Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today's Trivia – Geography (Part 1)

This week’s useless but interesting information is all about geography. My knowledge in this topic is considerably weak; hopefully, along with you, I’ll learn something new today.

(This is part 1 of 2)

- About 90% of the world’s population lives in the Northern Hemisphere.

- About one-tenth of the earth's surface is permanently covered with ice.

- About two-thirds of Africa is in the Northern Hemisphere.

- According to National Geographic, Mt. Everest grows about 4 millimeters a year: the two tectonic plates of Asia and India, which collided millions of years ago to form the Himalayas, continue to press against each other, causing the Himalayan peaks to grow slightly each year.

- Alaska and California are tied for having the most national parks in the United States. They each have eight.

- All gondolas in Venice, Italy must be painted black, unless they belong to a high official.

- Approximately one-tenth of the earth’s surface is ice-covered.

- As of Dec. 31, 2000, the number of climbers summiting Mt. Everest reached 1314, and the number of deaths on the mountain reached 167.

- At 840,000 square miles, Greenland is the largest island in the world. It is three times the size of Texas. By comparison, Iceland is only 39,800 square miles.

- At its nearest point, the United States is only two miles away from Russia. The Little Diomede Island is part of Alaska while the Big Diomede Island belongs to Siberia.

- Australia is the only country that is also a continent.

- Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Cape Town, and Sydney are each thousands of miles apart and are known for having unusually pleasant year-round climates, and they are all almost identical distances from the Equator.

- Bullfrog County, Nevada, never had any residents. The Nevada state legislature created the county in 1987 as a way for the state government to receive federal monies for storing nuclear wastes at Yucca Mountain. It was a desolate 144 square mile enclave in the middle of Nye County. After an unfavorable court ruling, Bullfrog County was dissolved in 1989.

- Canada has six time zones.

- Canada is known for having the longest coastline in the world at about 244,000 km (151,600 miles).

- Canada is an Indian word meaning 'Big Village'.

- Canada's land mass is 9 970610 km2. (The world's second largest country)

- Crescent City, California is about 15 miles south of the Oregon border, but it’s about 10 miles farther north than Newport, Rhode Island. In other words, you can still be in California and be farther north than coastal Rhode Island.

- Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC, making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

- Detroit is the only city in the lower 48 states where you drive south to reach Canada.

- Devon is the only county in Great Britain to have two coasts.

- Disney World in Orlando, Florida covers 30,500 acres (46 square miles), making it twice the size of the island of Manhattan, New York.

- Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

- El Azizia in Libya recorded a temperature of 136 degrees Fahrenheit (57.8 Celsius) on Sept. 13, 1922 -- the hottest ever measured.

- Europe has no deserts - it is the only continent without one.

- Florida is the flattest state. The highest elevation is Britton Hill, only 345 feet above sea level.

- For every 10 successful attempts to climb Mount Everest there is one fatality.

- Forty-six percent of the world's water is in the Pacific Ocean; that's around 6 sextillion gallons of water. The Atlantic has 23.9 percent; the Indian, 20.3; the Arctic, 3.7 percent.

- France is about 30% larger than the state of California.

- French was the official language of England for over 600 years.

- Geographically, the largest county in the US is California's San Bernardino County. At 20,164 square miles it is bigger than nine states.

- Glasgow is about 280 miles north of London. Keep going another 250 miles north for Stockholm, another 370 miles north to reach Reykjavik, and 413 miles north to reach Hammerfest, Norway, which is almost 5,000 miles north of the Equator.

- Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first city in the US to put fluoride in their water.

- Great Bear Lake is the largest lake in Canada with an area of 31 326 km2.

Hawaiian Cardinal
 - Hawaii is the only state with only natural borders (no straight lines).

- Hawaii is the only US state that grows coffee.

- Hawaii was annexed by the United States as a territory in 1898, and became a state in 1959.

- If Monaco's ruling house of Grimaldi should ever be without an heir (male or female), the country will cease to be a sovereign state.

- If you are trying to get a handle on the climate of India it helps to know its northern border is the same as the northern border of Mexico in Tijuana, and the southern border is about the same as the southern border of Panama.

- If you combine England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, then together they are a bit smaller than the deceivingly large state of Michigan.

- In 1771 the kingdom of Poland was larger than any other European country except Russia, and had a bigger population than any other European country except France.

- In the Great Seal of the US the eagle grasps 13 arrows and an olive branch.

- India has the most post offices of any country with 280,181 of them.

- Indiana has a city named Santa Claus.

- It is forbidden for aircraft to fly over the Taj Mahal.

- Italy completely surrounds two other countries: the Vatican City and San Marino.

- Japan is the world's leading importer of iron ore.

- La Paz, Bolivia, at 11,900 feet above sea-level, is the highest large city in the world.

- Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in New Orleans, Louisiana, is the world's largest bridge. It is almost 24 miles (about 38 kilometers) long.

- Los Angeles County has the most people, more than 9 million.

- New York City encompasses five counties.

- New York County, more commonly known as Manhattan, has the greatest population density with more than 50,000 people per square mile.

- Madrid, with summers so blazing hot that most people take a long break from work every afternoon, is about 10 miles farther north than Salt Lake City, Utah.

- Maine is the only state in the United States whose name has one syllable.

- Mexico City is sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches a year because it's built on top of an underground reservoir. Wells are drawing out more and more water for the city's growing population.

- Mexico City is the oldest capital city in the Americas.

- Most land filled trash retains its original weight, volume, and form for 40 years.

- Mt. Everest grows approximately four millimeters a year. This is due to the tectonic plates of Asia and India. These plates collided millions of years ago and this is how the Himalayas were formed. These two plates continue to press against each other, causing the entire mountain range to grow a tiny bit annually.

- New Jersey, with 96, is the US state with the greatest number of hazardous waste sites.

- Niagara Falls has more water flowing over it every year than any other waterfall in the world.

- On France’s southern Mediterranean coast, Cannes, the sunny summer playground of the rich, which is sometimes incorrectly called ‘tropical’, is about 10 miles farther north than Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

- One-fifth of the world’s freshwater surface is held by the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. Lake Michigan is the only one that lies completely in the United States. All others are shared by Canada and the United States. Combined, they hold approximately six quadrillions of water and are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the entire world. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater body in the world.

- Only one county in Great Britain has two coasts. That county is Devon.

- Perhaps the most redundant name of any place is Torpenhow Hill in Cumbria, England. Each syllable of the name means "hill" in a different language, so its name could be translated as "Hill Hill Hill Hill". According to tradition, as each new tribe settled in the area, they appended their own word for "hill" to the existing name.

- Portland, Oregon, where it rarely snows, is about 130 miles farther north than Toronto, and over 200 miles farther north than Boston.

- Quito in Ecuador, South America, is said to have the most pleasant climate in the world. It is called the 'Land of Eternal Spring.' The temperature rarely drops below 46 degrees Fahrenheit during the night, or exceeds 72 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. (My kind of place...)

- Rome was discovered in 753 BC and Damascus, Syria was thriving and flourishing thousands of years before this. That makes Damascus the oldest city ever that has always been inhabited.

- Rome, which is located in the center of Italy, is located at the exact same latitude as Chicago.


  1. Interesting bits of info there Martha....

  2. I got some useless info to contribute: when driving the coastal highway in the US for the first time, we had a serious car accident in Crescent City, CA. We were fine, and went on to buy a car in San Francisco, take possession in Reno to avoil Cali sales tax, and return the next year to finish the trip.

    And I tried to find a flight to Greenland once, but Canada stopped direct flights to Greenland and maybe even Iceland? only a few years before. It was to be through the north.

    And sadly the Great Lakes are terrifically polluted.

  3. I had to go find Santa Claus, Indiana. I lived in Indiana for 20+ years and don't remember it. Now I will need to go visit!

  4. Thanks, Hellas Frappe; the world is an interesting place!


    Good info, Tatiana. Yes, sadly the Great Lakes are polluted. I think I saw an article about Lake Ontario being cleaned up. Or something like that. Maybe? I hope it's true.


    Isn't that funny, WebDebris? A town called Santa Claus... You learn something new every day.

  5. I find quite it interesting that over 15% of people who attempt Mt. Everest perish... those are some very poor odds.

  6. I see now that I obviously can't string a full sentence together properly lol!

  7. Jane, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to attempt to climb that mountain, never mind actually doing it. I wouldn't even dream of trying considering that I'm afraid of heights!