Interesting Facts About the World
Interesting Facts About the World
North Korea and Cuba are the only places you can’t buy Coca-Cola.
No matter where you go, it’s comforting to know you can always enjoy a Coca-Cola. Well, almost anywhere. While this fizzy drink is sold practically everywhere, it still hasn’t (officially) made its way to North Korea or Cuba, according to the BBC. That’s because these countries are under long-term U.S. trade embargoes.
2. The world’s quietest room is located at Microsoft’s headquarters in Washington state.
Silence is golden, as they say. And while it may not be worth quite as much as jewels and gold to most people, it certainly was the primary goal for those who built the quietest room in the world. Located at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, the lab room measures a background noise of -20.35 dBA, which is 20 decibels below the threshold of human hearing and breaks previous records for spaces that were deemed the planet’s quietest places, according to CNN.
4. Four babies are born every second.
Every second, we welcome four new babies into our overall population. Do a little math and you’ll find out that means there are approximately 250 births each minute, 15,000 each hour, and 360,000 each day. In a full year, there are around 131.4 million babies born on Earth, according to the Ecology Global Network.
5. The coldest temperature ever recorded was -144 degrees Fahrenheit.
You might think you’re accustomed to frigid air and blustery winds, but the average winter day has nothing on the coldest day ever recorded, which was -144 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature was recorded in Antarctica during a span of research between 2004 and 2016. Just a few breaths of air at that temperature would induce hemorrhaging in your lungs and kill you.
6. Africa and Asia are home to nearly 90 percent of the world’s rural population.
Not everyone lives in a booming city or sprawling suburb. Many people still make their homes outside of bustling locations—especially in India, which has the largest number of people living in rural areas (approximately 893 million people live outside of the city), according to Reuters. China also has an impressively large rural population, with 578 million living outside of major centers.
5. The top 10 most corrupt nations according to the 2018 U.S. News and World Report rankings are:
6. More than 52 percent of the world’s population is under 30 years old.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as of 2012, 50.5 percent of the world’s population were people under the age of 30. Around 89.7 percent of those young people live in emerging and developing economies like the Middle East and Africa.
7. There are more than 24 time zones around the world.
If the Earth’s time zones were each one hour apart, then we would have 24 times zones, which sounds pretty straightforward. However, the situation is a little more complicated than that. Since many time zones only differ by 30 or 45 minutes, they don’t fit into a neat and tidy 24 hour span, which means that there are more than 24, though it’s hard to say exactly how many.
8. California is home to the “Artichoke Capital of the World.”
Castroville is a rural town in California that grows a lot of artichokes (and other vegetable crops), thanks to the fact that the area enjoys ideal weather year round. Because of this, it grows 99.9 percent of all commercially grown artichokes and has even been nicknamed the “Artichoke Capital of the World.”
9. The red-billed quelea is the most common bird on Earth.
There may not be any red-billed queleas in your neighborhood, but that’s not because there aren’t an abundance of them. These birds, which live in sub-Saharan Africa, are considered “agricultural pests” because their massive flocks can obliterate entire crops. Although their numbers fluctuate, there are around 1 to 10 billion queleas, which leads scientists to believe that there are more of them than any other bird on Earth, according to Audobon.
10.More people speak Mandarin Chinese than any other language.
With around 950 million native speakers and an additional 200 million people speaking Mandarin Chinese as a second language, it’s the most popular language in the world.
11. Around one in every 200 men are direct descendants of Genghis Khan.
During his lifetime between 1162 and 1227, Genghis Khan fathered countless children. And while we may never know exactly how many offspring the leader of the Mongol Empire had, scientists now believe that around 1 in every 200 men—AKA 16 million people—are a direct descendant of his, according to a 2003 historical genetics paper.
12. Facebook has more users than the population of the U.S., China, and Brazil combined.
Do you use Facebook? If you don’t, you’re among a number that gets increasingly smaller every day. In fact, 2 billion active users have an account on the social media platform, which is more than the population of the United States, China, and Brazil combined. Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted about the milestone, saying, “We’re making progress connecting the world, and now let’s bring the world closer together.”
15. There are only two countries with names that begin with “The.”
You might find yourself saying “the” before various countries and place names when referring to them thanks to grammar and common pronunciation, which is why we say the United States or the Maldives. However, only The Gambia and The Bahamas formally include “the” in their nation’s names.
16. All the ants on Earth weigh about as much as all the humans.
The total population of people who are alive on Earth hasn’t even hit 8 billion. At the same time, there are 10 quadrillions (10,000,000,000,000,000) individual ants crawling around at any given time. According to wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who appeared on the BBC, when combined, all of those ants would weigh about the same as all of us humans.
However, Francis Ratnieks, professor of apiculture at the University of Sussex, disagrees. He says that while this fact may have been true in the past, these days “we must also remember that humans are getting fatter all the time. We’re not just increasing in population, we’re increasing in fatness, so I think we’ve left the ants behind.”
17. The oceans contain almost 200,000 different kinds of viruses.
The next time you feel like taking a dip in the big blue ocean, you might not want to think about the fact that the seemingly pristine water is home to almost 200,000 different kinds of viruses. While this may sound scary, Matthew Sullivan, a microbiologist at the Ohio State University, told CNN, “Having that road map [of what viruses exist] helps us do a lot of the things we’d be interested in to better understand the ocean and, I hate to say it, but maybe to have to engineer the ocean at some point to combat climate change.”