20 Mind-blowing Geographical Facts Guaranteed to Amaze You!!The world is a complex and amazing place full of wonder and surprise. It should come as no shock then that there are a few facts about our glorious planet that you have yet to learn. Here are 20 things that are guaranteed to blow your mind!
1. Denmark is considered to be the “least corrupt” country in the world.
Denmark is the smallest of the Scandinavian countries. It has some pretty dark weather though. In the country, it rains or snows every other day! On average, Denmark experiences 171 days of precipitation consisting of more than 0.004 in. (0.1 mm). In 2009 for example, Denmark went through a full 184 days of precipitation! It can also be pretty windy. The average wind speed in Denmark is an impressive 13 miles per hour (5.8 m/sec). During a Hurricane known as Allan the hit the country in October 2013, record-breaking wind speeds of more than 88 miles per hour (142 km/h) and gusts of over 119 miles per hour (193 km/h) were registered.
Despite all this, Denmark is reported by studies to be one of the happiest countries in the world. The country also had the oldest continuous monarchy in the world. The royal family has existed for more than 1,000 years. The current heir to the throne, Prince Frederick, met his Australian wife, Crown Princess Mary, at a bar she was working at when he was visiting the 2002 Sydney Olympics.
2. About 75% of the world's volcanoes are located in the Pacific Ocean.
The Pacific Ocean is by far the largest of the 5 world’s oceans. It covers 46% of the world’s Oceans and is twice as big as the Atlantic Ocean. Its average dept. is ca. 13024 ft. (3970 meters) and it also hosts the deepest point of our planet, the Mariana Trench at 36069 ft. (10994 meters) below sea level. In total 42 countries have a boarder with the Pacific Ocean, including Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, New Zealand, Russia, United Stated of America and Chile. The name "Pacific" comes from the Spanish word "Pacifica" meaning "peaceful" in English.
By the way, would you know who first gave this name to this Ocean? It was Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during his Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521.
3. 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 receives 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 existence. 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 barbarian. 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.
4. Florida was the first U.S. city to be visited by Europeans.
Despite its nickname of the “Sunshine State”, Florida is not actually the sunniest state in the United States, Arizona is, followed closely by Nevada. It is the third most populous state in the U.S. with a population of almost 20,280,000 people. The city of Jacksonville is the most populated and the largest city in terms of area in the contiguous United States. It is mostly known for swamps and beaches. In fact, no matter where you are in the state of Florida, you are never more than 60 miles (96.5 kms) from the nearest body of salt water.
The state of Florida was the first part of the continental United States to be visited by Europeans. The Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon gave the state its name which means “flowery land”.
5. Slovakia is home to the world’s oldest mint company.
Slovakia is home to a stunning amount of breathtaking chateaus, 425 to be more precise, and more than 180 castles. Over 6,000 caves exist in Slovakia as well, making it a caveman’s paradise. The country is also home to the world’s oldest mint company, The State Mint in Kremnica, which was founded in 1328! Currently, Slovakia uses the Euro as their currency, which gives them an advantage for European tourism, as all the surrounding countries, except for Austria, have their own currencies.
The capital city of Bratislava is the only capital city in the world that is bordering two different countries: Austria and Hungary. It is also one of the two countries that was created upon the breaking up of Czechoslovakia in 1993. The other country was the Czech Republic. A few famous faces can claim Slovakian heritage including Andy Warhol, Angeline Jolie, Jon Bon Jovi and Audrey Hepburn. Slovakia is a nation of smarty pants as 90% of the population has completed secondary education.
6. Disney once considered creating a park dedicated to the villains of the Disney franchise.
There are 6 Disney attraction parks in the world; Disneyland Resort (California), Walt Disney World Resort (Florida), Tokyo Disney Resort (Tokyo), Disneyland Paris (Marne-la-Vallée), Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (Hong Kong), and Shanghai Disney Resort (Shaghai). Disney once considered creating a park called “Shadowland” or “Dark Kingdom” which would be entirely dedicated to the villains of the Disney franchise.
Disney is best known for their hugely successful films like Cinderella, the Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Finding Nemo, Snow White, Ratatouille and hundred more, but did you know that they also made a few more grown-up films? Production company Miramax was owned by the Disney company until 2010, making cult classic Pulp Fiction, a Disney movie!
7. About 20% of the earth’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon.
About 20% of the total oxygen on the planet Earth is produced by the Amazon rainforest. The famous rainforest also represents over half of all the planet’s rainforests. One in ten known species in the world lives in the Amazon rainforest and is also home to almost 400,000,000,000 trees belonging to over 16,000 different species. The Amazon river, which belongs to the rainforest, flows through a total of six countries, whereas the rainforest itself borders nine: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. He country with the highest share of the rainforest is Brazil with a full 60% of it.
However, the rainforest which encompasses a total area of 2,100,000 sq miles (5,500,000 sq kms) is increasingly shrinking though thanks to deforestation and natural damage. Over the past 40 years, at least 20% of the Amazon has been cut down.
8. If Walmart were a country in itself, it would be China’s sixth-largest export market.
China is a country of more than 1.3 billion people meaning a lot of business is done through the country to ensure the right amount of goods are brought in to meet the demand of the population. China is the world’s largest exporter of good and the world’s second-largest importer. If Walmart, the supermarket chain, were a country in itself, it would be China’s sixth-largest export market. One in every three socks any one person has ever owned in the United States was made in the district of Datang in Zhuji, China which is also affectionately known as “sock city”. Over 45 billion chopsticks are used every year in China.
However, there is still rampant poverty and social issues throughout the country. Almost 700 million Chinese people drink contaminated water on a daily basis. About 100 million people in the country live on less than US $1 per day. China also executes the death penalty over 4 times more than the rest of the world.
9. India has the more vegetarians per capita than any other country.
The Hindu calendar used frequently in India has 6 seasons instead of the traditionally Western four. They are: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and prevernal. According to environmental research, India has one of the world’s most serious pollution problems. Breathing the air in the large city of Mumbai in India for just a single day is about the equivalent of smoking around 100 cigarettes!
India is also home to the world record for the biggest family. The family in question consists of one man with 39 wives and 94 children. Most importantly though, India was the home of Mohandas K. Gandhi, and Mother Theresa from the city of Calcutta. The former, Gandhi, devoted his life to freeing India from British rule peacefully until he was assassinated in 1948. The latter, Mother Theresa, who was actually born in the Ottoman Empire – now Macedonia -, devoted her life to help those in need.
10. 90% of all the world’s rice is consumed in Asia.
The continent of Asia is the world’s largest and most populous with more than 4 billion people and covering 30% of Earth’s total land area. This wasn’t always the case as wars and natural disasters ran rampant all through the continent throughout history. In the 13th century, Genghis Khan, the legendary Mongol leader, was estimated to have killed around 40 million people across both the Asian and European continents.
The wealthiest man in Asia is Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist Sir Ka-Shing Li, who dropped out of school when he was 15 years old. Before you ask though, no, his name has nothing to do with the creation of the term “ka-ching” to refer to money. It is just a funny coincidence. The term “ka-ching” to mean financial gain actually comes from the sound old cash registers make.
11. Antarctica is the world’s largest desert.
You read that right, the land of ice and snow is, in fact, the world’s largest desert. Although when you first think of desert, you picture an arid and hot climate, the actual term really refers to a stretch of land where little precipitation occurs and the land is barren. With over 5,4000,000 sq miles (14,000,000 km2), Antarctica is the largest.
Aside from being the largest desert in the world, Antarctica is also the coldest, windiest, highest and driest continent on the planet. The coldest point on the coldest continent is a high ridge where temperatures are known to drop below -133°F (-93.2°C)! the highest temperature ever recorded on the continent of Antarctica was 58.2°F (14.5°C) at Hope Bay on March 24, 2015. Global warming appears to be taking its toll…
12. The Dutch national anthem is the world’s oldest.
The Dutch national anthem, The Whilhelmus, is the oldest in the world, dating all the way back to the 16th century. It expresses the King’s Dutch and German heritage and loyalty to the Spanish crown. The country is still ruled by a monarchy. The reigning monarch is King Willem-Alexander who became king in April 2013 after his mother Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne at 75 years of age. He is the first Dutch King in 123 years, following the reign of three different queens.
The two official national languages of the Netherlands are Nederlands (Dutch) and Fryslân (Frisian). It is estimated that less than 400,000 people actually speak Frisian. More Dutch people speak English than Frisian. Some 87% of the Dutch population speak English, making it the second in terms of English Proficiency Index (EPI) after Sweden and just ahead of Denmark.
13. There is a park in Austria that is an ordinary dry park in winter and a 10-meter-deep lake in spring/summer.
Austria is known for its fine history and peak of European sophistication in the days of the salon and cafes in the capital city of Vienna. In January 1913 for example, famous and infamous politicians and thinkers like Josip Broz Tito, Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky all frequented the same café in the Austrian capital.
Not only does Austria have unique history, but also landscape. There is a unique lake in Austria known as the Green Lake that is an ordinary dry park in the winter and a 10-meter-deep lake during the spring and early summer season. This is caused by the melting of the snow in the mountains which causes the basin to fill with water. The water is always clear and an emerald green color.
14. Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt does.
Egypt borders 3 countries, Libya, Sudan and Israel. On the border between Egypt and Sudan, there are 795 sq miles (2,060 km2) of land that is unclaimed by either side. Although Egypt is known for the famous pyramids of Giza, their neighbor Sudan actually has more pyramids than they do!
In the year 2000 lost Egyptian city known as Heracleion was discovered after 1200 years under the sea. The old port town was rediscovered by French underwater archeologist Dr. Franck Gooddio and his team from the European Institute for Underwater Archeology (IEASM) in 2000. What they found were the ruins of 64 ancient ships and more than 700 anchors alongside buildings and statues unearthed from the muddy bay. Gold coins, tablets and other small artifacts have also been recovered. This discovery has led to a great deal more information about what was once a gateway port to the ancient world and what researchers and historians now believe was also an important religious site.
15. Tallinn, Estonia is home to NATO’s central research center for cyber defense.
Estonia is considered the least religious country in the world with just 14% of the population claiming any religious beliefs at all. The country is also known for its rich history, infrastructure and beautiful buildings. Tallinn’s public transportation system of the tram, dates all the way back to 1888. In 2011 the Estonian capital city took on the role as Europe’s Capital of Culture. Tallinn is also home to NATO’s central research center for cyber defense.
In more recent history, the software for popular web chatting service Skype was created and developed by Estonians Ahti Heinla, Priit Kaseslu and Jaan Tallinn. The country and its cities are actually quite tech-friendly as in 2008 Discovery Channel listed Tallinn amongst the world’s top 10 cities to get free wireless internet.
16. Almost half the gold ever mined in the history of the world has come from one place: Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Africa is much larger than many people think it to be. In fact, the continent itself is larger than China, the United States, India, Mexico and a large part of Europe…combined! The continent itself and the continent of Europe are only separated by a thin piece of ocean, only 8.9 miles (14.3 kms) to be more precise. There are talks ongoing that plan to create the largest bridge in history to connect the two.
Africa is rich with natural resources and wildlife. Nearly half the gold ever mined in all our planet’s history has come from one single place: Witwatersrand, South Africa. The origins of this rich basin are still hotly debated to this day, the only thing we know for sure is that more than 50,000 tons of gold over 120 years has been collected from it. Three billion years ago, there was no life on our planet and no oxygen even, but there were rivers running with gold and somehow most of it made its way down south to settle in Witwatersrand.
17. Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel.
Over the course of his life, Albert Einstein was involved in many pro-Zionist causes, including his helping to establish the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the 1920s. Near the end of his life, in 1952, Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel following the death in-office of the then president, Chaim Weizmann. He politely declined the offer, although he wrote in a letter of response that he was deeply moved by the proposition.
The country itself is very small in comparison to most. One could hypothetically run from East to West in just 2 hours and from North to South in 9 days. Despite the heavily contested land disputes and decades of hostility between the Jewish people of Israel and the Muslim citizens of Palestine, in 1997, an Israeli court prosecuted and charged a Jewish man for depicting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a pig. There is also a Jewish sect known as Neturei Karta that supports Palestine and calls for the peaceful dismantling of the State of Israel.
18. 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.
19. Prisoners in the San Pedro prison in Bolivia can rent their cells, live with their families and give tourists tours.
The San Pedro prison in the city of la Paz in Bolivia, is known for its unique conditions. In this prison, inmates can either buy or rent their cells which range between $20 to $5,000 depending on the quality. Many children live within the wall with their mothers in the adjacent female facility of Miraflores or with their parents in the male facility, if their mother has also opted to reside within the prison walls. There is also a football league that exists between the different districts within San Pedro with players even being bought, sold and traded within the “league”.
Crime still exists within the jail walls, as cocaine is manufactured and made by inmates and sold to fellow inmates or tourists. Although tourism in the jail is illegal, guards may be bribed to allow the entrance of outsiders for a short time. Tourists entering the jail can see the inside and purchase drugs or souvenirs made by inmates. Despite the illegality, it is estimated that there are more than 50 tours conducted daily!
20. There are over 100,000 Chinese characters recorded in the most advanced Mandarin Chinese dictionaries.
Over 1.4 Billion people live in China. If we write that out that’s 1.400.000.000 people. That is twice the size of the United States of America and Europe combined. In China they speak Mandarin, which is therefor the most spoken first language in the world. Learning Mandarin Chinese is a very trendy thing to do these days. It's also one of the hottest topics on the internet. Around 1 billion people speak Mandarin Chinese around the world. The Mandarin language has more native speakers than any other language.
Mandarin Chinese is mostly spoken in China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. It is also widely used in the many Chinese communities (Chinatowns) around the globe. Mandarin Chinese is also one of the six official languages used by the United Nations. Mandarin Chinese doesn't have an alphabet. It is written with symbols. These symbols are called Chinese characters. Chinese characters represent the oldest writing system in the world. There are two different kinds of Chinese characters: traditional and simplified. Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, and overseas Chinese communities use traditional characters. China uses simplified characters.