Around The World In 200 Amazing Facts

Around The World In 200 Amazing Facts

Current Citizen? About To Emigrate To This Country? Or Just A Place You Simply Love, Here Are Some Fun Facts About The Different Countries Around The World

If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that the world is getting smaller. Okay, so the world is not quite shrinking, but as modern technologies advance so we become more interconnected and informed.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for individuals on the other side of the world to take up “digital arms” to fight battles for their human kin in places they’ve never even heard of. Such is the nature of modern and social media that we can communicate, distribute and connect with others across the globe in a heartbeat. 

So, although we’re used to reading about the good and the bad of those far-to-reach destinations, Rand Rescue thought we’d lighten the load by sharing some of the stranger facts from the globe – a little tit-bit you may not have known about each country or sovereign state around the globe.

The weirdest facts of each country in the world

Whether you’re an immigrant to a foreign nation, interested in moving abroad or simply looking to gain some general knowledge about our amazing world – Rand Rescue’s list of unique facts from around the globe is bound to blow your mind.

Without further ado, here’s something you may not have known about each country in the world…

  1. ABC and BES Islands – As the first entry on our blog, it’s rather fitting that we’re referencing the ABC’s – but this may also be our most confusing entry. Although the different regions within each group have varied reign and political autonomy, they are grouped together due mostly to their location. The common marker among the groups is Bonaire – an island which used to be part of the ABC (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) group. The islands are part of the Leeward Antilles, with each island sharing a common history with the Netherlands. Its “A” and “C” islands had been autonomous regions for quite a while, but since the dissolution of the Netherland Antilles, Bonaire became part of the BES – Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba – three special municipalities of the Netherlands which are considered overseas territories by the EU.
  2. Afghanistan – The world’s oldest oil paintings hail from Afghanistan. The paintings hail from the 7th Century AD and were discovered in caves behind two destroyed statues of Buddha in Bamiyan in 2001.
  3. Albania – Albania’s flowers account for 30% of the total floral kingdom of Europe.
  4. Algeria – Algeria is the subject of some of the most expensive paintings in the world. Les Femmes D’Algers is a series of 15 paintings done by famous artist Pablo Picasso and the principal painting last sold at auction for a whopping $179 million.
  5. Andorra – Andorra is the world’s only co-principality – which means it is ruled simultaneously by two rulers from different countries; the President of France and the Bishop Urgell of Spain.
  6. Angola – Angola is home to the world’s most expensive city. Luanda, the capital city, has been ranked the most expensive city worldwide for years in a row. By international standards, the cost of a 3-bedroom home, for instance, costs an average of $13 000. 
  7. Antigua and Barbuda – For South Africans, a particular interesting fact about Antigua and Barbuda would be that the most 100s in a test series ever recorded was between South Africa and the West Indies in Antigua and Barbuda at St. Johns in 2005.
  8. Argentina – The world’s widest avenue is a remarkable 140 metres wide and contains a staggering 12 lanes – and it’s none other than 9 de Julio Avenue in Argentina.
  9. Armenia – Unlike South Africa and the rest of the world, Armenia’s national animal is not one which you’ll likely see in the wild. In fact, if you want to catch a glimpse of this animal, you’d best be watching Game of Thrones, as Armenia’s national animal is none other than a dragon.
  10. Australia – One may associate camels with northern Africa or the middle east, but that association may not be accurate. In fact, the world’s only feral camel population can be found in Australia which is also home to the largest population of dromedaries worldwide.
  11. Austria – If you know your blood type you can thank the Austrians for that. Austrian, Karl Landsteiner, was the first to discover distinctive blood types in 1900. He also identified the Rhesus factor which enabled doctors to perform transfusions without endangering patients’ lives.
  12. Azerbaijan – If you want to see a city with remarkable architecture, perhaps set aside the colosseums, pyramids and statues found in the best tourist guidebooks and head on over to Azerbaijan. Neft Daşları, which was originally an oil rig built on stilts, eventually morphed into an entire city built on stilts in the sea, including shopping malls, residential areas and offices.
  13. Bahamas – We all may know the grand caves of the world scattered around mountaintops worldwide, but what of the caves scattered beneath our feet? Well, the world’s largest underwater cave system can be found in the Bahamas in the Lucayan National Park.
  14. Bahrain – These days, when we consider petroleum production, we think of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait – but the country which first discovered petroleum was, in actual fact, Bahrain.
  15. Bangladesh – Want to see the world’s longest continuous beach? You’re imaging California, Australia or some island you don’t know the name for, right? Well, you’d be wrong as the world’s longest continuous beach can be found in Bangladesh and is called Cox’s Bazar.
  16. Barbados – Barbados may be most famous for spawning world famous singer, Rihanna, but what you will not have known is that the US state of North Carolina was founded by Barbadians under the leadership of John Yeamans.
  17. Belarus – If you’re into strange, mystical and ancient discoveries – and love nature – then head on over to Belarus. The country has the ONLY prehistoric floodplain oak forest which can be visited to this day in the National Park of Pripyat.
  18. Belgium – Want to visit a country where people can live in peace and harmony without those nosy politicians? Well, Belgium is the country which had lasted the longest without any form of government after their elections held in June 2010 saw to the appointment of King Albert II in December 2011 – 541 days after the elections.
  19. Belize – Want to wander around a street where those bothersome cars don’t frequent? Well, head on over to Placencia Sidewalk in Belize. Although it would hardly make the grade as a street elsewhere, it is still dubbed a true-blood street by the Guinness Book of Records. It was initially used for wheelbarrowing fish.
  20. Benin – So Benin may not be top-of-mind when you consider feminism, but perhaps you should rethink your facts – the Kingdom of Dahomey situated in what is now called Benin was upheld and defended by an all-female military, known as the Dahomey Amazons, from 1600 until 1894.
  21. Bhutan – Want to know how happy you are? But really? Well, Bhutan is the only country in the world to have introduced a Gross National Happiness Standard as opposed to the usual boring GDP. It may have something to do with the fact that it was also the last country to adopt televisions in 1998.
  22. Bolivia – Want to dine in the epitome of luxury? Well, we don’t know how you measure luxury, but if it’s the HIGHEST class of dining you desire, then you’d better head on over to Chacaltaya Ski Resort to dine in the highest restaurant in the world – 5 340 metres above ocean level.
  23. Bosnia and Herzegovina – Europe may have its small nooks and crannies which remind us of the olden days, but if you want to escape to forest country, you’ll only truly be happy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country is home to the largest remaining primeval forest in Europe – Perućica.
  24. Botswana – Not sure which cellular network suits you? Or if you even want a network from one country? Well, the North-Western corner of Botswana which borders with Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia is said to be the only place in the world where you can pick and choose between the cellular networks of 4 countries.
  25. Brazil – Nature lovers among us will obviously not be surprised to know that Brazil has the greatest biodiversity of any country in the world. In fact, of our 197 countries and territories mentioned here, Brazil has 1 out of 10 species!
  26. Brunei – Brunei is one of the last countries to join the Olympic games. Of course, one cannot quite say that they participated as their first ever delegation joining the games in 1988 consisted of a single official and no athletes.
  27. Bulgaria – If you plan on giving your man or missus a bottle of their favourite perfume come Valentine’s Day, then you must know you’re probably giving him or her a little piece of Bulgaria. The country produces between 70 and 80% of the world’s total rose oil – which is a major constituent in most perfumes.
  28. Burkina Faso – Consider yourself a movie buff or like your silver screen entertainment? Then you’d best head on over to Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, which is host to the largest African film and television festival in Africa. The FESPACO (Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou) is held annually in the country’s capital.
  29. Burundi – Fitness enthusiasts are welcome to visit Burundi but should take note that if you like your jogging you should also like your solitude. Jogging in groups was officially banned in Burundi in 2014 as the president felt it encouraged commingling and anti-governmental activities.
  30. Cabo Verde – Saffa tourists to Cape Verde would be happy to know that the first ever tourist stopover in the country (or archipelago) occurred in Sal in the 1960s and the trip was made by none other by the South African flight crews making a stopover en route to Germany.
  31. Cambodia – The discovery of dinosaurs may be thought as quite a modern thing, which makes this fact about Cambodia all too fascinating. The jungle temples produced by the Khmer civilization between the 8th and 14th century AD are, of course, common tourist attractions in the area – but it was only recently that visitors to Ta Prohm discovered a carving of a stegosaurus among the various sandstone decorations on the temple walls, begging the question how the builders and artists of those eras had any inkling of the existence of this prehistoric beast.
  32. Cameroon – Considering the popularity of the sport of football around the globe, it’s no surprise that Cameroonians view themselves as the best African ambassadors of the sport. In fact, their national football team has represented Africa more than any other country on the continent at the World Cup and was the first African country to ever make it to the quarter finals.
  33. Canada – With Christmas around the corner, we could all regress to our childlike personas and write a letter to Santa. Not sure where to send it – we’ve got you covered! Simpy address your letter to Santa in any language of your choice and send it to North Pole, H0H oHo, Canada and you’ll be sure to receive a letter back from St. Nicklaus.
  34. Cayman Islands – As a British overseas territory, the Cayman Islands are not considered wholly autonomous – but with its own currency, the KYD (Caiman Islands Dollar) and autonomous political system, it’s as far removed from UK government as it is in location.  The islands are most famed as a tax haven for individuals and businesses around the globe.
  35. Central African Republic – When thinking of pollution, we would normally imagine rivers filled with sewerage, skies filled with smoke or litter filling our streets – but scientists the world over have been trying to point out the prevalence of light pollution – the phenomenon whereby visibility in the skies is reduced or veiled by manmade lighting from our cities or other constructions. Luckily for the Central African Republic, however, it is considered to be the country with the lowest light pollution in the world – perfect for watching the night skies.
  36. Chad – Chad may not be famed for its living elephant populations, but it IS home to the Rocher Des Elephants – fascinating rock formations resembling their mammalian kin which can be seen both from the ground and the sky.
  37. Chile – When we think of drought or arid world regions we usually picture the Sahara, Kalahari or middle-eastern regions of the world. The driest place on earth, however, is quite far removed from these areas. Located approximately 2 286 metres above sea level, the Atacama Desert is known as the driest place on earth with some areas believed to have never received a single drop of rain. The desert covers an area of roughly 363 000 square kilometres between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
  38. China – Hmmm – nothing like your favourite burger and fries – whether from McDonalds, Wimpy or your local pub. And if you love yourself some ketchup with those fries, then thank your lucky stars for Chinese ingenuity. Although this condiment is traditionally thought of as a western invention, it actually hails from the Hokkien Chinese word, ke-tsiap. The original sauce was more of a fermented fish sauce than the ketchup we know today, but that recipe was later adapted through the addition of tomato pulp, brandy, vinegar and spices.
  39. Colombia – Fancy yourself some rainbows? Of course you do – and if you visit Colombia you don’t need to look to the skies for your multicoloured treat. Colombia’s Cano Cristales river is known as the Liquid Rainbow as its river bed changes colour between yellow, blue, black, green and red!
  40. Comoros – Ah, the Comoros, home of Coco Chanel… Oh, no, wait, Chanel was a French national, wasn’t she? That’s right. But for those of us who associate the French designer and businesswoman with the famous Chanel No.5 perfume, this dame’s fame is closely tied to the Comoros. In fact, in choosing the notes for her famous perfume, Chanel was lucky enough to have had a lover whose friend had visited the islands and returned with the local Ylang-Ylang essence after a trip to the region. Upon a single whiff, she’d immediately chosen the essence for her No.5 perfume.
  41. Costa Rica – Most countries upon gaining their independence from foreign rule, take to the streets, celebrate and take immediate ownership of their newfound freedom. For Costa Rica, however, their independence gained in 1821 had seen some delayed celebration as most of the country only heard the news about a month after the event – receiving the news by mail.
  42. Cote d’Ivoire – Most of us require a little morning brew of coffee to wake up and face the day. If this is you – then give a little nod to Cote d’Ivoire which is the world’s highest producer of cocoa beans – supplying roughly 33% of the world’s cocoa. 
  43. Croatia – If you feel like getting away from it all, but still having a neighbor or two, then you might want to visit the town of Hum in Croatia. With a population of between 17 and 23 people, it is has the smallest population of any official town in the world.
  44. Cuba  – In a world where hitchhiking has become a rather dangerous (and often outlawed) practice, backpackers would be happy to know that, should they ever be hitching a ride on a Cuban road any government official driving by would be compelled by law to give them a ride.
  45. Cyprus – If you’re a tourist commuting by taxi in Cyprus, you’d best count out the exact amount as taxi drivers in Cyprus do not tender change for payments – any amount tendered over their rates is considered a tip.
  46. Czech Republic – South Africans may love our Castle, Windhoek, Amstel, Lion or Black Labels while watching a game of ruggas, but we should be aware that our beer-drinking skills would be outmatched should we ever find ourselves in the Czech Republic. The country’s population has the highest average beer consumption in the world.
  47. Democratic Republic of the Congo – If you’re one of those romantics who wants to linger around the city with the beautiful French language filling your ears – then skip Paris! With a population which recently surpassed that of Paris, Kinshasa – the capital of the DRC – is now the city with the highest francophone population in the world.
  48. Denmark – For those of us hailing from Africa, corruption is nothing new, and a rather frustrating trend. If this is something which irks you, you might want to make Denmark your home, as the country is listed as the least corrupt nation in the world according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Perception Index 2017.
  49. Djibouti – The Dead Sea may be the most famous salt lake in the world, but if you want to visit the saltiest lake on earth (other than Antarctica), you would need to head on over the Djibouti and immerse yourself in Lac Assal – which is has a higher salt content than the Dead Sea.
  50. Dominica – Tourists with an interest in natural phenomena – or a macabre death wish – should get those passports ready for a visit to Dominica. The country is home to more active volcanoes than any other nation in the world!
  51. Dominican Republic – If you’ve an interest in areas of historical and cultural significance, then you’ll definitely be interested in Santo Domingo. The city was the first capital city in the North and South Americas and is also home to the oldest catholic cathedral, university and hospital in these areas.
  52. Ecuador – If you’re tired of all that gravity but not quite savvy enough to be a pilot or astronaut, the furthest you would ever get from the center of the earth (and thus theoretically the least gravity you would experience in a sense), would be on Mount Chimborazo. Of course there are mountains higher than Chimborazo, but due to the earth’s equatorial bulge and the country’s average elevation, its peak is approximately 2 400 metres higher than Mount Everest at 6 263 metres.
  53. Egypt – Although infamous for its slavery and other questionable practices, Egypt used to have one of the world’s most gender-equal societies. In fact, ancient Egypt made no gender distinction in its laws – giving equal status and rights to women and men with regards to ownership, earnings, inheritance, protection, marital rights and business practices.
  54. El Salvador – As the most densely populated country in Central America, the country also boasts the highest cell phone density in the world – with 125 phones per 100 people.
  55. Equatorial Guinea – Although Equatorial Guinea’s territory consists mainly of its continental area between Gabon and Cameroon, its capital is not located on the mainland and can instead be found on the most northern part of its Boiko island. The island is closer to Cameroon than it is to Equatorial Guinea.
  56. Eritrea – Although Eritrea’s principal political party is dubbed the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice – it is also the only political party in the country, and its reference to democracy is rather dubious, seeing as it’s had a republican totalitarian dictatorship since its independence in 1993, and its new constitution ratified in 1997 had never been implemented.
  57. Estonia – Estonians take their swinging super serious! Not, not that swinging silly – the Estonian version of swinging. In fact, it is such a popular and unique sport that Ado Kosk of Estonia invented the sport of kiiking based on swinging where participants are swung on giant steel swings rotating 360 degrees.
  58. Ethiopia – Ethiopians are kinda old school in certain ways. Like that whole boring mainstream Western calendar thing. Ethiopia, for instance, has stuck to the lithurgical Christian year which is a rather intricate mix of Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Coptic church ideologies guided by Eritrean liturgical practices derived partly from the Egyptian Calendar. Mostly though – the Ethiopian calendar supposes that the birth of Jesus was miscalculated by the rest of the world. 
  59. Fiji – If you’re into property investments or like to own a little piece of land – then Fiji is unfortunately not for you. The country has allocated a mere 10% of its land to foreign residents and businesses with more than 80% of the land considered “Native Land” which is owned wholly by native village groups.
  60. Finland – We’ve all heard of Molotov Cocktails, but few people know where the name hails from. During the Winter War Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov had told the public that soviet planes weren’t bombers but humanitarian food drops – to which the Finns responded tongue-in-cheekly by naming their explosives Molotov Cocktails; “drinks to go with the food”.
  61. France – When we think of UNESCO World Heritage Status, we envision natural splendour, architectural gems and areas of cultural significance. So it’s odd to compute that UNESCO granted World Heritage status to French gastronomy in 2010 – French cuisine is quite literally protected by UNESCO.
  62. Gabon – Talking about France – want to known which foreign leader owns the most real estate in France? You got it – none other than President Bongo of Gabon.
  63. Gambia – Who wants to be called that silly title of “president”? Not the president of Gambia (or THE Gambia as locals know it) – no-no-no, if you happen to find yourself greeting the country’s leader you should address him as His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Bibili Mansa.
  64. Georgia – Planning a trip to Georgia? Well, just be sure not to call the country Georgia to the locals – as it’s known as Sakartvelo within its borders. You should also be prepared for a linguistic treat unlike any other – the Georgian language (Kartvelian) is written in its own script and is related to only two other languages (none of which resemble other Western tongues).
  65. Germany – Germany may be notorious for its numerous prison camps, but regardless of the wars waged within its borders and between other nations, prison escape is strangely not outlawed in Germany – the human right to freedom is said to override the laws of incarceration making prison escapes completely legal.
  66. Ghana – If you want peace and quiet, without exiting your favourite continent, then Ghana is your place! Ranked as the most peaceful African country, it also has the world’s largest man-made lake where you can let your hair down. Lake Volta in Ghana covers an amazing 8 500 square kilometres!
  67. Gibraltar – Although not considered an autonomous country, Gibraltar’s political status is widely contested – even moreso after the UK’s Brexit vote. Considered an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, Spain has contested its sovereignty for some time the issue had not been pushed too fiercely before – since both the UK and Spain had been members of the EU. Given that an overwhelming 98% of Gibraltarians voted against Brexit and half of the territory’s workforce commutes from other European countries (mostly Spain) on a daily basis – its fate hangs in the balance and it remains to be seen how the UK and Spain will find consensus on the matter.
  68. Greece – Due to a strange stipulation in Greek law approximately 70% of the EU’s fleet is Greek. The law stipulates that all ships where Greeks have to serve require a minimum of 75% Greek crewmen and women.
  69. Grenada – For those of us who are tired of the normal tourist destinations, Grenada surely has a host to offer. Consider, for instance, that it has the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Given the state of the world’s climate it may be seen as a rather smart strategy in years to come.
  70. Guatemala – No matter where you find yourself on earth – you’ll probably find the world’s most popular clothing item at your local fashion outlet, the denim jean! And the world has none other than the country of Guatemala to thank for this. The unique fabric was invented in Guatemala after which it was distributed throughout the world by Levi’s.
  71. Guinea – For those of us suffering drought crises and water-shortages, it seems almost inconceivable to think that Guinea’s capital, Conakry, receives an average of 3,4 metres of rain each year – that’s right, not millimetres, METRES! It is considered the wettest place on earth.
  72. Guinea-Bissau – Although citizens of Guinea-Bissau are very much still focused on traditional beliefs and local customs, most of them wear second-hand western clothing since their traditional clothing made locally is too expensive to purchase for most countrymen and women.
  73. Guyana – In addition to finding continents and conquering foreign territories, famed explorer Christopher Columbus was also known for spotting other “things”. Such as the mermaid called Watammama who is said to reside in Guyana’s waters.
  74. Haiti – Due to its significance in Haiti culture the gourd – a plant species which comprises pumpkins, cucumbers, squash and melons – was once declared the national currency of Haiti. It’s modern currency, the Gourdes, hails its name from the plant.
  75. Honduras – As one of the more obscure tourist destinations in the world, Honduras is a nation with remarkable cultural significance. In fact, the Mesoamerican civilization of the Mayans, although more famed for areas such as Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, has its most famed historical monuments in Honduras – the fully intact Copan Mayan Ruins.
  76. Hungary – Are you one of the smartypantses who claims to be able to solve the Rubik’s Cube? Good on you sir or madam – and if you truly possess the incredible mindpower to solve this 3D colour-coded puzzle, then your claim to fame is all thanks to Erno Rubik, the Hungarian inventor who’d been entertaining earthlings for ages.
  77. Iceland – Linguists would definitely find Iceland an attractive tourist spot since the country’s language – Icelandic – has remained unchanged from ancient Norse. This means most of the population can still comfortably read 1 000-year old texts.
  78. India – When we consider Africa’s ties to India, we are most often reminded of our Durban cuisine, Indian clothing and believe Africa to have been the only one in the party to have held on to the friendship. But we should search further back in the history books if we’re to label the Indo-African friendship; Kingozi, which is an ancient Indian Ocean dialect used between Lamun and Somalian peoples of Africa, is still found in Indian poetry and sacred scripts to this day.
  79. Indonesia – Russia may take top podium position when it comes to surface area per country, but Indonesia is the largest country comprised solely of islands. And if you want an Island you may be in luck as only 6 000 of its 17 508 islands are inhabited.
  80. Iran – Back off Jersey and Geordie shores, Essex folks and other aspirational pretentiously rich youths – Iran will kick your behinds. Rich Kids of Instagram showcases the lavish lifestyles of the rich kids of Tehran. What makes it even more extravagant and daring is that these western showcases of splurging, partying and immodesty are widely considered criminal offenses in Iran.
  81. Iraq – Saffas love our braais – huddling around a fire is simply a cultural and social must and without it we swiftly start to feel a bit bluesy. So if you suffer from fire-withdrawal, then you may as well visit the Eternal Fire in Iraq – a natural gas vent which has been burning continuously for more than 4000 years!
  82. Ireland – The Irish may be famed for their bar fights and green drinks come St. Patrick’s Day, but the country which separated from its northern partner is also the only one in the world to have a musical instrument as a national symbol – the harp.
  83. Israel – The highest ranked universities and colleges may be situated in Europe, the UK and the US – but these areas are not where you’ll find your citizens with the most degrees per capita. Israel – that’s where you’ll find it! 
  84. Italy – Who doesn’t like a slice of cheese on their sarmie, or melted on their pizza, or drizzled over their chicken strips? Well, it turns out no one loves cheese quite as much as Italy – the country had to fork out an incredible $65 000 000 to bail out their Parmesan cheese industry in 2008. As the consumption of this famed delicacy has fallen systematically over the years, a third its producers – who make the cheese by hand – had faced bankruptcy requiring governmental intervention.
  85. Jamaica – We ALL know this story, but it is undoubtedly one of the most heartwarming true tales of modern history – the story of a tropical island nation sending a bobsledding team to the Winter Olympics in 1988. Of course they didn’t win, but they’d sowed the seeds of dreams previously believed to be impossible in the hearts and minds of all human civilization. “Jamaica, we have a bobsled team!”
  86. Japan – If you’re tired of all that work ethic and want to settle into a job where you can just catch a catnap whenever it suits you – then you may want to move to Japan. It is absolutely acceptable to sleep on the job in the country. Finding a job may not be that easy though – seeing as the country has one of the lowest immigration rates in the world with a 98% local ethnicity.
  87. Jordan – Jordan’s modern Arabian rule can be attributed to none other than British national, archaeologist and military officer T.E. Lawrence, a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia. The officer had played a renowned strategic role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire in the First World War.
  88. Kazakhstan – As the world’s largest landlocked country, it’s rather surprising that Kazakhstan snubbed the traditional concepts of geography. In fact, the country has an actual naval force – strangely, however, the naval force is located in the equally landlocked Caspian sea.
  89. Kenya – Defying gravity may be a novelty only experienced by a very scientists and astronomers of earth. But sometimes science has a soft heart and gives humans a little extra – as is the case in Kyamwilu an area in Kenya which has defied the laws of gravity and dumbfounded scientists for ages. Of course, as with most anomalies – the explanation is quite simple. The area is a natural 
  90. Kiribati – The tiny island nation of Kiribati situated halfway between Australia and Hawaii is also the only country in the world which lies within all four hemispheres – it is also furthest ahead of Greenwich meantime.
  91. Kosovo – If you need help while visiting Kosovo it’s simple – just ask! In fact the citizens are known to not simply provide an answer to your question but to literally accompany tourists to their destinations, show them where to find what they are looking for or offer them what it is they want to purchase.
  92. Kuwait – If you need a holiday spot where you can “rek jou rande” then Kuwait is definitely not the place for you. With the highest-valued currency in the world! 1 Kuwaiti Dinar will cost you roughly R45.48, $3.32, 2.79 or £2.46 (based on exchange rates at the time of this blog).
  93. Kyrgyzstan – Those with a fascination with politics would most probably like to visit the White House at some stage. But be sure to specify which White House when consulting your travel agent as Kosovo has its own marble-clad seven-storey presidential White House in Bishkek.
  94. Laos – The world has always been fascinated with ancient archaeological sites – such as Stone Henge, the Pyramids, Mayan Temples and so forth, but Laos has its own mysterious gems of inexplicable origin. Located in Xiangkoang Plateau you can catch a glimpse of thousands of stone jars scattered across the landscape. Although many theories as to the origins and purpose of the jars exist, historians and archaeologists have not been able to explain the purpose of this ancient pottery site.
  95. Latvia – It’s a common occurrence for countries to compete against one another in feats of strength, talent and economic achievement, but the Latvians may have taken the rivalry a bit far. With the highest point in the country being a mere 312 metres, the country would not be outshined by their neighbour, Estonia, whose highest point is 318 metres. They subsequently built a tower on top of the peak to “heighten” their highest peak. The tower was demolished in 2012 due to safety risks.
  96. Lebanon – You can say what you want about the Lebanese, but they surely are resilient and persistent. In fact, its capital, Beirut, has been destroyed 9 times and rebuilt subsequently after each bout of destruction.
  97. Lesotho – Lesotho’s mountains, although majestic, reach nowhere near the highest peaks scattered around the earth – but the country itself is actually the highest in the world (theoretically) seeing as it has the highest low point in the world – at 1 500 metres above sea level.
  98. Liberia – As one of the countries with the lowest contributions to global warming, it is devastating that Liberia suffers a greater natural impact due to this manmade travesty than most other countries in the world. The natural phenomena is seeing increased flooding of its coastal regions – and although the country has some of the richest oil deposits worldwide, these deposits are located predominantly in protected forest regions – prohibiting exploration and economic growth to assist the country in restoring its coastlines. Its preservation of natural resources, is essentially preventing it from preserving natural resources.
  99. Libya – Although Libya doesn’t have the most dangerous single road in the world is still ranked the most dangerous place to drive on earth given its 73.5 road deaths per 100 000 people each year across the country.
  100. Liechtenstein – Given its low incidence of crime and small surface area, it’s no surprise that Liechtenstein is at a bit of a loss when it comes to incarceration. In fact, prisoners within country borders can only receive a maximum two-year sentence – any sentences longer than that requires inmate transfer to Austrian prisons.
  101. Lithuania – Lithuania has a lot going for it when it comes to cultural and historical heritage, but is most unique trait and claim to fame is undoubtedly its scent. No, no, the country doesn’t have its own fragrance which you’d smell upon entering – instead it is a nationally patented and concocted “perfume” dubbed the Scent of Lithuania (Leituvos Kvapas). It was envisioned by Danius Rutkauskas of Lithuania in an effort to unite the citizens and give soldiers in foreign regions a whiff of home. The scent contains the essences and notes of Bergamot, Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood, Ginger, Raspberry, Grapefruit, Tree Moss and Smoke.
  102. Luxembourg – Although considered an economic powerhouse and boasting second podium position for the world’s richest countries, 50% of Luxembourg’s workforce is comprised of foreign nationals traveling into the country each day – mostly from France, Belgium and Germany.
  103. Macedonia – Divers seeking out a new adventure need to add Macedonia on their list of places to see. With a depth of 77 metres, Cave Vrelo is officially the world’s deepest underwater cave.
  104. Madagascar – Stand back Plath, Whitman and Yeats and make way for Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo – Africa’s first modern poet and bard of Malagasy literature. He was declared Madagascar’s national poet in 1960.
  105. Malawi – Much publicity has been given to Venezuelan president Jose Mujica for his philanthropy and giving nature, but the world should not forget Malawian president Joyce Banda when thinking of a caring leader. In order to feed the poor and starving in his country Banda sold the presidential jet and entire fleet of 60 luxury cars to care for his people.
  106. Malaysia – So… which continent does Malaysia belong to dear Geographical fundi? Not sure? Well, our question was perhaps a bit biased, as Malaysia is the only nation whose territories are situated in two diverse “continents”. It is part of both Asia and Oceania.
  107. Maldives – Watching politicians battle it out in a game of wits and accusations is something we’re far too familiar with. Although we’d not cede our interest in political decision-making, we may be more entertained had the rest of the world followed the example of the Maldives and hosted parliamentary meetings under the sea. In an effort to draw attention to the human impact of our oceans, president Mohamed Nasheed decided to take a practical approach and move his cabinet meeting of October 2009 under water – forcing his cabinet into scuba gear. And why? Because the Maldives also the lowest lying country in the world – and the first estimated to succumb to rising ocean levels.
  108. Mali – Deciding where you want to reside can be a difficult task – Northern hemisphere, Southern hemisphere? Can’t decide? Just move to Mali where you can cross the meridian marker between hemispheres in Gao to your liking.
  109. Malta – Ah! Malta! Home of Literature and Philosophy! This is probably not what you were thinking, and you may or may not be right or wrong in your observation. You see, Malta is said to be the home of the cave where famed writer, Homer, wrote his Odyssey. But, of course, although Homer’s works are among the most read and studied in history, no one is quite sure if the writer had ever existed at all.
  110. Marshall Islands – One of Marshall Islands’ islands – Elugelab – sadly “breathed its last breath” in 1952 when the US hydrogen bomb test completely obliterated the island.
  111. Mauritania – Watching earth from space must be an incredible sight! But if we had a choice of location to ogle from outside our atmosphere, we’d most definitely aim our sights at the Eye of Africa in Mauritania. As one of the few distinct earthly sights visible from space, the site resembles a bull’s eye – also called a Richat Structure – with a diameter of 48,28 kilometres.
  112. Mauritius – The extinction of animal species is a very real and sad problem. But regardless of such extinction, no other nation celebrates its past animal gems quite like Mauritius whose national bird is the Dodo, an endemic bird species which was last sighted on the island in 1662.
  113. Mexico – Mexico! Home of spicy food like the Caesar Salad! Wait… the Caesar Salad? Yup! Not only is this salad not spicy, but it doesn’t hail from Caesar Augustus’s home at all. This rather mild salad (for a Mexican palate) was invented by Caesar Cardini in his Tijuana restaurant. Although hailing Tijuana – the salad cannot be said to be 100% Mexican either, though, since Cardini was of Italian-American descent.
  114. Micronesia – Unlike most of the world, Micronesians living in Chuuk aren’t that phased when it comes to burial rights or burial locations such as cemeteries. In fact, it’s quite acceptable to bury the dead in your back yard and graves scattered throughout the area are a common sight.
  115. Moldova – The phrase “off the beaten track” is one which could truly be applied to Moldova – the country with the lowest tourist visits in Europe per annum. Nevertheless, if you do happen to venture into this European nation, you may want to stop over in Milestii Mici – the cellar with the world’s largest collection of wines – a whopping two million and counting.
  116. Monaco – The world loves its labels – we like to name things and places and people. So you’d better know that Monaco doesn’t have one collective noun for its residents. What you are called is based on your origin – as a native of Monaco with its blood in your veins you would be known as Mongasque, while foreign residents are Monacoian.
  117. Mongolia – As an expat, it may be that you have some wanderlust in you. But if you truly aspire to the nomadic culture, then you’ll fit in perfectly in Mongolia. The country has one of the highest remaining nomadic populations with up to 40% being essentially homeless due to their nomadic existence.
  118. Montenegro – Rand Rescue enjoys this little silly fact from the nation of Montenegro (we love our financial facts, okay?) – as a Balkan country, it’s hardly part of the Eurozone and has never been a member of the EU. But who cares? The country swiftly adopted the German mark after its independence from Serbia and, remarkably, adopted the Euro thereafter – something the European Union has not been able to explain, given that the currency is essentially limited to members of the Union.
  119. Morocco – The world’s first university did not start out as a university at all. In fact, it was, and remained, a mosque even after becoming a university. It is the Kaiaraouine Mosque in Morocco which was constructed in 857 A.D and was the world’s foremost centre for education at the time. Nowadays it’s known as the University of al-Kaiaraouine.
  120. Mozambique – Consider yourself a grammar Nazi? (For shame!) Then tell us which country is the only country whose name contains all five vowels in the English language. That obvious? Okay – it’s Mozambique! Something light to share at your next linguistic get-together.
  121. Myanmar – Who wants complicated dress codes and all that nonsense? Certainly not the residents of Myanmar whose national dress is a longyi. The wraparound skirt is worn by both men and women and gender is distinguished by whether it’s tied at the front or back.
  122. Namibia – Saffas may associate seals with our famed Robben Island, but in actual fact the world’s highest seal population can be found along the coast of Namibia on the Skeleton Coast, which has also wrecked more than 1 000 ships.
  123. Nauru – If you’re tired of “peopling” you’d best escape to the little island nation of Nauru. As the smallest island nation in the world, it covers a mere 21 square kilometres.
  124. Nepal – Nepal may not be the top tourist destination in the world, but it does lay claim to the most world heritage sites per capita in the world – which makes it a noteworthy tourist destination.
  125. Netherlands – The Dutch may not be famous for basketball, which is quite a shame – as the nation’s men rank the tallest average worldwide at 1,83 metres.
  126. New Zealand – Love yourself some Scottish windpipes? Then get out of Scotland and head on over to New Zealand – the country with the most Scottish pipe bands per capita in the world!
  127. Nicaragua – Listen up female readers – as Nicaragua has a claim to fame which would make you “whoop!”. It was the first democracy in the world to democratically elect a female president as leader in 1990.
  128. Niger – Few tourists to Africa flock to Niger when choosing their African safari, but it should be noted that the world’s largest protected reserves can be found within its country borders – The Air and Tenere national reserves.
  129. Nigeria – So many of us who don’t know this country would associate it with phishing mails, corruption and so forth. But let’s consider a lighter fact about Nigeria – it is known as the world’s Scrabble capital! Indeed; not only does the no.1 Scrabble player in the world, Wellington Jighere, hail from Nigeria, but its national team is also ranked no.1 in the world for this linguistic board game, ahead of the USA.
  130. North Korea – There are calendars and then there are calendars – and although most calendars have a rather antiquated origin, the same cannot be said for North Korea whose calendar is based on the birth of leader Kim-II Sung on 15 April 1912.
  131. Norway – Feeling a bit sullen and under the weather? Then Norway is the perfect stop for your next getaway. According to the World Happiness Report, Norway is now listed as the happiest country in the world!
  132. Oman – If you fancy your glass of wine or klippies and cola at the end of a long day – then you’d best have a proper occupation. In order to purchase alcohol, you need to obtain an official liquor license from the police which permits alcohol purchases according to thresholds based on income.
  133. Pakistan – Pakistan is not normally top of mind for infrastructure, but it should be noted that the world’s highest international paved road is none other than the Karakoram Highway connecting Pakistan and China.
  134. Palau – African nations are known to laud some extra cushioning around the waist as a sign of beauty and Americans may be the epitome of junk-food culture– but no country appreciates obesity quite as much as Palau. In fact, being overweight is such a sign of health in this country that it boasts the most obese populace in the world (2017) – and proudly so!
  135. Palestine (Proposed State) – Although not considered an official nation by most of the world, Palestine (or Filistia) has existed throughout the ages. Strangely, this region which is now home to a predominantly Islamic populace in constant conflict with Israel was once the center of Christianity until being conquered by the Islamic Empire in 636. Still, it was not until October 2011 that the State of Palestine was officially admitted as member of Unesco as an independent state. Remarkably, Palestinians themselves rejected a UN vote granting them independence from Israel in 1948.
  136. Panama – Want to own a little patch of foreign paradise? Oh, you’re in for a treat! Just head on over to Panama, which gives both foreigners and citizens equal property ownership rights.
  137. Papua New Guinea – Those of our readers suffering from Ornithophibia, or the irrational fear of birds, should best avoid Papua New Guinnea as it is home to the only known poisonous bird in the world, the hooded pitohui. Its toxicity was unknown until scientists preparing the skins of the birds noted numbness and burning in 1990.
  138. Paraguay – Of all the countries in South America, Paraguay is the nation with the largest homogenous population. The Guarana population which inhabited the region before Spanish invasion had reproduced with Spanish settlers to produce the mestizos – who carry the Guarana bloodline to this day.
  139. Peru – When thinking of surfer life one sees visions of South Africa, Australia and the Californian coast of the USA. But these places aren’t home to the longest left—hand wave in the world? Where can you find this wave? Along the Peruvian coast in Chicama with its 4 kilometre wave which also has the highest left hand point peak.
  140. Philippines – South Africa, although hosting an array of religious convictions, is predominantly Christian – so for those of our expats who wish to relocate to the east without ditching this culture, their only true home would be the Philippines which is the only remaining majority Christian nation in Asia. 80% of the population practice some form of Christianity.
  141. Poland – Poland may not be the birthplace of Shakespeare, but much like the days of Shakespeare, men play all the parts. That’s when it comes to dubbing – the translation of films or series to Polish is done entirely by men, or more specifically – one particular man per film who reads all the parts and voices for men, women and children.
  142. Portugal – Have we some bookish folks in the audience? Great! Let us woo you with a Portuguese fact – the world’s oldest bookstore can be found within its capital. Bertrand bookstore was established in 1732 and is still operating to this day in Lisbon.
  143. Qatar – If you like betting on races, then Qatar is definitely a prized stopover. But instead of horses – you will be betting on camel races, and seeing as conditions are too hot for jockey’s, the camels are jockeyed by robots.
  144. Republic of the Congo – Bordering its neighbour, the DRC (with the closest situated capitals of two countries worldwide), the Republic of the Congo may have several African borders, but is host to several endemic species – such as the bonobo – humans’ closest genetic relatives.
  145. Romania – As the incidences of diabetes suffered around the world increases at a staggering rate – mostly due to bad dietary choices – we can at least thank the Romanians, or the Romanian Nicolae Constantin Paulescu in particular. The Romanian physiologist was the first to discovered insulin and paved the way for physicians and scientists to combat the disease.
  146. Russia – It’s understandable that statistics on alcohol consumption prior to 2011 are all hogwash. Why? Because up until 2011 beer was not considered an alcoholic drink in Russia. Of course, this may not have been noteworth, had Russia not been the largest country in the world. 
  147. Rwanda – Are you from New York? Then perhaps you’d like to escape from the city that never sleeps to the city that loves its sleep – the city of Kigali. Irrespective of the angle of the sun, the city essentially closes shop en masse between 19:00 and 20:00 each day so best not need any essentials after those hours.
  148. Saint Kitts and Nevis – South Africans are quite tired of hearing about racial tension, so it may be quite humorous to consider that St. Kitts and Nevis boasts entirely white or black beaches depending on which side of the islands you are visiting. Someone should have a talk with those beaches!
  149. Saint Lucia – Another little titbit for the femmes among our readers is that Saint Lucia is the only country in the world to be named after a woman.
  150. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Much of the modern world is believed to have been discovered by Christopher Columbus – and the same is true of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But although discovering the islands in 1498, it was not colonized until 1719 when the French settled on the island.
  151. Samoa – If you’re concerned with tardiness, punctuality, birthdays or dates in general, then hopefully you weren’t in Samoa on 30 December 2011. Why? Because the world decided to move the international dateline to align Samoa to its trading partners – essentially skipping 30 December 2011 completely!
  152. San Marino – If you’re inclined towards a more conservative state of government, then perhaps San Marino would suit you. With the oldest (and longest standing) written constitution in the world, the country is still governed by the rules of Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini – six books written in 1 500 which govern the country’s political system.
  153. Sao Tome and Principe – If you suffer from phobias and want to stay safe, you should probably consider Sao Tome and Principe as your next stop. The island country has no known dangerous animals other than the mosquito.
  154. Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia has never been known as a country of reticence and minimalism – so it’s no surprise that it plans to outshine the UAE with the tallest building in the world. The construction of the Kingdom Tower (Jeddah Tower) which started in 2014 is estimated to reach an incredible 1 kilometre high upon completion.
  155. Senegal – Despite an official merger between countries in 1982 forming Senegambia after Gambia submitted to Senegal – nothing else has come of the merger and the two countries have remained separate entities since the merger – forcing Senegal to dissolve the merger in 1989.
  156. Serbia – If you’re reading this blog on your computer plugged into its power supply under the light of electricity then thank your lucky stars for Serbia – where the inventor of electricity – Nikola Tesla – hailed from.
  157. Seychelles – With vegan diets becoming a booming trend in the world, seeds are top of mind as a staple for followers of this diet. But it would be curious to see vegans dine on the world’s largest seed – the sea coconut of Coco de mer, which produces seeds averaging 15 kg.
  158. Sierra Leone – Fancy yourself a foodie or culinary expert? Then name the top delicacy of Sierra Leone? Caviar? Chocolate? Wine? Abalone? Truffles? Hogwash – of course you know that the most scrumptious treat in Sierra Leone is chicken bones.
  159. Singapore – Singapore may be one of the “countries” with the most unique method of conquering the world. In an effort to expand the island state, the nation has been purchasing sand from Asian countries – literally reducing the size of these countries while growing their own. In fact, Singapore has expanded 22% since British rule and is estimated to gain a further 6 200 hectares of “country” by 2030 constructed on their neighbours’ old soil.
  160. Slovakia – If you fancy yourself a pseudo-count and fantasise about wearing dark clothing, sucking blood and being a pretend vampire then you may want to visit Slovakia – which has the highest number of castles and chateaus per capita in the world.
  161. Slovenia – Our equine fans would no doubt be aware that one of the world’s most majestic and graceful breeds – the Lipizzaner –  hails from Slovenia on the original breeding farm of Lipica.
  162. Solomon Islands – With nearly 1 000 islands forming part of the Solomon Islands, one would think there were enough, right? Well, the residents won’t agree with you – as it’s customary for families to construct artificial islands as family homes in the water by piling rocks on to each other.
  163. Somalia – Want to visit a country with booming tourism? Well then you’d better steer clear of Somalia. In fact, the first known tourist to visit Somalia since the start of its civil war in the early 1990’s, its first known tourist was a Canadian called Mark Spencer Brown who visited the country in 2010 much to public disbelief.
  164. South Africa – Aaah, we’ve finally reached our favourite destination – the rainbow nation. Well, as a saffa you can happily boast to your pals that South Africa has the longest wine route in the world, the highest bungee, the oldest bacterial microfossil, performed the first heart transplant, has the most luxurious railway and founded the world’s first prepaid mobile network.
  165. South Korea – Countries around the globe have different ways of dealing with criminals, but in South Korea authorities follow a distinctly unique practice. Criminals are routinely taken to the scene of the crime to reenact the scenes in front of the media, public and police.
  166. South Sudan – The world’s youngest little brother is without a doubt South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 – essentially ceded Sudan’s claim as the largest country in Africa to Algeria.
  167. Spain – Cover their eyes mammas – as South Africans may not be that used to this legal practice: public nudity. So if you’re visiting Spain, be aware that there is no law against walking around in your birthday suit.
  168. Sri Lanka – South Africans love our melktertjies and cinnamon pancakes – which means we have to give a hearty “thank you” to Sri Lanka – the country where cinnamon was first discovered around 2000 BC.
  169. Sudan – Who’d have imagined visiting the country of Sudan to see the famed pyramids? Okay, so the most famous pyramids are still located in Egypt, but Sudan is home to the most pyramids in the world – approximated at up to 255 pyramids compared to Egypt’s 138.
  170. Suriname – Unlike most of South America, Suriname’s national language is NOT Spanish or Portuguese, in fact, this country – which is also the smallest in the Americas –  speaks Dutch.
  171. Swaziland – For a region suffering the tragic consequences of wildlife poaching, it’s rather interesting to know that under Swazi law game rangers are immune from prosecution for killing poachers.
  172. Sweden – Love yourself some social media attention? Well then you’d better move over to Sweden. The country is the only one in the world where the official national twitter account is shared jointly between the state and the people – the account is managed by a different citizen every week.
  173. Switzerland – Although one would not really consider Switzerland a country of profound military power – digging deeper into Swiss culture and law, one would be surprised. The country has one of the highest gun ownerships per capita rates in the world, it has bunkers underground to house the entire population of the country, highways can easily be converted into landing strips for military use, and every mountain pass and tunnel into the country has been prepared for demolition by the military in case of conflict.
  174. Syria – If you prefer the taste of your soda and beer when it comes in a glass or glass bottle, then you should thank the Syrians. Glass, or glass blowing which allows us to have all sorts of weirdly-shaped glass novelties and kitchenware, was first discovered in this country around 100 BC.
  175. Taiwan – Although known as a country by many people in the word, most nations in the world still do not recognise the nation’s independence or sovereignty and refer to it as the Republic of China (ROC). The People’s Republic of China, however, refuses diplomatic relations with any country which recognises the state as either the ROC or Taiwan, due to its One-China Policy.
  176. Tajikistan – Ladies across the world are known to spend thousands of rands and hours each month to trim their brows to the perfect shape. If you’re in Tajikistan, however, this trend would be entirely out of place as women with unibrows are seen as the most attractive – especially in the northern areas. Don’t have a unibrow? No problem – as you can simply draw it on.
  177. Tanzania – Interior decorator or lover of luxurious furniture and musical instruments? Then you’ll probably be aware that the world’s most expensive timber hails from Tanzania – from the Mpingo tree.
  178. Thailand – Thailand’s most famous city is undoubtedly Bangkok, which sees millions of tourists every year. But the real name of this city is actually Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit – the longest place name in the world.
  179. Timor-Leste – Divers, underwater photographers, snorklers and fish fundis should definitely add East Timor to their list of places to visit. Atauro Island located just 23 kilometres north of the capital is home to the most biodiverse waters in the greatest diversity of reef fish on the planet. 
  180. Togo – As one of the countries forming part of the African continent which perpetuate “Africa time” it’s no surprise that there are no bus schedules. If you are to take a bus anywhere you must simply expect it to arrive at some point or another.
  181. Tonga – Tongan people love to bathe, but unlike other countries in the world, the most favourite bathing method is simply strolling or standing around in the rain. With an average of 1 600 millimetres of rain per year the residents have more than enough occasion for this pastime.
  182. Trinidad and Tobago – Although being its own independent country, Trinidad and Tobago (unlike other countries) is the only nation in the world to have named their capital after a foreign country – the Port of Spain.
  183. Tunisia – Saffas can boast about living (or having lived) in the most Southernmost country in Africa – while Tunisians can claim the opposite. The country is the most northern located nation in Africa.
  184. Turkey – You may be sending your letters to Santa over to Canada, but the original Saint Nicholas was born far from the North Pole in Patara, Turkey.
  185. Turkmenistan – Most natural phenomena are, well, totally natural, but this is not the case in the natural gas crater of Darwaja. Although the gas itself has been bubbling without human aid for more than 40 years, it is also host to a manmade fire which was accidentally started by Soviet Union drillers who’d attempted to “burn the gas out of the crater”. Their plan had failed and instead the gas has been feeding the fire continuously since.
  186. Tuvalu – Domain names are becoming increasingly extravagant, diverse and varied nowadays, with a host of options to choose from. For the Tuvalu government, however, their country domain sees them racking up approximately $4 million in royalties each year. Unlike South Africa’s domain which is, Tuvalu’s .tv domain is so popular due to it being an abbreviation of television that people around the globe register their domains there.
  187. Uganda – Uganda may not be a “young” country, but it is home to the youngest population in the world. In fact, approximately 50% of the total country population is aged 14-years or younger.
  188. Ukraine – Ukraine is known for… well, you probably wouldn’t have much of a clue unless you’ve lived in this country, so we’ll give you a fast fact. The country broke the record for constructing the largest transport aircraft in the world – the An-2-100 lifted cargo weighing 3 202 kg on its maiden flight to a height of 2 700 metres breaking the previous record of 1 500 kg’s.
  189. United Arab Emirates – We’re not sure whether it’s to do with the speed or the status – but it’s perplexing to consider that the UAE’s police force is the only one in the world which has a car fleet comprised entirely of supercars. It goes to show that if you want to catch a criminal you should either outrun him, or outshine him!
  190. United Kingdom – Hmmm, Indian food! Oh wait, are we in the UK? Indeed – the spicy dish called chicken tikka masala was named the UK’s national dish in the early 2010’s and although it resembles Indian cuisine it hails 100% from the Britain.
  191. United States of America – You can say what you want about American presidents – love them, hate them, that’s a debate for another day – what you should appreciate is that the deadliest job in the USA, statistically, is not serving in the army, performing in extreme sports or testing chemicals. In fact, the deadliest job is that of being the president of the country. The chance of being assassinated while serving as president of the USA is a remarkable 9%.
  192. Uruguay – South Africans may be impressed by our national anthem which is sung in five different languages, but Uruguay also has a claim to fame when it comes to their anthem. In fact, it has the longest anthem in the world – clocking in at more than 5 minutes in total.
  193. Uzbekistan – Like you some melons? Well then you should add Uzbekistan to your travel itinerary! The country is known as the world’s capital of melons with more than 150 varieties of melons and is the only country where melon-cutting mastery is a thing.
  194. Vanuatu – Vanuatu is one of the lesser-known countries in the world, and probably not top of mind when you think of literary genii. But you’d better perk your ears for this fact – the highest recorded number of authors to write a single book is the Vanuatuan children’s tale about a tortoise which was co-authored by more than 800 island children in just 24 hours.
  195. Vatican City – Not much to be said about Vatican City (also known as the Holy See) – the limited commentary is probably due to the fact that this o.44 square kilometre independent state, is the smallest country in the world.
  196. Venezuela – With connectivity becoming an increasingly favourable commodity in the world, it’s no surprise that countries and networks scramble to offer the best, fastest and longest distances of connectivity. So Venezuela can wave the flag with pride knowing that the longest broadband wireless signal ever recorded was obtained by Venezuelan, Ermanno Pietrosemoli in 2007 when he shot a 802.11 wireless signal 382 km between two mountains in the Venezuelan Andes.
  197. Vietnam – If you’ve watched Austin Powers you probably giggled at the thought of Dr. Evil using sharks with lasers attached to their heads as a defense system – but you should swallow your laughter right there. The first known use of marine animals for military defense was in Vietnam during the Vietnam war where bottle nosed dolphins were used to defend military boats against enemy swimmers.
  198. Yemen – Move over Manhattan of the US and make way for Manhattan of the Desert! The city of Shibam which was constructed in the 16th century showcases more than 500 skyscrapers all constructed from mud in the desolate Empty Quarter desert region of Yemen.
  199. Zambia – Zambia’s not typically the country you’d think of when you envision an economic powerhouse, which makes it all the more interesting that in a two-month period from 2015 to 2016 country’s currency – the Kwacha – went from being the world’s third weakest performing currency to the world’s strongest performing currency.
  200. Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe may be infamous for its highest denomination bank note, but let’s drop the negativity and consider that it was also home to Col. Ernest Loftus – the man who kept the longest continuous diary entries in the world; a total of 91 years!

Fact or Fiction?

Though Rand Rescue had consulted legitimate sources in finding the content for this blog there’s no denying that some of it may be contested or inaccurate – for each individual fact we strongly urge our readers to dig deeper into the science, magic, madness or beauty of the internet to verify the accuracy.

Our sources for this blog were too extensive to list in each fact, but include:



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