The continental divide in my knowledge
Once I finished memorizing all the African countries, I asked myself if I could extend that to learn all the country names in the world. Naturally, I started by Googling “How many countries are there in the world?”
You would think it should be a straight forward answer. Far from it. The definition of a “country” is not as clear cut as I had thought it would be. There are countries that the UN recognizes. Then there are are completely autonomous areas with their own government and no control from outside – but they do not go for UN membership (e.g. Cook Islands). Kosovo is not a recognized country by UN, but it competes in the Olympics as a nation.
In fact, if I have this right, there are 195 sovereign states recognized by the UN, 201 partially recognized states, 204-207 de facto sovereign states, 206 Olympic nations, 211 FIFA countries and get this – 249 countries that have their own ISD (country code for telephone numbers) codes!
Anyways, finally memorized the names of all the nations recognized by the UN. Trying to understand the definition of continents was a trifle more tricky. Learnt some really interesting tidbits about continents. See how many of these you knew:
1. Which continent is Greenland in?
2. Which is the continent with the most number of countries?
3. Which is the continent with the least number of countries?
4. How many countries have contiguous area that straddles over two different continents?
5. This one is specially for my friends who live in the USA like me. How many countries in our continent?