30 Little Known Facts About Countries

little known facts

1. India gave the world the taste of sweetness.

Photographer: Zera Li | Source: Unsplash

Although Sugarcane is indigenous to New Guinea, it was first chemically refined in India about 2,500 years ago! back then, it was popularly called, ‘the reed which gives honey without bees ’ or ‘honey yielding reed’.

2. Canada has 9% of the world’s forests in the world according to Natural Resources Canada!

3. Grass cannot be grown in Greenland.

Photographer: Filip Gielda | Source: Unsplash

Yes, you heard that right! Ironic to the greenery in its name, grass cannot be grown in Greenland. The sole reason for it is its extreme weather conditions that cannot quite support vegetation. Due to this, Greenland is one of the few countries that cannot join FIFA. Imagine a country without grass, weird right?

4. After Christianity, Judaism is the next largest religion practised in the United States of America!

5. The magnificent flag of the United States was partially designed by a teenage student.

Photographer: Steve Harvey | Source: Unsplash

The idea of fabricating 50 stars in the red-striped flag stroked the mind of a high school student in 1958 who predicted the addition of Alaska and Hawaii in the states. Sadly, his idea was ridiculed upon by his teacher as an act of nuisance.

6. Coca-Cola cannot be retailed in North Korea and Cuba.

Photographer: Laura Chouette | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Mae Mu | Source: Unsplash

While you can enjoy the leisure of this soft-drink almost everywhere in the world, you won’t even catch a glimpse of it in North Korea and Cuba. It is because their countries lay under long-term US trade embargoes. Hear that?

7. Copenhagen is the most bike-friendly city in the world.

Photographer: Harley-Davidson | Source: Unsplash

Many places around the world are trying to identify how to rework their infrastructure to accommodate cyclists and hopefully, in turn, encourage residents to use the environmentally friendly mode of transportation. That is why Copenhagen has become such a role model!

8. Scotland’s National animal is Unicorn.

Unicorn money box and coins stacked
Photographer: Annie Spratt | Source: Unsplash

The Scottish are known for their adoration of myths and legends: ghosts, witches, magic, water monsters, and fairy folk. The magical unicorn is perhaps their most beloved, particularly because it is the country’s national animal. Dreamy right?

9. The Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the seven wonders of the Ancient world, that is still in existence and it is located in Egypt!

10. Antarctica is the largest desert in the world.

Solo penguin taking in the views
Photographer: James Eades | Source: Unsplash

The Dark Continent is the driest, coldest, windiest and the most isolated place on earth. Its precipitation can be less than 51mm in extreme conditions. It is even bigger than The Great Sahara Desert! Ironically, it is also home to 90% of the world’s freshwater. I’m awestruck, are you?

11. Papua New Guinea is the most linguistically diverse country in the world with 851 individual languages listed.

12. Pakistan produces 40% of the world’s soccer balls.

Photographer: Erik Mclean | Source: Unsplash

A fact that most people miss out on is that Sialkot, a small city in Pakistan, is a world’s leading manufacturer of soccer balls!

13. Featuring Time travel in China is prohibited.

No film, TV show or magazine can discuss the concept of time travel in China. The administration thinks it is highly misleading, unrealistic and pessimistic.

14. Singapore has illegalised chewing gum.

sweet girl
Photographer: Karina Miranda | Source: Unsplash

In 1992, chewing gum was banned by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as he believed gum would sully the country’s pavement and subway carts. Only therapeutic gums for pharmaceutical purposes can be manufactured and retailed!

15. Only the Republics of Nicaragua and Dominica use purple colour in their flags!

16. Ethiopia’s calendar is seven years behind the rest of the world.

Back to school with a bullet journal
Photographer: Estée Janssens | Source: Unsplash

The Ethiopian calendar follows the beliefs of the country’s Christian Orthodox Church and is rooted in the Coptic or Egyptian calendar, which is about seven to eight years behind the mainstream Gregorian calendar. It is almost like Ethiopians exist in an alternate Universe. Such a crazy world we live in!

17. Indonesia has the shortest people in the world.

The smallest people in the world are born in Indonesia, where men on an average are 1.58m. The supposed phenomenon behind this is ‘insular dwarfing’.

18. Nigeria has the highest twin-birth rate.

A close up macro shot of two girls with blue eyes. These girls are my two eldest daughters. I shot this using available natural light from a south facing window.
Photographer: Sharon McCutcheon | Source: Unsplash

The Yoruba tribe in the south-west of Nigeria gives birth to twins at a rate of 50 per 1,000 births. The figure is larger than any other country in the world! It is supposedly because they eat a type of yam that contains an ovarian that stimulates more eggs concurrently.

19. Japan experiences 20% of the world’s earthquake annually. The intensity of the magnitude is destructive beyond imagination! Did that give a chill in your spine?

20. In Bhutan, most buildings are adorned with erect penises.

Wait, did I just see you cringe? Never mind, visit Bhutan to witness murals of floating phalluses which are considered as symbols of fertility! These bizarre symbols are also known to drive demons away. Today, the penis portraits have become more of a cultural symbol than a spiritual one, and their prevalence attracts throngs of tourists.

21. Canary Island is named after dogs, not birds. It is also popularly known as the ‘Island of Dogs ’.

22. Did you know that Liberia, Myanmar and The United States do not use the Metric System?

Almost every country In the world has adopted the metric system to make calculations more simple, systematic, transparent and uniform except for these countries.

23. The United Kingdom has introduced a deadly chilli pepper.

The Dragon’s breath chilli pepper is so dangerous that its consumption can potentially cause a type of anaphylactic shock, burning the airways and closing them up. The pepper is used for medical purposes as an anaesthetic to numb the skin.

24. France is the most traveled country in the world.

Golden Hour in Paris
Photographer: Alexis Minchella | Source: Unsplash

France is known for its aesthetics, beauty, romantic ambience, mouth-watering food and lavish wines. The tourist attractions never fail to mesmerise the tourists! Book your tickets today!

25. In Denmark, baby names are authorised by the government.

Citizens have to select baby names from a list of 7,000 government-approved names. The Law on Personal Names was put into effect to protect the children from being ridiculed for their first names. For parents who wish to diverge from the list, they must seek approval from the government.

26. The world’s quietest room is located in Washington DC State.

Microsoft’s headquarters in Washington has the quietest room in the world which only measures a background noise of -20.35 dBA.

27. People are not allowed to wear yellow colored apparels in Malaysia.

The sunshine colour yellow is banned in Malaysia. Manufacturing, retailing, printing, and distributing yellow colours are considered to be a disruption of public order as it was the colour worn by protest organizers!

28. France allows you to marry a dead person.

As creepy as it sounds, you can marry the deceased in France. It is proof that love knows no bounds!

29. South Sudan is the youngest country in the world.

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan recently in 2011. This makes it the youngest country in the world.

30. China loans pandas to the world.

The Hungry Panda
Photographer: Sid Balachandran | Source: Unsplash

The adorable, lazy animal is indigenous to China. Unless you live in China, the pandas that you are seeing are just visiting. That is because every one of the gentle giants in zoos around the world is on loan from China. Yes, you heard that right, they are technically the property of the government of China!