What are some really cool geographical facts?

Here is a selection of counter-intuitive geographical facts that I've picked up at various pub quizzes and over late night board game discussions. Most of them play on how we remember geographic information: by simplifying relative positions (e.g. “North America is above South America”) or by assuming geographic similarities based on climate or culture (e.g. between Europe and the US). Images are all from from Google Maps or Wikipedia.

1. The closest North American country to Africa is Canada. This is true even if we include the Caribbean. (The map below shows the distance to mainland Canada; the distance to Newfoundland is even smaller.)

2. London is farther north than all major Canadian cities apart from Edmonton (which is only as far north as Manchester). The fact that London doesn't get as cold is thanks to the Gulf Stream.

3. If you head south from downtown Detroit, you reach Canada. Detroit was ceded to the U.S. by Britain in the Jay Treaty of 1796.

4. If you head north, south, east or west from Stamford, Connecticut, you reach New York.

5. Reno, Nevada, is farther west than Los Angeles.

6. Key West, Florida, is farther west than all of continental South America.

7. The Panama Canal links the Pacific on the east with the Caribbean on the west.

8. The only two U.S. states never to have recorded a temperature of over 40°C (104°F) are Alaska and Hawaii. Temperatures in Hawaii are nearly always between 18°C and 32°C. Fort Yukon in Alaska, meanwhile, has surprisingly hot night-free summers; its lowest and highest recorded temperatures are -61.1°C and 37.8°C!

[As an aside, it sometimes feels like all pub quiz question about U.S. states are answered by either or Alaska or Hawaii or both. For example:]

9. The westernmost, easternmost, northernmost and southernmost points of the U.S. are all in Alaska or Hawaii (since Alaska straddles the 180-degree longitude line it contains the easternmost point, Semisopochnoi Island, just a quartet of a degree west of the 180th meridian).

10. There are only four countries in the southern hemisphere that are fully outside the tropics: Uruguay, New Zealand, Lesotho and Swaziland.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Which of these facts do you find most surprising?

#Geography #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Jim Adams
Pretty good stuff
Jan 4, 2020 2:16AM
Ilias Tsiabardas
Very good information thanks for sharing
Oct 30, 2019 6:03PM
LeeAnne Worre Risk
Great info!
Aug 18, 2019 4:25PM
Linalinda Eichin
Great information now I hope to remember them Much obliged for sharing
Apr 26, 2019 11:17PM
eastern most state is alaska...i would have lost a lot of money on all i have to do is remember...
Mar 26, 2019 10:25PM
Janet Crew
again the focus is on america.. there is a whole lot of world outside america.
Mar 22, 2019 7:04PM
Barb Beck
Good information. Hope to remember some of it.
Mar 13, 2019 7:24PM
Mar 2, 2019 4:45PM
Interesting. Thank you.
Feb 24, 2019 10:53PM
Oscar Foot Mann
Don Agey, The direction of travel in the canal is NW to SE... On the Atlantic side, the entrance to the Panama Canal is near the city of Colón (at about 9° 18' N, 79° 55' W). On the Pacific side, the entrance is near Panama City (at about 8° 56' N, 79° 33' W). These coordinates prove that if the journey were traveled in a straight line, it would be almost a north-south route with the Atlantic port being slightly west of the Pacific port. Looks like it is about 22 miles
Feb 19, 2019 1:17AM
Debbie Laurence
@Don Agey, i thought about that too and agree with you, but then thought: doesn‘t it depend where you‘re facing? Both then are correct.
Feb 14, 2019 6:38PM
Irma Rivera
Very good information!!!
Feb 12, 2019 5:12PM
Criona Walsh
Thanks for the info, very interesting
Feb 8, 2019 9:19PM
Dave Weaver
Very interesting! And I am a GIS tech I draw maps for a living.
Feb 8, 2019 5:53AM
Don Agey
The Panama canal connects the Pacific on the west and the Caribbean on the east
Feb 7, 2019 8:06PM

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