Ready to stand out? These countries already do - thanks to their easy-to-recognize shapes!
With their distinctive outlines, you can spot some countries in a heartbeat anywhere you see them, without the need for the context of a map. For instance, it should be no trouble at all naming the boot-shaped country sticking out into the Mediterranean Sea and the alligator-shaped one in the Caribbean Sea. Most people will get those right in a jiffy!
There are countries which have such a unique shape that you would be hard-pressed to find another one which looks anything like them. That country on the tip of the Horn of Africa comes to mind. Likewise, the southernmost country in North America has a rather distinctive shape, so too does the one which covers almost half of South America. We'll show them to you - you just have to name them!
Identifying some countries from their outlines can be a bit of a challenge. That's because when you take them off the map, out of their geographical location, there are countries whose shapes you could easily mistake one for the other. Good examples are the long, thin country on South America's Pacific coast and that similarly thin, S-shaped one on the Southeast Asian coast. Can you tell them apart just by their outlines? Better shape up, because they are both in this quiz!
Geography buffs will have this one beat in well under the time limit! How will you do? Take the quiz and find out!
The United Kingdom is also commonly referred to as Great Britain, though this term refers only to the island containing England, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain is the third-most populous island in the world.
Italy’s boot-shaped outline is perhaps one of the most distinctive on the globe! Italy is considered one of the culinary capitals of the world, and Italians claim to have invented coffee, fruit pie and french fries. Belgium and France, however, also claim to have invented french fries!
China is well-known for being the world most populous nation, with a population of roughly 1.4 billion. China is large in area too, though! It’s the second-largest country in Asia, after Russia, whether or not you count the portion of Russia located in Europe.
Located in South America, Venezuela is home to one of the world’s largest national parks: Canaima National Park. This is unsurprising, considering that the country is well-known for its high biodiversity.
Did you know that the traditional Hindu calendar in India has six seasons? These are spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, prewinter and winter. Each lasts for roughly two months.
The U.S.A. is the third largest country in the world, with a total area of 3.8 million square miles. It’s only a bit smaller than the entire continent of Europe, which totals 3.9 million square miles.
Nicknamed “The Land of Poets and Thinkers” (in German: “Das Land der Dichter und Denker”), Germany is the birthplace of many intellectuals and creative minds. Musicians Beethoven and Bach, writer Goethe and philosopher Nietzsche are just a few!
Thanks to its shape and location, Sri Lanka is often referred to by the nicknames “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” and “Teardrop of India.” Its other nickname, “Land of Serendipity,” is taken from the Sanskrit word for the island: Sarandīb.
Two official languages are recognized in Somalia – Somali and Arabic. The country forms the tip of the Horn of Africa and has the longest coastline of any country on mainland Africa.
The northern end of Chile is occupied by the Atacama Desert – the driest nonpolar place on Earth. The desert is sheltered from rain by two mountain ranges: the Chilean Coastal Range on the side toward the Pacific Ocean and the Andes on the inland side.
The S-shaped country of Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts and is also a large producer of coffee. The mountainous forests between Vietnam and Laos are home to the Saola, a relative of goats, antelopes and cattle. The Saola, sometimes called the Asian unicorn, was first discovered in 1992 and is considered to be one of the rarest animals known to man.
Portugal is located on the Iberian Peninsula. The University of Coimbra in west-central Portugal was established in 1290 and has been in continuous operation since then. It holds the distinction of being one of the world’s oldest functioning universities.
South Korea occupies the lower half of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. Although the country is home to several ultra-modern, world-class cities, such as Seoul, approximately 64% of Korea is covered in forests.
The Canada-U.S. border is called the International Border and – including Canada’s border with Alaska – is the longest border between two nations! Canada also holds the distinction of being the world's second-largest country.
Poland is home to the Białowieża Forest, one of the last remaining parts of the European Plain’s ancient forest. The European bison, the heaviest land animal in Europe, live in the Białowieża Forest.
Cuba’s outline looks very much like an alligator, and this has led to the country’s two nicknames. They are El Cocodrilo (the Spanish word for alligator) and El Caiman (the caiman is a relative of the alligator).
The official language in Brazil is Portuguese, and in that language the country’s name is spelled Brasil. The capital is Brasilia, but the most populous city is Sao Paulo, which is, in fact, the 12th most populous city in the world.
There are over 400 volcanoes in Indonesia, including more active volcanoes than in any other country. Over 18,000 islands make up Indonesia and some serve as home to the Komodo dragon – the largest lizard in the world. A fully grown Komodo dragon can weigh over 150 pounds!
During the Ice Age when most of Europe became uninhabitable, the Iberian Peninsula (containing Spain and Portugal) was one of the few refuges. That means Northern Europe was repopulated afterward mostly from Spain!
Moscow, Russia’s capital, has consistently been listed as one of the top ten cities with the most billionaires! However, wealth inequality is an issue in the country. The poverty rate has been rising, from 10.7% in 2012 to 13.5% in 2016.
The Tour de France is one of the most popular cycling competitions in the world and has been held every year since 1903, except during World Wars I and II. Did you know that it was started by a French journalist as a way to promote his sports newspaper?
Egypt is one of the few transcontinental countries in the world. While a very large portion of the country in located on the African continent, the area known as the Sinai Peninsula is located in Asia and is often referred to as a land bridge between the two continents.
Australia is the driest of the continents, excluding Antarctica. Over 70% of Australia is covered by desert regions, which are collectively known as the Outback.
Guyana is the only country on the continent of South America to have English as its official language. Furthermore, it is the only South American country which is also a Commonwealth state.
Japan is made up of over 6,800 islands, but most of its area belongs to its four largest islands! In order of size, these are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku.
There are approximately 10 million tons of asphalt in Trinidad and Tobago’s Pitch Lake, which is located on the larger island of Trinidad. The Pitch Lake is the largest natural deposit of asphalt anywhere in the world. It spans close to 100 acres and is said to be close to 250 feet deep.
Contrary to what some people might think, Turkey did not get its name from the bird! The nation’s name is most likely derived from “Turchia,” the name Italians historically used to refer to the Asian part of Turkey.
Despite its name, 85% of Greenland is covered by snow and ice. While there are roads within the various towns, there are no roads between them. Long-distance travelling is done by boat, plane, helicopter, snowmobile and dogsled.
The Panama Canal links the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. France attempted to build the canal late in the 1800s but did not make much progress. The canal was finally built between 1904 and 1914 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. retained control of the canal up to 1999, when control was handed over to Panama.
Harbour Island, one of the 700 islands which make up The Bahamas, is well known for its pink sand beaches. The color comes from the reddish-pink shell of a tiny organism called Foraminifera, which either float in the water or live in the sand of the seafloor.
South Africa completely surrounds the country known as the Kingdom of Lesotho. San Marino and Vatican City are the only other two countries completely surrounded by another – both of them are surrounded by Italy.
Madagascar, off the coast of East Africa, is the world’s fourth largest island. Only the islands of Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo are bigger, in that order.
Mexico is officially known as the United Mexican States. It holds the distinction of being the Spanish-speaking country with the largest population – over 120 million. Apart from Spanish, however, 68 regional languages are officially recognized in Mexico.
The city of Ashkelon is located on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. The Ashkelon National Park is the site of the largest known dog cemetery, which dates back to ancient times!
Greece has a population of 10.7 million, and every year roughly 16.5 million tourists visit the country. The nation's booming tourism industry is undoubtedly influenced by its rich history, evident in the fact that it is home to 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
The Philippines is made up of over 7, 600 islands, the largest of which is Luzon. Both Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and Quezon City, the country’s most populous city, are located on Luzon.
Pakistan’s most populous city is Karachi, which was the country’s capital up to 1958. The capital was briefly switched to Rawalpindi until construction of the new capital city, Islamabad, was completed in 1967.
Sweden is one of the largest weapon producers in the world, but they haven’t been a part of any war in 200 years – not even the Cold War or two World Wars! The last wars the nation participated in were the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s.
Pope Francis, the 266th and current pope (as of 2018), is from Argentina and used to work in a bar in Buenos Aires. He is the first non-European Pope since the 8th century, as well as the first one from the Americas!
Wellington in New Zealand is the most remote capital city in the world. The closest capital to it – Canberra, Australia – is more than 1,400 miles away! The city is also the world’s southernmost capital.