19 Curious Facts Prove That Geography Is So Strange, But So Cool!

“Palm trees grow in Ireland, at 53 degrees north. In Canada at 55 degrees north there are polar bears.”


“Australia is wider than the moon”


“There are 14 mountains over the height of 8000 metres. All of them are in Asia.”



“Despite Canada being the US’s “neighbor to the north”, the majority of Canadians live south of Seattle.”


“When I worked for FedEx back in the 90’s one of the reasons why they chose Anchorage as a global hub (apart from the fact that aircraft use less fuel due to it being cooler) was that it is one of the only places in the world that is within 10 hours of the three biggest global markets; North America, Europe and Asia!

Who would have thought that a place considered in the middle of nowhere is actually the centre of the world.”


“If you took a boat out of Reykjavík and sailed directly south, the first land mass you’d hit would be Antarctica.”


“Not Earth’s geography but Mars’. Olympus Mons (volcano on Mars) is so big that it curves with the curvature of Mars itself to an extent that you cannot see the peak of the volcano if you would stand at the base of it.”


“Rubies and Sapphires are in fact, the same mineral, and both of them, as well as Emeralds, are actually rarer then Diamonds.”


“Texas is large enough that I could fit Copenhagen, Brussels, Zagreb, and Warsaw with their real life distances from each other inside the State lines.

The Great Lakes contain enough fresh water to flood an area the size of Great Britain in over 100 meters of water.”


“Antarctica is the world’s largest desert, since it doesn’t get all that much rainfall.

Also, if you put a cherry on top of it, Antarctica is the world’s largest dessert.”


“Maine is the closest point in the US to Africa.”


“The Dead Sea is currently 429 meters below sea level (and sinking about 1 meter a year).

I did some work in Jordan, and that caused some GPS recievers to mess up, as they thought the negative height was an error.”


“How far north Europe is. I always pictured Europe as roughly parallel to the US, so northern Europe would be the same latitude as Minnesota and southern Europe as Florida. Not even close. The UK is almost entirely north of the lower 48 states and Rome is further north than New York City.”


“Not sure it applies but the meteor that brought an end to the dinossaurs was so massive that the crater actually started forming itself before it even touched ground, due to the unbelievable air pressure”


“Australia is the only continent with no active volcanos.”


“Ohio is the only state that doesn’t share a letter with the word “Mackerel””


“Detroit is farther east than Atlanta.”


“The distance between the highest point and the lowest point in the contiguous United States is less than 85 miles.”


“It’s easy to forget how recent some of our research and discoveries are.

Though the idea of “continental drift” was first proposed in 1915, the theory of plate tectonics wasn’t really well developed until the 1950s, continuing into the 1970s. And while we currently understand pretty well that an asteroid impact caused most dinosaurs to rapidly go extinct, down to the exact location of the crater and the size of the asteroid and everything, the asteroid-impact theory wasn’t proposed until 1980.”



  1. Wow, so many of these facts are false…

  2. The GPS one doesn’t surprise me.

    Fundamentally, the basic GPS calculation is finding the intersection of 4 hyperspheres. Picturing this is obviously a nightmare so consider the much simpler case: You’re on the ground listening to two town bells that ring exactly at noon and looking at your watch to see when you hear them. You hear the first bell at 12:00:02 and thus conclude you are 2 seconds of sound travel from that bell. You hear the second at 12:00:03 and thus conclude you are 3 seconds of sound travel from that bell. Draw that on a map–you have two circles. Unless they are only barely touching two circles intersect in **two** points and you have no way to know which of the two it is.

    GPS must also find altitude so you need another signal source and GPS requires precision far, far beyond what any watch can deliver so you must also figure out where you are in time, thus requiring another signal source. As with the simple case this still gives two possible locations. Fortunately, one of those points is far from the Earth and thus rejected, you take the answer that’s on Earth. I can easily see a sloppy programmer rejecting the solution with a negative altitude as not being on Earth.

    Now, with 5 or more satellites there’s normally (degenerate cases can occur, if more than two satellites are in a perfect line you only get two satellites worth of information from them–but note that while line-ups do occur they don’t persist) only one solution–but if the receiver solved it for 4 and then simply used the others to refine the answer….

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