January 2014 Travel Trivia: Are You A Maphead?

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| By Dberman
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As the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sang in their 2003 hit “Maps,” “They don’t love you like I love you. ” It’s true that most people don’t find maps particularly lovable: confusing, hard to fold, seemingly replaceable by a cheap GPS device. But to geography geeks, maps aren’t just an inconvenience. They’re a way of life. Are you a maphead? Find out on this month’s quiz.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    What famous pioneer trail stretched 2,000 miles northwest from Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley?

    Explanation
    The correct answer is "The Oregon Trail." The Oregon Trail was a famous pioneer trail that stretched 2,000 miles northwest from Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley. It was a major route for settlers during the 19th century, particularly during the California Gold Rush and the settlement of the western United States.

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  • 2. 

    What European country’s capital, anciently called Serdica, is now named for the city’s Holy Sophia Church?

    Explanation
    The capital of Bulgaria, anciently called Serdica, is now named after the city's Holy Sophia Church. This suggests that the correct answer is Bulgaria.

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  • 3. 

    The Lena River arises in what country’s Baikal Mountains?

    Explanation
    The Lena River originates in the Baikal Mountains, which are located in Russia.

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  • 4. 

    What Canadian province borders both Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes?

    Explanation
    Ontario is the correct answer because it is the only Canadian province that borders both Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes. Hudson Bay is located to the north of Ontario, while the Great Lakes (Superior, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) are located to the south. This makes Ontario the only province that has access to both bodies of water.

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  • 5. 

    What African nation is named for the republics of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which united to form it in 1964?

    Explanation
    Tanzania is the correct answer because it is the African nation that was formed in 1964 by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The name "Tanzania" is a combination of the two names, representing the merging of the two territories into one country.

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  • 6. 

    On what continent would you find Iguazu Falls, the world’s second largest waterfall in terms of discharge volume?

    Explanation
    Iguazu Falls, the world's second largest waterfall in terms of discharge volume, is located in South America. This continent is known for its diverse and breathtaking natural landscapes, and Iguazu Falls is a prime example of this. The falls are situated on the border between Argentina and Brazil, and they are a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world to witness their grandeur and power. With its immense volume of water cascading down the cliffs, Iguazu Falls is a true marvel of nature and a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

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  • 7. 

    The West Bank, disputed between Israel and Palestine, is found on the west bank of what river?

    Explanation
    The West Bank, which is a disputed territory between Israel and Palestine, is located on the west bank of the Jordan River. The Jordan River is a significant geographical feature in the region and serves as a natural boundary between Israel and Jordan. Therefore, the correct answer options are Jordan, Jordan River, The Jordan, and The Jordan River.

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  • 8. 

    If you spot the distinctive “hump” of Camelback Mountain while flying into Sky Harbor Airport, what U.S. city are you visiting?

    Explanation
    The correct answer is Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix, AZ. The question asks about the U.S. city that you are visiting if you spot the distinctive "hump" of Camelback Mountain while flying into Sky Harbor Airport. The answer options all refer to the city of Phoenix, which is located in the state of Arizona and is commonly abbreviated as AZ. Therefore, if you see Camelback Mountain while landing at Sky Harbor Airport, you are visiting Phoenix, Arizona.

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  • 9. 

    The vast Takla Makan, which is the world’s second largest sand dune desert, is found in what country?

    Explanation
    The correct answer is China because the question asks for the country where the vast Takla Makan desert is found. The Takla Makan desert is known as the world's second-largest sand dune desert, and it is located in China.

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  • 10. 

    The Pyrenees mountains run between France and what other country?

    Explanation
    The Pyrenees mountains are located between France and Spain. They form a natural border between the two countries, stretching approximately 430 kilometers from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. These mountains are known for their stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and popular hiking trails.

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  • 11. 

    Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province, has been much in the news lately.  In what country is Tacloban?

    Explanation
    Tacloban is the capital of Leyte province, which is located in the Philippines. Therefore, Tacloban is in the country of the Philippines.

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  • 12. 

    Mount Palomar in southern California, Arecibo in Puerto Rico, and Mauna Kea in Hawaii are all sites for what kind of facility?

    Explanation
    Mount Palomar, Arecibo, and Mauna Kea are all well-known locations for astronomical observation and research. They are home to large telescopes and observatories that enable scientists to study celestial objects and phenomena. These facilities provide astronomers with the necessary tools and equipment to observe and collect data from the universe. Therefore, the correct answer options, "Telescope," "Telescopes," "Observatory," "Observatories," and "Telescopic," all accurately describe the kind of facility found at these sites.

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  • 13. 

    King Carl XVI Gustaf has his royal palace in what largest city of Scandinavia?

    Explanation
    The correct answer is Stockholm, the largest city in Scandinavia. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has his royal palace located in Stockholm.

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  • 14. 

    Of the six states of New England, which is by far the largest in area?

    Explanation
    Maine is the correct answer because it is the largest state in New England in terms of area. It is larger than the other five states, which are Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

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  • 15. 

    On the longest day of the year every June, the sun is directly overhead along what line of latitude, roughly 23 degrees north of the Equator?

    Explanation
    On the longest day of the year, which occurs every June, the sun is directly overhead along the Tropic of Cancer, which is approximately 23 degrees north of the Equator. This is because the Tropic of Cancer marks the northernmost point where the sun can appear directly overhead during the summer solstice. The tilt of the Earth's axis causes the sun's rays to be most concentrated in this region, resulting in longer daylight hours and the longest day of the year.

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