1. Panama is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific Ocean and set on the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the highest point in the country. At Panama’s narrowest point, the Atlantic and Pacific are only 30 miles apart.
2. In 1906, Panama became the first country outside the United States in which Coca Cola was sold.
3. The inventor of “Murphy’s Law” was born in Panama. Edward Murphy Junior, best known for the Murphy’s Law, which is said to state that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”, was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1918.
4. Panama City is the only capital city in the entire world that has a rainforest within the city limits. It has the most diversified wildlife of all the countries in Central America as it is home to species that are native to both North and South America. The biodiversity in Panama is about three times higher than that of the US, Canada and Europe combined.
5. Panama celebrates not one, but two independence days. The first was from Spain in 1821. The second took place 82 years later, celebrating Panama’s independence from Colombia in 1903.
6. The narrowest part of Panama is only 30 miles or 48 kilometres wide, so it’s very easy travelling from one side to the other. You can even do it multiple times a day if you want.
7. 2.8 million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama emerged from the sea. In doing so it united two continents, separated a vast ocean in two, and changed the planet’s biodiversity forever. The climate change caused by the appearance of the isthmus contributed to human evolution. Without the isthmus, Homo sapiens may never have evolved.
8. In 1913, the 1st Ocean-to-Ocean flight was over Panama. Robert G. Fowler signed a contract to fly his modified Gage biplane ocean-to-ocean across Panama. It was an extraordinarily dangerous flight, with no open areas available for emergency landings and treacherous winds. He and his cameraman, R.E. Duhem, took off from the Pacific side and landed in shallow water at Cristobal 1 hour and 45 minutess later.
9. In 2016 Panama was at the centre of an international tax scandal. The ‘Panama Papers’ exposed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to conceal their wealth. The scandal revealed Panama as one of the most popular tax havens.