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Quiz about Enigmatic Alaska
Quiz about Enigmatic Alaska

Enigmatic Alaska Trivia Quiz


Largest, second newest, not part of the contiguous "lower 48" Alaska has always been an enigmatic state. This quiz explores some of the reasons Alaska has earned this moniker.
This is a renovated/adopted version of an old quiz by author mh

A photo quiz by 1nn1. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
1nn1
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
3,221
Updated
Sep 24 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
260
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: Guest 42 (3/10), Kat1982 (4/10), Guest 172 (8/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. In 1867, United States Secretary of State William H. Seward offered $7,200,000 to purchase Alaska from Russia. The District of Alaska remained sparsely populated until what event, in another country, occurred in 1896? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Alaska is not part of the contiguous US. If you drive north from Seattle, Washington State to Anchorage, in the southern part of Alaska, what non-US jurisdictions of the world do you drive through to reach your Alaskan destination? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The Aleutian Islands are a series of 14 larger volcanic islands and 55 smaller islands that string out westward from the southwest Alaskan mainland. Which one of the following statements is *NOT* true about the Aleutian islands? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. The word 'Alaska' comes from an Aleut language word. Which of the four words below is the closest interpretation to the original indigenous meaning? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Many US Airports are amongst the busiest in the world as they acts as hubs. As Anchorage is a hub, it is one of the busiest airports in the world. True or False?


Question 6 of 10
6. One of the major tourist attractions of Alaska is the ability to witness the Northern Lights. Which of the following Alaskan locations would be the best place to view this spectacular sight? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What is ironic about this street scene in Juneau, the capital of Alaska?


Question 8 of 10
8. Even the word "Alaska" is enigmatic. Which one of the following statements about the word Alaska is true? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Even the Alaskan State Flag reeks of geography: It contains eight stars comprising the Big Dipper constellation and one other star. What is the single star called? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. True or False? Alaska contains the most northerly, westerly AND easterly extremities of the US.



Most Recent Scores
May 25 2024 : Guest 42: 3/10
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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In 1867, United States Secretary of State William H. Seward offered $7,200,000 to purchase Alaska from Russia. The District of Alaska remained sparsely populated until what event, in another country, occurred in 1896?

Answer: Klondike gold rush

After the Crimean War, the Russian Empire considered selling off its North American asset of Alaska as it would be difficult to defend from being conquered by Russia's archrival, the United Kingdom, should war between the two empires eventuate. The US eyed Alaska as a base for trade in Asia. In 1867 William Seward negotiated a treaty to buy Alaska for two cents an acre for $7.2m (That's 360 million acres!). This added 586,412 sq mi / 1,518,800 km2 to the US land area or an area 2.5 times as large as Texas. Not everybody approved of the purchase. Some called the acquisition "Seward's Folly", or "Seward's Icebox". The few Russians living in Alaska returned to their mother country after the US purchase and Alaska was virtually left untouched until the Klondike Gold Rush which started in 1896.

The Klondike was in Canada, deep in the Yukon Territory. The main way to get there was by the Yukon River. The expensive way to do this, was to sail to St Michael near Nome on Alaska's west coast then sail down the Yukon River from its delta. It was a long journey, 4,700 miles (7,600 km) in total. The other major way was overland from two settlements on the Alaskan panhandle, Dyea and Skagway. Prospectors had to carry a minimum of one ton of food over mountain passes before having to make boats to sail down tributaries of the Yukon River until they reached the Yukon, then sailed down the Yukon until it met the Klondike River. Many people perished on the journey, many returned to the Alaskan settlements and worked there. Some prospectors returned empty handed and tried to find work in the Alaskan settlements as they has no money to return home.
2. Alaska is not part of the contiguous US. If you drive north from Seattle, Washington State to Anchorage, in the southern part of Alaska, what non-US jurisdictions of the world do you drive through to reach your Alaskan destination?

Answer: British Columbia and Yukon

Alaska, like Hawaii, is indeed not part of the lower 48. However unlike Hawaii, it is part of the North American mainland. Terrestrially only the Canadian province of British Columbia separates Alaska and Washington state as the Alaskan panhandle stretches out southward one third of the way down the BC coast. However the few small coastal settlements on the panhandle are not connected by road to BC as there is a massive permanent ice shelf and mountain range between the panhandle coast and the interior of British Columbia.

From Seattle you head north on I-5 until you cross into Canada, skirt around Vancouver then head north for the entirety of the length of BC, then cross into Yukon where you soon hit the Alaska Highway. You then head northwest until you cross into Alaska and then after you pass the last of the impassable ice shelf, you head southwest until you come to Anchorage on the Alaskan South Coast, a distance of around 1280 miles or 2060km.
3. The Aleutian Islands are a series of 14 larger volcanic islands and 55 smaller islands that string out westward from the southwest Alaskan mainland. Which one of the following statements is *NOT* true about the Aleutian islands?

Answer: Kodiak Island is part of the Aleutian Islands and is the biggest island in the US

Collectively the Aleutian Islands occupy a land area of 6,821 sq mi (17,666 km2) and extend about 1,200 mi (1,900 km) from the Alaska Peninsula west toward the Kamchatka Peninsula. They stop about 90 miles/ 150 km short of the Russian mainland. There are two Commander Islands between the most westward Aleutian (Attu) and the Kamchatka Peninsula; the two Commander islands belong to Russia but are geographically part of the Aleutian Archipelago. However the International Date Line travels just west of Attu making the Aleutians islands operate all on the same day at least.

Kodiak Island is a large island off the southern coast of Alaska but it is the largest island in the Kodiak archipelago. It is the second biggest island in the US after the Big Island in Hawaii. It is 160 km (99 miles) long and ranges from 16 to 97 kilometers (10 to 60 mi) in width. Over 13000 people live there with over 5500 in the main town of Kodiak.
4. The word 'Alaska' comes from an Aleut language word. Which of the four words below is the closest interpretation to the original indigenous meaning?

Answer: Mainland

The name "Alaska" is derived from the Aleut "alaxsxaq", approximately meaning "the mainland" or, more precisely "the object towards which the action of the sea is directed". Alaska is also known as "Alyeska", meaning the "great land". This is also an Aleut word which comes from from the same root.

The state nickname is "The Last Frontier".

The state motto is "North to the Future" - In 1967 the motto was chosen during the Alaska Purchase Centennial and represents Alaska as a land of promise.

Alaska has two official state holidays: Seward's Day is celebrated on the last Monday in March. It commemorates the signing of the treaty which documents the terms on which the US bought Alaska from Russia, signed on March 30, 1867. The other is Alaska Day celebrated annually on October 18. Alaska Day is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the territory to the US and the raising of the American flag at Sitka (the nominative capital) on October 18, 1867.
5. Many US Airports are amongst the busiest in the world as they acts as hubs. As Anchorage is a hub, it is one of the busiest airports in the world. True or False?

Answer: True

Anchorage is only a 10 hour flight from 90% of the commercial world but this is hard to visualise on a 2D map. Approximately 80 percent of all cargo flights operating across the Pacific stop at Anchorage to refuel or to change crews and in 40% of all cases, to transfer cargo.

Previously Anchorage was a major refuelling stop on flights from North America to Asia just as Gander, Newfoundland was on North America to Europe routes. However with jetliners having greater ranges in the 21st century, there is not as much need to stop for fuel en-route to Asia. (However, in 2022 western flights did not fly over Russia because of the Russia/Ukraine conflict, so they needed to go around Russia, sometimes necessitating a stop in Anchorage because of the extra diversion mileage).

The other big factor is both Fed Ex and UPS have cargo hubs here. This means that all Asian and some European bound cargo from North America comes into the Anchorage hub to drop off its cargo which is then re-sorted to go on planes to Asia and Europe with specific destinations. In 2019, Anchorage Airport was the sixth biggest in the world based on number of flights.

Additionally, the massive growth of the airport trade has resulted in Anchorage swelling to a 2021 population of 291,000 which means a little over a third of Alaska's residents live in Anchorage. It also means that this city is ten times bigger than the next biggest city, Fairbanks.
6. One of the major tourist attractions of Alaska is the ability to witness the Northern Lights. Which of the following Alaskan locations would be the best place to view this spectacular sight?

Answer: Fairbanks

Auroras result from disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by the solar wind. Aurora Borealis means dawn from the northern wind (Borealis was the Greek god of the North Wind). The Aurora Borealis is visible when you are close to the centre of the Arctic Circle eg Alaska.

Fairbanks is the best location of the four to view the Northern Lights as it is the furthest north of the four and only 150 m / 250 km south of the Arctic Circle. Anchorage is on the mainland south coast, Juneau is further south again on the Alaskan panhandle and Kodiak Island is on approximately the same line of latitude as Juneau.
7. What is ironic about this street scene in Juneau, the capital of Alaska?

Answer: There are a lot of cars in a place where there is no road leading out of town

Of the 49 U.S. capitals on mainland North America, Juneau is the only one where there are no roads to connect it to the rest of the state or North America. This is because of rugged and challenging terrain surrounding the city. All goods coming in and out must go by plane or boat. Ferries and planes are the primary modes of transport. Downtown Juneau is at sea level, with steep mountains 3,500 to 4,000 feet (1,100 to 1,200 m) high on all other sides. On top of these mountains is the Juneau Icefield, comprising 30 glaciers making road construction impossible. When Carson City joined the Interstate network in 2012, there were only four state capitals not joined to the Interstate system: Dover, Jefferson City, Pierre and Juneau.

Because of its southerly latitude and its coastal location, Juneau receives less snowfall than other Alaskan cities although it does receive over 50in (1300 mm) of rain each year.
8. Even the word "Alaska" is enigmatic. Which one of the following statements about the word Alaska is true?

Answer: Alaska is the only US state that can be typed using a single row on the keyboard

Alabama just pips Alaska for first place on an alphabetical list of US states but the positions are reversed on an alphabetical list of state abbreviations (AK versus AL).
Alaska is one of four six letter US states: The others are Hawaii, Kansas and Oregon.
Please do not take this author's world that Alaska is the only US state that can be typed on a single keyboard row. Type out the other 49 states and see for yourself.
9. Even the Alaskan State Flag reeks of geography: It contains eight stars comprising the Big Dipper constellation and one other star. What is the single star called?

Answer: North Star

The Alaskan flag was designed by 13 year old Benny Benson, a native Alaskan who submitted his design as part of a 1927 competition for 12-17 year olds to design a flag for the Alaska Territory. He submitted this description with his entry:

"The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaskan flower. The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly in the union. The Dipper is for the Great Bear - symbolizing strength". As well as winning the completion, his description is also included (almost word for word) in the state legislation describing the flag symbolism. Additionally, the legislation added extra information about Polaris (North Star):- [the North Star is a] "symbol of Alaska's northern location and "the ever constant star for the mariner, the explorer, hunter, trapper, prospector, woodsman, and the surveyor."

The only difference between the official flag and his entry was Benny's design had "1867" in the centre lower portion of the field. Benny won $1000 for his efforts.
10. True or False? Alaska contains the most northerly, westerly AND easterly extremities of the US.

Answer: True

Point Barrow or Nuvak, Alaska 7123'20"N 15628'45"W, a headland on the Arctic coast is the northernmost point in the United States.

Amatignak Island, Alaska 5116'7"N 1798'55"W in the Aleutian archipelago, is the westernmost point in all U.S. territories by longitude. It also serves as the westernmost longitude of Alaska, the US, and North America. However Attu island is "so far west", it is in the Eastern Hemisphere (5251'N 17311'E) but still on the same side of the International Date Line as the rest of Alaska.
Source: Author 1nn1

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