It's hard to get a straight answer as to how many countries there are in the world. According to the United Nations, there are currently 193 UN members and two UN Observer States for a total of 195 countries. However, Taiwan, Western Sahara, Kosovo, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Northern Cyprus are not recognized by the United Nations, but are recognized by one to over 100 countries.
With all the wars, secessionist activities, peaceful dissolution of countries, and any other activity that may result in a new country's birth, the map may not look like it did the last time you studied geography. If you were born after the fall of the Soviet Union or the split of Yugoslavia, the map you studied had countries that didn't exist when your parents were in school and your kids will probably study a different map.
On top of the sheer volume of countries, many countries have multiple recognized names and former names. Other countries have names that have a special meaning to their citizens and have spellings that may make sense in the native languages, but are not intuitive for native English speakers.
Do you know how to spell every country from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe? Challenge yourself with this quiz!