20 Weird and Wonderful Facts From Around the World

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On days when it all feels a little doom and gloom, we like to find quirky facts from around the globe to lighten our moods. We’ve rounded up 20 of them to share with you!

1.) In New Zealand, there are no indigenous land snakes. That means that in recent years when sea snakes have slithered up on to the beach, locals are less aware to be afraid of them. There are funny anecdotes about children taking these poisonous creatures into school with them to show their friends.

2.) Between 1941 and 1984, China used pandas as a diplomatic tool, gifting them to other nations they wished to build relations with. Since 1984, they have been leased rather than gifted—and so the practice lives on.

3.) There is a penguin in Edinburgh Zoo who has the third-highest rank in the Norwegian Army. Sir Nils Olav is officially Major General Sir Nils Olav, Baron of the Bouvet Islands. This strange occurrence began in 1961 when the Norwegian King’s Guard visited the zoo, and fell in love with the penguins whose walk reminded them of the marching of the army. Eleven years later, they returned and made the penguin their mascot.

4.) Up until 2020, there was an Austrian village called “Fucking”. Local people got fed up of people fornicating in front of the sign, and occasionally stealing it, and in 2020, the village became “Fugging” instead.

5.) The national animal of Scotland is the mythical unicorn. In Celtic folklore, this white-horned creature is symbolic of purity and innocence.

6.) The national anthem of Greece is a whopping 158 verses long! However, usually only the first verse is sung.

7.) Canada has over 60% of the world’s 1.42 million lakes. This means that it has more lakes than every other country combined!

8.) Australia is wider than the moon. The diameter of the moon is 3,400 kilometres, while Australia measures in at an impressive 4,000 kilometres from east to west.

9.) In the Netherlands, there are more bikes than people. There are 17.5 million people living in the Netherlands and over 23 million bikes. Interestingly, only 36% of Dutch people say that it’s their most common mode of transport!

10.) Antarctica is the largest desert in the world, at almost double the size of the Sahara.

11.) The Eiffel Tower “grows” by up to six inches each summer, thanks to the expansion of the iron when hot.

12.) The Leaning Tower of Pisa now leans less than it once did. In 1990, it sat at a precarious 5.5 degree-tilt. However, after remedial work between 1993 and 2001, the tilt was reduced to 3.97 degrees to make the structure more stable.

13.) In the Philippines, there’s an island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island. The biggest of the islands is called Volcano Island.

14.) Honey never goes bad. Archaeologists excavating the Ancient Egyptian tombs found pots of honey that were over 3,000 years old and were still edible.

15.) The Salmon Act of 1986 made it illegal to “handle salmon in suspicious circumstances” in the UK. This means handling any salmon that may have been illegally fished or come from an illegal source.

16.) The city of Venice comprises of 118 islands connected by over 400 bridges.

17.) There’s a small community in Texas that goes by the name of Ding Dong. In 2000, only 22 people lived there.

18.) In 1910, a French law was introduced that made it illegal to kiss in railway stations. The law was created to avoid delays in stations. However, the law is now defunct, so kiss away!

19.) Australia is home to the world’s longest golf course, measuring in at an insane 850 miles long. The Nullarbor Links golf course is in Western Australia’s Golden Outback.

20.) London is home to the world’s oldest underground train network. in 1863, the Metropolitan line from Paddington to Farringdon launched and has been in operation ever since.