Top Ten Common Geography Mistakes

The Top Ten

1 Africa is a country

I have an Ethiopian classmate and she didn't know South Africa was a country.

I don't understand why people think this but sadly a lot of people do.

My best friend's girlfriend always thinks this

Really? 50 countries is one "country"?

2 Greenland is as big as Africa

An effect of the Mercator projection, this is by no means accurate. Africa is really 14 times larger than Greenland.

No. Africa is 14 times as large as Greenland, not 14 times later than Greenland.

I thought its big as australia

I mean larger, not later.

3 The Statue of Liberty is in New York

I didn't know that but that's not necessarily dumb. Like do you know which Indian state the Taj Mahal is? Pretty much the same thing.

Geographically, the Statue of Liberty falls under New Jersey's borders.

A lot of people don't know this

This is one I didn't know, wow.

4 Holland is a country

I thought that because when I went to the Netherlands everyone was saying Holland instead of the Netherlands so I assumed Holland was another name for the Netherlands.

Many Americans refer to the Netherlands as Holland, but really, Holland is just a large area of the Netherlands. Important cities are in Holland, including Amsterdam and The Hague.

This arises because north and south holland are the most populated

I always thought Holland was just the Netherlands

5 Deserts always have high temperatures

While many deserts around 30 degrees latitude can reach significantly high temperatures (Sahara, Mojave, etc. ), there can be some cold deserts, A desert refers to any area with less than 10 inches of rain a year. This includes Antarctica and the Gobi Desert

The definition of a desert is not "a place with lots of sand and very high temperatures", it's "an area with rainfall less than 10 inches per year". So Antartica, technically, is a desert.

They temperatures are dry.

Dry is the correct word

6 Toronto is the capital of Canada

Toronto is the biggest Canadian city but the capital is Ottawa.

Everyone in my geography class said that on a pop quiz

The capital is Ottawa

It's Ottawa.

7 England and the United Kingdom are the same thing

England is one of 4 nations that make up the UK. I hope it stays that was. England is the main political and economic part of the country, but I cannot imagine it without Wales, Scotland and NI. Lots of the greatest figures from 'England' are actually from other nations in the UK. I hope that Brexit does not end the UK, because although England doesn't seem to give much credit, those other 3 vital nations have done a lot. Call the Titanic English if you want, but it was made in Belfast. Sure, Wellington did well at Waterloo - but he was actually Scottish. What are we going to call the heir to the throne if Wales wasn't part of the UK - we couldn't call the the Prince/Princess of Wales anymore

England is not the UK and I want it to stay that way.

This is so dumb

No, but it could be after brexit

When I was younger I thought England was the same as the UK. oof

8 America is a country

The Countries in North and South America


Antigua and Barbuda


Costa Rica

Dominican Republic

El Salvador







Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

United States of America










(And a little trivia: The acronym of North East West South is...


Sometimes when you talk about America you're referring to the United States Of America.

It is the United States of America, America is a large geographical region.

It consists of a lot of countries including the US states

9 Charleston is the capital of South Carolina

Charleston is a major city in South Carolina, but the capital is Columbia. West Virginia's capital is Charleston, so basically, two cities have the same name.

There's a Columbia in West Virginia as well, which makes it even easier to confuse.

I commonly make this mistake. I'm into birds and a lot of bird history took place in Charleston, so often this is the only SC city I can remember.

10 Moscow is in Asia

Moscow, the capital of Russia, is in Europe. You need to know that Russia lies on 2 continents, Asia & Europe.

It's actually located in the European part of Russia, so technically it's in Europe

no its in the europe part of russia

The Contenders

11 Rangoon is the capital of Myanmar

Rangoon isn't the capital of Myanmar ( I think it's a major city).
The capital is Naypiydaw.

In 2006, it was changed to Nay Pyi Daw.

Naypyidaw is the capital, Rangoon is just the biggest city, and while it used to be a capital it isn't anymore since 2006

12 Maine is the easternmost U.S. state

While yes, Maine is the Easternmost of the lower 48, it isn't the Easternmost of the whole US. Alaska leans so far west actually passes the prime meridian and is partly in the Eastern Hemisphere.

It depends on how you interpret the International Date Line.

What ethanthemeister said

13 Australia is an island

Actually africa and austraillia are both island because islands are pieces of land surrounded by water so they are both island

Technically it consists of a few islands, so that technically makes it an archipelago. The continent it's located in is Oceania

Australia cants be a country and a continent, that's just stupid

Australia is a continent, not an island

14 Europe is a country

Really? UK, France, Sweden, Western Russia, Lithuania and many more are one united country?

Americans Tend to be like that sadly

Again, it's a continent.

no it's a continent

15 The Philippines is part of Oceania/Australia

The Philippines is officially part of Southeast Asia, and is about 500 miles off the coast of China. Indonesia, however, is partially in Oceania/Australia because it takes up half of New Guinea.

It's an archipelago in south east Asia

its in southeast asia

16 Rio de Janeiro is the capital of Brazil

It was the old capital of Brazil, the new one is Brasilia.

That's Brazilia

17 Jamaica is in Africa

Why do you think that it looks like it's in Africa?

Jamaica is an island in the caribbean

Lmao yes! Many people gets baffled with this.

18 Sydney is the capital of Australia

Sydney is the largest city of Australia, but Canberra is the capital city of Australia.

This should be much higher. It's a very common misconception.

It's actually pretty annoying when someone says this...

It's the biggest, but Canberra is the capital

19 Antarctica is a country

It's a continent with several regions occupied by seven countries.

It's an island, and what Cyri said, occupied by seven countries

A freaking continent guys.

20 Austria and Australia are the same

Austria is located in Europe, whereas Australia is located in Oceania

People get confused by this.

I bet Australia just copied and pasted Austria’s name but added a few letters so nobody would know

This is way too common.

21 Japan is the capital of China

I know this sounds stupid, but I actually knew someone who legitimately thought this.
It was in Year 8.
And she would have been 12 or 13.

When I was little, I thought it was the other way around (I thought China was the capital of Japan).

Beijing is China's capital.

^That's Bejing, Japan is another country

22 Myanmar is still called Burma

Other people told me this and I believed it... I feel so stupid.

It changed its name years ago...

23 England, Britain, and the UK are the same

Definitely not. The UK is United Kingdom between countries like Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland AND England. Britain is just the island that consists of Scotland, Wales and England.

24 Shanghai is the capital of China

no it's Beijing

that's stupid

25 Central American countries are in South America

I thought north america has 3 countries

Those are two different continents, although you could argue that the whole of America could count as one continent, eh anyway you get my point

is this true or just bad information

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