Common Geography Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

Some people enjoy learning about the Earth’s diverse environments, inhabitants and their interactions. Well, there are several proven geography facts that have gotten twisted along the way and misconceptions have come about. Over time, misconceptions become widely accepted and understood as “truth.” Maybe it’s time that people spend more time getting to know the facts to debunk these misconceptions. Here are the five common geography mistakes of which we need to be mindful.

1. Iceland is Covered with Ice

Iceland is an island country found in the North Atlantic Ocean and sits south of the Arctic Circle. Don’t be fooled by the name though, and think that it is completely covered with ice. Only eleven percent of the land is covered in permanent ice caps. While Iceland is frigid because of the icy winds from the North Pole, when the mild Gulf Stream flows in, the temperature increases. The coast of Iceland remains ice-free all winter. Geysers found in Iceland provide geothermal energy which is used to heat many homes and buildings. Iceland experiences frequent volcanic activity with eighteen eruptions since human settlement in Iceland.

2. Deserts Always Have High Temperatures 

A desert is an area of land that is very dry because it receives little precipitation and is frequently devoid of vegetation. High temperatures of 54°C or 130°F are experienced in deserts during the day. What is not often known is that at nights desert temperatures fall to an average of -3.9°C or 28°F. This occurs when the heat collected during the day is radiated back to the atmosphere, causing a sharp drop in temperature.

3. England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom The Same Thing

People always use the names England, Britain and the United Kingdom interchangeably, thinking they are one in the same, but this is inaccurate. The United Kingdom or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the sovereign state made up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. England is the largest, most popular of the nations and has London as its capital. Great Britain or simply Britain is a geographical term and includes the three countries on the main island, that is, England, Scotland and Wales.

4. Toronto is the Capital of Canada

Canada is a country in North America with ten provinces in three territories which covers over 9.98 million square kilometers. It is the world’s second largest country. Toronto is often spoken of as Canada’s financial and media center. Most of Canada’s cultural icons hailed from Toronto. As such Toronto is often mistakenly called the capital of Canada. Toronto is actually the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario and is Canada‘s largest city. However, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada.

5. The Statue of Liberty is in New York City 

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous and recognizable landmarks of the United States of America. The Statue of Liberty was a generous gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States in 1886 and is a symbol of freedom and democracy. Geographically speaking, Liberty Island which is home to the Statue of Liberty, is in the Hudson River, however; it is on the west side of the border of New Jersey and New York, and is closer to the mainland of New Jersey than New York. Despite the fact that the monument is in the New Jersey waters, Liberty Island and a portion of Ellis Island fall within the territorial jurisdiction of the state of New York. 

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