The Pseudo-geography Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
The Pseudo-geography Quiz
Image: © moodboard/Corbis

About This Quiz

Britney Spears once said, "I get to go to overseas places, like Canada." Think you can do better than Britney? Then test yourself in our pseudo-geography quiz.
True or false: "Upstate" refers to all of New York except what's outside the Metropolitan Transportation Authority commuter rail.
true
Upstate New York is, at least by the capitol's definition, excludes New York City and Long Island, as well as Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.
false

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True or false: The Cascades are a major mountain range, but a cascade is a waterfall.
true
The Cascade Range is in western North America, not to be confused with a cascade (waterfall).
false

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True or false: A promontory is similar to a headland or a point.
true
All refer to a point of land that juts out into water.
false

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True or false: Mandarin is a region of China.
true
false
Mandarin is a language spoken in certain regions of China.

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True or false: A "Latino" is anyone whose ancestors come from a Spanish-speaking country.
true
false
That's the definition of "Hispanic." "Latino" refers to people of Latin American descent.

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True or false: The phrase "heartland of America" refers to the Midwest.
true
The Midwest is considered America's "heartland."
false

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True or false: The Midwest includes these 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
true
These are all Midwestern states.
false

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Which marks Earth's south frigid zone, the Arctic Circle or the Antarctic Circle?
Arctic
Antarctic
The Antarctic Circle is located at 66 degrees 30 minutes south, the south frigid zone.

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True or false: Florida is an isthmus.
true
false
An isthmus is a narrow strip of land that connect two bigger pieces of land, such as Panama. Florida is a peninsula.

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True or false: New England and the Northeastern states are the same.
true
false
New England is made up of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, but the Northeast also includes New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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True or false: If you're hitching a ride in a slug line, you're in the Washington area.
true
Washington commuters pick up passengers — slugs — to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
false

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True or false: In Rhode Island a "driftway" is an access road to the ocean.
true
Usually a driftway is a narrow country road, but in Rhode Island it takes you to the shore.
false

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True or false: A bay or a river mouth might also be an estuary.
true
A bay or river mouth where fresh water mixes with salty ocean water is also an estuary.
false

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True or false: Former Vice President Dan Quayle once said, "It is wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago."
true
In 1991 Vice President Dan Quayle confused the city of Chicago as a state.
false

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True or false: Polynesia is one island in the south Pacific.
true
false
Polynesia is a group of islands (including Hawaii) in the south Pacific, inhabited by Polynesian people.

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True or false: All U.S. citizens are Americans, but not all Americans are U.S. citizens.
true
While U.S. citizens are Americans, Americans live from Alaska all the way to Tierra del Fuego.
false

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Which are called "parallels": lines of latitude or lines of longitude?
latitude
Lines of latitude, running east and west, are called "parallels" because they are always an equal distance from each other.
longitude

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True or false: An earthquake is a fracture in Earth's crust.
true
false
A fracture in Earth's crust is a "fault." Earthquakes happen when a fault line shifts.

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True or false: A bay is usually smaller than a gulf.
true
Both are bodies of water partly enclosed by land, but gulfs, which are usually on the ocean, are typically bigger.
false

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True or false: The Florida Keys are islands of exposed ancient coral reef.
true
The Florida Keys are an island archipelago made of limestone and part of a coral reef called the Key Largo limestone formation.
false

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The silt, sand and small rocks that build up at the mouth of a river are called what?
cay
delta
Sediment deposited at the mouth of a river as it empties into another body of water is called a delta.
source

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True or false: Brackish water is foam created when seawater is agitated.
true
false
Brackish water is a mix of fresh and salt waters, such as in a delta or estuary. Seawater foam is called spume.

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True or false: La Nina and El Nino are opposites.
true
La Nina and El Nino are the cold and warm cycles of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
false

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In the lyrics "drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry," what's a levee?
a barrier to prevent flooding
A levee is a natural or artificial barrier that prevents a river from overflowing.
a body of water connecting two larger bodies of water
spongy ground with poor drainage

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True or false: The Sun Belt is in Southern California.
true
false
The Sun Belt typically includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.

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Is Africa a continent or a country?
a continent
Africa is a continent with dozens of countries.
a country

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True or false: Oceans and seas are the same.
true
false
Oceans and seas are both bodies of salt water; however, seas are smaller and partially surrounded by land.

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What is the point beyond which trees will not grow or survive?
foliage
tree line
Beyond a tree line is an environment, such as elevation or temperature, where trees can no longer grow.
tundra

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Buttes, mesas, and plateaus are, basically, all flat-topped hills (or mountains). Put them in order from smallest to largest:
buttes, mesas, plateaus
From smallest to largest, the order is buttes, mesas then plateaus.
plateaus, mesas, buttes
mesas, plateaus, buttes

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True or false: To be a coast, a shore must body an ocean.
true
A shore is where any land meets any water, but a coast is a shore that borders an ocean.
false

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You Got:
/30
© moodboard/Corbis
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