1. Countries with other countries in them
They’re not technically part of the countries they’re in, but they are located within them! There are three in total across the world: The Vatican within Italy, San Marino again within Italy, Lesotho within South Africa.
2. A continent where thousands of languages are spoken
With over 2300 languages throughout Asia, it is the continent with the most languages spoken. Most of these are spoken by small groups of people, typically with under 1000 people!
3. Civilizations from 4000 years ago
The Mayan civilization was the oldest civilization known to man, dating back to 2600BC. They lived in the Yucatán-know known southern Mexico, Guatemala, northern Belize, and western Honduras.
4. A hole on earth over 12,000 meters deep
That’s right, there’s a man-made hole on earth measuring 12,261 meters. Named the Kola Superdeep Borehole, it was the result of a scientific drilling project by the soviet union. The project was stopped because temperatures underground reached a whopping 180C (356F)!
5. Unowned land on earth
You’ve heard of Antarctica, but did you know that the continent remains unowned? Governed by a group of nations in a unique international partnership, the continent is designated as a place belonging to peace and science.
6. A major city that’s part of two continents
The capital of Turkey, Istanbul, is the only major city that falls between two continents: Asia and Europe. 64.9% of the residents live on the European side and 35.1% on the Asian side.
7. Countries where early morning can also be the evening
Did you know that countries can have over ten time zones? France holds the record at 12 time zones, while Russia and the United States both have 11. That means you could be waking up when your friend across the country is having dinner!
8. Egypt doesn’t have the most pyramids in the world
Egypt may be known for its pyramids, but there’s a country that has nearly twice as many, Sudan! Egypt has 118 discovered pyramids while Sudan has 200. They were built for the Kushite kingdoms of Nubia in 751 BC and are made of granite and sandstone.
9. It can snow in the Sahara desert
The Sahara desert is one of the hottest and driest places on earth, with an average high temperature of over 40 °C (104 °F), sometimes going up to 47 °C (117 °F) for months at a time. But in January 2018, the Sahara had its third-ever recorded snowfall, the other two were in 2016 and 1979.
10. There’s an island that’s within a lake, on an island that’s within a lake, on an island.
Take a second to read that out, but yes, it’s true! In the Philippines, Lake Taal, which is located within the island of Luzon, has an island (Volcano Island) that has a lake (Crater Lake) that contains its own small island called Vulcan Point.
11. Antarctica is the largest desert in the world
When you think of a desert, your mind probably goes to sun and sand, but the largest desert is actually somewhere freezing cold, Antarctica! A desert is just an area of land that doesn’t get more than 10 inches of precipitation a year and covering 5.5 million square miles, making the Antarctic Polar Desert the largest one.
12. The world’s longest and shortest flights
Scared of flying? Then make sure not to board a flight from New York to Sydney or it’ll be a hard 18.5 hours. Opt for a flight from Loganair Westray to Papa Westray in Scotland for a short 1.5 minutes onboard instead!
13. There’s a city with a population of 1 person
Monowi, Nebraska is a city in the United States that has something pretty unique about it, it only has one person living in it! Elsie Eiler is Monowi’s only citizen and somewhat of a local celebrity. She’s the mayor, secretary, and clerk, as well as the owner, cook, and bartender for Monowi’s only restaurant.
14. A country with no mosquitos
Hate mosquitos? Think about moving to Iceland! Aside from the continent of Antarctica, Iceland is the only country with no mosquitos at all. The European country has a very low temperature which makes it impossible for mosquitoes to breed and survive.
15. There’s an island that switches between countries
Pheasant Island, located on the Bidasoa River, belongs to both France and Spain. The countries share sovereignty by alternating once a year! For six months it’s ruled by France and the other six months ruled by Spain.