10 Interesting Facts About Ethiopia – The Cradle of Mankind

Here are some amazing facts about Ethiopia!

1. Ethiopia is the 12th most populous country in the world, the second most populous nation on the African continent after Nigeria, and the most populous landlocked country in the world. Now, if you are wondering what a landlocked country is, let me clear your confusion. A landlocked country is one which is surrounded by one or more other countries and therefore has no direct access to a coastline providing access to the oceans!

2. Ethiopia is the only African country to never have been brought under colonial control. The Italians did give colonisation a crack in 1935, and succeeded in militarily occupying the country for six years, but Ethiopian forces were waging military opposition the entire time and the whole country was never brought under control.

3. The Great Rift Valley, which is visible from space, cuts through Ethiopia from the north-east to the south of the country. More than 70% of Africa’s mountains are found in Ethiopia. Owing to the high altitude in the country, the Ethiopians are famous for being great long distance runners!

4. Some of the oldest skeletal evidence for anatomically modern humans have been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region from which modern humans first set out for the Middle East and places beyond. Ethiopia is known as the Cradle of Mankind, with some of the earliest ancestors found buried in the soil. Lucy, the most famous fossils found, dating back to 3.5 million years, were unearthed in Hadar, Ethiopia.  

5. Addis Ababa, also known as Finfinne, which is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia, lies at an altitude of 2,355m or 7,726 feet, making it the 5th highest capital city in the world.

6. There are nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ethiopia, which is more than any other country in Africa!

7. Ethiopia adopted Christianity in the 4th century, making it one of the oldest Christian nations in the world. It also claims to hold the Ark of the Covenant as well as a piece of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified.

8. Ethiopian cooking is some of the tastiest, healthiest and most diverse cuisine on the continent. And, unlike many African countries, it’s a heaven for vegetarians. The simple reason for this is that most Ethiopians follow a particular strand of Orthodox Christianity that prohibits the eating of any animal products on Wednesdays and Fridays. And the happy by-product of this for herbivores is that restaurants always have a few deliciously spicy vegan stews on the menu!

9. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar consisting of 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 or 6 days.  It is roughly 7 and a half years behind the Gregorian calendar. Also, the Ethiopian new year begins either on 11 September or 12 September in leap years.

10. Coffee, which is one of the world’s most popular beverages, was discovered in Ethiopia, in the region of Kaffa!

So that was all for Ethiopia. Do let us know how did you find these facts in the comments section below!