Two Truths and a Lie: North American Geography

Daniel Yetman

Image: fstop123 / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Who doesn't love a good game of two truths and a lie? It's right up there with 'Never Have I Ever' and 'Truth or Dare'. We've wracked our brains to come up with 35 rounds that are going to put your North American geography knowledge to the test. 

When you think about North America, what are the first countries you think of? Unless you live in the Caribbean yourself, you probably think about America, Canada, and Mexico. While these three countries make up the majority of North America's landmass and population, there are 20 more countries in Central America and the Caribbean with rich histories of their own. 

There are over 7,000 islands in the Caribbean, but less than 2 percent of them are occupied. Many of these islands are still controlled by European nations. Bermuda is controlled by England, Guadeloupe is controlled by France, and Aruba is controlled by ... ? If you already knew that it's part of the Netherlands, you have a chance at acing this quiz. If you're just learning that now, stick around and you might learn a few nuggets of trivia you can use to impress your friends. 

Alright, here's your three facts: Canada is North America's biggest country, America is the most populated and it's not time to get started. Can you spot the lie?

Can you name the lie among these Caribbean facts?

The Bahamas is actually an archipelago, which means that it consists of a series of islands. There are more than 700 islands that make up the country. The capital, Nassau, is located on the island of New Providence.

Is your lake knowledge good enough to spot this less than factual statement?

Although Great Slave lake is comparable to the Great Lakes in size, it's not in the same water formation. The five Great Lakes include Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake Michigan.

Can you spot the lie among these facts?

If you take a 12-month average of the temperature of all the states in America, Hawaii is the hottest with an average temperature of 71.6 degrees. Florida is number two with an average of 70.7.

Do you know your border crossings well enough to tell us which of these we made up?

The Canadian city of Vancouver borders on Washington State. It's less than a three-hour drive from Vancouver to Seattle. You can also take a ferry from the Canadian city Victoria to get to Seattle.

Can you spot the lie among these three facts?

Mexico has several peaks that are among the highest in the world. However, Mexico's highest point is Pico de Orizaba at 18,491ft, which makes it the third-highest peak in North America not the third-highest in the world.

America and Canada are home to some of the world's tallest buildings. But which of these isn't factual?

The Empire State Building might be one of the most well-known skyscrapers in the world but its not even the tallest in America. The John Hancock Center, Willis Tower and One World Trade Center all rank higher.

Which of these train facts did we stretch the truth about?

If you visit Havana, Cuba, you can take a train to other communities in Cuba, but there's no metro train system. The largest metro train system in the Caribbean belongs to Santo Domingo.

Can you tell us which of these isn't true?

You might best recognize the Chihuahua species of dog from Taco Bell posters. It actually originates from Mexico. It's thought that it descends from another species of dog known as the Techichi.

Which of these timezone facts isn't correct?

The most western time zone in Canada is Pacific Standard Time. The biggest Canadian city in this time zone is Vancouver. The biggest Canadian city in the Mountain Standard Time zone is Calgary.

Which of these statements doesn't seem quite true?

French is the third most commonly spoken language in North America. Can you guess the second? Behind English's 317 million speakers, Spanish has the second most speakers with 121 million.

Two of these water facts are true. But which one isn't?

If you had to guess which of these three bodies of water don't border America, you'd probably guess the Gulf of Mexico. However, the Gulf of California is actually located between mainland and the Baja regions of Mexico.

Two of these are true, but which one isn't?

One of the Great Lakes doesn't touch Canadian soil. Can you guess which one? Lake Michigan is fully enclosed by America. The other four lakes are shared between the two countries.

Which one of these driving ETAs isn't quite right?

The only way driving from New York to Boston is going to take seven hours is if you get stuck in traffic. If you make good time, you might be able to make the drive in under 3.5 hours.

How well do you know your North American coordinates? Can you spot the lie?

You may think that San Antonio is near the southern tip of America, but if you spin the globe you'll see that Honolulu dips down as the southernmost major city in America. If you're curious what the northernmost would be, that title belongs to Anchorage.

Believe it or not, one of these is a lie. Which one?

Aruba is an island controlled by the Netherlands that's just north of Venezuela and south of the Dominican Republic. While most of the island countries are part of North America, Aruba is one of the few that is in South America.

Can you recognize the lie without looking at a map?

When answering American geography questions, it would be wise not to forget about Alaska. Not only does Alaska border the Arctic and Pacific oceans, but it also has the longest coastline of any state.

Can you spot the lie among these three facts?

There are only 11 states that are south of the Mexico border. These states are Louisiana, Texas, California, Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina.

Can you spot our fib?

There are no islands in the Caribbean owned by Australia, but there are several owned by European nations. Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Martin are a few of the islands owned by France. Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten are among countries ruled by the Netherlands.

Can you spot this temperature-related lie?

As awful as it would be to be caught in -65-degree weather, there was an even colder day recorded in Prospect Creek, Alaska. In 1971, one day in January was measured at -80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Which of these temperature facts did we fabricate?

Anchorage may be farther north than most major Canadian cities, however, its proximity to the ocean gives it a more mild climate. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon are among the Canadian cities that regularly see temperatures under -40F and -40C.

One of these isn't true. Which one?

Being the largest city in a state doesn't necessarily make it the capital. But in Colorado, Denver is both the most populous city and the capital. Denver has a population of about 600,000.

Do you know these countries well enough to spot the lie?

Vancouver is actually the third-biggest city in Canada. The second-biggest behind Toronto is Montreal. Montreal is most well-known for being the largest French city in North America.

Which of these population statistics isn't true?

Rhode Island is the smallest geographic state, but there are six states with a smaller population including Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Delaware.

Which of these is a lie? Note: We're considering Greenland part of Europe.

Cuba is one of the biggest islands in North America. However, it's not the largest. The sparsely populated Baffin Island in Northern Canada is the biggest. The Canadian province of Newfoundland also has a larger landmass than Cuba.

All these are true ... except for one. Which one?

New York is the second biggest city in North America. The biggest city is Mexico City, which has a metro population about a million people larger than New York (close to 21 million in total).

Do you have the time to spot this timezone lie?

The time difference across Canada is actually 4.5 hours thanks to Newfoundland. The most eastern time zone in American is Eastern Standard Time. In Canada Atlantic Standard Time and Newfoundland Standard Time are both farther east.

We're pulling your leg with one of these. Which one?

North America is actually the third-largest continent. Can you name which two are larger? Both Africa and Asia have a larger total landmass. Africa often looks smaller than North America on maps because of the way flat maps are distorted.

Do you know your states and provinces well enough to find our lie?

If you count the stars on the American flag, you'll count one for each of the 50 states. However, America only has five territories, not seven. These are American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Do you know enough about America's languages to spot the lie?

Although it's undeniable that English is the most common language in the United States, it hasn't been named the official language at a federal level. About 231 million people in America speak English at home as their primary language.

How well does your river knowledge flow? Can you spot the lie?

The Mississippi is undoubtedly the most famous river in North America, but it's actually not the longest. The longest river is the Missouri, which flows into the Mississippi. The Missouri river is roughly 2,565 miles long.

Can you tell us which of these is a lie?

Mexico is one of the biggest countries in the world, but its population is closer to 112 million than 150 million. Still, its population is almost three times greater than Canada's and ranks 10th in the world.

Even if you have trouble believing it, one of these is a lie. Which one?

Believe it or not, Reno is actually west of Los Angeles. How's that possible? The southern coastline of California cuts in just far enough that northern Nevada is further west than southern California.

How well do you know your Canadian provinces? Can you spot the fib?

Vancouver is the third biggest city in Canada, but it's actually not the capital of Canada's most western province. That title belongs to the much smaller community of Victoria, which is on Vancouver island.

How well do you know the Great White North? Can you spot the lie?

Canada's geographically largest province is Quebec. It's also the part of Canada that's mostly French. The biggest city in the region has a metro population of about 4 million people.

How well do you know your state capitals? Which one is a lie?

Portland may be the biggest city in Portland, but it's not the capital. That title belongs to Salem. You may immediately have images of the Salem Witch Trials in your head, but those actually took place in Massachusetts.

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