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Quiz about Kazakhstan  Home of the Free Spirited
Quiz about Kazakhstan  Home of the Free Spirited

Kazakhstan - Home of the Free Spirited Quiz


This quiz is a glimpse into the varied landscapes in the world's ninth largest country, Kazakhstan. The word Kazakh originally meant 'free spirit' or 'independent', so play this quiz to learn a little about the land of the free spirited.

A photo quiz by Tizzabelle. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Tizzabelle
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
363,389
Updated
May 06 23
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
2651
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 12 (5/10), Harmattan (6/10), nyazheenow (5/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world and the largest landlocked country. Bordering or close to Kazakhstan are the central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

True or false: Kazakhstan is larger than the area of the other four central Asian countries combined.


Question 2 of 10
2. Many geographers consider Kazakhstan to be part of both Europe and Asia. Which river that empties into the sea at Atyrau forms this border between European and Asian Kazakhstan? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Kazakhstan is landlocked but does have a shoreline on a large body of water. If you were in Kazakhstan, where could you go to dip your feet into some salt water? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Astana is the relatively new capital of Kazakhstan. Here's a picture of the skyline featuring some fabulous architecture including the National Concert Hall, the Ak Orda Presidental Palace and the Supreme Court. In front of them is an iced over river in the depths of winter. What river does Astana (also known for a while as Nur-Sultan) lie on? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The Ascension Cathedral in the photo is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city. Built in the late 1800s, what is the cathedral made of? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Close to Kazakhstan's border with China you'll find the Charyn Canyon. Part of the valley features high walls and unusual stone formations. What name is given to this region? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Like many other countries, Kazakhstan has its share of environmental concerns. Which of these issues is a major problem for Kazakhstan? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Khan Tengri is Kazakhstan's highest peak. Here's a picture of it at sunset, glowing red in the fading sunlight. Why does the mountain have such a colourful display? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. 1957 saw the first orbiting man-made device launched from Kazakhstan. Called Sputnik, it was the forerunner of the Space Race which ensued and saw Gagarin, Shepherd, Armstrong, Aldrin and others boldly go where no man had gone before. What is the name of the area Sputnik, Vostok1 and others were launched from? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan is a large body of water. What is notable about Lake Balkhash? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 14 2024 : Guest 12: 5/10
Jun 12 2024 : Harmattan: 6/10
May 30 2024 : nyazheenow: 5/10
May 29 2024 : MikeMaster99: 7/10
May 29 2024 : matthewpokemon: 9/10
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May 29 2024 : Samoyed7: 9/10
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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world and the largest landlocked country. Bordering or close to Kazakhstan are the central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. True or false: Kazakhstan is larger than the area of the other four central Asian countries combined.

Answer: True

Kazakhstan's area is over double the area of those four countries combined. Kazakhstan's area is around 2,700,000 square kilometres. Kyrgyzstan has an area of 199,951 sq. km., Tajikistan's is 143,100 sq. km., Turkmenistan covers 488,100 sq. km., and Uzbekistan ranges over 447,400 sq. km. Put together, they don't add up to half of Kazakhstan's area. To put Kazakhstan's area in perspective, it's about five times the area of France, four times the area of Texas and twice the size of Alaska.

Kazakhstan might have a large area but much of it is dry. Three-quarters of the nation is classified as desert or semi-arid. The climate is characteristic of central Asia with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Most of Kazakhstan lies 2-300 metres above sea level, but elevation ranges from below sea level in areas around the Caspian Sea to the highest point which is just over 7,000 metres.

Kazakhstan is rich in mineral resources, with petroleum, gas and chrome being major sources of export income. Unfortunately, much of Kazakhstan has been polluted by industry, poor farming practices leading to pesticide residues, and even radioactivity from former space and defence industry installations.
2. Many geographers consider Kazakhstan to be part of both Europe and Asia. Which river that empties into the sea at Atyrau forms this border between European and Asian Kazakhstan?

Answer: Ural River

The Ural River and Mountains are usually deemed to be the demarcation line between Europe and Asia, while some geographers class the Emba River in Kazakhstan as the dividing line. The Ural River is fed primarily by melting snow in the Ural Mountains. Beginning its life in Russia, it flows through Kazakhstan and ends in the Caspian Sea at Atyrau, forming the digitate (bird's-foot) delta as seen in the photo. Along the way, it flows through the towns of Magnitogorsk, Orsk, Orenburg and Oral before reaching the Caspian.

After the Volga and Danube, it's the third longest river in Europe and the 18th longest in Asia with its total length of 2,428 km (1,511 mi). Approximately 5% of Kazakhstan lies to the west of the Ural River, meaning about 140,000 sq. km. of Kazakhstan is European. It doesn't sound like much, but it's a bigger land area than many European countries such as Greece, Iceland, Hungary, Portugal and Austria.

The Kemijoki River is Finland's longest river.
3. Kazakhstan is landlocked but does have a shoreline on a large body of water. If you were in Kazakhstan, where could you go to dip your feet into some salt water?

Answer: Caspian Sea

A landlocked country is one which has no direct connection to the open oceans of the globe. Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world and the largest of all the landlocked nations. The southwestern section of Kazakhstan has a shoreline on the Caspian Sea, the world's largest lake with a surface area of over 370,000 sq. km. (143,000 sq. mi). The sea is itself endorheic, meaning its water doesn't find an outlet to the sea. Its water is slightly saline, having a salinity level roughly one-third that of the oceans. Two of the larger Kazakh towns on the shoreline are Atyrau and Aktau.

Kazakhstan is on the Caspian Sea's northeast shore. Moving clockwise from Kazakhstan, the sea also has a shoreline on Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia. Despite Kazakhstan's landlocked status, it does have a navy operational on the Caspian Sea.

The Black Sea and Sea of Azov are found further west of the Caspian Sea and have no connection to Kazakhstan. Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and oldest lake, is found to the east of Kazakhstan in Russia and is a freshwater lake.
4. Astana is the relatively new capital of Kazakhstan. Here's a picture of the skyline featuring some fabulous architecture including the National Concert Hall, the Ak Orda Presidental Palace and the Supreme Court. In front of them is an iced over river in the depths of winter. What river does Astana (also known for a while as Nur-Sultan) lie on?

Answer: Ishim River

Until 1997, the city of Almaty was Kazakhstan's capital. The decision was made in 1995 to move the capital to the smaller city of Akmola in the country's northeastern quarter. The city became the capital in 1997 and the name was changed officially to Astana in 1998, the city's name literally meaning 'capital'. The name was changed again, to Nur-Sultan, in 2020, and then back again to Astana. Reasons for the move included the risk of earthquake in Almaty, crowding, and the large Russian population in northern Kazakhstan. It was thought that integrating the Russians into the capital city would see less political dissidence.

Sitting close to the centre of Kazakhstan, Astana enjoys (or should I say, endures) the rather cool climate prevalent on the Steppes. Summers can be warm, but winters can be brutal with temperatures of -30C to -35C being routine in winter. The city has the distinction of being the Earth's second coldest capital city on average. Astana also saw Kazakhstan's coldest temperature record broken with a -51C recording. The Ishim River starts freezing over in mid-November and stays solid until late March or the beginning of April. It's a long, cold winter in Astana!

The population of Astana has increased greatly since its establishment as Kazakhstan's capital. In 1999, fewer than 300,000 people made Astana home. Eleven years later, over 700,000 people lived in Astana. The cityscape of Astana has also changed greatly in the intervening years. Much of the old architecture from the Soviet era has been demolished and innovative new designs have significantly changed the profile of the city. Buildings have been designed by architectural luminaries such as Norman Foster and Kisho Kurokawa.

The Ishim River begins in Kazakhstan and flows west, then north before emptying into the Irtysh River. The Irtysh then empties into the Ob River which ends its life in the Gulf of Ob, an arm of the Arctic Ocean. The Ishim River is 2,450 km (1,530 mi) long. The river's flow through Astana is controlled with damming downstream and dredging of the river to ensure an adequate level in Astana for water transport through the city while also assisting in flood control.

The Klarälven River is the longest river in Scandinavia and flows through Norway and Sweden. The Po is the longest river in Italy.
5. The Ascension Cathedral in the photo is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city. Built in the late 1800s, what is the cathedral made of?

Answer: Wood

Not only is the Ascension Cathedral made of wood, it's one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world, with some references saying it's the second tallest of all. Constructed between 1904 and 1907, it was built without nails yet survived the 1911 earthquake with barely any damage. During the Soviet era when Kazakhstan was part of the USSR, the building was used for multiple purposes including as a museum.

It was even the site of Almaty's first radio transmitters. Restoration work on the building took place in the 1970s, but it wasn't until 1995 that the Russian Orthodox Church resumed ownership of the cathedral, with the first religious service taking place in 1997.
6. Close to Kazakhstan's border with China you'll find the Charyn Canyon. Part of the valley features high walls and unusual stone formations. What name is given to this region?

Answer: Valley of Castles

Two hundred kilometres east of Astana, you'll find the Charyn Canyon. Part of the Charyn National Park, the canyon stretches along the Charyn River for eighty km. It's similar in form to the Grand Canyon in the USA and is up to 300 metres deep in parts. For two of those eighty kilometres lies the Valley of Castles, an area of rock formations of pillars and other shapes created from the local red sandstone as you can see in the photo.
7. Like many other countries, Kazakhstan has its share of environmental concerns. Which of these issues is a major problem for Kazakhstan?

Answer: Desertification of land

The animal in the photo is a camel rather than a llama. Feral llamas might be an issue in Peru but it's not one that Kazakhstan faces. Desertification is a major issue in Kazakhstan with authorities and non-government organisations trying to combat it. Kazakhstan is naturally dry and unforgiving with a rainfall of only 400mm (16 in) a year or less. The Kazakhs used the land for grazing or subsistence farming, but the Soviet era brought large-scale and water-intensive farming to the region. Soil was turned up and wind blew the topsoil away, forests were cut down, water was diverted from natural water courses and onto farms, and lakes dried up. Well over half of Kazakhstan is liable to become desert, with up to 20% of some provinces' arable land becoming desert.

Kazakhstan and its central Asian neighbours are working with the United Nations Development fund to remedy this situation and some success has been had. Forests have been replanted in previously abandoned farming land, the Aral Sea has seen a rise in its level, and degraded pastures have been improved. Another benefit of these developments will be a boost in ecotourism to various regions, particularly around the Caspian seashore, to assist the economy.

N.B. The photo was taken in Russia close to the border with Kazakhstan rather than Kazakhstan itself. I was unable to find a picture of the Kazakhstan Steppes that I could use so I used one from close to the border which illustrates some of the landscape.
8. Khan Tengri is Kazakhstan's highest peak. Here's a picture of it at sunset, glowing red in the fading sunlight. Why does the mountain have such a colourful display?

Answer: It is made of marble

Khan Tengri can be found close to the point where China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan meet in southeastern Kazakhstan. It's the second highest mountain in the Tian Shan mountain range, only topped by Jengish Chokusu on the Kyrgyzstan-China border. Made up of a massive lump of marble, the mountain has a coloration and glow that has given it the name of 'Kan Tau' in Kazakh meaning 'blood mountain'.

This humungous marble mountain stands 6,995m (22,949 ft) above sea level, but it has 15m of glacial ice on the top, giving it an overall height of 7,010 metres. It's the most northerly peak in the world over 7,000m. Its height qualifies it for the Snow Leopard award. Fancy a bit of mountaineering? The Snow Leopard Award is given to mountaineers who climb all five peaks above 7,000 metres in the former Soviet Union. Over 600 climbers have accomplished this feat which requires scaling Khan Tengri, Jengish Chokusu (7,439m), Ismail Samani Peak (7,495m), Peak Korzhenevskaya (7,105m) and Ibn Sina Peak (7,134m).

Khan Tengri was first successfully ascended in 1931 by a Ukrainian team lead by Mikhail Pogrebetsky. Being quite northerly, the difficulty of the climb is accentuated by the shorter climbing season and more severe winter weather compared to more southerly mountains. That fact was tragically illustrated in 2004 when over a dozen mountain climbers were killed by an avalanche on the mountain's most popular route on the mountain, the Pogrebestsky route.
9. 1957 saw the first orbiting man-made device launched from Kazakhstan. Called Sputnik, it was the forerunner of the Space Race which ensued and saw Gagarin, Shepherd, Armstrong, Aldrin and others boldly go where no man had gone before. What is the name of the area Sputnik, Vostok1 and others were launched from?

Answer: Baikonur Cosmodrome

During the Soviet era when Kazakhstan was a constituent member of the USSR, the Baikonur Cosmodrome was the site of the world's first artificial satellite launch in 1957. Further space missions were launched from Baikonur and it continued to be used by the Russians into the 21st century despite not being on Russian soil. The Russian government rents the facility from the Kazakh government for 115 million dollars a year and has signed an agreement to do so until 2050. The Cosmodrome is a large area northeast of the Aral Sea stretching 85km from north to south and 125 km from east to west. There are dozens of launch pads and additional facilities such as control centres and a rocket testing range. The launch pad which saw Yuri Gagarin rocketed into space is called Gagarin's Start, and Valentina Tereshkova also lifted off into space from Baikonur. The Cosmodrome was also the site of testing for the first intercontinental ballistic missiles.

As a side note, I made up the name 'Gagaringrad' for this quiz. I thought I'd check in case it really did exist. It does, but only in a comic called 'American Flagg!' which was published in the 1980s.
10. Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan is a large body of water. What is notable about Lake Balkhash?

Answer: It is divided into two sections - fresh and salt water

Lake Balkash is in Khazakhstan's eastern region and is an endorheic lake like the Caspian Sea. In the early 21st century, its area was about 16,400 sq. km. but its area has diminished over years as water which would have gone into the lake has been used for irrigation of farms. Seven rivers feed the lake, the chief source of water being the Ili River which has its source in Chinese mountains over the border. Lake Balkhash has been shrinking over the years as has the Aral Sea. In contrast, the Caspian Sea has been growing, the reason for which isn't totally understood by scientists.

Approximately 600 km. long overall, the lake is divided into two sections, east and west, by a strip of land called the Saryesik Peninsula. The eastern section is narrower but deeper and saltier. The western section is shallower but the water has a much lower concentration of salt and is used for drinking. The western section is also much wider then the eastern part, with a width of up to 74km. The two halves are linked by Strait Uzynaral which is about 3.5 km. wide but only six metres deep.
Source: Author Tizzabelle

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Pagiedamon before going online.
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