January 19, 2012 / 12:11 PM / 6 years ago

Why is the sky blue? Kids' questions parents fear

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<p>A girl plays on a swing during the Hindu festival of Dasain in Kathmandu September 29, 2011.Navesh Chitrakar</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - They range from the easy, like "would a shark beat a dinosaur in a fight?" through the tricky, like "why is the sky blue?" to the near-impossible, such as "how much does the earth weigh?"

Kids bombard their parents with questions every day on all manner of subjects and now a survey has found the 10 most feared by the grown-ups.

Top of the list: "Why is the moon sometimes out in the day?

Others include: will we ever discover aliens? and how do airplanes stay in the air?

A quarter of British parents find themselves puzzled by their children's science and maths questions on a daily basis, the survey found.

Researchers found that 26 percent of parents think their children are more knowledgeable about maths and science than they are, with more than half of parents dreading questions about subjects they cannot answer correctly, leaving them frustrated and embarrassed.

The study found that a third of parents would actively research to find the answers, whilst many admit they either make up the answers or deflect the question onto their partner.

Polling 2,000 parents with children aged 5-16, it found that many parents believe their youngsters' curiosity for science and maths has been fuelled by educational TV programs.

Many of the parents interviewed wished they had taken more of an interest in maths and science in school and 10 percent of mothers say their limited knowledge is due to the lack of support and encouragement they received in these subjects when they were at school.

The survey was carried out for the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair which takes place in Birmingham from 15-17 March.

The 10 most awkward questions:

1. Why is the moon sometimes out in the day?

2. Why is the sky blue?

3. Will we ever discover aliens?

4. How much does the earth weigh?

5. How do airplanes stay in the air?

6. Why is water wet?

7. How do I do long division?

8. Where do birds/bees go in winter?

9. What makes a rainbow?

10. Why are there different time zones on earth?

Reporting by Li-mei Hoang, editing by Paul Casciato

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