Poetry: Riddles of Earth

Hello Sunday!

So I hope you like riddles, because this post has 8 of them! A few years ago, I was asked to help make an event for a computer science fest, and I made a treasure hunt using google earth to locate famous landmark coordinates and a bit of numerical puzzling. The entire script was written in poetic verse,  and first step had 8 riddles to guess the landmarks, so I’ve decided to share them, do try to guess all 8 before scrolling down for the answers.

Google Earth Treasure Hunt

Solve all the riddles, and then crack the cipher, for the speedy minds, a prize to pilfer.

But fools be wary, for tricks & traps lay 9 times 9, the dangers fierce and scary, So if you lose don’t whine.

Start the quest, with riddles 8, the clock is ticking, so don’t be late

Find each spot, with figures four each, hear every syllable, of my twisted speech…

  1. The head of the clerical, near the city of Rome, has a cathedral, to call his home.
  2. The young and the bold, with many a fold, colossal heights, and withering cold.
  3. An ancient wonder, the tombs of the land, now a tourists’ farce, amongst the sand.
  4. High pressure steam, blasts into the air, the dutiful spout, blows over there.
  5. Misty rain trickles, striped koi swims slowly, a wind blows from the sloped mountain.
  6. The seraphs of aqua, soar from the skies, to the cloudy milky mist, that near the bottom lies.
  7. Four white walls and four white towers, overlooking a river embowers, the lady of the shah.
  8. A monolith of sand, buried in the land, under the shining aurora, where flies the kookaburra.

Have you solved all 8? If so, then scroll down for the answers.






  1. Saint Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican
  2. Mt. Everest, The Himalayas
  3. The Pyramids of Giza
  4. Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone National Park
  5. Mt. Fuji, Japan
  6. Angel Falls
  7. Taj Mahal
  8. Ayers Rock, Australia

Total up your score, bonus points if you’ve got the poetic references 🙂

After the contestants solved a simple code involving tables and the coordinates of the above places, they were led to the a classroom in the building, where they were confronted by a final challenge to deduce which of the six boxes was the correct box to open to win.

Ah, I see thou here at last
Through my trials of hell you past
Now the final dice to cast
Open 1 of 6, and better be fast
6 choices await thy decision
But only one to open, so have precision
If thou art true, thou shall win
But if false, then for thy, tis Fin
Now to begin the final part
Come! With speed, we shall start,

Upon opening the correct box, they would receive their prize and this congratulatory poem.
I congratulate thee,
Thou who art the Holmes to my Moriarty
Thy wit and skill doth near mine,
Now go and work upon it until it shines
You have defeated this puzzling quest
But by far, thou art not the yet the best
Studious, if you be, you shall rise about the rest
Now go on, and enjoy the fest!

It was pretty challenging to the students, and was well received at the fest, I think I even got a prize for it. I hope you enjoyed it, and managed to correctly guess the riddles. If you did, then contort yourself into patting yourself on the back, have anyone handy pat your back if you’ve trouble reaching.

Thank you, and have a great week,

Signing off,



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