Fascinating Facts: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About These Countries

You may have travelled the world over and consider yourself a highly-educated global citizen, but given the fact that there are approximately 195 countries (well, make that 196 if you’re a fan of Taiwan) on planet earth, we’re pretty certain that there are at least a couple of things you didn’t know about some of these countries. Read on and be enlightened.

#1 Most Languages Spoken

Try not to get yourself tongue-tied.

Where: Papua New Guinea

If you think Malaysians are impressive because of the number of languages they speak (English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil… you name it, they speak it), then you thought wrong. Papua New Guinea trumps Malaysia in the department of ‘most-languages-spoken’. With over 850 languages used including Tok Pisin, they make the most linguistically diverse country in the universe.

#2 Largest Opium Producers

We’d pick Poppies over Daisies, anyday.

Where: Afghanistan

We’re pretty sure this comes as a surprise to almost everyone – Afghanistan produces a whopping 95% of the world’s opium. Even 10 long years of American occupation failed to slow down the ever-growing industry. They have definitely got their business flying high (pun intended).

#3 Covers The Most Time Zones

Time is nothing.
Would you travel through time with me?

Where: France

Albeit not the largest country in the world, France bags the ‘country-that-covers-the-most-time-zones’ award. Including the Overseas Territories, this region has up to 12 time zones.

#4 Most Overweight Population

Maybe Nauru needs The Biggest Loser program.
Maybe Nauru needs The Biggest Loser program.

Where: Nauru

Surprise, surprise! If you thought the answer was America, you were wrong. To be honest, when we found out, we were pretty taken aback too. The Americans ain’t got nothing on the nation of Nauru – when it comes to the who’s-fatter competition, that is. Over 95% of their population is overweight. Googling Nauru yet?

#5 Largest Country With No Farms

If another Farmmate invites comes through... someone's gonna get hurt real bad.
If another one of those Farmville invites come our way… someone’s gonna get hurt real bad.

Where: Singapore

Bah bah black sheep, have you any wool? Well, the answer is no. For the nation of Singapore, that is. With its ever-expanding modern and architectural skylines and development, it is no wonder they have little or no space for farms and forestry (yes, we are aware they have very little land, but they sure have enough space for shopping malls).

#6 Produces Most Oxygen

Word, baby.
Word, baby.

Where: Russia

The land of Vladimir Putin is home to 25% of the world’s forests. That is even larger an area than the continental United States, making Russia the largest converters of CO2.

#7 Most Of Its Citizens Live Overseas

With a view this phenomenal, why'd anyone leave?
With a view this phenomenal, why’d anyone leave?

Where: Malta

So they say, the grass is always greener on the other side. I guess this rings true to most Maltese. After a period of rough economic times, the nation experienced an increase in emigration. It was so significant, there are now more Maltese living across the oceans than within the country itself.

#8 Roads Made Of Coral

"What do corals get stressed about?" "Current events."
What do corals get stressed about? Current events.

Where: Guam

Believe it or not, but what you perceive as ‘sand’ is in fact ground coral, in the land of Guam. Because the country does not have any natural sand, the locals create its asphalt by mixing ground coral and oil. Not having to import sand from miles away would definitely help the government save some moolah. Talk about thinking out-of-the-box.

#9 Smallest Permanently Inhabited Nation

Let’s play spot-the-Grimaldi-mansion!

Where: Monaco

At the size of 0.8 square miles, Monaco is by far the smallest permanently inhabited country in the entire world. That is even smaller than the famous Central Park in New York!

#10 Land With No Rivers

This is our cue to call Justin to "cry me (in this case, Saudi Arabia) a river".
This is the cue for Justin to “cry me (in this case, Saudi Arabia) a river”.

Where: Saudi Arabia

Yup, it seems almost strange that a country as big as Saudi Arabia lacks the existence of fresh flowing water. If you must know, most of their fresh water comes from underground reservoir and desalinization plants.

Did we miss out on any other interesting facts, nomads?

Main photo credit: 1.

Photo credits: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.

Christine Wong

Commonly referred to as “the hungry one’’ by those close to her, when Christine isn’t in the midst of constructing her next literal masterpiece, she can be found sampling the latest in local cuisine and planning her next holiday escapade!

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