Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. We'll start with Christopher Columbus, who most people think of first when they hear the word "explorer." We all know he was the first European in written history to have discovered the Americas, but it's odd how few know exactly where he landed on his very first voyage. Do you?
2. Roald Amundsen, another very famous explorer, specialized in polar exploration and was the first explorer to do three of the following impressive feats. If you're not impressed, you should be. Which of the following is the only first Amundsen did NOT collect?
3. In the fourteenth century, 21-year-old Muslim law student Ibn Battuta left his hometown of Tangiers on his hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. After Mecca, however, Battuta kept going, eventually visiting the land of every Muslim ruler of that era. In fact, before he returned home he performed the hajj four times over almost 30 years. The 120,700 kilometers (75,000 miles) he travelled makes him arguably the greatest traveller of the medieval period, and his travel writings contain lots of delightfully odd things of great value to scholars of medieval cultures. Which is the only feat among the following which is NOT part of the odd experiences Ibn Battuta collected?
4. Quoting from the UCLA website: "Upon the orders of the emperor Yongle and his successor, Xuande, Zheng He commanded seven expeditions, the first in the year 1405 and the last in 1430, which sailed from China to the west, reaching as far as the Cape of Good Hope. The object of the voyages was to display the glory and might of the Chinese Ming dynasty and to collect tribute from the "barbarians from beyond the seas." Merchants also accompanied Zheng's voyages, ...bringing with them silks and porcelain to trade for foreign luxuries such as spices and jewels and tropical woods.
"These voyages...came a few decades before most of the famous European voyages of discovery known to all Western school children: Christopher Columbus, in 1492; Vasco da Gama, in 1498; and Ferdinand Magellan, in 1521. However, Zheng He's fleets were incomparable larger." There were up to 317 ships and 28,000 men on the largest voyage, including 62 "treasure" ships along for trade. The fleet was larger than any fleet assembled anywhere up until World War II.
Which one of the following statements about Zheng He is NOT correct?
5. Russian expatriate Isabelle Eberhardt lived only 27 years, but her life was as full of adventure, excessive passion, and odd bits as would take most of us 87 years to achieve. In 1897 her mother and she traveled to Algeria, where they both converted to Islam. When her mother died, rather than returning to Russia Eberhardt settled in northern Algeria, which became home base for her constant exploring of the desert. The following are all parts of her odd, meteoric life...all except which one?
6. Ahmad Ibn Fadlan was an Islamic scholar serving Baghdad's caliph in the early 900s. In 921 he was sent as a religious advisor to the king of the Bulgars (Turks) living along the Volga River (now Russia). The Bulgars were new converts to Islam, and Ibn Fadian intended to teach them Islamic law. Ibm Fadian's journal ended up being a very important record of the peoples and cultures of the time.
Probably the most well known part of Ibn Fadlan's travel writing is his vivid description of the Viking settlers living alongside the Bulgars. Ibn Fadian called them the "Rus" and considered them odd. They are considered the actual ancestors of the contemporary Russians.
Three of the following descriptions of the Vikings/Rus are from Ibn Fadian's journal. Which one is the false item?
7. John Rae was hired as a surgeon by the Hudson Bay Company and was stationed for a year at the Moose Factory at the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Despite the harsh conditions, Rae found the "wild life" so satisfying that he continued there as surgeon for ten years. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he respected the Native Canadians, learned their language, dressed like them, and became the European authority on the Inuit's secrets of Arctic living. Rae became such a great snowshoer that the Inuit named him "Aglooka," meaning "he who takes long strides."
However, John Rae's relationship with Native Canadians led to his being condemned by Charles Dickens and many other notable English Victorians. Why?
8. Thor Heyerdahl is best known for his "Kon-Tiki" expedition, later written up in a book of the same name. Heyerdahl interpreted some legends and archaeological evidence as indicating that the Incas may have sailed to and influenced the south sea islands. When he was met with derision, Heyerdahl built a raft of the type used by the Incas, using only balsa wood and other local materials, and called it the Kon-Tiki. Heyerdahl and 5 others sailed this raft from Peru to the Tuamotu islands, demonstrating that not only was it possible but fairly easy for the Incas to have made the trip.
Thor Heyerdahl loved this type of anthropology/archaeology/ethnography, and led other adventures to demonstrate other theories. Which of the following is the only untrue odd bit about Heyerdahl?
9. Lewis and Clark, beloved by schoolchildren in the USAs (quite a bit because of Sacagawea), were hired to find out what President Jefferson had spent taxpayers' money on with the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson eagerly expected them to find a wooly mammoth.
Lewis and Clark's expedition succeeded in reaching the Pacific and returning with the loss of only one life and the gain of priceless information about riverways, many new species of birds and animals, almost 50 Indian tribes, and much more--but no wooly mammoth.
Despite no mammoth, there were many interesting odd bits along the way. Which of the below four bits does not belong?
10. We'll end with Kira Salak, unique in that she is the only explorer in this quiz who was still alive and exploring in 2010. Salak even has her own website, where I found the following:
"A National Geographic Emerging Explorer and contributing editor for National Geographic "Adventure" magazine, she was the first woman to traverse Papua New Guinea and the first person to kayak solo 600 miles to Timbuktu."
Three of the following were odd bits of success for Kira Salak. Which one was not?
Source: Author NormanW5
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