Interesting Geography Facts and Tidbits

First I didn't write this, so I'm sorry if there are some inaccuracies. Second, I've done some research and provided sources at the bottom. Looks like everything checks out, though a couple seem to be points of contention.


More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska .


The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% the world's oxygen supply.

The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States.


Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.

Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica . This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert. The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.


The etymology of Brazil's name is not well established, but one common belief is that Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.


Canada has more lakes than any other country, making up much of the worlds fresh water. Canada is an Indian word meaning "Big Village."


Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.


Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, carries the designation M-1, so named because it was the first paved road anywhere.

Damascus, Syria

Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC, making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles' full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula -- and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A.

New York City

The term "The Big Apple" was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930's who used the slang expression "apple" for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time, The Big Apple.

There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin, Ireland; more Italians in New York City than in Rome, Italy; and more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel.


Ohio has 2,500 lakes over 2 acres in size, only 20 of them are not man made.

Pitcairn Island

The least populated jurisdiction in the world is Pitcairn in Polynesia, at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq. km, with a population of 50.


The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C. There is a city called Rome on every continent.


Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.


The smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M). It is located in the city of Rome, Italy and has an area of two tennis courts, and as of 2001 has a population of 80, 20 less people than the Vatican. It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is.

Sahara Desert

In the Sahara Desert, there is a town named Tidikelt, Algeria, which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years.

Technically though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island. There has been no rainfall there for two million years.


Spain literally means "the land of rabbits."

St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota, was originally called "Pig's Eye" after a man named Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, who set up the first business there.

Kola Superdeep Borehole

The deepest hole ever drilled by man is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, in Russia. It reached a depth of 12,261 meters (about 40,226 feet or 7.62 miles). It was drilled for scientific research and gave up some unexpected discoveries, one of which was a huge deposit of hydrogen, so massive that the mud coming from the hole was "boiling" with it.

The Eisenhower Interstate System (This one may or may not be true)

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one-mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

Angel Falls

The water of Angel Falls in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters). They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls.

Alaska Amazon Antarctica Brazil Canada Chicago Detroit Damascus, Syria LA Ohio Pitcarin Rome Siberia SMOM Spain St Paul Kola Angel Falls


  1. I had no clue about Alaska or Brazil! Mind = blown.

    Did you know that if the current ruling family of Monaco fails to produce an heir, Monaco will then become part of France?

  2. Hmm, no I didn't know that. That's interesting. Thanks Kate!

  3. Where are the references?

  4. The Eisenhower Interstate Highway system was NOT designed to be used as an emergency airstrip in times of crisis.

    Go to Snopes and type in "Highways as Airstrips."

    Also in regards to S.M.O.M. The United Nations does NOT recognize it as a "Non-Member State" as it does the Vatican and you'd be hard pressed to find any countries that do recognize it as a sovereign state, leading me to question the validity of this whole thing again.

  5. Let me correct myself here, roughly half of the recognized countries of the world have some sort of relations with S.M.O.M. However, only 6 consider these "Official" relations.

  6. Hispania means "the island of the rabbits" in Phoenician but it's a very disputed subject (wiki Hispania)

  7. First I didn't write this, so I'm sorry if there are some inaccuracies. Second, I've done some research and provided sources at the bottom. Looks like everything checks out, though a couple seem to be points of contention.

  8. The picture linked to the Kola superdeep borehole is actually the Mirny Diamond Mine in Russia.
    The Kola borehole is, although being incredibly deep, a bit boring to see.

  9. polish highest population is now in The netherlands

  10. WTF is "epytomology"? Did you mean "etymology?"

    Have fun screening this comment out.

    Or you can just fix it....

  11. But Kevin, the Netherlands is not a city...
    Do you claim the Netherlands have more Polish inhabitants than Poland itself?

  12. Some roads in Sweden ARE made to be airstrips i case of war.

  13. I'm brazilian and I have never heard of the nut version. The most accepted version of Brazil's name comes from "pau brasil" (brazilwood), which has nothing to do with the nut tree. There are other versions, but none of them says a thing about brazil nuts.

    In Brazil, "brazil nuts" are called "castanhas do Pará" (chestnuts from Pará), by the way :-)

    Wikipedia has some insights about the etymology of "Brazil":

  14. im looking for any facts about mexico :/

  15. The etymology of the "Big Apple" is incorrect.

    See Gerald Cohen and Barry Popik for the '"first entry of the Big Apple"' at
    which states:

    "Gerald Cohen found the first "Big Apple" in a John J. Fitz Gerald horseracing column. From the New York Morning Telegraph, May 3, 1921, page 9, column 3:

    J. P. Smith, with Tippity Witchet and others of the L. T. Bauer string, is scheduled to start for "the big apple" to-morrow after a most prosperous Spring campaign at Bowie and Havre de Grace."

    For additional information see the "summary" for the reason NYC is called the "Big Apple":

  16. WRONG > Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.

    Brazil got its name from Brazilwood (Caesalpinia echinata syn. Guilandina echinata (Lam.) Spreng.) not from Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), a totally different tree species.

    Brazilwood or Pau-Brasil (Caesalpinia echinata syn. Guilandina echinata (Lam.) Spreng.) is a Brazilian timber tree. It is the premier wood used for making bows for string instruments. The wood also yields a red dye called brazilin, which oxidizes to brazilein. Brazilin has been used since at least the Middle Ages to dye fabric, and has been used to make paints and inks as well.

    When Portuguese explorers found these trees of a deep red hue inside on the coast of South America, they used the name pau-brasil to describe them. Pau is Portuguese for "stick", and brasil is said to have come from brasa, Portuguese for "ember". This name had been earlier used to describe a different species of tree which was found in Asia and other places and which also produced red dye; but the South American trees soon became the better source of red dye. Brazilwood trees were such a large part of the exports and economy of the land that the country which sprang up in that part of the world took its name from them and is now called Brazil.

    The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a South American tree in the family Lecythidaceae, and also the name of the tree's commercially harvested edible seed. Brazilians call it Castanha-do-Para.

  17. ROFL I find it hilarious that some people are citing Wikipedia as a reliable source in any way. I mean come on they almost let Sarah Palin's aides change the Paul Revere story to match her misrepresentation of history...and that is just the start.

  18. When I moved to Alaska I enjoyed looking up facts about it. We get more than 13 earthquakes a day, and I think because of the way maps generally are lain out (with Alaska appearing much smaller than actual size), most people don't realize how huge Alaska is.

    I remember seeing a show on the History channel about when the FDR system was made and remember something about the road needing curves every once in a while so people would stay more alert (so they don't fall asleep.. or something like that). I didn't remember anything about the straight parts, but they DO use straight parts of the highway here in Alaska as a helipad in case of emergencies.