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Geography Facts Most People Get Wrong

Far & Wide logo: MainLogo Far & Wide 5/27/2023 Kaitlyn McInnis and Mariana Zapata

While most of us don’t know every single national bird, flag design or capital city of every country around the globe, there are certain recurring geography facts that seem to trip people up time and time again — even certain facts that pertain to their own country. And while it’s not necessarily offensive to, say, confuse the capital city of Canada or confuse transcontinental countries, there are certain geography facts that are important to get right — especially if you consider yourself a global citizen.

Map of the world © Getty Images Map of the world

That’s why we rounded up the most common geography facts that people get wrong. From technicalities that most people are unaware of to misconceptions that gained in popularity somewhere along the line, there are dozens of common geography mistakes that span across the globe. But, don’t worry, we’re here to set the record straight.

Kansas City Is Also in Missouri

While it may seem illogical to those who live outside of Kansas or Missouri, the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area spans both states, which means there are actually two completely separate Kansas Citys, run by two completely separate city governments. 

In fact, most Kansas City claims-to-fame wind up on the Missouri side. The Kansas City Chiefs, for example, actually hail from Missouri, not Kansas.

The United Kingdom and Great Britain Are Not One and the Same

Using Great Britain and the United Kingdom interchangeably is extremely commonplace outside of Europe, but it’s not entirely accurate to do so. 

In fact, Great Britain simply refers to England, Scotland, Wales and their surrounding islands, while the United Kingdom encompasses those three that make up Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Holland and the Netherlands Are Two Separate Things

Holland and the Netherlands tend to be used interchangeably when talking about the specific country in Western Europe — but they’re not at all the same. The Netherlands is a country with 12 provinces, including the regions of North Holland and South Holland. 

Calling the Netherlands “Holland” would basically be like referring to the United States as Texas or New York.

The Statue of Liberty Isn’t Technically in New York

The Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of New York City since its erection in 1875.

But the colossal sculpture is part of New York only because the Supreme Court deemed it so in 1987. Geographically, however, it is located on the New Jersey side of the state line and is even listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.

Egypt Isn’t Only Located in Africa

Map of Egypt. © Map of Egypt.

Sure, Egypt is part of the African continent, but it’s technically considered to be a transcontinental country. 

While the Suez Canal divides Asia and Africa, there’s actually a small peninsula in Egypt that transcends the canal and toes the line between the two continents.

For more geography facts, check out Far & Wide.


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