6 mins

16 ridiculous questions guides get asked

How much does a mountain weigh? What lies within the unexplored part of the cave? Brace yourself for more ridiculous (and slightly painful) questions that tour guides have actually been asked...

Park Ranger in Mesa Verde, CO (Shutterstock)

Tour guides are often the unsung heroes of the travel industry. They have a plan of action for when things go wrong and communicate a wealth of knowledge to their guests, but above all they have the patience to put up with human stupidity - including these ridiculous questions.

We ask Wanderlust Guide Award judge and wildlife expert Mark Carwardine what guides really have to put up with...

"Everybody outside of the travel industry thinks that being a tour guide is the best job in the world, and it is a great job in many ways. You get to travel and you get to do things that other people have to pay to do, but my main point this evening is that you must be under no illusion – being a guide is really, really hard work.”

“To be a guide you've got to be an expert in lots of different things: wildlife, culture, history, politics, you name it. You have to be a diplomat, a nanny, a psychiatrist, a paramedic, a cheerleader, you've got to be all sorts of things. You've got to be super-human.”

“What I found hardest about being a guide is the questions. You get asked questions all day long. And it's understandable for people to ask questions, as they're keen to learn and they want to know what's going on...”

But what shocked the audience the most was the 16 stupid questions Mark revealed he had heard travellers ask guides on trips around the world. Here are those questions, just for your amusement...

Denali, otherwise known as Mount McKinley, Alaska (Dreamstime)

Denali, otherwise known as Mount McKinley, Alaska (Dreamstime)

1: At what elevation do the deer turn into elk?

2: Do you get female sperm whales?

3: How much does Mount McKinley weigh?

4: Is there water all the way round this island?

5: Why doesn't this island float away?

6: Is all this natural? (asked in Banff National Park)

7: Would the lightening be faster if it didn't zigzag?

8: Can I bring cutlery into Australia?

Honolulu, Hawaii (Dreamstime)

Honolulu, Hawaii (Dreamstime)

9: What do you do with the snow when it melts?

10: What is actually in the unexplored part of the cave?

11: Is the water in the pool rough because it is sea water? (Asked on a cruise ship)

12: Do these Canadian flags come in other colours? (Asked in a souvenir shop)

13: Why have they let Hawaii become so Americanised?

14: Do we have to stay up til midnight to change our clocks?

15: Is that the same moon we get back home in Texas?

16: Am I okay to ride in the float plane with breast implants?

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