I'm sure it's no real surprise to any of you readers that the world tends to think that Americans are pretty dumb. You probably know a few dumb people yourselves. Well, this piece is specifically about how little Americans know about geography. And not just world geography, but local as well.
I'm sure many of you would be able to answer these questions easily and know a fair share about geography in your own right...but that doesn't excuse the overwhelmingly stupid responses some people have had when asked about geography. It's pretty mind-blowing to know that there is an education system that allows people like this to slip through.
But hey, you don't have to just read this intro while I write about how dumb some Americans are. Just scroll down and take a look at what some people have said when it comes to KFC, Washington D.C., Vietnam, Australia, Mount Rushmore, and other places that a bunch of Americans seem to know absolutely nothing about.
15 Who Won The Vietnam War?
So this isn't directly a geography question. It started off more as a question about war. When asked who won the Vietnam War, this woman stated incorrectly that the U.S. did. And immediately after that, she questioned whether or not the Americans had ever even gone to Vietnam. Now, let's say that this woman is only 30 (though I have a feeling she is older). How could she get by for that long without hearing about that war? Or without knowing anything about Vietnam? It's one of the most famous f*ck-ups of the United States. She probably has a family member who fought there or at least dodged the draft. If she threw a dart at a collection of American war films, chances are she'd hit a Vietnam film one time out of every 3 shots. I'm Canadian and I know this stuff.
14 Name A Country That Starts With 'U'
This guy probably gives the greatest answer to the question: Can you name a country that begins with a 'U'? What does the guy say? Yugoslavia. By the way, in case you didn't notice when just reading his answer to the question...Yugoslavia does not begin with a 'U'! The host of this interview segment asked a bunch of people and answers like "Utopia" and "Utah" were given. I know a lot of Americans think their states are the best in the world...but they're not individual countries. When the host drops the bomb on what the simplest answer is, everyone finally feels at least a little stupid for their answers. Because...United States of America does begin with a 'U'. Of course, there's also Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates...but hey "USA! USA!"
13 How Many Oceans Are There?
So this young woman from Arkansas (which is not a country by the way), was asked how many oceans there are. The answer, to start, is four. Historically anyway. The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. Go figure though, the United States has decreed that there is a fifth ocean called the Southern Ocean. This one starts from the coast of Antarctica. But that's not the important thing here (though it's pretty hilarious that the only country that officially recognizes this fifth ocean is the U.S.). No, the main point here is that the woman states she's only ever been to one ocean. Do you know which it was? It was the Pacific Ocean...when she went to Florida. Now, I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but Florida is on the exact opposite side of the U.S. from the Pacific Ocean.
12 Where Is Rushmore?
This woman just wanted to go to Australia to see this amazing landmark that she apparently learned so much about in school. But I think she was lying a little bit about actually learning anything about it. If she knew anything about Mount Rushmore, she would know that it definitely does not exist in Australia. You can find it in the Black Hills of South Dakota carved out of native land. Though, to be fair, if it was built in Australia it would likely also be built on native land. So I guess there is some connection that she could make there. What continues to baffle me though is that every face on Mount Rushmore is very certainly an American icon, so it's not like she's just ignorant of where the giant sculpture is but she's also ignorant of some of the biggest names of the nation.
11 He Just Gave You The Answer...
Ok...I have a really hard time watching these videos sometimes because some of these people are just absolutely dense. So dense that a jackhammer probably couldn't penetrate. This guy here is asked about where the Berlin Wall was. Now, in case any of you are dumb enough to catch that...it's in BERLIN! He tells the guy where the wall is. I mean...how does he not know anything about the Berlin Wall? He remained completely silent for a significant amount of time. When he does answer...he says Israel! Jeez. He would have been far better off if he said it was in Westeros, north of Winterfell because then at least you know he pays attention to something! I wonder if this guy even knows that Germany is a country.
10 How Many Are There!?
I can't begin to understand how she came up with this answer, but this young lady decided that there are about 100 Great Lakes. Now, there are thousands of lakes in the world, but I think that Leno was probably referring to the lakes in North America known as The Great Lakes. When asked to name even one of the apparently 100 lakes, all she could say was "The Great Lake". I guess that's the biggest of the 100? In case you didn't know, there are only five Great Lakes. Michigan, Erie, Huron, Ontario, and Superior. That's a much smaller number than this girl gave. Even if she added the African Great Lakes that would still only bring her number up to seven. It's almost like there isn't actually an education system in the States...that or at least no one teaches geography.
9 What Does The "D.C." Stand For?
I'm sure every one of you readers is aware that the "D.C." in Washington D.C. stands for 'District of Columbia'. I'm fairly confident that you all know this. Right? You must. Because it's pretty important to know that your own capital isn't even a stat! But this woman who is hanging out at the boardwalk somewhere on the coast figures that it stands for Dominican Republic. Now, that's a whole other country. And I don't know if you know this...but Republic doesn't start with a "C". So I'm very confused about how she came up with this answer. Someone else gave an even stranger answer to this question. Another lady said Washington Obama. Again, Obama doesn't start with either a "D" or a "C". Even if you didn't know the actual answer, at least listen to what the guy is saying to you.
8 South Korea Is Tasmania!?
Who knew that South Korea was so small in comparison to North Korea!? Oh wait, that's just a guy being an idiot. How do I know that? Well, it's because he's pointing at Tasmania and calling it South Korea. And what country did he flag as North Korea? Australia! AUSTRALIA! That's not only a country, it's its own continent! How could you possibly f*ck that up? Sure, to be fair, the guy holding up the map purposely labeled Australia as North Korea, but that was clearly to see who was stupid enough to actually think that was true. It's amazing and depressing to know that there are people who will look at a map, see the name, and just assume it's right. Especially when the place is a continent. John Oliver does this well in his show Last Week Tonight when he constantly calls people out for not knowing smaller countries around the world.
7 That's A New One!
So Leno asks: "What are you if you're from Amsterdam? What do people call you?" This guy, I guess, isn't too far away from the real answer but he says "Amsterdamian". The real answer is Amsterdammer. Or, if you have some Dutch friends, you could use the colloquialism "Mokummer". Or if you just wanted to expand beyond that...you could just say the Dutch. But hey, Amsterdamian is kind of catchy. Maybe that will be a new nickname for people from Amsterdam. Who knows? It might already be since it seems so many people are so incredibly clueless about the world in which they live. But hey, it's better than being called an idiot or sh*t-for-brains. Those are two things I might think to call someone who says Amsterdamian...
6 The People Who Built The U.S.
So, this woman is asked about what countries make up the United Kingdom. She's also asked what currency is used there. She could answer either of these questions. Answer? England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales (and a couple of scattered commonwealths and colonies that aren't technically a part of the kingdom). And what's the currency? Well, I guess she's not historically wrong but she states "Queen Elizabeth's money". Which is kind of interesting. She knows that Queen Elizabeth rules over the United Kingdom but she says just before giving her answer that she doesn't even know what the United Kingdom is! Here's a history lesson: The U.K., governed by England, used to be the British Empire from which the United States came.
5 France Is That Far Away?
Oh, look! Someone has no idea about any geography. When asked about where next to invade, this guy mentions that there is some friction between the United States and France. So he's asked to put a flag on France to show where he'd send the next military campaign. Where did he actually put the flag? Australia! I promise that it does not take that long to get to France. It's much closer than you might think. There's a reason why England used to send their refuse to Australia. It's so far away that there is a slim chance they'll ever find their way back. And there's a reason why France settled in North America. Because it's pretty close. At least in comparison to Australia. Not only does this guy not know a map, but he clearly knows nothing about history as well.
4 Where Is The Panama Canal?
It seems like a pretty clear answer right? Where is the Panama Canal? Well, I guess it might be in a place like Panama, right? Wrong apparently. This kid does start off almost right. He asks if it's in a place called Panama but then he immediately stops himself, says no, and then states that it's actually in the U.S.! He should have gone with his first instinct. Then he claims that the canal is named after some guy named Panama. He's also asked where the Canal goes from. His answer is amazing. Remember, this is a kid who said that the Panama Canal is in the United States. So he says that the canal goes from Panama to France! I guess he forgot about the Atlantic Ocean between the U.S. and France. Though, if he lives somewhere along the Pacific, he could always zip down to the canal and head over to the Atlantic.
3 Is KFC From Kentucky?
How can this guy not know this? He's asked what state KFC is from. He says "What the chicken? I don't know. I really don't know." How could you not know!!! The interviewer even gets the guy to say what KFC stands for. KENTUCKY Fried Chicken. It must be from Arizona, right? No! It's obviously from Kentucky! Sure, maybe he's occupied with his jogging, but he does hear each question the guy asks. And he must know that Kentucky is a state. He must. I mean Kentucky is where disgusting fast food chicken, and a ton of awesome bourbons are from! I'm from Canada and even I know what Kentucky is well known for. And I know it's a state. And even if I didn't know that Kentucky was a state, I would be able to reason that it must be when asked: "what state does Kentucky Fried Chicken come from?"
2 What Are Hiroshima And Nagasaki Famous For?
This is probably the most ignorant answer in the entire article. This guy here is definitely old enough to have heard at some point that the United States dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. It's what ended their part in World War II after the Nazis surrendered. Nuking thousands of people is pretty significant. And this guy says that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are well known for "Judo-wrestling"! First of all, Judo-wrestling isn't a thing. I think he means SUMO wrestling. Judo is its own martial art. But more importantly, I was born 44 years after the U.S. nuked Japan. And I'm not even American. But I'm not ignorant enough to not know about it. This guy was probably alive when the bombs were dropped. He was likely a child, but I'm willing to bet he was alive.
1 Not Even One Country!?
Can you name just one country in Europe? Like...France, England (for now), Italy, Austria, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Belgium...there are a few anyway. This woman could not name a single one. She just gave up. She didn't give a single guess! I bet she drinks German beer or French wine! She has probably thought about smoking up in the Netherlands while she hangs out in Amsterdam. Maybe she's wanted to go to Buckingham Palace so she can chance to see the Queen of England. I bet she watches Game of Thrones, a lot of which is shot in Croatia. The education system in the United States must really be failing its people if there are American citizens who can't name a single European country. The U.S. was founded thanks to England and France!
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