Here are 13 interesting facts about Chile:
1: Chile is affectionately known by its inhabitants as the “pais del poetas” or the “country of poets” because of two of the country’s most well-known and beloved literary figures Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, who both won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
2: One of the most interesting cultural traditions in Chile takes place on the islands of the Chiloe archipelago – the minga. When a family wants to move their house, the community comes together to literally remove the wooden house from its foundations, and uses a team of oxen and logs to pull it to its new home, or ties it to a boat and gently floats it to a different island!
3: At 7,500 feet, Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth with a landscape of surreal beauty. Some parts of the region have never received a drop of rain and the Desert is probably also the oldest desert on earth. The desert runs through a 1,000 kilometer long strip of land between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
4: Chileans are a patriotic bunch and love to celebrate! September 18th commemorates the day the nation united to seek liberation from Spanish rule, while September 19th honors “Day of the Glories of the Army” and Chileans go all in for this can’t-miss party!
5: Chile is the 5th largest exporter of wine and the 9th largest producer. Some of the best and finest selection of wines have been produced in Chile since the first wine grapes were planted in the country in 1554, brought by Spanish Conquistadores.
6: Did you know? The oldest known deliberate mummy is a child, one of the Chinchorro mummies found in the Camarones Valley in Chile around 5050 BC. A total of 282 Chinchorro mummies have been removed from burial sites along the narrow coastal strip from Ilo in southern Peru to Antofagasta in northern Chile so far.
7: Chile is home to the tallest building in South America, the Costanera Gran Torre. Located in Santiago, the Torre has 64 floors and has two observation decks on the top two floors that offer jaw-dropping views of the city and the surrounding Andes Cordillera.
8: It is believed that 90% of the world’s potatoes originate from the islands of Chiloe off the coast of the Lakes District! Even today, the islands are home to 286 unique varieties of Chilote potatoes.
9: It has some animals that are almost extinct and are on the list of endangered animals, among them are the national animal, the huemul, the pudu and the puma. The pudu is a small deer that lives in the forests of southern Chile. Pudus are the smallest deer species in the world.
10: Chile is home to world’s highest crater lake which is called Ojos del Salado. The name originates from the Spanish language and means ‘Eyes of salt’. ‘There are many salt lakes nearby throughout the Atacama region such as the Laguna Verde (green lagoon).
11: Did you know? The world’s most powerful earthquake happened in Chile on 22 May in 1960 near Valdivia. It had a magnitude of 9.5 on the Richter scale, lasted for 11 minutes and killed at least 6,000 people. It is referred to as the “Great Chilean Earthquake” and the “1960 Valdivia Earthquake.” Also, do check out how does an earthquake occur?
12: Chileans are the second biggest consumers of bread in the world – just behind the Germans. No wonder, considering how unbelievably delicious the different types of bread are, such as the popular marraqueta loaves.
13: In the Algarrobo city, we find the most impressive artificial paradise that was named by the Guinness Book of Records as the World’s largest swimming pool with a length of 1,000 yards, an area of 20 acres and a maximum depth of 115-feet. It holds over 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater.
This was all for Chile. Do let us know in the comments section if you found these facts interesting!