10 Facts You Definitely Don’t Know About Your Favorite Holiday Spots!We all dream of travelling to far bustling cosmopolitan cities, white sand beaches and sprawling forests in far-away lands, but just how much do you know about the world’s favorite holiday destinations? Think you know it all? Well, we have 10 facts that are guaranteed to stun you about 10 of your favorite places to get out and get away.
1. The Eiffel Tower was originally destined for Barcelona, Spain but they rejected the project.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is arguably the most iconic landmark of the city. Built between the years of 1887-1889, the tower was almost taken down more than just a few times. After Paris fell to the Nazis in 1940, The French resistance cut the cables for the elevators in the cherished symbol to keep Hitler from visiting it. Facing the prospect of having to climb over 1,500 stairs to reach the top, he ultimately opted out. Later, he would order the destruction of the structure, however the orders were never carried out. Not only was the Eiffel Tower protected by the French, but the Louvre too. Before the Nazi armies invaded the city in the second World War, the Louvre museum was fully vacated and its contents secretly distributed among wealthy French citizens, to be hidden in their homes around the country.
The Eiffel Tower is not everyone’s cup of tea though. Famed French writer Guy de Maupassant ate lunch at the base of the Eiffel Tower almost every day. His reason for eating at that exact spot? He hated the Eiffel Tower, and that was the only place in the whole of the city, where he couldn’t see the tower.
2. The city of Melbourne, Australia has the highest population of Greek people outside of Greece.
Greece is the perfect holiday destination for anyone looking to get a tan. Greece is the sunniest country in Europe, enjoying more than 250 days of sun annually. Tourists seem to take advantage of this fact tenfold, as yearly, Greece recives double its population in tourists, the only country to experience this. The sunny weather may also be to thank for the fact that Greece has the lowest suicide rate in the entire European Union.
Greece is also famous for its rich history. The Greek language is the oldest written language that is still in existance. It has also been spoken for more than 3,000 years. In ancient Greece, anyone who did not speak the language was referred to as a barabrian. The country is also home to the most Archaeological museums in the world. Athens is one of Europe’s oldest countries, having been inhabited continuously for more than 7,000 years.
3. Voting is a legal requirement in Australia. Failure to show up and cast your ballot results in a fine.
Officially called the Commonwealth of Australia, Australia is the 6th largest country in the world in terms of size with a landmass of 2.941.399 square miles (7.617.930 square kilometers). In 2014 Australia had the world's 5th highest income per capita whilst being the 12th largest economy in the world. Although many people believe Sydney to be the capital of Australia, the actual capital city is Canberra which only has a population of around 380.000 inhabitants which is less than 10% of the total population of Sydney.
Australia was colonized by Britain in the eraly 1800s. Previous to that, indigenous aboriginal peoples had inhabited the island for more than 50,000 years. Since then, it has gone on to thrive despite clashes and tensions between indigenous peoples and colonial descendants. The country of Australia has the world’s second-highest human development index and in 2014, had the world’s 5th-highest per-capita income. It is, however, the only world’s only Western country not to have a Bill of Rights.
4. Only 19% of people in the Czech Republic claim to believe in God.
The Czech Republic is regarded as the castle capital of the world. There are more than 2,000 castles, keeps and ruins in the country that is also almost entirely surrounded by mountains. Sounds pretty idyllic right? It gets better. The Czech Republic is also renowned for its numerous spa towns and resorts. Don’t forget to crack open cold one while you’re there too, as the Czechs are the world’s leading consumers of beer!
Not only is it a beautiful country, but it was also ranked the 13th best country in the world in terms of freedom of the press. The Czech Republic is also home to The Charles University in Prague which, founded in 1348, is the oldest university in Eastern Europe, as well as one of the oldest in continuous operation in the world.
5. The popular texting app Whatsapp is cited in almost half of all divorce proceedings in Italy.
Italy counts 61 million in population, making it the 5th most populous country in Europe, after France and Germany and boasts the 8th largest economy globally. Italy is home to the most UNESCO World Heritage sites worldwide but also to a few rather more…interesting sites. One such curious wonder is renowned scientist and astronomer Galileo’s middle finger, which is on display at a museum in Florence. Italy is also home to two individual independent states: Vatican City and San Marino.
There are, however, some sited that are completely off-limits. An island in Italy, known as Poveglia, that is considered so dangerously haunted, that public access to the island is forbidden. In 1922, a mental hospital was established on the island. It is alleged that a deranged doctor experimented on patients at the hospital with crude lobotomies. He then committed suicide a few years later by throwing himself from the hospital’s tower, claiming he had been driven mad by ghosts in the wards.
6. Since 2008, under Brazil’s public health system, sex-change surgeries are free.
There is an island is Brazil that is off limits to civilians, as mandated by the Brazilian government. The island is forbidden to visit as it is covered in snakes. There are around 5 snakes per square meter! Needless to say, this makes sense, as snakes are notoriously highly dangerous. It is estimated that they kill around 100,000 people every year. More people, however, are killed annually by bee stings than snakes.
Studies have found that 51% of Americans fear snakes, more than any other thing in the world. Better stay away from the land won under if you’re afraid, the top ten deadliest species can all be found in Australia. New Zealand is safe though, as there are no wild terrestrial (land) snakes anywhere on the island.
7. The Constitution of the Maldives states that all citizens must be Muslim, and the converting to any other religion results in confiscation of citizenship.
The Maldives is one of the most literate countries in the world with a 98% literacy rate amongst adults, which is a massive increase from just 70% in 1978. The Maldives also boasts some of the most incredible ocean life around. Take a plunge into the Indian Ocean waters surrounding the islands, and you are guaranteed to see anywhere between 1,500 to 2,500 individual whales, dolphins and fish. During the year, there are 10 to 12 different unique species of whale and dolphin life that call the vibrant coral reefs of the Maldives their home.
Although the islands are known as a vacation paradise for tourists from every walk of life, there are a few strict rules guests must adhere to. The country is a strict Muslim one, meaning that visitors are expected to both obey and respect the Muslim traditions while vising the islands. Alcohol for example, is only permitted within the hotel resorts and cannot be taken off the property. During the month of Ramadan, Muslim are expected to fast, and tourists may still be able to find some places to eat during daylight, however these locations may be shielded from the general public.
8. After the 2000 Olympic Games, Spain’s Paralympic basketball team had to return all of their gold medals when it was revealed that none of their players actually had any disabilities.
The full official name of Spain is the Kingdom of Spain. Although the Spanish language originated in Spain, only 72% of the people of the country actually speak it as a first language. The rest of the country of Spain speaks various dialects like Catalan, Galician, Basque and a few others. Despite the rich culture of language in the country, Spain’s national anthem is one of the few in the world without lyrics or words. More people in America speak Spanish than in Spain.
Spain is full of treasured sights and structures like the Sagrada Familia church. La Sagrada Familia has been under construction for more than 130 years, following the unexpected death of the building’s architect, Gaudi. It is expected to be completed by 2026. Although they already have many, they could have had more. The Eiffel Tower was originally intended for Barcelona, Spain but the project was ultimately scrapped.
9. Germany won the FIFA World Cup in 2014 for the fourth time, however, the first as a united country. The previous three times were as West Germany.
Germany has the largest population in the Europe Union with more than 81 million people. Berlin, Germany’s capital city is 9 times the size of France’s hub of Paris and has more bridges than the city of Venice, Italy. Germany and its capital city have a rough past when it comes to wars and ruthless regimes but have dramatically evolved since. One notable example is rooted in Berlin, where a building project is underway to build a Christian church, a mosque and a synagogue all in one building to represent unity despite diversity.
Similarly to Japan, Germany is dealing with an ever ageing population and lack of young people. Both these countries make up the world’s lowest birthrates. Between 1989 and 2009, about 2,000 schools in Germany had to close their dorrs due to a lack of children available to fill them. The population as a whole in fact is in decline and has decreased by more than 2 million just in the last decade.
10. A huge beer vat ruptured in London in 1814 which caused a crushing wave of 388,000 gallons (1.4 ml) of beer to flood the city.
The name for the iconic Big Ben tower, actually does not refer to the tower itself, but rather the bell within it. If the Big Ben was to be built today, it would cost around US$222,000. The world famous London Underground, the city’s expansive underground subway system, was the first ever. Despite the name though, over half of the network actually runs above the ground.
Today the London Underground is home to more than just trains and commuters, it is also home to about 500,000 mice and rats. London hasn’t always had the best track record with pets. In the 18th century, people could wave the entrance fee and admission ticket to the London Zoo by bringing a cat or dog that could be fed to the lions there.