Do you know where our ancestors went looking for greener pastures? Take the human migration quiz!


Modern DNA testing provides strong evidence that humankind evolved from a single common ancestor in Africa. So while we know where we came from, we know less about why we ventured out of our homeland. Find out more about early human migration.

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Question 1 of 20

What is the name of the land bridge that allowed man to first cross the Bering Sea into North America?


... The Bering Sea Bridge, or Beringia, allowed man to cross the Bering Sea and enter North America around 12,000 years ago. This land bridge is now completely covered by the Bering and Chukchi Seas.


Question 2 of 20

What two land masses were once connected by the Bering Sea Bridge?

Alaska and Siberia
China and Alaska
Australia and Alaska

... Siberia and Alaska were once connected by a bridge of land. To this day, people in both of these formerly connected areas share a similar language and culture.


Question 3 of 20

Around what time did Homo sapiens, or modern man, first appear in Africa?

160,000 years ago
47,000 years ago
5,000 years ago

... Modern man first appeared in eastern Africa around 160,000 years ago. He spent the next 25,000 years migrating to the western and southern regions of the continent.


Question 4 of 20

Fact or fiction: Major DNA studies support the "Out of Africa" theory.


... Fact: Major DNA studies and archaeological evidence tend to support the Out of Africa theory. According to this theory, anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa, then migrated throughout the globe.


Question 5 of 20

How long ago did Homo sapiens begin migrating out of Africa?

around 250,000 years ago
about 60,000 years ago
less than 20,000 years ago

... Modern man began to leave Africa around 60,000 years ago. As Homo sapiens migrated, they replaced the Neanderthals scattered across Eurasia.


Question 6 of 20

What reason do scientists believe caused humans to migrate into North America?

to escape severe cold in Asia
to follow animal migration patterns
to avoid attacks from Neanderthals

... Modern research suggests that man migrated into North America to follow migration patterns of large game, like bison or buffalo. The weather in Russia was very similar to the weather people encountered when they reached North America.


Question 7 of 20

Which of the following was not one of the three possible routes that Homo sapiens took when migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago?

straight through the Red Sea
north through the Sahara Desert
east across the land bridge to Australia

... Researchers believe that Homo sapiens either traveled north through the Red Sea, the Sinai Peninsula or the Sahara Desert when migrating out of Africa. There was never a land bridge connecting the continent to Australia.


Question 8 of 20

What do scientists cite as the primary cause for ancient man migrating out of Africa?

severe drought
animal attacks
social and technological advances

... Contrary to popular belief, migration out of Africa was probably not linked to rainfall patterns. Instead, it was largely associated with advances in social connections and technology.


Question 9 of 20

When did early man first migrate into Europe?

95,000 years ago
45,000 years ago
20,000 years ago

... Early man first reached Europe about 45,000 years ago. He likely traveled through Turkey or along the coast of the Mediterranean.


Question 10 of 20

Which of the following areas was the last to be inhabited by Homo sapiens?

South America
Arabian Peninsula

... As people migrated out of Africa, they first traveled through the Arabian Peninsula and into Australia and New Guinea. It wasn't until thousands of years later that man first reached North, then South America.


Question 11 of 20

When did man first enter North America?

around 20,000 years ago
about 12,000 years ago
less than 10,000 years ago

... The first people migrated into North America around 12,000 years ago, thanks to low water levels that created a bridge from Asia to modern-day Alaska.


Question 12 of 20

Fact or fiction: As Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa, it's possible that some interbred with Neanderthals.


... Fact: While Neanderthals died out around 25,000 years ago, as many as 4 percent of European and Asian genomes may link back to these early hominids.


Question 13 of 20

Fact or fiction: Early man was able to reach Australia thanks to a massive land bridge across the Sahul Strait.


... Fiction: The body of water separating Australia and Southeast Asia is one of the deepest bodies of water on Earth. A land bridge never existed between the two land masses.


Question 14 of 20

Fact or fiction: Climate change in the 21st century is expected to bring about massive human migration.


... Fact: The New York Times estimates that climate change could drive as many as 300 million people across the globe to migrate by the mid-21st century.


Question 15 of 20

How wide was the Bering Sea Bridge when humans used it to cross into North America?

less than 100 miles (161 kilometers)
about 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers)
more than 10,000 miles (16,093 kilometers)

... The Bering Sea Bridge measured no more than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) wide.


Question 16 of 20

How much did the population of New York City increase thanks to migration from country to city during the Industrial Revolution?

two times
five times
10 times

... The population of New York City increased from 33,000 to more than 300,000 from 1790 to 1840. This roughly tenfold increase occurred as thousands of rural residents migrated to the city for a better life.


Question 17 of 20

Fact or fiction: A volcanic eruption in Sumatra spurred massive migration around 74,000 years ago.


... Fact: A major eruption at Mt. Toba in Sumatra brought about a volcanic winter and brought the human population down below 10,000 around 74,000 years ago. Those who survived migrated out of the area and into China, India and Australia.


Question 18 of 20

Around 50,000 years ago, a global warming of sorts allowed man to travel north and west from Asia to Europe by crossing this body of water.

Istanbul Strait
Bering Strait
Indian Ocean

... As a major ice age ended around 50,000 years ago, man was able to travel across the Istanbul Strait into Turkey and Eastern Europe for the first time.


Question 19 of 20

How many people in China are expected to move from rural to urban areas over the next 15 years?

100 million
200 million
300 million

... Around 300 million Chinese are expected to migrate from rural to urban areas by 2026, which would make it one of the largest migrations in human history.


Question 20 of 20

As early man left Africa and migrated into Eurasia, Tasmania, Australia and this nation all shared the same land mass.

New Guinea

... Around 60,000 years ago, Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania all shared a land mass known as Sahul. Sahul sat just 62 miles (100 kilometers) from Sunda, which included the modern nations of Borneo and Sumatra.


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