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People Break Down The Geography Facts That Totally Blow Their Mind

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Sure, the world is a fascinating place, but planet Earth itself is just as fascinating on its surface.  The bodies of land and water that cover our mother Earth are as much a character in the story of our lives and the story of humanity as humans themselves.

Also, sometimes looking at a map doesn’t quite convey accurately what those places are LIKE, geographically.

We know in general where they are and what shape their borders take, usually, but do we know some of the cooler things?

Redditor storm1902 asked:

“What geography fact blows your mind?”

Here were some of those answers.

Is Bigger Better?

“Australia is wider than the moon.”-fouryinthehouse

“There are 14 mountains over the height of 8000 metres. All of them are in Asia.”-victoryofsamothrace

“Texas is large enough that I could fit Copenhagen, Brussels, Zagreb, and Warsaw with their real life distances from each other inside the State lines.”

“The Great Lakes contain enough fresh water to flood an area the size of Great Britain in over 100 meters of water.”-whatifevery1wascalm

“Alaska is actually HUGE. It’s larger than Montana, Texas, and California combined. Yet, illustrated on maps as being tiny.”-Maximum_Mountain_446

Far Across The Distance And Spaces Between Us

“The distance between New Zealand and Australia is roughly the same as the distance between The Netherlands and Libya.”

“Came up in this thread comparing chocolate milk around the world.”

“One redditor made the assertion that NZ’s choc milk was probably as bad as Australia’s, because of the proximity of the two countries”-Javanz

“When I worked for FedEx back in the 90’s, one of the reasons why they chose Anchorage as a global hub?”

“Apart from the fact that aircraft use less fuel due to it being cooler, it was that it is one of the only places in the world that is within 10 hours of the three biggest global markets; North America, Europe and Asia!”

“Who would have thought that a place considered in the middle of nowhere is actually the centre of the world.”-Geronimo2U

Is A Geography Oxymoron A Thing? A Geoxymoron?

“Despite Canada being the US’s ‘neighbor to the north,’ the majority of Canadians live south of Seattle.”-Slant_Juicy

“My parents in Canada live closer to me in England than they do to my in-laws in Canada.”-Kurgan1536

“If you took a boat out of Reykjavík and sailed directly south, the first land mass you’d hit would be Antarctica.”-RyzenRaider

“-The Appalachian mountain range formed before the North American continent broke away from Europe, so there’s a little chunk of the Appalachians in France.”

“-Relatively speaking, we live on the skin of an apple. That’s about how thick the Earth’s crust is in proportion to its volume.”

“-The Australian tectonic plate is drifting north at a rapid rate relative to other plates. The whole continent is moving north and slightly clockwise at around 2.7 inches a year, which is fast enough that GPS systems have had to compensate for it to stay accurate.”

“In a few hundred million years, Australia will probably collide with Asia, creating a mountain range even taller than the Himalayas when it does.”

“-It’s also easy to forget how recent some of our research and discoveries are. Though the idea of ‘continental drift’ was first proposed in 1915, the theory of plate tectonics wasn’t really well developed until the 1950s, continuing into the 1970s.”

“And while we currently understand pretty well that an asteroid impact caused most dinosaurs to rapidly go extinct, down to the exact location of the crater and the size of the asteroid and everything, the asteroid-impact theory wasn’t proposed until 1980.”-Taman_Should

“The most southern piece of land of Canada (Middle Island) is further south than the entirety of 13 US States. As well as partially of another 14.”

“Also even though its located in Canada’s territorial waters and always been a part of Canada:”

“Up until 2000 it was privately owned by the owner of an Ohio Car Dealership and was purchased by (edit; a private charity for $867k and donated to) Parks Canada when he died.”-GreyGonzales

The Continents

“Antarctica is the world’s largest desert, since it doesn’t get all that much rainfall. Also, if you put a cherry on top of it, Antarctica is the world’s largest dessert.”-CrabbyBlueberry

“How far north Europe is. I always pictured Europe as roughly parallel to the US, so northern Europe would be the same latitude as Minnesota and southern Europe as Florida.”

“Not even close. The UK is almost entirely north of the lower 48 states and Rome is further north than New York City.”-mordeci00

“In Iceland, you can see where the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasia tectonic plate are moving away from each other.”

“Another place that is similar, but not as intense, is Point Reyes National Seashore in California. It is separated by the San Andreas Fault, where the North American and Pacific plates come together.”-[username deleted]

“The earth is remarkably smooth.”

“Everest at 8.85km above sea level compared to the Marianas trench at -11kms. A net difference of 19.85kms on a sphere 12,742kms. 0.156% of the planets circumference contains all terrain heights.”

“The surface of a cue ball (2.25in), has a tolerance for surface finish allowing pits or grooves to be up to 0.005in. 0.222% of its circumference.”

“Earth is smoother than a cue ball, even if you put Everest next to the Marianas trench or dug the trench another 9km deeper, it would still be within scaled cue ball tolerance for smoothness.”-Jtothe3rd

торопить ее? Я почти не знаю ее

“Russia’s western most border and city in Europe is farther west than Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. The city is also farther west than Warsaw, Poland.”

“Not really mind blowing per se, but people forget about Kaliningrad Oblast, lol. For all the ‘Finland/Bielefeld doesn’t exist’ jokes, I’m surprised no one ever tried it with Kaliningrad given the weirdness of the Oblast.”

“Kaliningrad is closer to Berlin than Gusev is to Pskov or Smolensk.”-Legion213

“Even though on the maps, and how people describe Russia, it seems like a really, really big country. In reality, it’s less than twice the size of the U.S. (It’s still a large country, I just over-estimate it).”

“Also: The largest country (Russia) is over 38.8 MILLION times larger than the smallest country in area (Vatican City).”-Pingu277

“Astronomer here- also, Russia has more surface area than Pluto!”-Andromeda321

“I was always told growing up that Russia and Alaska are only 2 miles apart from each other at their closest point.”

“They are, but not the mainlands. The Diomede Islands are 2 islands, 1 owned by each country, and only about 2 miles apart.”

“The mainlands are closer to like 50 miles apart, which is still closer than most people might realize.”-whatifevery1wascalm

Like we said, looking at a map doesn’t tell the entire story.

Some parts of Alaska are closer to Russia than New York City is to Washington DC or Boston.

Australia and Asia will one day collide.

No matter what field you choose to inspect when it comes to our mother Earth, gold and fascinating subject matter await you at every turn.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.