There are almost 200 countries in our world, each of which provide us with some interesting and fun facts. Some make us grin, others make us laugh and some even make us raise our eyebrows!
The number 39 is associated with a pimp and 50 Cent is actually called 400 million, while in Switzerland there is a child-eating fountain, and Snoop Dogg wants to rent the whole of Lichtenstein!? Eh? What’s going on? On my travels, I have come across many fun facts, which will either make your jaw drop or raise your eyebrows.
Fun facts about Countries you’d never expect
Argentina has the highest ratio of psychologists per inhabitant. In Buenos Aires, there is even a district called ‘Ville Freud.’
In Albania, people nod their head for ‘no’ and shake their head for ‘yes’.
Brazilians have a strange hobby: opening Osama Bin Laden Bars. Like the ‘Caverna do Bin Laden’ in Rio, for example. A Bin Laden lookalike even works here.
If children cheat during a test in Bangladesh, they could be sent to prison. There is also a replica of the Taj Mahal in Bangladesh, funded by the millionaire, Asanulla Moni.
In Switzerland, there is a 500-year-old statue eating children: the Kinderlifresserbrunnen.
In Honduras, it is not uncommon to meet blond natives with blue eyes – they are descendants of the pirates.
There is only one stop sign in all of Paris, and there is also a statue of liberty (like the one in New York). You can actually marry a dead person in Paris and it is also illegal to call a pig Napoleon.
In Iceland, there is an ‘Elf-Officer’, who ensures that construction companies do not destroy any cultural property, for example, an ‘elf home’. Very respectful!
In Harar in Ethiopia, you can actually feed hyenas, because they are appreciated and honoured there rather than hated and expelled.
A woman actually married the Eiffel Tower.
In Samoa, there is a tradition called ‘fa’afafine’, which means that the youngest son is raised as a daughter if you have too many sons in the family.
In Ecuador, the dustbin trucks play similar music to ice cream trucks in America.
In Sudan, there is a tradition of ‘ghost marriage.’ If a husband dies, his brother takes his place and marries the widow. All begotten children are regarded as descendants of the deceased. The same tradition even used to exist in China and France!
According to legend, if a child of the Maya civilisation in Guatemala did not cry when he was born, he was to become a warrior.
In India, many people find toilet paper unhygienic and prefer to use their left hand and a little bit of water. For that reason, this hand is considered ‘unclean’ and is not used for eating!
Haiti is the only country, where Voodoo is a recognised religion.
You can walk the whole of Monaco from north to south in 52 minutes (according to Google Maps).
Montenegro never had its own currency and initially used the ‘Deutsche Mark’. When the Euro was introduced, they simply adopted the currency although they were not part of the EU. But for some reason, it has never bothered anyone!
Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river. And if a woman wants to travel, she can only do so with the permission of her husband.
In China you can study ‘bra studies’ – it is a BSc and is an important business!
Tonga is peculiar: if a brother and sister are alone in a room together, it is regarded as incest. Swimming on Sundays is forbidden and if a boy is talking alone with a girl, they are regarded as a couple.
The longest published German word is (please read carefully): Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft.
The Greeks are very superstitious: if you receive a compliment, they believe the ‘evil eye’ looks at you. To fend off the eye, they spit three times (supposedly at the complimenter). Thank you!
It’s getting bigger: The Sultan of Brunei has 1500 rooms and 257 bathrooms in his palace, a wife, who is also his cousin, and has been sung to by Michael Jackson for 17 million dollars. Not forgetting that his name is 223 characters long: Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.
Anyone in Afghanistan who is assigned the number 39 on his license plate will not have an easy time. You will be insulted as a pimp everywhere you go! The number is associated with prostitution.
There is a Kink Academy in Vienna. Haha. And what is that? A school, where people are educated in sex. It has to be learnt somehow. ;)
In Zimbabwe, the rapper 50 Cent is known as 400 Million Dollars. Haha!
It’s a little complicated in Bahrain: a man is allowed to perform gynaecological examinations, but cannot look directly at the women. Therefore the man only looks into a mirror image of the region.
There is a good reason why a kangaroo and an emu adorn Australia’s crest: both animals cannot move backwards, representing a sign of progress, which is what Australia strives for.
Everyone remembers guinea pigs as furry childhood friends. Not in Bolivia! Here they are on the menu!
Most of dinosaur’s footprints are found in Lesotho.
In Myanmar, superstition is very important: you cannot get your hair cut on Mondays, Fridays and birthdays. Pregnant women are not allowed to eat certain things – for example, if they eat a banana, their child will be too big, and if they eat a chilli, their child will have no hair. Interesting…
If a man in Iraq sends a gift to someone, he has to pretend he is sending it as another woman, e.g. mother, sister or other acquaintance.
Snoop Dogg genuinely thought he could rent the whole of Lichtenstein for a music video. And in fact, it would have been possible, if he had not asked them at such short notice.
Nauru is the smallest country in the world (21km²) and has no capital city.
In Russia, there was, up until it was strangely forbidden in 2012, a sex doll swimming race – the Bubble Baba Challenge. Up to 800 participants attempted to cross the river on an inflatable sex doll. There was only one rule: you must be at least 16 years old and an alcohol test existed. ;-)
On Taveuni island in Fiji lies the ‘International Date Line’. With the help of a sign, you can see where a new day begins. You can stand with one foot in today and the other in tomorrow.
On New Year’s Day in Bhutan, everyone becomes one year older, so no one forgets each other’s birthday. This country is becoming ever more appealing to me…
If every resident of San Marino took a seat in Wembley stadium, 57,211 seats would remain free. And there is no official border control between San Marino and Italy – for £4/€5 you can have your passport stamped as a souvenir.
Pirates used to stop in the Seychelles. The treasure of Olivier le Vasseur was supposedly buried on the main island. Anyone who finds it has to share it with me.
There is a British overseas territory called the Sandwich Islands.
In Tajikistan, a monobrow is considered particularly sexy. Oh là là!
The shortest existing republic was Benin: in 1967, it existed for a whole 7 hours.
The Thai name for Bangkok is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.
In Dubai, the police drive Lamborghinis or similar supercars so that they can catch traffic offenders. There are also ATMs, where you can ‘withdraw’ gold bars.
In Iraq, more precisely in Tikrit, a monument has been erected for the man, who threw his shoes at George W. Bush.
In Costa Rica, there are no addresses. If you want to send a letter you have to write: ‘500 meters in front of the football pitch, to the right of the field, the greenhouse on the left’. Easy or?
Lichtenstein is the main producer of false teeth. Particularly popular are black prostheses in countries such as India, where black teeth are regarded as beauty ideals.
Fairness in Finland: the amount paid for a speeding ticket depends on the driver’s income. It can raise to a five digit figure! Another interesting fact about Finland: there is a heavymetal band for children, called Hevisaurus. In addition, Finland has launched National Failure Day, so that citizens do not make the same mistakes twice, and learn from them. Very advanced!
In Columbia, mannequins have huge breasts. Not so advanced!
The name Canada emerged as a misunderstanding: the locals invited the French explorer Cartier to their ‘kanata’ (=village). He called the whole country the same. Whoops!
There is a very special hotel in Latvia. The Karosta ‘prison-hotel’ promotes itself with the slogan, ‘be a prisoner for a day’ and treats its guests accordingly. Before you are taken to your cell, you have to sign a form stating that you agree to be treated as a prisoner. What an ‘adventure’…
In Cambodia, you can eat tarantula kebabs. Hmmm!
In Belize, there are no McDonald’s.
In Finland, there is a yearly ‘Wife Carrying’ race.
Australia has the longest continuous fence in the world. The ‘Dingo Fence’ is the longest construction in the world, stretching an almighty 5,412 km, which is even longer than the Great Wall of China.
New Zealand has made an estimated 200 million dollars as a result of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. To manage the money and the incoming tourists, a ‘Lord of the Rings Minister’ has been introduced.
Romania officially has the most beautiful waterfalls in the world: the Cascade Bigar falls. In addition, Romania also has the most colourful cemetery in the world.
Phew, that was a lot of fun facts about countries – had you heard of any of them before? Or do you know any other funny facts, which are not listed here? Let me know if you have come across any fun facts on your travels, which have brought a smile to your face.
If you like what you've seen on this page so far, why not check out our shiny new podcast. Holidayguru's Gurucast is our newest way to inspire and interact with you beautiful people. Here you can learn about new and exciting places, pick up some great tips on how to save on your travels and also listen to interviews with some of the world's most influential personalities. Happy listening! :)