in a shelf, they can do that even if there are things in the way (simply moving them to the side). A computer will generally just crash if it doesn't have instructions on how to deal with the unexpected problem.
Why is there a 0 Ohm resistor? A resistor is usually designed to create a certain resistance, measured in Ohm in an electronic device. A 0 Ohm resistor seems pointless as it would only provide the same resistance as a normal cable. However, a 0 Ohm resister works as an easy way to connect two points of a circuit board utilizing the same machines used to place other resisters. Wikipedia's Zero-ohm link article gives a good explanation.
Why do Americans hate soccer? Soccer, or (association) football in British English, is rather unpopular in the USA compared to most other regions of the world. Finding a particular reason behind the (dis)like for certain sports, apart from cultural spread, is difficult. One possible explanation is soccer's tendency to have far fewer points scored in an average game and a higher likelihood of draws compared to such things as American Football, basketball or baseball, which are far more popular. In how far this is a legitimate argument for regarding soccer as "less interesting" is up to debate.

This assumption that Americans dislike soccer is also somewhat dated; the national Womens' team is the most successful in the world, having won 4 FIFA Women's World Cups and consistently encouraging more youngsters to take up the sport. Unfortunately, when it comes to the professional game, the National Soccer League still has a long way to go to catch up with the dominance and name recognition of the NFL (American football) (due primarily to the spectacle of the Super Bowl), the MLB (baseball) (partly credited to the dominance of the New York Yankees and the pageantry of the World Series), and the NBA (basketball), due to the makeup of the American professional sports industry during its golden years in the 1970s & 80s.

Why do rhymes sound good? The brain enjoys repetition, especially in music.
Why do trees die? Some common reasons include lack of water, lack of nitrogen in the soil, soil, root and wind damage, and being chopped down.
Why is there no sound on CNN? Some stations broadcast a second audio program, an alternative soundtrack that your TV can be configured to use instead of the primary program. This is intended to be used for broadcasting in an alternate language, or for Descriptive Video Service to make a program accessible to the visually impaired. Many programs that don't actually use SAP will still broadcast an SAP that is identical to the primary program; however, this is not required. If your TV is configured to use SAP and a particular channel isn't broadcasting SAP at that time, there won't be any sound.
Why aren't Pokémon real? Pokémon are fantasized creatures that were designed to produce an interesting battle mechanic in a game. Some of the Pokémons abilities would be impossible on earth as we know it. For instance, Magcargo is hotter than the surface of the sun.
Why aren't bullets sharp? See Terminal ballistics.
Why do dreams seem so real? Most dreams occur during a stage known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement). During REM, your brain is highly active, and its wave pattern is the same as the wave patterns in a person who is awake. It should be noted that dreams can occur during other stages of sleep but most dreams that are vivid occur during the REM stage.

Section Three

Question Possible answer
Why do testicles move? The scrotum shrinks and expands to account for temperature changes.
Why are there psychics? A Psychic is a supposed user of anomalous powers. Studies have classified psychic powers as pseudoscience. The existence of psychics appears to be as an economic incentive.
Why are hats so expensive? Hats can be expensive depending on the quality of material, size, location, and demand. A probable answer is that hats are simply difficult to make, causing high prices. Another likely cause is the fact that hats are not widely worn in much of the western world and people who do wear them often have far fewer than they have, for example, shirts, meaning that manufacturers cannot get the same economies of scale in production and distribution.
Why is there caffeine in my shampoo? Because the producers want you to believe that caffeine penetrates the hair roots and thereby somehow protects it from negative testosterone impacts and from premature hair loss.
Why do your boobs hurt? Common reasons are a badly fitted bra, breast growth, or PMS. It could also be a hormone imbalance, breastfeeding, large or awkwardly shaped breasts or a serious condition such as breast cancer.

Section Four

Question Possible answer
Why aren't economists rich? Economists study how society organizes resources but, contrary to the popular misconception, don't focus much on the short-term behavior of the stock market (a system that is still poorly understood). In order to become rich, in most cases one has to own a commodity that produces more wealth, such as a large company, or be related to somebody who has done so. In rare cases, a particularly lucky individual could become rich by having an unusually high paying job, such as a famous actor or sports star. Neither of these situations are likely for someone studying the field of economics. Some economists do get very rich as strategists for banks and businesses, but most are just academics and analysts.
Why do Americans call it soccer? Association football is called "soccer" ("association" + "-er") in US English because American Football is the more popular version there. Of note is that the word "soccer" originates on British soil, to distinguish it from Rugby football aka "rugger".
Why are my ears ringing? Tinnitus, or ringing of the ears, can result from stress, foreign objects in the ear, hearing damage, wax build up, or any other number of causes.
Why are there so many Avengers? The number of Avengers has varied greatly over the years and decades, each time with its own justification for why they need to work together, but the simplest answer is money. Cross-branding and cross-merchandising is successful to the brand and brings in new readers, plus creates a new franchise to profit from.
Why are the Avengers fighting the X Men Avengers vs. X-Men was a 2012 Marvel crossover event that, like many other recent comic book events, had heroes fight other heroes. In this case, the Avengers and the X-Men fought over the Phoenix Force, a godlike power that often possesses Jean Grey or her descendants (in this case, her alternate universe daughter Hope Summers). The Avengers believed the Phoenix Force is too powerful for humanity to control and wanted to contain it, while the X-Men believed the Phoenix was the messiah for mutants and could fix all of the Earth's problems.
Why is Wolverine not in the Avengers Wolverine has been an Avenger, in some circumstances. e.g. in the The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon series, the episode New Avengers had Wolverine (along with Spider-man, War Machine, The Thing and Luke Cage and Iron Fist) substitute while the 'original' Avengers were unavailable to deal with the current crisis (which of course included the fate of the 'proper' Avengers). However, in general his anti-authority personality makes him a difficult team-member to field, and he has frequently disassociated himself even from the X-Men. But, in Avengers vs. X-Men (see above) Wolverine sided with The Avengers, and more modern treatments have even included the character in about as much a permanent a membership of the group as Logan is ever likely to have.

But if the question is about why Wolverine didn't appear in The Avengers, the answer is that The Avengers is being produced by Marvel/Disney, while Fox still has the rights to the X-Men and all Marvel mutants in general. Unless there is studio agreement, the two properties cannot cross, except through complicated machinations. For example, there are plans to bring Avengers mainstays Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch to both the Avengers and X-Men franchises, but only the Fox films have the right to call them the children of Magneto, and Marvel/Disney cannot even identify them on-screen as "mutants".

Section Five

Question Possible answer
Why are there ants in my laptop? Ants usually come in your laptop when there are little crumbs of food. It is advised to get screen protectors.
Why is Earth tilted? The Earth's axial "tilt", wherein its axis of rotation is not perpendicular it its orbit, is a result of conservation of momentum when the Earth was formed, because not everything orbits in the same way. This is pure happenstance.
Why is space black? What we call black is the absence of light. Space is mostly empty, and although there are many stars, the light from most of these stars hasn't reached us yet. In addition, a lot of light has been stretched by redshift so it's no longer visible to us. See Olbers' paradox
Why is outer space so cold? It's hard to actually define a temperature for space - it's empty, so there's nothing to measure. However, most of space has very little radiation hitting it, so a person won't receive any energy, but will still radiate some away, resulting in a net loss of energy, colloquially "heat." Around the Earth, objects in direct sunlight will actually get very hot. In deep space, there is almost no warming radiation.
Why are there pyramids on the moon? There are no pyramids on the moon. However, the appearance of mountains and some craters on the moon have fooled some into believing there are pyramids on the moon, but these claims are false.
Why is NASA shutting down? NASA isn't shutting down. This question might have something to do with the United States federal government shutdown of 2013 or perhaps due to the Space Shuttle program ending in 2011, but that is not the entirety of NASA.

Section Six

Question Possible answer
Why are there tiny spiders in my house? During autumn in particular male spiders reaching maturing will set off to find a mate. By chance they may end up in your house. When encountering spiders in large numbers, it is more likely that they are young from the same female spider. Females lay up to 3,000 eggs at a time. These questions also play off of Munroe's longstanding fear of spiders, especially the red spiders mentioned in several early comics.
Why do spiders come inside?
Why are there huge spiders in my house?
Why are there lots of spiders in my house?
Why are there spiders in my room?
Why are there so many spiders in my room?
Why do spider bites itch? This mostly happens as an immune response to histamines under the skin which are injected through saliva.
Why is dying so scary? Part of human nature is the fear of the unknown, and death is the ultimate unknown because it is not knowable until it's experienced, and there is nobody to report what the result was. This leaves it open to speculation, and many major religions are based on preparing one's soul for death. Also, dying would leave loved ones' families with the responsibility of taking care of their remains and finances. And finally, most people don't want to die, living for as long as possible, possibly because the unknown is too unbearable to cope with. Several causes of death are known to inflict pain to the victim, and fear of pain is an instilled evolutionary safeguard for preventing harm to a sapient creature. Still though several people are not afraid of death and dying, and recognize life is short and to cherish each moment while we can. Death is inevitable, so we should not fear it. In addition, it would be evolutionarily advantageous for our ancestors to have feared and avoided death.
Why is there no GPS in laptops? It is possible for laptops to have a GPS, and some do. But there are design difficulties that have to be overcome including battery draining, room within the crowded device to place a receiver, WiFi can give a location just as well, and the product casing could interfere with its ability to functional normally and receive the signals necessary to operate as intended. Some Dell computers have these, but the privacy one needs to give up accepting the terms and conditions makes it unfavorable.
Why do knees click? Typical of other clicking and cracking of joints, this may be the sound of ligaments tightening. However, do not rely on a wiki to diagnose a medical condition. Consult a licensed physician.
Why aren't there E grades? E grades actually exist in some districts, but they are rare. In their long and bizarre history, E was originally used where F is today (E was the lowest grade), but in those systems, students often received E's for an "Excellent" grade, creating much confusion. F was used in place instead and E was eliminated from a standard grading scale.
Why is isolation bad? Isolation is when a person deliberately secludes themselves away from others, often far-removed from society. This can happen in locations as small as a city apartment and as large as the open woods. People evolved as social animals and it is generally held that those who isolate themselves suffer from depression or other forms of psychological imbalance. Of course, society can trigger many of these imbalances causing an individual to isolate themselves. Isolation is often seen as therapeutic so people can spend time with themselves constructively, often finding peace within themselves and through mediation. Monks and hermits generally live in solitude as well. Many people view a decision to be isolated as noble, and others as healthy. While general interaction is largely healthy, in the crowded modern world, isolation is neither good or bad; it depends on the person and what that isolation does to them.
Why do boys like me? Attraction comes in many forms: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, among others. Some people will lie about what they like about you to get something from you (money, sex, etc.), but most are genuine. It is not possible to assert definitively why one person may like another person, and that is something that needs to be discussed openly and honestly with them and nobody else.
Why don't boys like me? Similar to the answer above about what makes one desirable to another, there are an equal number of factors that make one unappealing. This can include everything from physical appearance to how one treats others. If a person is rude and unfriendly, most people find that not conducive to healthy relationship and avoid the person who is asking. Not being liked by someone you like however does not mean you're wrong or are a bad person and, in most cases, has to do with the person you are asking about.
Why is there always a Java update? Java is a software that runs on most computers and mobile devices that is crucial to its security and stability. The reason it always updates is because it needs to stay current with the ever-upgrading fleet of browsers, operating systems and software that supports Java. Additionally, Java updates itself so each version can run optimally. Software coding and debugging is a never-ending process towards perfectly stable releases.
Why are there red dots on my thighs? This might be Petechia, which are broken blood vessels, however, do not rely on a wiki to diagnose medical conditions. Consult a licensed physician.
Why is lying good? Lying and other forms of dishonesty is typically seen as bad because it lowers one's credibility and makes them less likely to be trusted in the future. It is almost always advantageous to tell the truth, as lies have a way of escalating as you need to keep expanding on the lie to cover your tracks. There are instances however where lying may be used in more noble circumstances. For example, if a friend asks your opinion on something they have made (such as a poem or painting) that you do not like, it is okay to tell them you like it because protecting their feelings and your relationship is more important than how you feel. Often military personnel are trained to keep national security secrets at all costs and will lie about what they know to save themselves and the country.

Section Seven

Question Possible answer
Why are there slaves in the bible? Slavery was viewed differently in the early years of human civilization before the contemporary moral and ethical conversations began centuries later. The Jewish legal system as presented in the bible justified slavery for a number of reasons, notably to pay off some sort of debt. Slaves were seen as property and their work provided value to the slave owner, but such a relationship was legally required to be temporary, and slaves had some basic human rights. Similarly, slave owners rationalized their ownership through scripture, pointing out that it was in the Bible and therefore okay with God — without wishing to go off on a tangent, if you have to rationalize your system of slavery then it's probably illegal under historic Jewish law.
Why do twins have different fingerprints? Fingerprints are not only from the DNA, but from the conditions in the womb which differ from child to child.
Why are Americans afraid of dragons? This question was the title of a 1974 essay by Ursula K. LeGeuin in which she makes a semiotic analysis of dragon mythology. She argues that our belief in dragons (and those outside of America as well) stems from childhood, much like other ferocious fictional creatures such as goblins and hobbits, but many hold onto these fears as a way of avoiding reality. In her closing argument, she writes, "They know that its truth challenges, even threatens, all that is false, all that is phony, unnecessary, and trivial in the life they have let themselves be forced into living. They are afraid of dragons, because they are afraid of freedom."
Why is HTTPS crossed out in red? The site accessed has an invalid SSL certificate. See Red Line Through HTTPS.
Why is there a line through HTTPS? The site accessed has an invalid SSL certificate.
Why is there a red line through HTTPS on Facebook? Facebook has an invalid SSL certificate.
Why is HTTPS important? For security reasons, as a site with HTTPS has encrypted traffic.

Section Eight

Question Possible answer
Why are there swarms of gnats? The reason gnats (and other creatures) tend to swarm together is likely a safety-in-numbers protection, and as a big gathering to find a mate.
Why is there phlegm? Phlegm is a thick, viscous fluid produced by the mucus membranes as a way to clear the airway and aids in the release of bacteria, disease and debris in those passages.
Why are there so many crows in Rochester, MN From a Minnesota Paper, the Star Tribune, "Laws prevent the city from poisoning the crows". "Duffy [ Steve Duffy, a co-owner of U.S. Bird Abatement Services, which has contracted with Rochester to get rid of the crows] isn't sure why Rochester has such a bad crow problem; probably a confluence of many bird-friendly conditions that has also made it a magnet for geese. He's seen worse cases but called Rochester's situation 'hideous.'" And best of all, "The city has twice this winter hired experts to chase them off. They tried lasers and bullhorns — hey, get out of here, you crows — and even employed raptors to pick them off, one by one. That worked, for awhile." Unfortunately, they mean a bird of prey, not a velociraptor.
Why is Psychic weak to Bug In Pokémon, Pokémon of the Psychic type like Alakazam are weak to three types of attacks: Ghost, Dark, and Bug. The general theory is that Psychic Pokémon, relying heavily on their thoughts for attacks, are weak to fears, which ghosts, darkness, and bugs can be classified as.
Why do children get cancer? Cancer is an aggressive and often fatal disease that has the potential to affect all humans as well as other organisms. There are multiple types of cancer, each with their own epidemiology, but children are not immune to succumbing to the horrific effects of the disease. Children are human beings[citation needed] and are subject to the same illnesses adults have, regardless of age, or their innocence. There is no divine or supernatural explanation for this. Simply put, life is a battle for all humans regardless of how small they are.
Why is Poseidon angry with Odysseus? Poseidon was the patron deity of the city of Troy, which after a 10-year siege by the Greeks fell due to Odysseus' strategem of the Trojan horse. As the Greeks were returning home after the Trojan War, Oddyseus' ship accidentally landed on the island home of the cyclops Polyphemus, who imprisoned the crew and ate many of them. In order to escape, Odysseus blinded the cyclops. Poseidon, Polyphemus' father, was extremely angered by his son being blinded, so he cursed Odysseus' ship to prevent him from reaching his home in Ithaca. The adventures which Odysseus encountered during his quest for reaching Ithaca are the main theme of Homer's Odyssey The Odyssey also says that before sailing, the crew forgot to offer a sacrifice as was ordained.
Why is there ice in space? Space is Cold. The background radiation, which is used to measure the temperature of space's vacuum, is estimated at about 3K (−270 °C; −454 °F). Water freezes at 273.15 K (0 °C; 32 °F). Because the temperature in space is less than the freezing point of water, liquids freeze in space, turning into ice.

Section Nine

Question Possible answer
Why is there an owl in my back yard? Owls can be seen all over the world and live in a wide variety of habitats. They are mainly nocturnal, and spend a large portion of the night hunting. The owl in your back yard is likely looking for food.
Why is there an owl outside my window? As with the question above, the owl is likely to be hunting for food.
Why is there an owl on the dollar bill? On the front of a dollar bill, near the upper right '1' is a tiny section of the design which can be seen to represent an owl. Conspiracy theorists will note that owls were symbolically linked to the Masons, while others will instead see a spider.
Why do owls attack people? While owls and human often live in close proximity without problems, as with other species, owls may attack if they feel threatened. When people irritate or otherwise make owls feel unsafe, they retaliate with violence to protect themselves.
Why are AK47s so expensive? The market value of an AK47 varies depending on where you live. With strict gun control laws, obtaining an AK47 in the UK is likely to be more expensive due to the risks involved for those supplying the weapon. In former Soviet republics and the Middle East, AK47s are more plentiful, and hence the price is likely to be lower.
Why are there helicopters circling my house? People living in high-crime areas will often hear helicopters circling, especially at night, when police use the helicopter's searchlight to locate and track suspects, or to light a crime scene. Those Googling this question might be wondering if a dangerous fugitive is nearby, or what else may be going on.

Potentially, the questioner may be hallucinating the helicopters or imagining themselves as the target due to paranoid schizophrenia, in which either a neurochemical imbalance or distorted thought patterns causes delusions of persecution. Alternately, this question may be a joke because it is so incongruous to the others in this section. The joke is that people would be Googling about owls attacking people and assault rifle prices, which could, ostensibly alert authorities to come to your house to arrest you.

Section Ten

Question Possible answer
Why are there gods? Gods and goddesses are part of mythology and folklore that are used to give spiritual guidance as well as explanations for phenomena that are yet unexplained by natural processes.
Why are there two Spocks? This is probably a reference to the 2009 Star Trek movie in which the franchise was given a continuity reboot. The modified setting is explained in-universe by time travel, with both the villain Nero and the original-timeline Spock being brought back from the 24th century to the 23rd, creating a timeline in which both older Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) and the younger Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) coexist.

Another possibility is that the question refers to the episode "Mirror, Mirror", which mostly takes place in an alternate universe populated by ruthless versions of most of the characters (including Spock).

Why is Mt Vesuvius there? The simple answer is that volcanoes are created by interactions where the Earth's tectonic plates meet. These conditions only exist in a few places on Earth.

The question could also be asking, "why is Mt Vesuvius near such a heavily populated area?" Humans have lived near Vesuvius throughout history, due to its pleasant climate, rich soil, and proximity to other major cities. The Italian government offers generous cash incentives to move people away from the danger zone, but finds few takers.

This question could also be a reference to mountaineer George Mallory's famous answer as to why he wanted to climb Mount Everest: "Because it's there."

Why do they say T minus? Time before the launch of a spacecraft is denoted as T minus because the launch has not happened yet. Any time after the launched is stated without the minus, for example T 3 seconds, so time before the launch can be seen as "minus" time. The T stands for "Test" or "Time".
Why are there obelisks? Obelisk article has more information.
Why are wrestlers always wet? Professional wrestling is strenuous activity, whether it's fake or not. Strenuous activity results in sweat, giving the bodyan appearance of being wet. Greco-Roman wrestling and Turkish Oil Wrestling both involve oiling the body, giving a similar appearance.
Why are oceans becoming more acidic? Due to the higher amount of carbon dioxide on the atmosphere, which dissolves in the oceans turning into carbonic acid - CO2+H2O=H2CO3 (see Ocean acidification)
Why is Arwen dying? Elves can die from grief.
Why aren't my quail laying eggs? Not enough sunlight/calcium, or they are egg bound (very serious)?
Why aren't my quail eggs hatching? Problems in incubation, or the eggs may not be fertilized.
Why aren't there any foreign military bases in America? Further information: United States military deployments

This is a very interesting question, albeit one likely based on a regional misunderstanding. Presumably, this question is asked by Americans who assume that the existence of U.S. military bases abroad is a general trend among countries, as opposed to being the rarity that it is. In fact, only a handful of other countries have military bases outside of their borders, and the three—France, the United Kingdom, and Russia—that have more than one or two are all countries that, like the United States, were on the winning side of World War II, have massive military expenditures, and have UN Security Council vetoes. In other words, only the most militarily elite countries have bases overseas. The U.S. is unique, however, in that it has far more overseas bases than any other country (and, pretty much, far more of anything else than any other country, when it comes to the military), and in that it has bases in several other highly-industrialized nations, including South Korea and the United Kingdom, and, most notably, the World War II Axis powers: Germany, Japan, and Italy. France, Russia, and the U.K.'s bases, on the other hand, are almost all within areas that they previously controlled.

These bases can be controversial in some countries, while in others they are a major source of economic and political stability. The U.S. traditionally justifies their presence as a necessary and crucial element in its efforts to promote peace domestically and worldwide. Despite their major role in U.S. foreign policy, and in the general political structure of the globe, the American public often largely ignores them, and they rarely become a major political issue (apart from an occasional mention by Libertarian presidential candidates).

So, essentially, the absence of foreign military bases within the U.S. is primarily because there aren't really any other countries in a position to place bases there. Ironically, although no battles in the traditional sense have been fought within the U.S. since the U.S. Civil War and the U.S. mainland has seen almost no military action, foreign air bases might have been useful on September 11, 2001. (The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was 18 years before Hawaii became a U.S. state, but Hawaii was still a fundamental part of the United States as it was an incorporated territory.)

There are, however, foreign troops stationed at some continental US military bases. For example, RAF (British Royal Air ) 39 Sqn and 361 Sqn at Creech Air Base in Nevada flying Reaper and Predator drones. But these are not foreign military bases, they are just guests.

Section Eleven

Question Possible answer
Why are my boobs itchy? It could be anything from dry skin to a rare life-threatening disease. Could also be related to pregnancy, PMS, or puberty. Here's a thorough list of possible causes and remedies.
Why are cigarettes legal? Despite the obvious detrimental effects nicotine has on health, it is, like caffeine and alcohol, more profitable to regulate than to ban, and is also subject to intense lobbying by tobacco companies to keep it legal. Substances like cocaine and other drugs are mainly illegal because of government attitudes disapproving of recreational drug use coupled with there being no powerful preexisting corporate lobby with a stake in making or keeping these drugs legal, and also, with some drugs (in the US, at least), due to more than a bit of racism (against Mexicans with regard to marijuana, or against Chinese for opium). Nicotine, however, which is the key ingredient in tobacco, is regulated and heavily taxed, bringing income for the government. This is one of the major arguments for legalizing other, currently-illegal drugs, at least the "softer" ones like marijuana, as, if they're legalized, they can be taxed and bring the government more money, and the government can provide an incentive for producers and sellers to keep their product safe and high-quality (by punishing those who mislabel their drugs or cut them with dangerous substances, while letting producers and sellers of safe, high-quality drugs operate without fear of arrest or prosecution).
Why are there ducks in my pool? Most likely, they're looking for a place to mate. Which means you'll soon have baby ducks in your pool. Most migratory birds are protected by wildlife laws, so you want to prevent them from moving into your pool in the first place. The DFW Wildlife Coalition has some tips.
Why is Jesus white? This is an ethnocentric viewpoint that varies throughout cultures. In African cultures he is portrayed as black. In short, whatever culture he is introduced to, those inhabitants will have him fit their own image.
Why is there liquid in my ear? It's called otorrhea, and can be caused by infection, trauma, or changes in pressure. A common cause is Swimmer's ear, an infection of the outer ear canal. More seriously, it could be Cerebrospinal fluid. This can end up in your ears due to a puncture in the skull's membrane, often due to a collision/concussion. This is a very serious condition. Again, do not take (too much) medical advice from wiki.
Why do Q tips feel good? The inner ear contains erectile tissue (as does your inner nose which is why sneezing feels good) so you are massaging tissue which gets aroused upon stimulation.
Why do good people die? Everybody dies, no matter how good or bad they were. But sometimes if people are really bad, they are made to die sooner. (But loved ones and ones who were known to make memorable or valuable contributions are mourned and revered more than a person who has left much pain to others as their legacy; we remember the good ones and so it hurts more.)
Why are ultrasounds important? Ultrasound scans provide a great deal of information about a fetus, thus increasing the chances of a healthy birth. They have many other medical uses.
Why are ultrasound machines expensive? As hospital equipment goes, ultrasound machines are actually a bargain. A new ultrasound machine costs about $20,000-$75,000, depending on features. Comparable devices are much more expensive: The CT scanner runs $90,000-$250,000, while the MRI machine easily goes over a million.
Why is stealing wrong? Stealing is theft, and it is illegal. Taking something that is not yours without permission or payment hurts the livelihood of other individuals as well as damages their trust in others.

Vertical Questions

Question Possible answer
Why is there hell if god forgives? There is not a single answer to this question. The answer varies based on the religion and that religion's sect mixed with personal interpretations of that religions scripture and how a person decides to follow it. However, the idea of what Hell will be like also varies. There is no one answer to this question, but the easiest explanation is that the individual did not pray hard enough, correctly, was not part of the right religion, and their forgiveness was contingent on something that the person either did not do or know to do (or say or think).
Why do iguanas die? All living things die[citation needed], but iguanas may suffer from kidney failure.
Why is GPS free? GPS was originally developed by the U.S. military for its own use, not for commercial purposes. However, the government realized that free GPS would have a significant bonus for the economy and would prevent disasters like the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 where a plane was shot down after accidentally entering Soviet airspace, and in 1983 President Reagan declared that the US would make GPS available to all. At one point, "selective availability" was used to degrade performance for civilian users, but since 2000 this has also been switched off.
Why are trees tall? Tall is a relative term, and Redwoods are famous for their height - among the tallest in the world. The reason for this is, in part climate, fog, rain, good soil, few predators, among others.
Why are there female Mr. Mimes? Mr. Mime is a Pokémon introduced in the first generation of the games, and despite its name, it can be either of a male or female gender. As the Pokémon was introduced before the concept of gender in Pokémon games, it is likely that the people in charge of translating its Japanese name (Barrierd) did not take this into account during the process.
Why is there lava? Lava is magma (molten rock) which is at the Earth's surface. Magma in the Earth comes from the melting of rock due to rising heat from deeper within the planet. This heat is about half radiogenic and half primordial (left over from the formation and differentiation of the Earth). Most of the crust and mantle of the Earth is solid rock, but in places (usually controlled by plate tectonics, but not always) where the heat is high enough the minerals with lowest melting point start to melt and then migrate upwards towards the surface. This melt collects in magma chambers, in which the magma may start to cool and crystallize. Sometimes it will crystallize completely, becoming an underground solid body called a pluton. Other times melt will keep migrating upwards until it reaches the surface and erupts as lava, forming a volcano or undersea vent.
Why is YKK on all zippers? YKK Group is the name of a large group of Japanese manufacturing companies, which among other things manufacture a lot of zippers. YKK zippers are also considered to be some of the best available, so a clothing maker including a YKK zipper would likely leave the YKK name on, instead of getting no branding or rebranding them.
Why is life so boring? It is up to an individual to find meaning and interest in life. Monotony, predictability, and lack of physical and intellectual stimulation would lead to a feeling of boredom.
Why aren't there dinosaur ghosts? Ghosts are a supernatural phenomenon that have not been empirically proven to exist. Those who believe in ghosts implicitly believe in a soul (of which a ghost is a materialization of), and it is a commonly held belief by religious institutions and ghost-hunters that animals do not have souls and thus dinosaurs would not have any either.
Why is there no king in England? At the time of publication, Elizabeth II was the Queen of England, and continued to be so for another decade, ending up having been so for over 70 years.

In colloquial usage, any married couple reigning over a monarchy is known as the king and queen. For the past several hundred years, there has almost always been a queen in England, the sole exceptions being when the king has not had a wife. (Also, "England" is commonly used as the equivalent to "The United Kingdom", often incorrectly.) However, there is a distinction between being the Queen of England (that is to say, a monarch in her own right) and any Queen Consort of England (the woman married to, or who later marries, the man who has become its King).

Monarchies tend to strongly select for Kings (with or without consorts). At times of strife, very few 'queen's enter the fray. Peaceful succession to the British throne has been for a long governed in England by male-preference cognatic primogeniture which disproportionately favours male descendants. And British laws and customs have been generally built around the presumption that the monarch would be a man, and that man would be married to a woman, comic 223 be damned. The consort (wife) to the King may be popularly styled as "Queen <her name>" but would not normally be a functional title. If she survives her husband, her continued use of the honorific does not exclude the successive monarch having (or being) a new queen.

Despite everything, throughout the current continuity of the modern British throne two women have begun to reign as Queen in their own right. It just so happens that these two have been two of the longest-reigning monarchs in world history, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II herself. Both of these have been influential and famed not just in 'England' but around the world, and this fact may add to people noting the rare but conspicuous lack of an 'English' king historically (despite five times as many actual Kings). This is especially true within the living memory of those who asked the questions in the comic, who may never have lived through the time prior to Elizabeth II.

The title of "king consort" exists but has not been used. Instead Victoria and Elizabeth's respective consorts, Albert and Philip, were given alternate titles — Albert as Prince Consort and Philip as "Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (both commonly referred to as "Prince ..."). These titles being by gift of their own queen and spouse, though Albert was already formally a prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha whilst Philip had previously been prince of Denmark and Greece but had renounced both titles before marrying then-Princess Elizabeth. Earlier in history, various co-ruling queens, and unmarried queens had also avoided any need for the "consort" title.

Much more recently, the system of male-preference was changed to absolute primogeniture, where (for all those born after 2011) males are no longer favoured over females, in the otherwise strict chronology of descent. Should the monarchy continue onwards without further social change, there are now likely to be far more actual Queens in the future (with or without consorts); however, already the first three members of Elizabeth II's senior line of descent are male: Prince Charles, as was, Elizabeth's eldest son; Prince William, Charles's eldest son; and Prince George, William's eldest child (being born in 2013).

It would still likely take a while (or unpredictable circumstances) before England has its next Queen in her own right and the question becomes relevent again. Since Elizabeth's death in September 2022, Charles III has indeed automatically become the King of England, and his current wife Camilla is Queen Consort (but not formally the Queen of England). No further children are expected, nor would any normally change the immediate line of succession. The second child of William, Princess Charlotte (born 2015), now rises accordingly to be third in line from Charles — behind William and her elder brother, at least until such time as George might himself eventually have an heir of his own, male or female.

Why do I feel dizzy? Balance is achieved from fluids in the inner ear, but dizziness can have nearly a dozen causes.
Why are dogs afraid of fireworks? Loud noises can trigger their flight or fight responses when they are nervous.
Why are there weeks? Weeks were originally important for religious reasons, primarily the requirement to observe a sabbath (day of rest) every seventh day. Today it is used to create a common schedule that doesn't change due to month length, much like the months divide a year to be able to schedule things like dentist appointments. Similarly, hours and minutes divide a day making it possible to create a schedule.


[This strip is a rectangular word cloud, titled 'Questions found in Google autocomplete'. Embedded in the cloud are five single panels, with illustrated questions. These are described at the end. Questions are given in roughly columnar order. None of the questions have question marks.]
Questions found in Google Autocomplete
Why do whales jump
Why are witches green
Why are there mirrors above beds
Why do I say uh
Why is sea salt better
Why are there trees in the middle of fields
Why is there not a Pokemon MMO
Why is there laughing in TV shows
Why are there doors on the freeway
Why are there so many svchost.exe running
Why aren't there any countries in antarctica
Why are there scary sounds in Minecraft
Why is there kicking in my stomach
Why are there two slashes after HTTP
Why are there celebrities
Why do snakes exist
Why do oysters have pearls
Why are ducks called ducks
Why do they call it the clap
Why are Kyle and Cartman friends
Why is there an arraow on Aang's head
Why are text messages blue
Why are there mustaches on clothes
Why are there mustaches on cars
Why are there mustaches everywhere
Why are there so many birds in Ohio
Why is there so much rain in Ohio
Why is Ohio weather so weird
Why are there male and female bikes
Why are there bridesmaids
Why do dying people reach up
Why aren't there varicose arteries
Why are old Klingons different
Why is programming so hard
Why is there a 0 ohm resistor
Why do Americans hate soccer
Why do rhymes sound good
Why do trees die
Why is there no sound on CNN
Why aren't Pokemon real
Why aren't bullets sharp
Why do dreams seem so real
Why aren't there dinosaur ghosts
Why do iguanas die
Why do testicles move
Why are there psychics
Why are hats so expensive
Why is there caffeine in my shampoo
Why do your boobs hurt
Why aren't economists rich
Why do Americans call it soccer
Why are my ears ringing
Why are there so many Avengers
Why are the Avengers fighting the X men
Why is Wolverine not in the Avengers
Why are there ants in my laptop
Why is Earth tilted
Why is space black
Why is outer space so cold
Why are there pyramids on the moon
Why is NASA shutting down
Why is there Hell if God forgives
Why are there tiny spiders in my house
Why do spiders come inside
Why are there huge spiders in my house
Why are there lots of spiders in my house
Why are there spiders in my room
Why are there so many spiders in my room
Why do spider bites itch
Why is dying so scary
Why is there no GPS in laptops
Why do knees click
Why aren't there E grades
Why is isolation bad
Why do boys like me
Why don't boys like me
Why is there always a Java update
Why are there red dots on my thighs
Why is lying good
Why is GPS free
Why are trees tall
Why are there slaves in the Bible
Why do twins have different fingerprints
Why are Americans afraid of dragons
Why is there lava
Why are there swarms of gnats
Why is there phlegm
Why are there so many crows in Rochester, MN
Why is psychic weak to bug
Why do children get cancer
Why is Poseidon angry with Odysseus
Why is there ice in space
Why are there female Mr Mimes
Why is there an owl in my backyard
Why is there an owl outside my window
Why is there an owl on the dollar bill
Why do owls attack people
Why are AK47s so expensive
Why are there helicopters circling my house
Why are there gods
Why are there two Spocks
Why is Mt Vesuvius there
Why do they say T minus
Why are there obelisks
Why are wrestlers always wet
Why are oceans becoming more acidic
Why is Arwen dying
Why aren't my quail laying eggs
Why aren't my quail eggs hatching
Why aren't there any foreign military bases in America
Why is life so boring
Why are my boobs itchy
Why are cigarettes legal
Why are there ducks in my pool
Why is Jesus white
Why is there liquid in my ear
Why do Q tips feel good
Why do good people die
Why are ultrasounds important
Why are ultrasound machines expensive
Why is stealing wrong
Why is YKK on all zippers
Why is HTTPS crossed out in red
Why is there a line through HTTPS
Why is there a red line through HTTPS on Facebook
Why is HTTPS important
Why are there weeks
Why do I feel dizzy
Why are dogs afraid of fireworks
Why is there no king in England
[We see Cueball from the torso up, with arms outstretched.]
Cueball: Why aren't my arms growing
[Megan stands with a grey ghost on either side of her.]
Megan: Why are there ghosts
[Beret Guy stands, looking at a squirrel.]
Beret Guy: Why are there squirrels
[Cueball stands.]
Cueball: Why is sex so important.
[We see Ponytail from the torso up.]
Ponytail: Why aren't there guns in Harry Potter

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Another reason Poseidon is angry with Odysseus - early in the Odyssey, Odysseus blinds a cyclops who happens to be Poseidon's son.

Why did I just type the following in, when doubtless someone else has already done this..? ...a former great post just went to the main page. They probably need error-checking/rearranging/something. And feel free to delete this entire comment if it becomes superfluous. 10:19, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Just copied your comment into the transcript area. 13:12, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I did delete it here, just because it's copied to the main page. Thanks for your great work!--Dgbrt (talk) 22:18, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Although I appreciate the LOTR reference, is this really the intent? What is Randall's wife's name? Delete if this is a bridge too far into personal life. -- 16:29, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I answered all the questions, for my amusement. Feel free to use any answers you deem appropriate or accurate enough for the wiki. 20:06, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm confused that answers are being presented in different formats. Is the hyperlinked transcript a temporary state before answers are transferred to the table? Or is the transcript just a cleaner and more desirable alternative? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

All answers here: http://www.reddit.com/r/xkcd/comments/1l3na7/questions/cbvigrd -- (Some signature that looks like spamlink)

Today's XKCD is good but it looks like the omitted the first Google suggestion when you begin to type "Why does " Go to google and begin to search that... Dont' see it in today's comic. -- Glitch (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Google's suggestions can vary from user to user. At its most benign, this can be location based. For example, in Seattle, when I type "washington", I get suggestions related to Washington state and not the District of Columbia. At its most sinister, these suggestions can be based on what Google perceives your political beliefs to be. Try typing "gun" into Google. Did you get "gun show" or "gun control?" (Another thing that looks like a spamlink) --Rael (talk) 14:00, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
How odd. I got gunbroker, and then as soon as I typed space, I got gun control as well.
WHY do people complain about this? As long as you're going to get into a debate, in an open minded manner, and are going to critically evaluate the strength of arguments presented (regardless of source), then your starting inclinations shouldn't matter!
Moreover, the general internet user is only searching for zeitgeist terms so they know what websites to quote on a Facebook status, so that they can pat themselves on the back. Repeat for next topic.
Personalised results keep you comfy in your happy bubble.
In any case, the "fix" is simple. Enable do-not track requests, private browsing, or connect through proxies (Given the IPv4 saturation, most people are likely configured to have dynamic IP addresses anyway). If you're concerned about geographical location based filtering, just switch the domain name that you search on!

Why doesn't Queen Anne count as a "woman who reigned as queen in her own right"? --Nick Douglas (talk) 21:50, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

If I'm not mistaken, Queen Anne was queen dowager acting as a regent, rather than being queen in her own right. Sailorleo (talk) 03:54, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
You are mistaken. (Perhaps you're getting mixed Anne up with Mary II.) 20:31, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Today's Comic was brought to you by the grep "why"! 18:24, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

It seems that Randall is confused about the meaning of life. All the questions he asked begin with why. I like what happens when you type "where is"... I got "where is chuck norris". -- 11:41, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

The term "King Consort" may not have been used in the UK, but i believe it was used before in pre Act of Unification England. When Mary Tudor married Philip II of Spain, he was accepted by Parliament and the court as King of England, but was not granted any power. It may not have been elevated to an official title yet, but he was king consort. Dr Pepper (talk) Dr Pepper

My question is "Why do we need to answer all the questions, when the answers have nothing to do with the comic?". The answers are fun and interesting, but they should be in the trivia section. The comic is explained well without them. 21:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Maybe because this is a wiki and, as such, ALL information must be present. I'm not certain whether the answers help explain the comic but, as it is, I'm not entirely sure of Randall's objective with this one. 04:20, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of this page is to EXPLAIN the comic. If you don't know what the comic is about you probably should not be trying to EXPLAIN the comic, and you probably should not comment as well. The purpose of this comic is to demonstrate in a visually interesting way the questions that we, users of the internet, ask. But without this EXPLAINATION it is fairly obvious that finding the answers to these questions do nothing to EXPLAIN the comic, especially since the answers do not give the readers any further understanding into the comic. Adding random information to a page does not EXPLAIN anything. Wiki does not mean “ALL information must be present”. Adding unnecessary information DISTRACTS from the EXPLAINATION and confuses readers, this impairs the ability of this wiki to EXPLAIN the comic. 21:44, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

The dinosaur ghost question was duplicated in the answer boxes so I deleted the extra one. Also been filling out a ton of fields.4jonah (talk) 01:35, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Why is there an incomplete tag? What questions are unanswered? Djbrasier (talk) 19:10, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

I answered the last 2 remaining questions in section six. Can this be closed now?4jonah (talk) 21:00, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Under "Why is outer space so cold?" it says "space is not cold", but then for "Why is there ice in space?" it begins with "space is cold". This is somewhat confusing. Please clarify. Is space cold or isn't it? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

No idea how to edit the actual article, but it might be worth mentioning that the succession laws of the UK are no longer male-preference, and are now absolute cognatic primogenture/ absolute primogeniture. 12:45, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Something's fishy. One question has the answer "Space is Cold." and another has the answer "Space is not cold." 00:24, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Using a search filter, "why" appears 301 times, to date. Klyxm (talk) 3:56, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Just a random guy passing through. For the question "Why are there psychics?" the example answer seems very confusing. Perhaps someone thought the word was "physics" instead of "psychics"? (Timestamp 20:14 21 March 2019)

Histamines are not injected into the skin in a spider's saliva. 1. It's injecting venom, not saliva. 2. Histamines are generated by the body as part of its immune response. -- 15:19, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

I fully intended to reintegrate any useful changes from this edit into my own, independent and edit-conflicted, edit (that obviously took longer to go through) that I pushed in over the top so that I at least could then look at what I may also then re-alter. Once I had worked out the differences. But I cannot do it immediately, and I notice it took a different slant to my own attempt to further update so I beg your indulgance while I juggle the diffs, in a local copy, for maybe an hour or two. 15:33, 9 September 2022 (UTC)

Ok, done and dusted. Anything still 'unimproved' is something I didn't think I could do anything about (or consider). 21:20, 9 September 2022 (UTC)

About "Why are there two slashes after http?", and Sir Tim Berners-Lee admits the forward slashes in every web address 'were a mistake' - it turns out that those two slashes are quite useful to create so called "scheme relative" or "protocol relative" URI by having an URI that starts with two slashes. -- JakubNarebski (talk) 10:31, 23 July 2023 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

best parts:

why are there physics, why is there a red line through https, why is there so many svchost.exe running, why aren't there guns in harry potter and why do trees die An user who has no account yet (talk) 15:42, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

Does not explain the juxtaposition jokes

I feel like this article is a little overly literal and fails to explain the actual recurring joke of the comic, which is the juxtaposition of related searches in specific orders for a humorous implication. The best example may be the series of spider-related searches capped with, "Why are spiderbites itchy?", implying that the person who was distressed about all the spiders has been bitten. Simply including the answers to the questions doesn't actually explain the source of humor. I'm pretty new here, so maybe I'm missing the point, but I don't think this article can be considered complete if the main joke isn't explained.