Do You Know What Continents These Landforms Are From?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: JacobH/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Since the beginning of written history, landforms have captivated humans, as they have marveled at the inspiring beauty of the landscape. These landforms have not only been explored by adventure seekers but have also become the center of various cultures. Some of them have housed ancient civilizations, where remnants of their societies still remain. Others were revered as works of the gods, occasionally being described as gods themselves. Whether their role in society has changed or not, landforms still have an intricate relationship with humans that can't be ignored.

What exactly are landforms, though? Merriam-Webster's dictionary describes a landform as "a natural feature of a land surface." In science, these features include major types like mountains, hills, plateaus and plains. Other minor types are canyons, valleys, basins and buttes. All of these landforms are created by the movement of tectonic plates.

Do you know the most popular landforms across the planet created by this plate movement underneath the earth? From the highest mountains to plains that stretch thousands of miles, these landforms define continents by determining everything from agriculture to the boundaries of countries.

When you're ready, explore the landforms in the quiz and prove you know the continent where each of them is located.

Buffalo once stretched as far as the eye could see across the Great Plains, a landform that is located on which continent?

Of the 180 million acres of land that makes up what's considered the Northern Great Plains, around half of it is privately owned, mainly by ranchers. Many of the families who work this land have been there for over a century.


If you want to reach the highest peak on the planet, you'll have to travel to Mount Everest. Where can it be found?

For thrill seekers, there's no greater challenge than climbing to the summit of Mount Everest, which stands over 29,000 feet in height. The first two people confirmed to have reached the summit are Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.


Can you match the Polar Plateau, a landform with freezing temperatures, to the correct continent?

Antarctica is divided into East and West Antarctica, with the Polar Plateau being located in East Antarctica. This part of the continent makes up two-thirds of the region and contains ice that's over a mile thick.


The Alps have been an important feature in the history of which continent for thousands of years?

During the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage, Hannibal famously crossed the Alps into Italy, where he led several successful campaigns against Roman armies. The feat was particularly impressive because Hannibal brought along war elephants, which made the trek over the Alps much more difficult.


Do you know where you can find the lush scenery of the Blyde River Canyon?

Located in South Africa, the Blyde River Canyon is filled with wildlife unique to the area. Visitors to the region have the chance to run across an array of animals like the Samango monkey, Chacma baboon, Oribi and Taita falcon.


The Amazon basin spans several countries across which continent, where it forms the largest tropical rainforest in the world?

The Amazon basin is the result of a river system that flows through South America, with the Amazon River being the primary source for the basin. The basin makes up about 40 percent of South America, which would cover most of the mainland United States.


Monument Valley has perhaps the most famous collection of buttes in the world. What continent can this landform be found on?

Because of its beautiful scenery, Monument Valley has been used widely as a backdrop for filming purposes. It can be seen in Marlboro cigarette ads, Western films and even in "Forrest Gump."


Will you be able to place Mount Hotham, a landform named after a former governor from the region, on the right continent?

It takes a 4 1/2-hour drive from Melbourne, Australia to reach Mount Hotham, which is located in Bogong National Park. The mountain is a popular destination for people who want to ski because of its powder snow and downhill slopes.


The Cheshire Plain is an important region for dairy farming on which continent?

Over the past 2 million years, glacial ice has spread into the Cheshire Plain on several occasions, including during the last ice age. When the ice melted away, it left behind glacial till, which covers much of the plain.


Select the continent where you'll find Mount Roraima, one of the many tepui plateaus unique to the region.

Though Mount Roraima sits on the border of Guyana and Brazil, around 75 percent of it is located in Venezuela. It is commonly hit by rain throughout the year and produces random waterfalls at different points in the plateau due to this rainfall.


Skiing can be found during the winter months in the Solang Valley, but where do you have to travel to enjoy the resorts?

Skiing in the Solang Valley is a popular activity during the winter months, but the thick snow doesn't last year-round. However, when summer does melt the snow, other activities become popular in the area like parachuting and zorbing.


How well do you know the continent where Mount Vinson reigns as the highest mountain?

Mount Vinson was the last of the seven summits found on each of the continents to be both discovered and climbed. That's due to its remote location, as it sits only 750 miles from the South Pole.


Where will you find the Grand Canyon and its layered rocks that reveal millions of years of the earth's history?

Mesmerizing to hikers who stand atop its cliffs, the Grand Canyon stretches 277 miles in length. The Colorado River has carved the canyon out over millions of years, and some of the oldest rock in the canyon dates back around 2 billion years.


The Depsang Plain has been a major point of contention, as it splits two major countries on what continent?

In 2013, the Chinese military pushed its luck in the Depsang Plain by crossing into land controlled by India. India did little to stop the incursion, instead handling it through negotiations. When China defended the move, it said the Line of Actual Control was in dispute.


Can you place the Pannonian Basin on the correct continent where it is split by two major rivers in the region?

The Pannonian Basin gets its name from a province in the ancient Roman Empire called Pannonia. Though part of the province did meet the Pannonian Basin, it did not make up the entire region where the basin is located.


Plenty of history can be found on the Giza Plateau. What continent contains this historic landform?

The Giza Plateau contains three of the most famous ancient pyramids — Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. The Great Sphinx is located just east of these pyramids and is believed to have been connected to them as part of a larger complex on the plateau at one point in history.


Are you familiar enough with the Rocky Mountains to match them to the correct continent?

Recognized on Sept. 4, 1915, the Rocky Mountain National Park is the highest elevated national park in the United States. Credit for the creation of the park can be traced to Enos Mills, who spent his life educating others about nature preservation after moving to Colorado at the end of the 19th century.


The Punilla Valley is a landform that splits two famous mountain ranges on which continent?

The Punilla Valley is home to the Cosquin Folk Festival, held annually throughout Argentina's natural wonder. The festival is the largest of its kind held in Argentina and consists of singing and dancing around bonfires throughout the valley.


A landform that comprises one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, do you know the location of the Serengeti?

The Serengeti, which means "endless plain" in Maasai, stretches 12,000 square miles across Africa. Each year, the Serengeti hosts the largest mammal migration in the world, known as the Great Migration, as millions of animals move across its plains.


Is Mount Fuji a landform you know well enough to match it to the continent where it's located?

Mount Fuji has important ties to those who follow the Shinto faith throughout Japan, a religion that dates back to the 7th century. All along the base of the mountain are Shinto shrines, and many of these shrines honor Princess Konohanasakuya, who is the primary deity of the mountain.


Karijini National Park is home to Hancock Gorge, a landform composed of beautiful slot canyons, but where are these canyons located?

Hancock Gorge has many captivating sites, but it takes a journey into the canyon to get to one of the most popular attractions known as Kermit's Pool. However, hikers have to navigate a Class 5 trail before they reach the pool's popular green waters.


Despite the possibility of it erupting, millions of people still live around Mount Vesuvius, a volcano located on which continent?

In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted, causing one of the most devastating natural disasters in human history. The eruption destroyed both Pompeii and Herculaneum, two Roman cities, and killed an estimated 30,000 people.


Do you know where to find Los Llanos, a tropical plain with a view that ends only with the horizon?

Lying primarily in Venezuela, Los Llanos is located where the Andes ridge crosses the Caribbean ridge. The region is flooded during the rainy season, especially along the floodplain of the Orinoco, one of the longest rivers in South America.


Select the continent that Mount McClintock is located on.

Even though Mount McClintock is located in Antarctica, it's actually part of the territory of Australia. Officially, it's the highest point of elevation located in territory controlled by Australia.


Will you be able to place Tiger Leaping Gorge on the continent where visitors can enjoy its scenic view?

Made up of steep limestone ridges, Tiger Leaping Gorge was created by the Jinsha River, which flows along its base. The gorge gets its name from a legend that describes a hunter who chased a tiger throughout the gorge until it escaped by leaping over the Jinsha River.


Mesmerizing yet dangerous, Mount Saint Helens is located on what continent?

Considering Mount Saint Helens had erupted more than any volcano in the Cascade Range over the past 4,000 years, scientists were not surprised by the eruption in 1980. However, the way it erupted was unique in that it blew laterally, destroying 230 square miles of forest.


Can you match Highveld, a plateau known for its commercial farming, to the continent where it's located?

Several of South Africa's major cities are located on the Highveld, including Johannesburg, the largest city in the country. The area is rich in gold, and much of the gold mined since the end of the 19th century comes from the Highveld.


Are you familiar with the continent that contains the Andes Mountains along its western border?

Running 4,500 miles long throughout seven countries in South America, the Andes Mountains is the longest mountain range in the world. The highest elevation of the mountains can be found in Argentina, which stands 22,841 feet tall.


How well do you know the continent where you'll find several cozy villages along the Limagne, a major plain in the region?

Due to years of volcanic activity, which are now extinct, the Limagne formed with a diverse range of soil. Today, the soil across the plains of the Limagne is used primarily for growing wheat and corn.


The terraced agriculture along the Colca Canyon dates back centuries. On which continent has this farming been taking place?

Arequipa, a city located in the Colca Canyon, is a popular attraction because of its unique makeup. Known as the "White City," many of the buildings in Arequipa are made from volcanic stone that comes from the surrounding volcanoes.


Where do the Blue Mountains form a rain shadow over the Cumberland Plain?

The clay soil found throughout the Cumberland Plain produces a diverse woodland in New South Wales. Common trees located in the woodlands of the Cumberland Plain include grey box eucalyptus and forest red gums.


Is Tallulah Gorge a landform you're familiar enough with to place it on the correct continent?

The Cherokee lived in the land around Tallulah Gorge for hundreds of years before Europeans arrived in North America. By the middle of the 19th century, though, Europeans had gotten word of the gorge and its famous waterfall, which significantly increased tourism. Eventually, the Cherokee were forced out of the area as settlers moved in.


The highest free-standing mountain in the world, what continent houses Mount Kilimanjaro?

There are three volcanic cones that make up Mount Kilimanjaro, but only the Kibo cone is in danger of erupting again. The last time the mountain experienced a major eruption, however, was around 360,000 years ago.


Place the Kimberley, a plateau slightly larger than Japan, on the correct continent.

The Kimberley was one of the first places in Australia that humans reached when they settled the region around 40,000 years ago. Thousands of rock art paintings from these early settlers can be found throughout the Kimberley.


Do you know where to find the Verdon Gorge, a canyon named for the turquoise-colored river that runs through it?

The Verdon Gorge was once located under the sea, at which time the limestone rock in the area was formed from a buildup of seashells and corals. Eventually, the sea floor rose due to plate movement, and the land was carved out as ice melted following a period of glaciation.


The Indo-Gangetic Plain stretches across multiple countries on which continent?

The Indus Valley Civilization rose to prominence along the Indo-Gangetic Plain during the Bronze Age. This civilization thrived along the floodplains of the Indus and Ganga-Brahmaputra rivers, where South Asian culture originated.


Can you place Devils Tower, a butte made of igneous rock, on the correct continent?

Native Americans have passed down oral stories about Devils Tower for centuries, as they have occupied the land surrounding the butte for thousands of years. These stories have held Devils Tower in reverence, demonstrating how it has become a sacred place in many Native American cultures.


Which continent would you travel to if you wanted to find Honde Valley?

Banana farming is an important industry in the Honde Valley, where smallholder farming is the most common practice. These farmers were able to take advantage of the abundant water sources by implementing better planting practices while also finding markets in which to export the product.


A place of importance for various religions, are you familiar with the location of the Altai Mountains?

The Altai Mountains run across four countries located on the Asian continent — Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China. Since the mountains are tied to the cultures of these countries, they have become a place of sanctity, especially Belukha Mountain, the highest point of elevation in the mountain system.


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