How Much Do You Know About Geography of the Western Hemisphere?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The Western Hemisphere is everything that, on your globe, appears on the left of the Greenwich Meridian. That means it's the western part of western Europe, plus both Americas, and of course an awful lot of island nations and territories in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The topography of these two-and-a-half continents includes high mountains, deep valleys, and the biggest crater on the planet (currently filled with ocean).

The Western Hemisphere includes 8% of Earth's total surface area, but 28.4% of its land area. However thanks to its large oceans, it is far less populated than its eastern counterpart, with only 18% of humanity living there. Still, that 18% has to contend with some of the greatest variety in climates and topography anywhere on Earth, with the north-south axis of the landmasses requiring a more adaptable culture that had to change its farming techniques to cope with every time it sought a new place to live. 

From the Panama Canal to the Rockies to the Amazon rainforest to some of the driest farmland on the planet, the Western Hemisphere is full of challenges and opportunities. What this means is that the history of the hemisphere has been shaped by, well, its literal shape - and that in turn means that knowing the geography is key to understanding it. Let's see how you fare in a Western Hemisphere geographic challenge!


Which of these divides the Western Hemisphere from the Eastern Hemisphere?

Geographically, the Western Hemisphere is the half of the earth west of the Prime Meridian and east of the antimeridian. The other half of the world is the Eastern Hemisphere.

The Americas refers to:

The Americas refers to North and South America. North America is the third-largest of the world's continents and South America is the fourth-largest.

Which of the world's oceans touches the western shores of the U.S. mainland?

To the west, the U.S. coast meets the Pacific Ocean and is even a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. In the east, the country's coast touches the Atlantic Ocean.

The Prime Meridian sits at zero degrees and the antimeridian sits at ________ degrees.

Our world is divided as a perfect globe, with 360 degrees in its entirety. That is why the globe is divided into Eastern and Western Hemispheres along 0 and 108 degrees longitude.

Is Russia in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres?

A small portion of Russia straddles the 180th meridian, which divides the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. While it is mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere, a small portion crosses over the West.

Which of these is chiefly contained in the Western Hemisphere?

The entirety of the mainland of the Americas is contained in this hemisphere. This includes Canada, the US, Mexico, Central and South America.

The Kingdom of _________ has large autonomous countries in the Western Hemisphere to this day.

Both the Faroe Islands and Greenland are autonomous countries within the Kingdom of Denmark. Greenland is a part of North America and the largest island on earth.

Which European country is in both hemispheres?

France's mainland straddles both hemispheres. This country has overseas holdings in South America and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

Which of these countries is in the Western Hemisphere, but not part of the Americas?

Iceland is considered a Nordic country of Europe. This volcanic island is cold year-round and is Europe's least populated country.

What is the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere?

Aconcagua stands at over 22,800 ft in Argentina's Mendoza Province. It's the highest mountain outside Asia and considered one of the Seven Summits or the 7 highest mountains on each of the world's 7 continents.

Which of these mountain ranges can be found in the Western Hemisphere?

The Andes mountains are the longest continental mountain range on earth, extending over 4,000 miles through 7 South American countries. Their highest peak is Aconcagua, in Argentina.

Which of these oceans is not in the Western Hemisphere?

The Indian Ocean is the world's third largest ocean, containing roughly 20% of all of the water on the earth's surface. It sits between Africa, Asia, Australia and the Antarctic Ocean.

The _______ Ocean is almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere.

The Atlantic Ocean is contained almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. A tiny piece of it touches Africa's western coast.

Which oceans can be found about equally in both hemispheres?

The Arctic and Antarctic oceans ring the earth's northern and southern poles, making them a part of both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. The Pacific Ocean is divided roughly in half by the meridian at 180 degrees longitude, giving it an equal presence in both hemispheres.

The largest freshwater surface in the world can be found in:

The Great Lakes are a chain of lakes which cross the US-Canadian border and stretch over 94,000 square miles, an area larger than the UK. They are comprised of Lakes Huron, Superior, Michigan, Erie and Ontario.

Is the largest river on earth located in the Western Hemisphere?

The Amazon River in South America is considered by most authorities to be the largest river on earth in terms of discharge volume of water. It is also the second longest river in the world.

One of the world's __________ can be found in the US.

The New River, which runs through North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, is one of the 5 oldest rivers on earth. Geological evidence suggests this river is at least 65 million years old.

__________ is the largest city in the Western Hemisphere.

Sao Paolo, Brazil is the most populous city in the Americas, and 11th most populous on earth. This wealthy city has a GPD comparable to some entire countries and is the largest Portuguese-speaking city on earth.

Which of these countries has more of the Western Hemisphere's largest cities?

Of the top 25 largest cities in the Americas, over a fifth of them are located in Brazil. This includes the largest city in the Western Hemisphere with a population of more than 11 million, Sao Paolo.

Does New York or Los Angeles have a larger population?

New York and Los Angeles are the two largest cities in the U.S., and the 4th and 8th largest cities in the Americas. New York has a population of over 8 million and Los Angeles a population of over 3 million people.

Which of these countries is part of Central America?

Central America connects North America and South America. It contains 7 countries: Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Belize.

What is another name for the Western Hemisphere?

During the age of discovery, European geographers and explorers began to refer to the islands and continents of the Western Hemisphere as the New World. This is because before that time, the world was believed by Europeans to consist only of Eurasia and Africa.

Which of these is mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere, but crosses over into the Western Hemisphere?

Most of the world's land and population is in the Eastern Hemisphere, however, parts of the world's largest continents cross hemispheres. Outside the countries contained in the Americas, France, the UK, and Burkina Faso are in both hemispheres.

Does Alaska cross into the Eastern Hemisphere?

The Alaskan mainland is in the Western Hemisphere. Some of its Aleutian Islands trail into the Eastern Hemisphere.

The largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere can be found in:

Great Salt Lake in Northern Utah is the biggest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. It is also one of the most saline inland bodies of water on earth.

The Western Hemisphere has more land than the Eastern Hemisphere: True or False?

The majority of the world's land can be found in Eurasia and Africa, in the Eastern Hemisphere. Only about 1/3 of the world's land is in the Western Hemisphere.

Is the Pacific Ring of Fire part of the Western Hemisphere?

The Pacific Ocean spans all four of the world's hemispheres, and so does the Pacific Ring of Fire. Due to the movement of plate tectonics, this area contains the majority of the world's volcanoes and earthquakes.

Where is the tallest volcano on earth?

Mauna Kea is not only the tallest volcano on earth, but if measured from its base under the ocean to its summit, the tallest mountain on earth as well. Located on the island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea stands over 33,000 feet tall.

Where have most of the world's most deadly supervolcanic eruptions occurred?

Scientists have found evidence of 8 VEI supereruptions of massive volcanoes, many of which occurred due to the huge caldera beneath Yellowstone National park. Over millions of years, this volcanic hot spot has come to be the size of roughly 1/3 of the park's entire area.

Which of these countries is in both hemispheres?

New Zealand is an island nation made up of 2 main islands and hundreds of smaller ones. Its Kermadec and Chatham Island groups are east of the 180th meridian, meaning that this country straddles both hemispheres.

Is Fiji in both hemispheres?

Fiji is an archipelago of over 300 islands and 500 islets in the South Pacific Ocean The 180th Meridian runs through Taveuni, Fiji's third largest island.

Which of these is the tallest mountain in North America?

Denali is located in Alaska and is also known as Bolshaya Gora and Mount McKinley. This mountain stands at over 20,000 feet high.

Which of these countries is in both hemispheres?

Ghana is a West African country with a population of roughly 27 million people. It straddles the eastern and western hemispheres.

Which African country is in both hemispheres?

Mali is a landlocked West African country. It is one of the largest countries in Africa, with 480,000 sq mi of land within its borders.

Which of these Western Hemisphere hot spots is the brightest spot on earth from space?

According to NASA, Las Vegas is the brightest spot on earth. It contrasts brightly with the undeveloped desert which surrounds it.

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