Top Ten Common Geography Mistakes

The Top Ten
1 Africa is a country

Every American be like:

But honestly, it's pretty sad that this is number one and most Americans still believe this. Like, people, there is so much diversity in this continent, but you people just want to hide in your little box and group it all together. Either you're a racist or you flunked Geography class. Oof, man. Oof.

This confuses me. Africa is obviously a continent, but when I saw this, my brain stopped working.

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

2 Greenland is as big as Africa

This is just a mistake that happens with the warped maps. Stop trying to convert a globe into a rectangle!

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

2D maps can trick you, but if you look on a globe, Greenland is a lot smaller than Africa.

3 Toronto is the capital of Canada

Toronto is the capital of Ontario, whereas Ottawa is the national capital of Canada.

It seems like major cities are often mistaken as capitals, at least most of the time.

It's actually Ottawa, but to be fair, both cities are in the same province.

4 England and the United Kingdom are the same thing

England is one of the four nations that make up the UK. I hope it stays that way. England is the main political and economic part of the country, but I cannot imagine it without Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. 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 three 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 them the Prince/Princess of Wales anymore.

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

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 Antarctica, technically, is a desert.

They are dry, which means in the daytime they are very hot, but at night you could freeze to death.

6 America is a country

The Americas or America comprises many different countries including the United States of America, which is a country in North America, one of the regions of the Americas.

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

No, but in the United States, they interchange the United States of America and America.

7 Holland is a country

Holland is just a small coastal area of the Netherlands which doesn't refer to the entire country. I believe people think it's the same thing, since in other languages a form similar to Holland is used.

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.

8 Moscow is in Asia

It's really weird how it probably took a war (Russo-Ukrainian War) to make people now know Moscow is closer to Minsk and not Tokyo.

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

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

9 Sydney is the capital of Australia

Sydney is the largest city in 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.

10 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 in? Pretty much the same thing.

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

The Contenders
11 Central American countries are in South America

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.

12 Australia is an island

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

13 Colorado is a perfect square

Also, the latitude and longitude will bend it, as shown on a satellite image.

14 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 it actually passes the prime meridian and is partly in the Eastern Hemisphere.

It depends on how you interpret the International Date Line.

15 Europe is a country

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

European here. Every European country is different from each other.

I can't believe someone believes this.

16 Austria and Australia are the same

It would be if a certain painter had his way.

But if you actually believe this, I can't believe that you flunked both Geography and COMMON KINDERGARTEN ENGLISH. Can you tell the difference between dachshund and golden retriever? No, because you're the same person who thinks Austria and Australia are the same country. Get some glasses, man.

WHO WOULD THINK THAT?!? Okay, in 4th grade, when we did a report on countries of the world, I picked Austria. On presentation day, a boy asked me if Austria was Australia's capital and why a country would be so arrogant to name the capital after themselves. It was so funny.

Sorry, Austria, your capital Vienna sounds like Venice in Italy, so people think your country is full of frauds.

17 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.

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.

Charleston is actually the capital of my state, West Virginia.

18 Rio de Janeiro is the capital of Brazil
19 Jamaica is in Africa

So, you're racist?

Just because a country has a lot of Sub-Saharan descent doesn't mean it's African. If that was the case, say hello to our new African countries, Haiti and the USA!

See how dumb you are?

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

20 Shanghai is the capital of China

It's the biggest city, but not the capital.

21 Rangoon is the capital of Myanmar

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

Naypyidaw is the capital. Rangoon is just the biggest city. While it used to be the capital, it hasn't been since 2006.

22 Palestine is a country

Palestine is a UN observer territory, not officially a country yet, as it isn't recognized by many Western nations.

23 Puerto Rico is a country
24 Antarctica is a country

Although parts of it are owned by different countries, Antarctica is not a country. If you believe this, why don't you take a trip there yourself? It's the biggest desert too, so you should wear your summer clothes. Trust me, it's a great experience.

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

25 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.

Indonesia is closer to Australia than the Philippines.

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