A quiz on explorers

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on May 18, 2018 Published on May 18, 2018

On May 20, exactly 520 years ago, Vasco Da Gama’s fleet is said to have arrived in Kappad on India’s west coast. In his honour, this week’s quiz is all about explorers.

Land ahoy!

1 Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer from Iceland who established a colony on the northern tip of Newfoundland, five centuries before Christopher Columbus. His father Eric the Red was also a famous explorer. What did Eric name the land he discovered?

2 Lukla is a small town in the Sagarmatha Area in north-east Nepal. In 2008, in which two gentlemen’s honour was Lukla airport renamed?

3 This Norwegian explorer led the first successful expedition to the South Pole and also undertook an air expedition to the North Pole, making him the first person to reach both poles. He disappeared while on a rescue mission for the airship, Italia, in 1928. Name him.

4 After making a particular film in the late 1980s, this director became an expert on deep sea exploration. In 2012, he became the first person to reach the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the Pacific Ocean, solo. Name him.

5 A 14th-century explorer, Ibn Battuta was probably the most famous of his time, writing copiously on his travels in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, South East Asia and China. In which country was he born?

6 Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, better known by her nom de plume, Nellie Bly, was one of the most famous journalists of the late 19th and early 20th century. In 1889, she undertook a 40,000 km voyage for The New York World. Who was she attempting to emulate?

7 Antoine de la Mothe was an 18th-century French adventurer and explorer who also served as the governor of French Louisiana. He also founded an important industrial city in North America. In the 20th century, William Murphy and Henry Leland founded a company, and honoured him by adopting his title as the name of their world-famous product. What was the title adopted by de la Mothe?

8 In 1992, the Statue of Liberty was married off to another statue on the other side of the Atlantic to commemorate the 500th anniversary of a memorable occasion. Name the groom.

9 This 19th-century Welshman searched for the source of the Nile, plundered the Congo Basin and also commanded the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition. But he is most remembered for what he is supposed to have said on November 10, 1871. What did he say, and why?

10 Fiction. Fifteen centuries before Columbus, which pair of explorers reached Manhattan island, off the coast of America, after their fishing boat got blown off course, and finally travelled back to their native land with a group of Norsemen headed by Herendethelessen?


1. Greenland, which is in effect a solid block of ice. Iceland, with its geysers and nearby warm currents, is much warmer

2. Tenzing-Hillary airport in honour of the Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary

3. Roald Amundsen

4. James Cameron, who directed The Abyss in 1989 and then Titanic in 1997

5. Battuta was born in Tangier, Morocco, and was of Berber descent

6. Phileas Fogg, in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. She completed her trip in 72 days

7. Cadillac, named after a town in France

8. The statue of Christopher Columbus, Barcelona

9. “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” after meeting the explorer in Tanzania; the journalist was the famous Henry Morton Stanley

10. Asterix and Obelix, in Asterix and the Great Crossing

Joy Bhattacharjya   -  KSL


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup; @joybhattacharj

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Published on May 18, 2018
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