Friday, August 26, 2011

14 Strange & Interesting Facts Worldwide

1. Sudan Has More Pyramids Than Egypt
Sudanese pyramids  photo source
Sudan has more pyramids than any other country on Earth - even more than Egypt. There are at least 223 pyramids in the Sudanese cities of Al Kurru, Nuri, Gebel Barkal and Meroë. They are generally 20 to 30 metres (65 -100 ft) high and steep sided.

2. Countries Driving on the Left
Red - drives on right; Blue - drives on left  source
Although people in the majority of countries of the world drive on the right side of roads, there are some fifty nations in which people drive on the left. These include England and many former English colonies such as Australia,New Zealand, India...etc... but not the U.S. or Canada. There are several non-English countries where people also drive on the left including Japan.

3. Country With More Horses Than People
Mongolian horses   photo source
The Mongolian horse is the native horse breed of Mongolia. The breed is purported to be largely unchanged since the time of Genghis Khan. Nomads living in the traditional Mongol fashion still hold more than 3 million animals, which outnumber the country's human population (2,75 million). Despite their small size, they are horses, not ponies.

4. The Most Linguistically Diverse Country
Port Moresby -  capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea   photo source
Papua New Guinea is the country that is home to the most languages, over 750 in all! The most commonly spoken languages in Papua New Guinea, however, are Motu and pidgin English.

5. Alaska Has a Sand Dunes?
photo source
The Great Kobuk Sand Dunes lie 40 miles above the Arctic Circle, yet summer temperatures there can soar to 100 degress Fahrenheit! One of Alaska's true oddities, in some places, the sand stands 100 feet high. The three clusters of dunes within the park — the Great Kobuk, the Little Kobuk, and the Hunt River Sand Dunes — cover 25 square miles and constitute the largest active sand dunes within arctic latitudes. 

6. Strange Windmills in Ireland
Elphin Windmill, Ireland  photo source
All windmills in Ireland turn in a clockwise direction, while the rest of the windmills in the world turn counter-clockwise.

7. London Bridge Over Lake Havasu?
photo source
The original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City. When the bridge, built in the 1830s began to sink into the Thames River in the 1960s, it was replaced by a more modern concrete bridge. Then, England put the stones up for sale in 1967. A  man named Robert P. McCulloch Sr., purchased the bridge on April 17, 1968, at a cost of $2,460,000.   The 10,246 blocks were shipped to Arizona and reassembled over a lagoon at the edge Lake Havasu at a cost of $3 Million. The Bridge opened in 1971.

8. The Most Isolated City in the World
photo source
Perth, Australia, is the most isolated city on the planet. 200 miles across impenetrable desert from the next city of any size.

9. Power of Amazon River
photo source
The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean.

10. The World’s Longest Train Journey
photo source
The Trans-Siberian Railway offers the world’s longest train journey. It takes about 7 days to travel the 5,580 miles or 9,000 km between Moscow and Vladivostok.

11. Deforestation
photo source
About 22% of the earth's original forest coverage remains. Western Europe has lost 98% or so of its primary forests; Asia 94%; Africa 92%; Oceania 78%;   North America 66%, and South America 54%.  Approximately 45% of the world's tropical forests, originally covering 1.4 billion hectares, have disappeared in the last few decades.

12. Shortest Intercontinental Commercial Flight
photo source
Shortest Intercontinental Commercial Flight in the world is from Gibraltar (Europe) to Tangier (Africa.) Distance is 34 miles, flight time 20 minutes.

13. World's Widest Bridge
photo source
According to the Guinness World Records, Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world's widest long-span bridge - 16 lanes of car traffic - 8 lanes in the upper floor, 8 in the lower floor (double-decker bridge). The 49 metre (161ft) wide deck makes Sydney Harbour Bridge the widest long-span bridge in the world. It is also the fifth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 metres (440 ft) from top to water level.

14. World's Largest Palace Complex
Aerial view of the Forbidden City, Beijing  photo source
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 m2 (7,800,000 sq ft). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere.
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  1. [Errata] Sydney Harbour Bridge has eight (8) vehicle lanes, two train lines, a footway and a cycleway.

  2. Yes, last time I travelled over the Harbour Bridge (a resident of Sydney, so quite often) there was only one level! Definitely not a double-decker bridge. Beautiful photos of the train trip, windmill and Amazon. :)


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