Here are the results of the first Jules Verne rare entries contest.

Results of this rare entries contest. X denotes a wrong answer.
Rank Score Entrant Q0 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9
1.384Alain Braut2123212222
2.864Joshua Kreitzer2143213312
3.1152Bernhard Krauth2143212223
5.1728David McCallister1422123233
5.1728David Vašek22421313X1
7.2592Jean-Michel Margot2423132331
8.3456Christian Sánchez2443231X11
9.5184Stefan Marniok22132231XX

These are the answers given by the top 4 entrants:

Alain BrautJoshua KreitzerClavelinaBernhard Krauth
1Michel ArdanAyrtonNemoNicholl
2De la Terre à la LuneLe Tour du monde en 80 joursDe la Terre à la LuneLe Tour du monde en 80 jours
3Mathieu StruxMarfa StrogoffMichel StrogoffMathieu Strux
7Harris T. KymbaleGédéon SpilettFrancis BenettHarris T. Kymbale
9Ursula AndressUrsula AndressJames MasonJames Mason

Answers given

Here are the answers given to each question, ranked from most to least popular, i.e. worst to best, for each question:

0. Give the name of a dog who, in a Voyage extraordinaire, has travelled on a ship.

Answers to this question were spread quite evenly. There are a few dogs who took ship but weren’t mentioned: Diana from De la Terre à la Lune and Autour de la Lune; Artimon from L’Agence Thompson & Co; and the dogs in Aventures de trois Russes et de trois Anglais. These two are never mentioned by name however, so they couldn’t be given as an answer.

1. Name a character that is mentioned in at least three works by Jules Verne.

The answers given belong to two categories: characters from the Gun-Club trilogy, and characters from the other ‘trilogy’ (Les Enfants du capitaine Grant; Vingt Mille Lieues sous les mers; L’Île mystérieuse), who appear in a play as well.

One other correct answer would have been John Hatteras. This captain starred of course in the novel Voyages et aventures du Capitaine Hatteras, but he is also mentioned in the play Voyage à travers l’impossible, in which his son is the main character, and in Le Pays des fourrures, where lieutenant Hobson tells Paulina Barnet how one of the white foxes caught by John Ross in 1848 was later caught by Hatteras, during his voyage of discovery.

There may be other characters that appear in more than two works, but I can’t think of any more examples.

2. Name a work by Jules Verne that has been translated in at least 25 languages.

There are probably many more correct answers to this question, but the entrants apparently wanted to play safe. It is remarkable that Vingt Mille Lieues sous les mers wasn’t mentioned.

3. Name a character from a work by Jules Verne whose initials are M.S.

The obvious choices here were Michel Strogoff and Mathias Sandorf, which people tended to avoid. All possible answers that I can think of were given.

4. Excluding France, name a country that Jules Verne visited at least twice.

Strictly speaking, Scotland and England are not independent countries, but rather parts of the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, I will accept these answers.

5. Name a type of transport used by Phileas Fogg in the novel Le tour du monde en 80 jours.

Most entrants opted for the less common means of transport, such as the sledge and the elephant. Nobody mentioned the good old train. A palki-ghari is a type of Indian coach, in which Fogg was taken to the jail. Although no ship in the novel is explicitly mentioned as a yacht, the last chapter of the book states that “he had employed every means of conveyance—steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges, elephants”, so I’ll accept the answer.

6. Name a river, seen by a character in a Voyage extraordinaire, that is at least 3500 km long.

Other correct answers include Mississippi (Le Testament d’un excentrique; 3,779 km), Niger (L’Etonnante aventure de la Mission Barsac; 4,184 km), Yangtze (Les Tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine; 5,526 km) and Yenisei (Michel Strogoff; 4,130 km)

7. Name a character from a work by Jules Verne who is a professional journalist.


Spilett was only marginally more popular than his less well-known colleague Kymbale. The reporters Alcide Jolivet and Claudius Bombarnac were not mentioned.

8. Name a meteorological phenomenon that causes danger to a character in a Voyage extraordinaire. Meteorological is here used in its modern sense (dealing with the phenomena of the atmosphere, especially weather and weather conditions).


The entrant who said “ball lightning” originally answered Saint Elmo’s fire, but from his description it was clear that he meant in fact ball lightning. Saint Elmo’s fire is the glowing of the air by a continuous discharge, caused by strong electric fields; a ball lightning is a (usually) spherical, light-emitting ball, ranging in size from a few centimetres to a few metres, that hovers in the air for a few seconds up to several minutes. In Jules Verne’s time the existence of ball lightnings was still very controversial, and even today their exact nature is not fully understood. It is not clear if ball lightnings and Saint Elmo’s fires are somehow connected. I decided not to score ball lightning as a more specific variant of lightning, because it is not clear if it really is lightning.

9. Name an actor or actress who starred in at least two movies mentioning Jules Verne in the writing credits.


It is not surprising that the famous stars Mason and Andress were mentioned most. There are probably a lot more correct answers. One actor who starred in two more recent Verne films is Bryan Brown (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1999; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1997).