The world we live is an amazing place full of both natural wonders and man-made marvels. Some, if not most of these marvels, are the most bizarre things you will ever see, and nearly all weird and fun facts surrounding them. If you’re looking to impress your friends with your knowledge of the world, here are some fun facts that would make nice ice-breakers at your next parties — got can get started this New Year’s Eve.
1. Mount Everest grows 4 millimeters per year
India collided with Eurasia some 50 million years ago, resulting in the creation of the Himalayas. As the Indian subcontinent continues to push, the world’s highest mountain continues to rise. Thanks to this tectonic magic, Everest grows about .2 inches per year. Time to climb the mountain’s 29,000 feet — before it gets any higher.
2. Canada has more lakes than any other country
With more than 31,000 lakes larger than 3 km2, Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. The Canadian Great Lakes have water spots with areas greater than 100 km2. That’s one crazy, but fun fact when you think about it. In fact, about 9% of the Canadian territory (about 344,000 mi2) is covered by fresh water.
4. The world’s biggest fresh water reserve is in Siberia
Do you want another fresh water fun fact? Siberia has an infamous reputation thanks to the gulags it’s home to. Yet, what people don’t know is that Siberia is a place of great beauty, and is highly strategic for the Kremlin. It has the Baikal Lake, the world’s biggest reserve of fresh water.
In fact, the Baikal Lake is a 5,400-foot-deep tank for 20% of the world’s fresh water. Read more about this lake and other fun travel trivia here.
photo credit: nadezhda Tsareva via flickr cc
5. All China is one the same time zone
Fun fact: China might extend on 5 time zones, but in practice, it has only one time zone: Beijing’s time. Until 1949, the country’s time zones ranged from five and a half to eight and a half. But the Communist Party decreed a single time zone for the sake of national unity. One time for all must help keep everyone on the same page.
6. Pluto is smaller than Russia
The surface area of Pluto is 1.67 x 107 km2. That’s about 3.3% Earth’s total area, and just a little less than Russia. Another fun fact about Pluto? It never completed a revolution around the world between its discovery in 1930 and when it lost its status as a planet. Because yes! Pluto is no longer a planet. That’s three fun facts about Pluto to dazzle your friends.
You might want to bookmark this blog post for a quick reference to this travel trivia. Because the Maori name of this Kiwi hill might be too hard to pronounce or remember. Just try!
The name translates to “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one“. With 85 letters, it holds the Guinness World Record as the longest place name.
8. A language disappears every two weeks
4% of the world’s population speaks 96% of the 6000 world languages. Out of these, 90% area not represented on the internet, like the 90% of the African languages that have no written transcription.
And given that a language disappears every two weeks, we will all be speaking the same language in 230 years — the question is will it be French, English, Mandarin, or Spanish?
Here are just eight fun facts to keep your friends and guests entertained. What other travel trivia do you know and would want to add to the list? Tell us more in the comment box below.