Quiz Time: Test Your Geo-Knowledge!

This post contains 10 questions about the geography of Earth.  How many can you get right?  Give yourself 1 point for each correct answer.  (The answers are underneath each picture.)  Have fun, and maybe you’ll learn something new!  (You’ll want a piece of paper to keep score as you go along!)

#1   What’s the highest mountain on Earth?

chimborazoThe answer depends on how you define “high”.  If you measure from sea level, Mount Everest is the winner: it’s 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level.  If you measure mountains in terms of their actual height, then the island of Hawaii (or Mauna Kea) is much taller.  When we measure from the bottom of the ocean in which Hawaii is located, we find that it is over 33,000 feet  (10,000 meters) tall.  And if you believe scientists, who measure from the center of the Earth, then Chimborazo (in the Andes, shown in the picture above) is the winner: it is 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) farther from Earth’s center than Mount Everest. Take 1 point for each one you could name!

#2   What’s the biggest continent on Earth?


There are two correct answers to this question!  ASIA is correct, but so is EURASIA (since Europe and Asia are really one land mass.)  Take 1 point for each one of those that you knew.

So why do most people think of them as two separate continents?  Well, blame the ancient Greeks.  They were more interested in peoples than physical features, and they decided that Europeans were different from Asians (though only a handful of ancient Greeks ever saw an Asian person!), so they decided that because the people were different, they should each have their own continent.  The philosopher Aristotle expressed it this way:

Those who live in a cold climate and in Europe are full of spirit, but wanting in intelligence and skill; and therefore they retain comparative freedom, but have no political organisation, and are incapable of ruling over others. Whereas the natives of Asia are intelligent and inventive, but they are wanting in spirit, and therefore they are always in a state of subjection and slavery.

If that makes sense to you, you’re smarter than I am!

#3   What is the longest river in the world?


At 4, 345 miles (6,992 kilometers) long, the Amazon River is the winner.  It’s about 100 miles longer than Africa’s Nile River, but is bigger in more ways than length.  It pours more than 100 times the amount of water into the Atlantic Ocean than the Nile does into the Mediterranean Sea, and its drainage area is more than twice the size of the Nile’s.  Take 1 point if you knew the Amazon was longest, and another point if  you knew that the Nile was second-longest.

#4   Which city has the largest population?


(Night view of Guangzhou, China)

This is another one where there are several possible answers.  The United Nations uses three different methods to measure city size: the city proper (within its city limits), the urban area, or the metropolitan area.  (If you want to know the difference, google it!)

Using the UN guidelines, there are three cities that can say they have the “biggest population”: give yourself 1 point for each one you know!  (You can also take a point if you know any of the 2nd place cities!)

City proper:  Shanghai, China (24.2 million)    2nd place: Delhi, India  (21.7 million)


Urban Area:  New York City, USA (80 million!)  2nd place: Guangzhou, China   (44.3 million)


Metropolitan Area:  Tokyo, Japan  (36.9 million)   2nd place: São Paulo, Brazil  (36.2 million)


#5   Can  you name the five Great Lakes of North America?

Great Lakes

Obviously, there are five answers here, so take 1 point for each one you know, an EXTRA point if you know them all, ANOTHER point if you can name the largest Great Lake, and one more if you can name the ONLY one that is located completely within the US!

Lake Superior: it’s the largest (that’s why it’s called “Superior!”): 31,700 square miles (82,000 km2).  It’s also the deepest of the lakes.


(The harbor of Thunder Bay, Ontario, with Lake Superior in the background.)

Lake Erie is the shallowest of the lakes: maximum depth 210 feet (64 meters) and and average depth of only 62 feet (10 meters).


(Cleveland OH, taken from Lake Erie.)

Lake Ontario is the smallest Great Lake.


(The skyline of Toronto, Ontario, on Lake Ontario.)

Lake Huron is the “middle lake“, with two lakes on either side of it.

Bay City

(Bay City MI, on Lake Huron, during their annual Tall Ships Celebration.)

Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes located entirely within the US.  All the others are shared by the US and Canada.


(Green Bay WI, more famous for its NFL football team than for being on Lake Michigan!)

#6   Which three countries make up the Benelux region of Europe?

You might have heard of this name, and wondered where it came from.  I think it’s because none of the countries is very big, and they all speak similar language, but no mater what, here they are: 1 point for each one you know!


#7   What is the most populated country on each continent?


I’m not including Antarctica (no countries there!) and for this question, Asia and Europe are separate continents.  There are lots of points available: 1 point for each country and 1 point for the 2nd place country on each continent (12 max points.)  Have fun!

AsiaChina  (1.382 billion)   2nd place: India  (1.326 billion)  (India will soon pass China.)

North AmericaUnited States  (324 million)   2nd place: Mexico  (128 million)

EuropeGermany  (81 million)    2nd place: France  (64 million)   (If you think of Russia as being a European country, you may take a point if  you had them as the biggest.  Most of Russia is geographically in Asia, but most of the people live in the European part!)

South AmericaBrazil  (209 million)    2nd place: Colombia  (52 million)

Australia/Oceania: Australia  (24 million)    2nd place: Papua New Guinea  (8 million)

AfricaNigeria  (180 million)     2nd place: Ethiopia  (96 million)

#8   Which is the deepest lake in the world?

For this one you get one point if you can name the lake, and another point if you can name the country in which it’s located!

Circum-Baikal railroad

Lake Baikal in southern Russia is the world’s deepest lake. It is an estimated 5,387 feet (1,642 meters) deep, and its bottom is approximately 3,893 feet (1,187 meters) below sea level. Lake Baikal is also the world’s largest freshwater lake: take an extra point if you knew that! 

#9   How many countries in the world have MORE than one capital city?

There are actually quite a few: one country even has THREE capital cities!  One point for each COUNTRY you correctly named!

 COUNTRY                                     CAPITAL CITIES

1 Benin Cotonou and Porto-Novo
2 Bolivia La Paz and Sucre
3 Chile Santiago and Valparaiso
4 Georgia Kutaisi and Tbilisi
5 Honduras Comayaguela and Tegucigalpa
6 Ivory Coast Abidjan and Yamoussoukro
7 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya
8 Montenegro Cetinje and Podgorica
9 Netherlands Amsterdam and The Hague
10 South Africa Bloemfontein, Cape Town, and Pretoria
11 South Korea Sejong City and Seoul
12 Sri Lanka Colombo and Kotte
13 Swaziland Lobamba and Mbabane

#10   What are the ten smallest countries in the world (by area)?

The correct answers are shown by the flags!  Here’s the list, with the land areas shown as well.  One point for each one you can name!

10.   Malta   (122 square miles/316 square kilomters)

 9.   Maldives  (116/300)

 8.   St. Kitts and Nevis   (104/269)

 7.   Marshall Islands   (70/181)

 6.   Liechtenstein  (62/160)

 5.   San Marino  (24/61)

 4.   Tuvalu   (10/26)

 3.   Nauru  (8.1/21)

 2.    Monaco  (0.78/2.02)

 1.   Vatican City  (0.17/0.44)   (It’s only about 100 acres in area!)

To give you an idea how small these really are: if you put them all together, they would still be smaller than the area of Houston TX!   

Time to add up those scores and see how you did!  There were a total of 63 points possible.  What does your score say about your geo-knowledge?


35-49 points: More geo-knowledge than 99% of the geography professors I had at university!

20-24 pointsYou’re good.  You may keep your passport!  I’d be proud to travel with you!

10-19 points:  Not a bad score.  Not a great one, but you passed the quiz!

0-9 pointsNo trophies for participation here: better luck next time!

Thanks for taking this quiz.  Hope you enjoyed it!  Keep watching: there will be more quizzes coming soon!



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