Can You Pass This Difficult North American Geography Quiz?
By: Alex Wittman
Image: KeithBinns/E+/Getty Images
About This Quiz
Okay, we feel like total nerds admitting this, but geography was our FAVE class in high school. Yours too? OMG, it feels so good not to be alone! Even though we were (and still are) obsessed with maps and can recite the U.S. state capitals in alphabetical order (no shame in our game), we took this North American geography quiz and thought it was hard AF. Not only do you need to know what's good in the United States, but you also better be up to date on Canada and Mexico. They're in North America too, dude.
But, you've never been one to roll over. We can't scare you out of taking this quiz. Difficult? The harder the better, you say! We are totally living for your energy right now, BTW. If you know what the northernmost, westernmost AND easternmost U.S. state is, then this quiz does not know who it's messing with. Whether you've road-tripped all over the continent or are just a total boss at trivia, we want you to prove it. Accept the challenge and take our quiz. Show us what you're made of and try your hand at this crazy difficult North American geography quiz. Come on: you know you wanna.
With the U.S's 50 in mind, which of the following is the northernmost, westernmost AND easternmost state?
You probably knew right off the bat Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state. But, easternmost? WTF! Well, Alaska stretches so far west it actually juts out into the Eastern Hemisphere. Cray, right?
We're *literally* thirsty. What percentage of Canada is covered in fresh water?
Canada has, like, a lot of lakes. A LOT. Think we're lying? Try on 9 percent for size. That's right: 9 percent of the country is covered by fresh water. TBH, that statistic isn't that surprising considering Canada is home to more than half of the natural lakes in the world.
Fist bump for the Founding Fathers. Which U.S. city was America's first capital?
Way back when the U.S. constitution was ratified, America's capital was actually New York City. But, one year later, it moved to Philadelphia. After chilling in the City of Brotherly Love for a minute, it moved to Washington D.C. which is still the capital today.
This is pretty wild to consider, but which of the following states could the entire world's population fit into?
Now, it would definitely be crowded, but if the world was willing to squeeze into New York City-esque living conditions, then technically all 7.5 billion of us could sardine ourselves into Texas' 268,597 square miles. No one said it would be fun. Just possible.
If you get this one, we'll be impressed. Which of the following cities is the capital of Canada?
It's nowhere near the country's tourist destination, but Canada's capital is Ottawa. The lack of visitors might have something to do with the fact it's the second coldest capital city in the world.
Great AF. Which Great Lake is located entirely within the borders of the United States?
Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes situated entirely in U.S. territory. it's the second largest Great Lake by volume, with its deepest point at approximately 925 feet.
Picture a map in your head. Which of the following countries does NOT border Mexico?
Sorry, Panama. The countries sharing a border with Mexico are the United States, Belize and Guatemala. With more than 758,450 square miles of land area, Mexico is a big neighbor.
Get low, get low, get low. What is the lowest point in North America?
California's Death Valley is the lowest point in North America. Located in the northern Mojave Desert, it is -282 feet below sea level. It's also one of the hottest places in the world reaching summertime temperatures comparable to the Middle East.
Bonjour! Which of the following North American cities is the world's second largest French speaking city?
After Paris, Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the entire world. Just wrap your head around that. More people speak French in Montreal, Canada, than any other city in France beside Paris. BOOM. Mind = blown.
Level up on the Midwest. Which of the following states does NOT border the Great Lakes?
While the many Midwest states border the Great Lakes, Iowa is not one of them. In fact, Iowa is a completely landlocked state. So much for a beach day.
We feel like there's a dad joke to be made here. Which two U.S. states have rhyming capitals?
Did it take you a minute to mull this one over? Boston and Austin, bro! You might be able to stretch a few other capitals (we're looking at you Albany and Raleigh), but Massachusetts and Texas are the only two states with capitals that truly rhyme.
Turn your attention to the border. Which of the following states does NOT touch Mexico?
Arizona, California and New Mexico all border Mexico. Oklahoma has one very big thing standing between it and Mexico: Texas. Texas is the fourth state to share a border with the United States' neighbor to the south.
This one might stump you. Which state has the longest coastline?
Florida, California and, even, Michigan are famous for their beaches. However, none of those states have the longest U.S. coastline. That title belongs to Alaska. Its coast stretches 6,640 miles, which is more than all of the other 49 states combined.
Bigger isn't always better. Which of the following cities is the smallest U.S. capital?
Montpelier, Vermont, is so small it doesn't even have a McDonald's. But, it's so charming you won't be worried about getting your Big Mac fix. Vermont is one of six New England states along with Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Oh, Canada. Which U.S. state has more residents than all of Canada ?
Canada was super pumped when it surpassed 36 million residents a few years back. But, then the state of California had to check an actual country with it's approximately 39 million residents. Don't feel too bad, Canada. After all, California is the most populous state in the U.S.
This is going to blow your mind. How many zip codes does New York City's Manhattan have?
Manhattan is New York City's most crowded borough, but did you realize it was this crowded? It's so densely populated it has more than 200 zip codes. In fact, some of the city's most famous skyscrapers have their very own zip codes.
Back to the border. Which river forms the Texas-Mexico border?
The fourth longest river in the United States is one of its most important. The Rio Grande is a natural border between the U.S. and Mexico. It stretches approximately 1,896 miles from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico.
In terms of the seven continents, how does North America rank as far as size?
With a total area of 9.5 million square miles, North America is the third largest continent in the world. Good teamwork, North American countries! Asia is the largest continent in both size and population.
Okay, we see you, geography wiz. Which of the following cities is the largest in North America?
Not only is Mexico City the largest city in Mexico, but it's also the largest city in North America. The population of Mexico's capital city is closing in on 9 million people. Imagine the rush hour traffic!
There's more to North America than just Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. How many countries are in North America?
North America's largest countries have a tendency to overshadow the rest. But, in fact, there are 23 countries making up the continent. Just a few of those other countries are Greenland, Bermuda and Guatemala.
Give it a hand. Which of the following states is famous for its mitten-like shape?
Michigan's lower peninsula is shaped like a mitten with the thumb jutting out into Lake Huron. In fact, residents of the Mitten State use their hands to show where they're from. Now, that's a HANDY geography tool.
Calling all climbers. What is the highest mountain in North America?
Formerly known as Mount McKinley, Denali is the highest peak in North America. Its summit is 20,310 feet above sea level. To visit it, you'll need to travel to Alaska's Denali National Park where it's the third most isolated peak on Earth.
Save some love for the small states. Which of the following is the smallest state in the United States?
At just 1,454 square miles, Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state. Compare that to Alaska, which is the largest state at 663,268 square miles.
These lakes aren't just good. Which of the Great Lakes is the largest fresh water lake in the world?
Bordering both the United States and Canada, Lake Superior isn't just the biggest of the five Great Lakes. It's also the largest fresh water lake in the world. Knowing that, we think it's aptly named.
We won't ask you to spell it, but how many states does the Mississippi River run through?
Stretching 2,320 miles from north to south, the Mississippi River runs through 10 states. It starts in Minnesota and ends in Louisiana. Covering all that ground, no wonder it's the fourth longest river in the world.
Stuck in the middle. Which state is home to the geographic center of North America?
Although there is some disagreement to its exact location, it is widely accepted that the geographic center of North America is in North Dakota. One expert believes it is near Center, North Dakota. How fitting!
Almost South America, but not quite. What's the southernmost country in North America?
Panama is the southernmost country in North America. The continent's southernmost point is Punta Mariato, Panama, which is part of the country's Cerro Hoya National Park.
Sloping east from the Rocky Mountains and extending to the edge of the Canadian Shield, what's the name of America's flattest geographical feature?
North America's Great plains stretch all the way to the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains. While there are some minor hills in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, the land is overall smooth and treeless.
We feel a bit peaky. Which of the following mountain ranges contain Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens?
One of North America's most important mountain ranges, the Cascades stretch from northeastern California across Oregon and Washington. Situated 50 miles northeast of Portland, Mt. St. Helens is actually an active volcano.
All about that elevation. What is the highest point in the Sierra Nevada mountain range?
At 14,494 feet, Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The entire mountain range spans 400 miles. To hike it for yourself, plan a trip to California.
We won't ask you to pronounce it, but in which U.S. state is Lake Okeechobee located?
Nicknamed the "liquid heart" of South Florida, Lake Okeechobee is the second largest fresh water lake contained entirely within the continental United States. What might surprise you is how shallow it is. Lake Okeechobee has an average depth of only 9 feet.
See if you can handle this one. In what state is the mountain Mauna Kea located?
Located in Hawaii, most of Mauna Kea is actually under water, but it still reaches 13,796 feet above sea level. When measured from its base, this dormant volcano is actually the tallest mountain in the world. At 33,465 feet, it's taller than Mt. Everest.
Think hard about this. How many states are landlocked?
Of the 50 U.S. states, 16 are landlocked. Nebraska is triply landlocked meaning in order to reach an ocean, gulf or bay from that state you need to travel through three other states. Yikes!
Water water everywhere. Which of the following rivers flows through the Grand Canyon?
The Colorado River flows through the Grand Canyon. It starts in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado and flows southwest across the Colorado Plateau. After the Grand Canyon, it enters Lake Mead.
One of America's greatest treasures. Which of the following states is Yellowstone National Park NOT in?
At nearly 3,500 square miles, Yellowstone National Park encompasses a lot of wilderness. The states it stretches across are Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Not Colorado. Situated a top a volcanic hot spot, one of the park's most famous attractions is the geyser, Old Faithful.
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