Only 9% of Americans Can Ace This World Geography Quiz. Can You?

By: Torrance Grey

Only 9% of Americans Can Ace This World Geography Quiz. Can You?
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About This Quiz

Was geography a favorite subject of yours when you were a child? It was for a lot of us: Those two-dimensional maps hinted at a three-dimensional world of faraway lands, new languages, rare plants and animals and great, unknown cities. We loved to memorize the continents, the oceans and the capital cities.

But then life set in. In adult life, suddenly you're thinking more about your commute than about travel to faraway lands. So, before you know it, your world geography knowledge has atrophied. Are your sure you remember, for example, how many oceans the globe has, or how many continents? What is Australia anyway: a continent, a country, an island, or all three? If there's an "Antarctica," is there an "Arctica"? Is it a continent of its own?

Our quiz will test you on these things and more. Some political boundaries and country names have changed, so we'll make sure you're up on those. In addition, we cover mountain ranges, high plains, freshwater lakes and more. Come with us and take an armchair tour of Planet Earth. Maybe you'll discover that you're still a geography whiz, or perhaps you'll brush up on a forgotten topic. Either way, we think you'll have a good time!

How many oceans is the Earth considered to have?
three
four
five
They are the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Southern and Arctic. Of course, the boundaries are somewhat fluid: Earth's surface is more water than land.
six

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Which of the Earth's oceans is the shallowest?
Arctic
The Pacific is fairly shallow in places, too. Consider that all its island chains -- Polynesia and Micronesia -- are mountain ranges on the ocean floor that rise to break the surface.
Indian
Pacific
Southern

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Which of these mountain ranges is the western boundary of Siberia?
the Alps
the Andes
the Georgians
the Urals
Siberia is a geographic region, not a political entity. In ancient times, it was very sparsely populated, probably due to the harsh climate. (It's not exactly crowded today).

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Which country is home to the world's largest coral reef?
Australia
This is, of course, the Great Barrier Reef. It lies off the coast of Queensland.
Japan
Indonesia
Argentina

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Which of these nations shares a border with Russia and China?
Lithuania
India
Mongolia
Western peoples tend to know little about Mongolia. However, it has a fascinating history of military conquest, producing leaders like Tamerlane and Genghis Khan.
Latvia

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Which of these is the world's largest freshwater lake (by volume)?
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is located in Russia. It holds 5,670 cubic miles of water. That's *miles*, not feet!
Lake Michigan
Lake Superior
Lake Titicaca

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Lake Baikal is also the world's _____ lake.
coldest
deepest
Lake Baikal was created by a rift valley and is over a mile deep. Its narrow depth is part of the reason it is only the world's seventh-largest lake by surface area.
most polluted
purest

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Reykjavik is the capital of _____.
Latvia
Finland
Iceland
Iceland is hard to reach, being in the middle of the North Atlantic, and its capital is hard to pronounce. You're not making it easy for us, Icelanders!
Sweden

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The deepest part of any ocean is the Pacific's _____ Trench.
Costeau
DeVaal
Marianas
The Marianas Trench was named for the Marianas Islands, themselves named for a queen. In the Pacific near Guam, it is about 36,000 feet deep -- comparable to the altitude at which many planes fly above sea level.
Philippine

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Which of these countries does NOT contain some of the Himalaya range?
China
Ecuador
The Himalaya range is in Asia, including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and China. Ecuador is in South America.
India
Nepal

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Which high mountain is also known as Sagarmatha and Chomolungma?
Everest
Everest, in Nepal, is about 29,000 feet tall. The name "Everest" is for an English explorer; it's been called by its Nepali and Tibetan names much longer.
K2
Mont Blanc
Denali

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Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in ________.
Central America
North America
South America
This lake, shared by Bolivia and Peru, also holds the distinction of being the world's highest navigable lake. Its elevation is about 12,000 feet above sea level.
Africa

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In what country would you find the state of Guanajuato?
Canada
Costa Rica
Mexico
Guanajuato is home to the city of San Miguel de Allende. The city is a World Heritage Site, with beautiful architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Colombia

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On what continent would you find the Barbary Coast?
Asia
Africa
The Barbary Coast was adopted from the name of a North African people, the Berbers. The coast of Morocco and Algeria makes up much of the Barbary Coast, a name applied by European sailors.
Australia
South America

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Which country claims the Falkland Islands as its own?
Argentina
New Zealand
the United Kingdom
The Falklands lie off the coast of Argentina. The UK fought a brief and decisive war to retain them in 1982.
the United States

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By what name are the Falklands known to Argentinians?
the Azores
the Caledonias
the Malvinas
"Falkland" was a British secretary of the Navy who sponsored the islands' exploration. However, "Malvinas" isn't exactly an indigenous name: It's derived from the name "Iles Malouines," after a French port, St. Malo, at which a French exploration originated.
the Reinas

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On what island would you find Mt. Etna?
Madagascar
Hawaii
Sri Lanka
Sicily
Sicily is a politically independent region of Italy, though not part of its mainland. That triangular land mass that the "boot" of Italy appears to be kicking? That's Sicily.

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"Patagonia" is a South American _____.
city
country
region
Patagonia is a general region, like the "Great Plains" in the United States. It is the southern part of the South American continent, within the political boundaries of Chile and Argentina.
river

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Which of these rivers are found in China?
the Red
the Yellow
the Yangtze
both #2 and #3
You're more likely to have heard of the Yangtze. But China's Yellow River is the sixth-longest in the world overall -- not too shabby!

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Which nation owns/administrates Easter Island?
Chile
Easter Island is a considerable distance from Chile, deep in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is nonetheless a Chilean holding, and its Spanish name is "Isla de Pascua."
Mexico
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea

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Where would you find the state of Goa?
Vietnam
India
Goa is a state on India's western coast. Tourists flock to it for its beaches.
Papua New Guinea
Tuvalu

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Which sea is also known as the Sea of Oman?
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is part of the northern Indian Ocean. It is bounded mainly by Saudi Arabia to the west and India to the east.
Black Sea
Baltic Sea
Irish Sea

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In what country (mainly) would you find the Altiplano?
Argentina
Bolivia
Bolivia's Altiplano ("high plain") is partly shared by Peru and Chile. It is the world's highest plains region outside Tibet.
Paraguay
Surinam

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Which islands are NOT located in the Indian Ocean?
Comoros
the Maldives
the Azores
The Azores are in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Portugal. They are known for being the location where the Mary Celeste was found unmanned, but completely undamaged. What became of her crew has never been discovered.
the Seychelles

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Nova Scotia was named for what country?
France
Ireland
Wales
Scotland
As the second word of its name suggests, Scotland was the namesake. "Nova Scotia" is "New Scotland" in Latin.

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Java is a/an _____.
British protectorate
island
Java is the most populated island of the nation of Indonesia. And, of course, a fantastic variety of coffee.
province
city-state

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The Zambezi River is best known for its waterfall, the _____ Falls.
Angolite
Alison
Victoria
The Victoria Falls have a name that means "smoke that thunders" in the Tonga language. But British explorer David Livingstone gave them the English name "Victoria," after the queen.
Zambian

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Which of these is the world's largest island?
Borneo
Greenland
If you said "none of these," you might have been thinking of Australia. But Australia is considered a continent, not an island. Were it possible to be both, Africa would take top honors.
Madagascar
none of these

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Which nation administrates Greenland?
France
Denmark
"Administrates" is a nicer way to say "controls politically." You'll also see "protectorate" used for some territories.
Canada
Germany

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Which nation administrates Iceland?
Finland
France
England
Iceland is independent.
Icelanders answer only to Icelanders! Though they're awfully dependent on tourism, so if everybody stopped visiting, they'd be in a hard place.

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Which of these is best described as a city-state?
the Farallon Islands
Jakarta
Prince Edward Island
Singapore
Singapore is essentially a city, but an independent state as well. It is the crossroads of Southeast Asia, and home to some seriously great food.

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Where would you find Baffin Island?
off the coast of Canada
Baffin Island is part of northern Canada. It's one of the world's largest islands, though not the largest.
off the coast of Australia
off the coast of Africa
right where God left it

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Nunavut is the newest territory in _____.
Antarctica
Canada
Nunavut used to be part of Canada's Northwest Territories. It is now a separate political entity, thanks to a 1991 act of Parliament.
Indonesia
Chile

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The ancient city of Carthage would lie within what modern-day nation?
Chad
Italy
Egypt
Tunisia
Carthage was a North African city famous for its enmity with Rome, and its military leader Hannibal. Nowadays, you'll hear people say "Carthago delenda est" to indicate a political or business rival needs to be thoroughly defeated. (It's Latin for "Carthage must be destroyed.")

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The island of Honshu is part of which nation?
Indonesia
Japan
Honshu is the large island which is home to Tokyo and Kyoto. Altogether, though, the Japanese archipelago makes up more than 5,000 islands.
China
India

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