1. Maine is the closest U.S. state to Africa. allproudamericans.com A peninsula of Maine called Quoddy Head is 3,154 miles away from El Beddouza, Morocco, making it way closer than other states you might've thought, like Florida or North Carolina. 2. Reno, Nevada is actually farther west than Los Angeles. mentalfloss.com Say what??? It's true! LA is practically on the east coast compared to Reno. 3. Rome is farther north than New York City. Rilindh / Getty Images, Ozgurdonmaz / Getty Images Rome's latitude is at 41°54′N, and New York City's is at 40°40′N. Think about that the next time you consider Italy for a warm wintertime vacation. 4. Chicago is on the same latitude as Barcelona, Rome, and Istanbul. Twitter: @denterd Chicago usually brings to mind snow, ice, and more snow, but those other cities? Not so much. 5. And Minneapolis is on the same latitude as Paris. Nicholasbphotography / Getty Images, Nikada / Getty Images Again, what?!?! 6. Alaska is northernmost, westernmost, and easternmost state in the U.S. Getty Images It sounds impossible, geographically, but Alaska's uninhabited Semisopochnoi Island lies just west of the International Dateline, technically making it the easternmost point of the United States. 7. Africa could comfortably fit most of the U.S., India, and China within its borders. thetruesize.com The Mercator Projection distorts land masses in the southern hemisphere, making them look smaller than they actually are. In reality, Africa, the second-largest continent in the world, is huge. 8. The continent of Asia has more surface area than the moon. Getty Images The moon is pretty freakin' big, with a surface area of 14.6 million square miles. But Asia, the largest continent in the world, practically dwarfs it in size — it takes up 17.2 million square miles. 9. If you drive south from certain parts of Detroit, you'll end up in Canada. google.com!4m5!3m4!1s0x8824ca0110cb1d75:0x5776864e35b9c4d2!8m2!3d42.331427!4d-83.0457538!6m1!1e1 It's hard to think of Canada as being south of... well, anything, but Windsor, Ontario, actually lies south and east of Detroit. 10. About 90% of the world's population lives in the northern hemisphere. bigthink.com Massive northern hemisphere cities like Tokyo and New York City account for the disparity. 11. And there are more people living within this circle than outside of it. reddit.com 12. The world's largest desert isn't the Sahara. It's the entire continent of Antarctica. Coolkengzz / Getty Images Deserts aren't measured by grains of sand or amount of camels; it's all about precipitation, and Antarctica takes the cake. The roughly 5.5 million square mile continent only gets about eight inches of rain a year. 13. No offense to Mount Everest, but it technically isn't the world's tallest mountain. If you measure height from below sea level, Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the winner. geology.com At 29,035 feet, Everest is by far the tallest mountain above sea level. Because much of Mauna Kea's height is underneath the ocean, only 13,796 of it rises above sea level. In total, though, Mauna Kea rises to 33,500 feet from base to peak, making it nearly a mile taller than Everest. 14. While we're at it, Mount Everest isn't the closest mountain to space. Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is. Kseniya Ragozina / Getty Images Thanks to a bulge in the earth's shape around the equator, the peak of Chimborazo — which rises to 20,500 feet above sea level — is farther from the earth's center than that of Everest. 15. Minnesota has more shoreline — 90,000 miles, to be exact — than California, Florida, and Hawaii, combined. Willard / Getty Images It is the land of 10,000 lakes, after all. 16. And the country with the longest coastline in the world is none other than Canada. Getty Images With more than 125,000 miles of coastline, Canada far outpaces more obvious choices like Australia or the Philippines. Too bad Canada doesn't have beach weather year-round. 17. Russia spans a whopping 11 time zones. news.bbc.co.uk Thanks to Russia's expansive size, the exclave of Kaliningrad, and parliament's 2014 decision to reinstate the impressive number of time zones, the world's largest country has a lot of time on its hands. Pun intended. 18. The longest place name in the world is a hill in New Zealand called Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu. en.wikipedia.org That's 85 letters long. It means “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one" in Māori. 19. The largest city by area in the world, Hulunbuir, Mongolia, is almost half as big as France. Yuanping / Getty Images Hulunbuir is a prefecture-level city that lies over 101,913 square miles. France, by comparison, is 248,573 square miles. 20. Istanbul is the only city in the world that is on two different continents. Kyslynskyy / Getty Images The Bosphorus River separates the European and the Asian sides. 21. Finland and North Korea are separated by just one country. imgur.com Russia shares a small land border with North Korea. 22. And while pretty much no one who lives in Alaska can see Russia from their house, if there was a bridge between the two land masses, it would take less than an hour to drive from one to the other. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF NBC / Via giphy.com Alaska and Russia are separated by the Bering Strait, which is 55 miles wide at its narrowest point.