The Geografile

November 2021 | Appears on page 27

November 2021 | Appears on page 27

The island of Iwo Jima wasn’t returned by the United States to Japan until 1968.

July 2020 | Appears on page 31

July 2020 | Appears on page 31

New Zealand has two national anthems, as does Denmark.

— Bryan Henry, Contributing Editor, Hollywood, FL 

July 2020 | Appears on page 29

July 2020 | Appears on page 29

The Galápagos Islands were the first designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 1978.

— Bryan Henry, Contributing Editor, Hollywood, FL 

January 2020 | Appears on page 52

January 2020 | Appears on page 52

The largest recorded earthquake, at 9.6 in magnitude, occurred May 22, 1960, near Valdivia, Chile. — Bryan Henry, Contributing Editor, Hollywood, FL

October 2021 | Appears on page 26

October 2021 | Appears on page 26

Chile is 24 times as long as its average width.

September 2021 | Appears on page 19

September 2021 | Appears on page 19

The Bank of England was founded by a Scotsman in 1694, while the Bank of Scotland was founded by an Englishman in 1695.

August 2021 | Appears on page 28

August 2021 | Appears on page 28

The world’s largest freshwater wetland, the Pantanal, covers up to 70,000 square miles of western Brazil and parts of Bolivia and Paraguay. With an estimated 10 million caimans, it contains the largest population of crocodilians in the world.

June 2021 | Appears on page 27

June 2021 | Appears on page 27

Lhasa, capital of Tibet, means “place of the gods.”

May 2021 | Appears on page 8

May 2021 | Appears on page 8

Iceland gained its independence from Denmark on June 17, 1944.

April 2021 | Appears on page 26

April 2021 | Appears on page 26

Due to the end of colonialism, Africa spawned 17 new nations in 1960 alone.

March 2021 | Appears on page 10

March 2021 | Appears on page 10

The capital of the Caribbean British Overseas Territory of Montserrat is Plymouth, a ghost town that was abandoned in 1997 due to volcanic eruptions. Construction of a new capital, Little Bay, began in 2019.

 

February 2021 | Appears on page 20

February 2021 | Appears on page 20
Flag of Israel

Israel’s flag design is based on the tallit, a shawl worn by Jewish men during prayers.

January 2021 | Appears on page 25

January 2021 | Appears on page 25

Thirty-eight countries are islands that border no other country.

September 2020 | Appears on page 10

September 2020 | Appears on page 10
ruler

In New Zealand, North Island’s Ninety-Mile Beach is only 55 miles long, while Victory, Australia’s, Ninety-Mile Beach is 94 miles long.

August 2020 | Appears on page 21

August 2020 | Appears on page 21
a to z

Alphabetically, Abidjan, capital of Côte d’Ivoire, is first, and Zagreb, Croatia, last.

June 2020 | Appears on page 38

June 2020 | Appears on page 38
electrical plug

In Norway, hydropower meets more than 95% of the country’s electricity demand.

March 2020 | Appears on page 47

March 2020 | Appears on page 47

Switzerland has maintained armed neutrality since 1515.

March 2020 | Appears on page 12

March 2020 | Appears on page 12
mango

India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes, its national fruit.

February 2020 | Appears on page 26

February 2020 | Appears on page 26
penguin

African penguins, also known as jackass penguins, are Africa’s only endemic penguins. Breeding populations are found only on 28 islands in Namibia and South Africa.

December 2019 | Appears on page 38

December 2019 | Appears on page 38

Monaco is so small that it could fit inside New York's Central Park.

November 2019 | Appears on page 23

November 2019 | Appears on page 23

About 20% of all marine life in the Galápagos Islands is endemic to the archipelago. 17% of the fish are found nowhere else in the world.

October 2019 | Appears on page 47

October 2019 | Appears on page 47

In China, more than 92 million people share the family name Li, but those with the family name Wang number 92.8 million, or about 6.6% of the population.

August 2019 | Appears on page 33

August 2019 | Appears on page 33

British subjects, even those outside of the UK, who celebrate a 100th birthday or 60th wedding anniversary get a personalized card from the ruling monarch, a tradition dating to 1917.

July 2019 | Appears on page 44

July 2019 | Appears on page 44

Lake Nicaragua contains about 400 islands, some of which are active volcanoes. Since the lake was severed from the Pacific Ocean by a belt of volcanic cones, unique freshwater species of swordfish have evolved.

May 2019 | Appears on page 48

May 2019 | Appears on page 48

The world’s smallest lizard — it could curl up on a dime — was discovered in 2001 in a cave on an island off the coast of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.

April 2019 | Appears on page 47

April 2019 | Appears on page 47

Sahara is from the Arabic word sahra, meaning “desert.” So saying Sahara Desert is redundant.

March 2019 | Appears on page 40

March 2019 | Appears on page 40

Borneo is the world's only island divided between three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

March 2019 | Appears on page 35

March 2019 | Appears on page 35

Azerbaijan was the first Muslim country to extend suffrage to women, in 1918.

February 2019 | Appears on page 47

February 2019 | Appears on page 47

China spans more than 60 degrees of longitude but has only one time zone.

January 2019 | Appears on page 49

January 2019 | Appears on page 49

Brazil is the only country that crosses both the equator and a tropic (Tropic of Capricorn). Uruguay is the only South American country completely outside the tropic latitudes.

December 2018 | Appears on page 53

December 2018 | Appears on page 53

Monaco has been ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 14th century.

November 2018 | Appears on page 46

November 2018 | Appears on page 46

New Zealand was named by the Dutch after Zeeland, a region in the Netherlands.

October 2018 | Appears on page 39

October 2018 | Appears on page 39

Brazil’s Santa Catarina guinea pigs live on a 10-acre stretch of land on a small island and may have the smallest range of any mammal.

September 2018 | Appears on page 49

September 2018 | Appears on page 49

Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire from AD 330 until 1453, when it was captured by the Turks, made the capital of the Ottoman Empire and renamed Istanbul.

August 2018 | Appears on page 44

August 2018 | Appears on page 44

Hashima, an island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan, is shaped like a battleship and is nicknamed Battleship Island.

July 2018 | Appears on page 24

July 2018 | Appears on page 24

Borneo is the world’s only island divided between three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

June 2018 | Appears on page 13

June 2018 | Appears on page 13

Colombia is named after Christopher Columbus. Bolivia is named after independence fighter Simón Bolívar.

May 2018 | Appears on page 55

May 2018 | Appears on page 55

The infamous mutiny of the HMS Bounty occurred off the coast of Tofua, now part of Tonga, in 1789.

May 2018 | Appears on page 53

May 2018 | Appears on page 53

Chile was named by natives who once lived on its long and narrow strip of coast. Chile means “end of the land.”

May 2018 | Appears on page 23

May 2018 | Appears on page 23

Hungary’s capital, Budapest, until 1873 was two separate cities, Buda and Pest, that lay on opposite banks of the Danube River.

April 2018 | Appears on page 51

April 2018 | Appears on page 51

The British Commonwealth of Nations is an association of 52 sovereign states, formerly British colonies.

March 2018 | Appears on page 51

March 2018 | Appears on page 51

Denmark, with about 131 Danes per square mile, is Scandinavia’s most densely populated country, but if you include its territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, it is the world’s most sparsely populated country, with an average of 0.15 people per square mile. Otherwise, Mongolia is the most sparsely populated, with four people per square mile.

March 2018 | Appears on page 43

March 2018 | Appears on page 43

In 1991, South Africa became the first country to make the great white shark a protected species.

February 2018 | Appears on page 55

February 2018 | Appears on page 55

The site of Canberra was chosen as the place to build a new Australian capital in 1908, to replace Melbourne, but that was delayed by World War I and it didn’t become the official national government seat until 1927.

January 2018 | Appears on page 52

January 2018 | Appears on page 52

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, in 1999, became the first three former Warsaw Pact countries to join NATO.

January 2018 | Appears on page 46

January 2018 | Appears on page 46

Though it has long been stated that the Great Wall of China is visible from the moon, this myth was debunked in 1969 by American astronaut Alan Bean, who reported that when his spacecraft was only a few thousand miles from Earth (the moon is about 230,000 miles distant), no trace of human building was visible. The Great Wall is not even visible from the International Space Station, orbiting 205 to 270 miles out, though the pyramids at Giza can be discerned.

July 2017 | Appears on page 41

July 2017 | Appears on page 41

Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, was founded in 1890 as Fort Salisbury (later Salisbury), named after the British prime minister Lord Salisbury. Its name was changed to Harare in 1982.

June 2017 | Appears on page 43

June 2017 | Appears on page 43

Brazil borders on 10 other countries. On the South American continent, only Chile and Ecuador don’t share a border with Brazil.

May 2017 | Appears on page 58

May 2017 | Appears on page 58

Mount Logan, Canada’s highest mountain, located in Yukon territory’s southwest, was named for Sir William Logan, founder of the Geological Survey of Canada.

April 2017 | Appears on page 57

April 2017 | Appears on page 57

Fraser Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of Queensland, Australia, is the world’s largest sand island, at 74 miles long and 18 miles wide. It’s the only known place on Earth where rainforests thrive on top of sand dunes.


Namibia was originally a German colony and called, from 1884 to 1915, South-West Africa. From 1915 until independence in 1990, it was governed by South Africa.

March 2017 | Appears on page 59

March 2017 | Appears on page 59

The Great Pyramid at Giza, at its original height of 481 feet, was the tallest man-made structure in the world for thousands of years until the 14th century, when it was overtaken by the central spire of England’s Lincoln Cathedral, which collapsed in 1549, although, by then, other churches had eclipsed the pyramid’s height.

December 2016 | Appears on page 54

December 2016 | Appears on page 54

The world’s least-salty seawater is found in the Bay of Bothnia, where Sweden meets Finland.