Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

To join the Geography Challenge in support of your country, you simply need to select which country you will be representing and take the quiz. This quiz consists of trying to locate 10 randomly selected countries on a map of the world. It is different every time. You may take this quiz up to 3 times per day, but no cheating. It is a timed quiz.

This is a really difficult geography quiz (or do I just think it is difficult because I don’t know my geography very well?). Give it a go and tell me how you did.

My scores; 3, 5, 7 correct out of ten possible (it takes a little while to figure out how to navigate on the world map, too). I found that I tended to choose the country next to the country I was supposed to click on. The former Soviet Union drove me crazy, as did the little tab thingies, especially in the Caribbean, where there are a dozen or so of those tabs that are very close to each other. My best areas were South America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The country I was representing on this quiz was .. Indonesia. I am sure the Indonesians are all mad at me now because of my terrible scores (sorry).

Well, at least my scores were improving with each quiz.



  1. #1 Dendroica
    June 23, 2006

    I had 7,7,7. I know some areas down pat, but others not so much. African countries and island chains in the Pacific and Indian oceans were my worst areas.

  2. #2 Paco
    June 23, 2006

    9, 10, then I had other things to do… I love maps and used to play this game with friends in junior high school, except any name on the map was a permitted question. I did totally luck out though on Pacific Island countries, though; Nauru was a simple guess out of several possibilities.

    By the way, love your blog! You, Pharyngula and the Loom are the three I read religiously (if that’s the right word ;-).

  3. #3 Kele
    June 23, 2006

    2, 4, 6. Boo. Most of the time I was one or two countries off. I would’ve had 5 on the second one if I had realized what those little markers were for… Didn’t realize they were for the smaller countries for some reason. Stupid Monaco.

  4. #4 Lorax
    June 23, 2006

    7,9,8. West Africa and the former USSR tripped me up — I can’t keep all the Central Asian republics straight since they weren’t independent countries back when I took geography, so I missed Turkmenistan and Kazhakstan (guessing Tajikistan and, er, Turkmenistan, showing that memory isn’t my strong suit either.)

  5. #5 ThePolynomial
    June 23, 2006

    5…and sadly I’m kind of proud, considering I sort of guessed on two of them. I think a map of Africa and I need to have a nice, long chat.

  6. #6 theRidger
    June 23, 2006

    Yep … 7, 5, 8 West Africa and all the Pacific Island countries, some of which I am ashamed to say I hadn’t even heard of. OTOH, I was always in the right general area – which is to say, West Africa not East …

  7. #7 JohnJB
    June 24, 2006

    6,8,7. I’m spot-on on Africa and most of Europe, but all the former Soviet ‘stans’ and the pacific islands stump me.

    There are more fun geography games here. I found that I can quickly build a mental map and learn this stuff if I look at Wikipedia, Google, or whatever and grab on to a factoid that I can associate with a country.

    For example:
    Djibouti: strategic to the Red Sea, site of only permanent US base in Africa. In the news a few months ago with the downing of two US helicopters.

    Romania: Vampires, including Ceauşescu.

    Wherever: My brother went there once. Brought back pictures.

    Like others, when I was wrong I was at least in the right area. By the way, some of the games at the site above do give you credit for being close.

  8. #8 Another Kevin
    June 24, 2006

    9, 9, 5. Too darned hard to mouse on the correct things here! I got NO COUNTRY SELECTED for Suriname; Senegal for The Gambia; NO COUNTRY SELECTED for Samoa; Italy for San Marino; and Qatar for Bahrain – in all those cases, I KNEW where the nations were, but simply couldn’t point the mouse finely enough. (I *did* get tripped up, mousing Fiji for the Solomon Islands).

  9. #9 Kristjan Wager
    June 25, 2006

    Well, European I had 6,7 and 10, but North American and African I never had more than 5. European were tricky, because I am used to see the map from a more Northern perspective, which made me go wrong a few times (also I once clicked on the Netherlands, but hit one of those annoying flags instead).

  10. #10 Alon Levy
    June 25, 2006

    7, 9, 8. I know all of Eurasia except that I confuse Uzbek- and Turkmenistan, and Tajik- and Kyrgystan; I know most of South America, parts of North America and Africa, and barely any of the Caribbean and Pacific Islands.

  11. #11 Kian
    June 28, 2006

    9, 10, 10…But I’m a geography major and we had to memorize all of the countries in my Geography of Space class in first year. On the first one I mixed up Iraq and Iran, then laughed at myself.

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