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Quiz about Living on an Island Nation
Quiz about Living on an Island Nation

Living on an Island (Nation) Trivia Quiz

Ranking Island Countries

Island nations vary rather dramatically in size. This quiz asks you to rank the world's 11 largest - with some hints to help you along.

An ordering quiz by LadyNym. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Order Quiz
Quiz #
May 23 23
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 11
Last 3 plays: Guest 97 (3/11), savona1 (6/11), Kat1982 (4/11).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the question it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer, and then click on its destination box to move it.
What's the Correct Order?Choices
(17,000 islands)
(unique fauna)
United Kingdom
(800 languages)
(the empire strikes back)
(a kingly name)
Sri Lanka
(down south)
Papua New Guinea
(three plus one)
(where's all the rum gone?)
(a cup of tea?)
New Zealand

Most Recent Scores
May 10 2024 : Guest 97: 3/11
May 08 2024 : savona1: 6/11
Apr 29 2024 : Kat1982: 4/11
Apr 25 2024 : Guest 192: 6/11
Apr 21 2024 : Guest 136: 4/11
Apr 18 2024 : TurkishLizzy: 11/11
Apr 03 2024 : Guest 194: 10/11
Apr 02 2024 : Guest 82: 8/11
Apr 02 2024 : Guest 94: 9/11

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Indonesia

With an area of 1,904,569 km˛ (735,358 sq mi) and a staggering number of islands (about 6,000 of which are inhabited), Indonesia is by far the largest of the world's island nations. It is also one of the world's most populous countries - home to over 270 million people - and the most populous Muslim-majority nation. The island of Java, where the capital, Jakarta, is located, is home to more than half of the Indonesian population; it is also the world's most populous island. On the other hand, the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, as well as many of the smaller islands, still boast large areas of wilderness, in particular tropical rainforests, with a massive number of endemic species.

Indonesia is a presidential republic, and the world's third-largest democracy. It also has the unique distinction of sharing land borders with four different countries: Malaysia (whose states of Sabah and Sarawak are located on the island of Borneo), Brunei (also on Borneo), East Timor (the eastern half of the island of Timor), and Papua New Guinea (the eastern half of the island of New Guinea).
2. Madagascar

The world's fourth-largest island, with an area of 587,041 km˛ (226,658 sq mi), Madagascar lies in the western Indian Ocean, separated from the southeastern coast of Africa by the Mozambique Channel. It is also the largest island country located completely in the Southern Hemisphere, since part of Indonesia lies north of the Equator. Besides the main island, the territory of the Republic of Madagascar includes a number of smaller, peripheral islands. Its capital, Antananarivo, lies in the centre of the island, at an elevation of 1,280 m (4,199 ft) above sea level - the highest national capital located on an island.

A sovereign nation since 1960, Madagascar is a semi-presidential democratic republic, home to a population of about 30 million with a very low median age. Though part of Africa, the island is distinctly different in terms of language (related to Malay, Indonesian, and Tagalog) and ecology. A major biodiversity hotspot and one of 17 megadiverse countries, Madagascar is known for its huge number of endemic plant and animal species - which include the iconic lemurs and various species of baobab.
3. Papua New Guinea

Part of the Melanesia subregion of Oceania, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of New Guinea, the world's second-largest island; it also includes the Bismarck Archipelago and other smaller offshore islands. Covering an area of 462,840 km˛ (178,700 sq mi), Papua New Guinea has a land border with the Western Papua province of Indonesia, and maritime borders with Australia (from which it is separated by the Torres Strait) and the Solomon Islands. The capital, Port Moresby, lies on the southwestern coast of the Papuan Peninsula (also known as Bird's Tail Peninsula).

A member of the Commonwealth, Papua New Guinea has been independent since 1975. The monarch of the United Kingdom is its head of state, represented by a Governor-General. With a population of approximately 9 million, the country is known for its linguistic diversity - the highest in the world, with an estimate of over 800 languages spoken in its territory. Its rugged, mostly mountainous environment provides a home for many unique plant and animal species - a number of which are believed to be still undocumented.
4. Japan

With an area of 377,975 km˛ (145,937 sq mi), Japan consists of four main islands and a number of smaller island groups that stretch from the Sea of Okhotsk to the East China Sea along Asia's Pacific coast; the Japanese archipelago as a whole numbers over 14,000 islands. Most of the country's major cities - including the capital, Tokyo, the port of Yokohama, and Kyoto, the former capital - are located on Honshu, the largest of the main islands. Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is highly prone to earthquakes and volcanic phenomena, which are kept under control (so far as it is possible to do so) by state-of-the-art technology.

Inhabited for thousands of years, Japan is the only country in the world whose head of state is an emperor - who, however, has a merely ceremonial role. The nation is a parliamentary monarchy, whose head of government is the Prime Minister. A very densely populated country, it is home to over 125 million people, with one of the world's highest life expectancies.
5. Philippines

The 7,641 islands that make up the Philippines cover an area of 300,000 km˛ (120,000 sq mi) in the western Pacific Ocean, north of Indonesia and south of Taiwan. Inhabited since prehistory, the islands are named after King Philip II of Spain, who was crown prince at the time of the expedition of Ruy López de Villalobos (1542-43). The archipelago's largest island is Luzon, which is also the northernmost and the world's 4th most populated island; the country's two most populous cities, Quezon City and the capital, Manila, are located there.

Formerly under Spanish and US control, the Philippines have been a sovereign nation since 1946. They are a constitutional republic with a presidential system (in which the president is both head of state and head of government). They are also one of the only two Christian-majority countries in Southeast Asia (the other being East Timor). A densely populated country, home to over 100 million people, the Philippines also boast an extremely rich biodiversity, with over 200 protected areas.
6. New Zealand

One of the world's southernmost nations, and also one of the most isolated, New Zealand (Aotearoa in the indigenous Māori language) consists of two large main islands - known as North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) and South Island (Te Waipounamu) - and over 700 smaller islands, covering an area of 268,021 km˛ (103,483 sq mi). Because of its isolation, it was the last habitable landmass to be settled by humans, around the late 13th century. The two main islands, separated by the Cook Strait, are sharply different from a geological point of view, with the North Island marked by intense volcanic activity, and the South Island (the larger of the two) by high mountain ranges and deep coastal fiords.

New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy (Commonwealth realm), whose head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, and a parliamentary democracy. It is home to about 5 million people, 16% of whom identify as Māori, the original Polynesian settlers of the islands. A peaceful country of great natural beauty, New Zealand also enjoys the distinction of having been the first country in the world to grant the right to vote to women, in 1893.
7. United Kingdom

Covering an area of 242,495 km2 (93,628 sq mi), the United Kingdom lies off the north-western coast of the European mainland. It consists of four countries - England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland - and a number of smaller islands and island groups. Three of the countries are located on Great Britain, Europe's largest island, and the world's 9th-largest, while Northern Ireland is the north-eastern half of the island of Ireland, which lies west of Great Britain. The United Kingdom is home to over 67 million people, and also includes 14 overseas territories and three Crown dependencies. Its capital, London, is one of Europe's largest cities, and one of the world's premier financial and cultural centres.

As its name implies, the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy (though its constitution is uncodified), whose head of government is the Prime Minister. The present United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dates from 1922, following the independence of the Irish Free State. The monarch of the UK is also head of state of 14 (at the time of writing) independent countries, the Commonwealth realms. The UK joined the European Union in 1973, and was the first member state to leave the Union, on 31 January 2020.
8. Cuba

Located at the meeting point of the Gulf of Mexico, the northern Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba is the largest island nation in the Americas, with an area of 109,884 km˛ (42,426 sq mi) and a population of about 11 million. Besides the island of Cuba, the largest in the Caribbean, the country includes over 4,000 smaller islands. Located south of the Tropic of Cancer, Cuba has a tropical climate, and is often hit by hurricanes; it also boasts a thriving biodiversity, with many endemic plant and animal species. Its capital, Havana, is known for its diverse architecture; founded by the Spanish in 1519, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities founded by Europeans in the Americas.

Inhabited by native peoples since the 4th millennium BC, Cuba was discovered by Christopher Columbus on 27 October 1492. A Spanish colony until 1898, Cuba became independent in 1902. Since the 1959 revolution it has been a one-party socialist republic, an authoritarian state led by the Communist Party - one of the few remaining in the world. Cuba is also a multiethnic country, with a substantial presence of Afro-Cubans, the descendants of the enslaved Africans brought to the island to work in sugarcane plantations between 1500 and 1820. Rum, made from sugarcane molasses, is one of Cuba's most famous products.
9. Iceland

Aptly nicknamed the "Land of Ice and Fire", Iceland lies in the North Atlantic Ocean, barely south of the Arctic Circle, which passes through the small island of Grimsey. Geologically, Iceland is part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which separates the Eurasian Plate from the North American Plate, and includes parts of both plates. The closest land to Iceland is Greenland, the world's largest island, from which it is separated by the Denmark Strait. Covering an area of 102,775 km˛ (39,682 sq mi), Iceland is Europe's most sparsely populated nation, home to about 400,000 people. Famous for its constant volcanic activity and its dramatic scenery, in spite of its northerly latitude it has a relatively temperate climate, mitigated by the warm North Atlantic Current, which also keeps the island's coasts ice-free.

Settled by the Norse in the mid-9th century, Iceland was part of the Kingdom of Denmark until 1944. It is now a parliamentary republic, whose head of government is the Prime Minister. It is a member of NATO and the European Economic Area (though not of the European Union), and maintains close ties with the other Nordic countries. About 36% of Iceland's population live in the nation's capital, Reykjavík ("Smoky Bay"), founded in 1786 on the location of the island's first permanent settlement - the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state.
10. Ireland

Known as the "Emerald Isle" because of its lush vegetation (due to a mild climate with very frequent rainfall), Ireland (Éire in Gaelic) is Europe's third-largest island. The Republic of Ireland occupies five-sixths of the island's surface, with an area of 84,421 km˛ (32,595 sq mi), and a population of about 7 million. The northeastern part of the island, Northern Ireland (sometimes referred to as Ulster, the name of one of the four traditional Irish provinces), is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Inhabited for thousands of years, Ireland has had a long and troubled history, but has also given a major contribution to the development of European culture.

Ireland has been a parliamentary republic since 1949; the President is the head of state, while the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) is the head of government. Though Irish Gaelic is the first official language, English is the primary language for about 95% of the population. Ireland has been a member of the European Union since 1973, but - on account of its policy of military neutrality - is not a member of NATO. The country's capital, Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath), a thriving cultural, industrial, and commercial centre, is located on the eastern coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey.
11. Sri Lanka

Located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) lies southwest of the Indian subcontinent, from which it is separated by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar. With its characteristic teardrop shape, it covers an area of 65,610.2 km˛ (25,332.2 sq mi), which includes a number of offshore islands. Inhabited for over 300,000 years, Sri Lanka was the seat of many powerful kingdoms and a thriving hub for Buddhism before the arrival of the Europeans (Portuguese first, then Dutch and British) in the early 16th century. Now it is home to about 22 million people, most of whom belong to two main ethnic groups - the Sinhalese and the Tamil - often at odds with each other. Known for its tea production, Sri Lanka is also a major biodiversity hotspot.

Independent from the UK since 1948, Sri Lanka became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1972. It has a semi-presidential system, similar to that of France, in which the President (elected by the people) exists alongside a Prime Minister and a Cabinet. Sri Lanka is also one of a number of countries that have more than one capital: Colombo, located on island's west coast, is the country's executive and judicial capital, while the nearby city of Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital.
Source: Author LadyNym

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