2011 Geo Quiz answers
1. The French region of Brittany is "Little Britain." It got its name as Romanized Celts migrated there as they fled invading Angles, Saxons and other Germanic tribes after the withdrawal of the Roman legions from Britain.
2. Tennessee borders Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri. Missouri borders Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
3. The cotton twill made in Nimes originally was called Serge de Nimes, which eventually was shortened to "denim." The first trousers made of it were sewn in the Italian port of Genoa, which the French call Genes and we pronounce "jeans."
4. Mount Kosciuszko, at 7,310 feet, is the highest mountain in Australia. In 1840, a Polish explorer named what was thought to be Australia's highest mountain in honor of General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Polish national hero and chief engineer of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. But a couple of decades later it was discovered that the mountain was actually a few feet lower than a neighboring peak. Rather than explain the mistake to the heirs of Kosciuszko, the entire nation of Poland and Australian peak-baggers, the New South Wales Lands Department merely swapped the names of the two mountains.
5. Route 66. Before Bobby Troup's iconic 1946 song, "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66," it was commonly called "Highway 66." It no longer exists as a federal highway: The last stretch was decommissioned in 1984 after modern interstate freeways took its place. Stretches of it have been reclaimed as state highways and designated "Historic Route 66."
6. Anyone nearing 100 in Arizona or New Mexico would have been around to see those states join the Union. (Arizona joined on Feb. 14, 1912, New Mexico on Jan. 6, 1912.) Anyone living in Oklahoma when it gained statehood would be 104 if alive today. (It joined Nov. 16, 1907.) And in the unlikely event any people in Utah are 115 years old, they would have been around when their state joined the Union. (Jan. 4, 1896.)
7. The full name of Los Angeles is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula" - "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the Porciuncula River." Porciuncula" was the name Spaniards originally gave to the Los Angeles River.
8. California (163,000 square miles) is nearly twice the size of Great Britain (88,000 square miles).
9. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is slightly larger than the Sahara desert (3.5 million square miles). The Sahara, by the way, is the world's largest desert by far. It's seven times the size of the second-largest, the Gobi Desert.
10. Greenland appears substantially larger on a Mercator Projection map because this method of pressing a three-dimensional sphere onto a two-dimensional piece of paper causes large distortions as you approach the poles. But in reality Australia is nearly three times the size of Greenland.
17. Sri Lanka.
18. Just under half. A little over 30 percent lives in the Central time zone, about 5 percent lives in the Mountain time zone, a little under 15 percent lives in the Pacific time zone and just over half a percent lives in the Hawaiian and Alaskan time zones.
20. The Mediterranean and the Red seas.
21. The eastern city limit of Juneau, Alaska, shares a border with British Columbia.
22. Although Greenland politically is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, geographers consider it to be part of North America.
23. Egypt. Most of it is in Africa, but the Sinai Peninsula is in Asia.
24. "Live free or die."
25. Dalmatia is a region of Croatia - it includes Dubrovnik - and is believed to be where the firehouse mascot of the same name originated.
26. Rhode Island. The explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano thought it looked like the Greek island of Rhodes.
27. France, Spain and Morocco each have Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts (and beaches). And no, Gibraltar does not quite touch the Atlantic.
28. Pakistan and Afghanistan.
29. Italy and Austria.
31. Moscow and Vladivostok.
33. The countries that use the rupee, in addition to India, are Nepal, Pakistan, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Sri Lanka.
34. South Africa.
35. The incoming tides in the Bay of Fundy, which can reach 50 feet, push all that water upstream.
37. Calcutta, now spelled Kolkata, was the first British capital of India.
38. Africa. Each line passes through the continent, but the point at which they intersect is out in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coasts of Nigeria and several other countries.
39. Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; Budapest, Hungary; and Belgrade, Serbia.
40. You would need vision that is 17,000 times better than 20/20 to see the Great Wall from the moon. So the answer (for humans, anyway) is no. In fact, no man-made structures can be seen with the naked eye from the moon. Under optimal conditions, a number of manmade structures, including the Great Wall, are visible from low earth orbit to those with exceptional eyesight. It is doubtful, though, that a very large beaver dam in Canada was ever visible from outer space, as was claimed in the Ottawa Globe and Mail in 2010.
41. Monrovia, the capital of Liberia - a country founded by former slaves from the United States - was named for President James Monroe.
42. Portugal's pre-euro currency was the escudo; Italy's was the lira; Spain's was the peseta.
43. Water covers slightly more than 70 percent of the earth's surface.
44. The Andes.
45. The Yangtze River. But that's just the local name for one small stretch of the river near the city of Yangzou. Western missionaries mistakenly applied it to the entire river.
46. The North Pole is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. What you're standing on is actually drifting pack ice.
47. It is the flag of England. Each of the countries of Great Britain - England, Scotland and Wales - has its own flag. Northern Ireland currently does not.
48. Russia has nine time zones; China has just one - Beijing time. (Officially, that is. Unofficially, Xinjiang and Tibet are two hours later.)
49. Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia at an altitude of 12,500 feet.
50. Liverpool, England.
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