Only a Genius Can Ace This Geography Quiz with All "S" Answers



By: Zoe Samuel

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Geography is the study of our world. It means learning about how the physical planet that we live on - with its perfectly calibrated atmosphere, its rolling hills, soaring peaks, deep canyons, winding rivers and fertile plains, and its shockingly large amount of completely unusable water - interacts with the humans crawling all over its surface. Geography isn't just about the physical world or about the demographics of our civilizations and our cities. It's about how the two affect one another and guide the progress of humanity in certain directions. It's about understanding the way that the HOW and the WHAT of this blue planet of ours impacts the WHO and the WHY.

No one can be an expert in all 196 nations or all of our many seas and oceans - which is why we've very helpfully limited this quiz to just the geographical facts and figures that begin with the letter S. We'll ask you about settlements, populations, weather, climate, and more. Only someone who is either very well-traveled, a hardcore bookworm, or a lifelong devotee of National Geographic channel stands a chance! Let's see whether that's you - or whether you're effectively lost in your own home!

What is a low-lying boggy or marshy area?

A swamp is a boggy area that fills up with water but is still land.


What is haze caused by pollution?

Smog is very bad for you and is caused by air pollution mixing with the right (or wrong) weather conditions.


What word is used to describe how big a map is compared to how big the reality is?

Scale is how many inches on the map correspond to how many inches in reality.


What is the capital of South Korea?

Seoul is a very wealthy city with the misfortune of being within easy shooting distance of North Korea even using conventional weapons.


What is the capital of Sweden?

This is a very prosperous and lovely city that suffers from being dark half of the year!


What is the name for a large ocean inlet?

A sound is deeper than a bay and wider than a fjord.


What is the geographical word for underground?

Subterranean means anything going on beneath the ground, such as moles, earthquakes and secret meetings.


What is the top of a hill or mountain called?

The summit is the top of the mountain.


What rock category is made up of lots of layers?

Sedimentary rock is laid down over millions of years as little animals and plant matter get crushed.


What is the skill of analyzing and measuring landscapes to turn them into a map?

A surveyor is a person who takes these measurements. A cartographer is the one who draws the map itself.


What is a small brook that comes out of the ground?

A spring is the head of a waterway that is quite small.


Which hemisphere has the least land?

It's the Southern Hemisphere, to use its proper name.


What is a narrow passage of water connecting two bigger areas of water?

Gibraltar and Bering are two examples of very famous straits.


What is the point on the mountain above which it is always snowy?

This is an altitude at which the snow always starts. It can go lower but you always find it higher up, as long as the climate stays the same.


What is the name for a type of dirt that contains microbes and can be fertile and farmed?

Soil is not dirt, as dirt is just muck whereas soil has the capacity for life in it!


What is the height of the top of all the salty bodies of water called?

Sea levels are currently set by the Holocene climate - the one of the last 12,000 years. Thanks to rising carbon levels, they've risen 8 inches in the last couple decades and might go up another 3 feet this century.


What is a low point between two peaks?

A saddle is a low point between two peaks, named because it looks like a horse's saddle.


What is an area that isn't a town and isn't the city center?

A suburb is an area that is less dense than the city it surrounds but is definitely not countryside.


What is the capital of Macedonia?

Skopje is the capital of Macedonia and has been around through the Ottoman, Roman, and Byzantine empires.


What is a hole in the rock caused by water dissolving stone?

A sinkhole happens when water erodes a hole in the rock. It's common in limestone.


What is "a large area of flat unforested grassland in southeastern Europe or Siberia"?

The steppe is a grassland in Europe or Asia that seemingly goes on forever.


What is a vertical column of rocks sticking out of the sea?

A stack is formed by wind and water over time, and can be very striking-looking.


What is it called when one tectonic plate goes under another?

A subduction zone is ripe for earthquakes, as everyone living in California can attest.


What is a piece of lower land jutting out from a hill, often into a river or stream?

A spur is a lateral ridge or tongue of land sticking out from a bigger formation. It's not like a salient because it is narrower.


What is a volcano that is low and composed of lava flows instead of a mountain?

A shield volcano has the profile of a warrior's shield.


What map shows all the latitude lines as straight and the longitude lines as curved?

A sinusoidal map looks like a projection and keeps the distances more accurate than one with a straight up grid on it.


What is a hill under the sea called?

A seamount doesn't break the surface, thus is not an island.


What is a place where a body of water gets less deep due to the underwater geography?

A shoal is where the water gets shallow because the seabed or lakebed rises under it.


What is the bottom point on the planet according to a compass?

A compass points to the magnetic pole, not the geographical one.


What is the capital of the Mariana Islands?

Saipan is in the Northern Mariana Islands and has amazing scuba diving.


What is an area of land in which a single entity, called a government, has the monopoly on the legitimate use of force?

A state is an area with a sovereign entity in charge, called a government, that doesn't have any rivals within that landed area.


What is the capital of Yemen?

Sana'a is very old and very beautiful, though sadly caught up in a war just now.


What is a geography-based theory of economics that focuses on where economic activities take place and how they are distributed?

Arrangement and distribution of economic activity is inseparable from geography eg the Nile supported whole civilizations.


What is a landform that projects out from the side of eg a mountain?

A salient is an area of a mountain or cliff that sticks out.


What is the line of peaks you get underwater where tectonic plates move apart?

A spreading ridge is when the plates are literally spreading.


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