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There are people in the Houses of Parliament who still don't know where Damascus, Syria is, even though we might bomb it


Felicity Morse
Thursday 29 August 2013 12:09 BST

As world leaders continue to debate Syria and conversation amongst the commentariat focuses ever more sharply on whether we should go to war, the professional quiz masters over at usvsth3m have created an interactive map, asking ‘Do you know where Damascus is? The US and UK are probably about to bomb it.’

Players are asked to click on where they are from and then click on where they think Damascus is, before their accuracy is revealed. A heat map then appears, showing how their answers compare with all the others who take the quiz.

Given the widespread news coverage of Syria over the past week and frequent reporting of the conflict for the past twenty months, it seems surprising that anyone wouldn’t know where Damascus was.

But Rob Manuel of usvsth3m told the Independent that preliminary analysis showed 19 of 1,150 people who responded to the quiz this morning had done so from computers inside the Houses of Parliament. Of those responses, one guessed Damascus was in Western Mongolia.

He said "I can tell you that, as of writing this sentence, there have been 19 answers sent through the Houses of Parliament's proxy servers: 18 were very close, but one guess was in the middle of western Mongolia. I hope that respondent isn't in charge of anything military. "

Other results showed that many people knew that it was to the east of a sea, but picked the Black or Caspian rather than the Mediterranean, while 65% were within 500 miles, or “vaguely in the Middle East”. Turkey, Iraq, and Iran were popular choices. 18% were further than 1,000 miles away. Many of these guessed somewhere in the Sahara Desert, or in the Balkan states.

Two people picked Siberia and one person picked Texas.

You can take the test here.

A map of where people in the Houses of Parliament thought Damascus was

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