I love trivia and geography and recently stumbled across two videos from Wendover Productions on kottke.org (one of my favorite blogs). In the spirit of the World Cup final this upcoming weekend, I watched these videos to broaden my (fun, trivial) global knowledge.
The videos are each 15 minutes long, but they are engaging and tell a story (i.e., it’s not just a word vomit of facts about the countries in alphabetical order). The facts flow together so well that it is hard to pick my favorites without connecting them to facts of other countries but I highlight a few favorites below.
- CHINA is the only country in the world to have only one time zone.
- Traveling from AFGHANISTAN to western China is a 3.5 hour time jump (largest between adjacent countries).
- UZBEKISTAN is double landlocked (landlocked by landlocked countries).
- LIECHTENSTEIN is the only other country like this.
- More than 3,000 points of entry into SWITZERLAND are rigged to blow at any point in case of invasion.
- In BULGARIA they nod their head to say no and shake their head to say yes.
- BRAZIL is the home of the Amazon River, which doesn’t have a single bridge over it despite being 4,345 miles long.
- MONGOLIA is the least dense country.
- UGANDA has the highest representation of women in parliament (63%).
- IRAN has 22 ski resorts, more than the entire continent of South America.
- BHUTAN is home to the world’s tallest unsummitted mountain, Gangkar Puensem (7,570 m).
- It is illegal there to climb mountains higher than 6,000 m.