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Where on Earth...? MISR Mystery Quizzes
Where on Earth...? MISR Mystery Image Quiz #10
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(See quiz questions or a list of previous quizzes.)

Where on Earth...? MISR Mystery Image Quiz #10

Here's another chance to play geographical detective! These images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) were captured by the instrument's nadir camera on July 31, 2002, and show a natural-color (top) and false-color (bottom) view of a 291 kilometer x 158 kilometer area.

The false-color image includes data from the camera's near-infrared band, and accentuates the appearance of vegetation. North is toward the top.

Below are nine statements about the large, leaf-shaped island in the lower left part of the image area. Only some of these statements are true. Use any reference materials you like, and mark each statement true or false:

Answers (added September 11, 2002)

1. The island is known by at least three different names.

TRUE: Pulau Kimaam, Pulau Dolok, Pulau Yos Sudarso, and Frederik Hendrik Island are all names used to refer to this island, which is part of the Indonesian province of West Papua (also known as Irian Jaya).

2. At least one language spoken on the island is not in common usage anywhere else.

TRUE: Linguists have identified over 500 languages spoken within the "Trans-New Guinea" region (comprising West Papua and Papua New Guinea). At least two languages within this group, Ndom and Riantana, are only used by people living on the island.

3. The capital city of the province to which this island belongs is located within 200 kilometers of the northern boundary of the image area.

FALSE: Jayapura, the capital city of West Papua, is located more than 500 kilometers from the northern boundary of the image area.

4. The island's shores are home to its country's most spectacular coral reefs.

FALSE: Although there are many well-developed reefs in the waters of West Papua, none are found along the southeastern coast. Large amounts of sediment (apparent in the image around the entire coastline) prohibit reef development in this region.

5. Due to the extreme depth of the sea floor surrounding the island, sea level fluctuations during the Quaternary Period have not changed the horizontal location of its coastline by more than 500 meters.

FALSE: Sea level fluctuations cause major displacements in the horizontal location of coastlines in this region. The Arafura Sea surrounding the island is a shallow (50 to 80 meters) continental shelf, and sea levels during the peak of the last ice age (about 20,000 years ago), were more than 100 meters lower than today.

6. There are no fruit bats on the island.

FALSE: Among the bats known to live on the island are the Lesser tube-nosed fruit bat and Broad-striped tube-nosed fruit bat.

7. The region within which the island is situated harbors a freshwater turtle that is exceptional in its possession of an anatomical characteristic otherwise typical of marine turtles.

TRUE: The pig-nosed turtle found in northern Australia and southern Papua, possesses flippers resembling those of marine turtles.

8. Insect control has been tested as a means of combatting an invasive aquatic weed that threatens wetland habitats in the island's vicinity.

TRUE: Many of the wetland areas in this region are choked with Water Hyacinth. In November 2000, a course was conducted on the breeding and use of insect biocontrol agents (weevil Neochetina) of Water Hyacinth infestations.

9. Species of Avicennia are found in the island's coastal regions.

TRUE: The island's coastline includes some of the largest mangrove forests in the world, and several types of Avicennia mangroves can be found at the Pulau Kimaam Wildlife Reserve.

53 people from all over the world sent in responses before the deadline. Individuals who answered all nine questions correctly are listed below in the order in which responses were received. The prize winners are indicated by asterisks.

 1. David E. Wilkins, Boise, ID, USA*
 2. Karl Bailey, Mason, MI, USA*
 3. Harvey Lyau, Albany, CA, USA*
 4. David Haycock, Tucson, AZ, USA
 5. Jan May, Indianapolis, IN, USA
 6. Deb Taylor, Geraldton, WA, Australia
 7. Scott Hemphill, Freiburg, Germany
 8. Christopher Ferro, Wheeling, WV, USA
 9. David J. Brooks, Poway, CA, USA
10. Jacques Allemand, Annecy, France
11. Jason Wolfe, Broomfield, CO, USA
12. Mark Bryant, Austin, TX, USA
13. Joseph Whitson, Arcadia, CA, USA
14. Andrzej Barganski, Gdynia, Poland
15. Hervé Allemand, Paris, France
16. Joost Vandenabeele, Brussels, Belgium
17. Luca Pietranera, Grazia Ciminelli, Carlo Coretti, Nicola Corsini and
     Annalaura Di Federico, Telespazio, Rome, Italy
18. Gilles Corre, London, UK
19. Manuel A. Freer, San José, Costa Rica
20. Eric Wilson, Auckland, New Zealand
21. Peter Nash, Swinton, England
22. Marion Florjancic, Crotone, Italy
23. Paul de Krock, Olen, Belgium
24. David G. Berry, Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland
25. Ivan Anderson - Aylesford, Kent, England

A new "Where on Earth...?" mystery appears as the MISR "image of the week" approximately once every two months. A new image of the week is released every Wednesday at noon Pacific time on the MISR home page, The image also appears on the Earth Observatory,, and on the Atmospheric Sciences Data Center home page,, though usually with a several-hour delay.

MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

Credit: Image credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team.