The world is vast, and there is no end to knowing about the things that exist in it. Even parts of the time that Humans have been living on earth still are not completely known, let alone all the other creatures and phenomena that occur! So when the topic comes up in a conversation, sharing some facts about our world can never go amiss. Here is a list of some of the most interesting world facts you can pull out at your next cocktail party.
1. The Majority Of Natural Freshwater Is Frozen
According to the EPA, 97% of the world’s water is salt water. Without being treated salt water is not potable. The remaining 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater, but the majority (68.7%) of that is frozen. It is stored in the glaciers, snow caps, and permanent snow.
2. Europe Has Seen More Droughts Than Ever Before In The Past 5 Years
Global warming is a real phenomenon, even if some people still refuse to believe it. Since 2015, Europe, a continent that was once known for its colder climates, has seen major and severe droughts. The cause is believed to be climate change caused by humans and the shifts that have taken place in jet streams as a result.
3. Greenland Was Once Green
Greenland has about 80% of its land covered in the Greenland Ice Sheet. Scientists believe that it is probably the sole remnant of the Pleistocene glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the massive area was green, at least for some thousand years in the previous millennia. Scientists had discovered fossilized plants in a core sample from 1.4km beneath the surface.
4. Deep-Sea Volcanoes Are The Cradle Of New And Unknown Life
Volcanoes are a little scary, but deep-sea ones are a whole different level. In 2020, a study revealed more than 500 types of previously unknown microorganisms living in and around underwater volcanoes.
5. Flower Colors Have Changed Due To Increased UV Rays
In 2020, a study revealed that flowers globally have seen their pollen get degraded due to the pigmentation caused by the increased UV radiation passing through a depleted ozone layer. Now, the changes may not be perceivable to the naked human eye. However, natural pollinators such as bees face difficult circumstances since the flowers’ bright colors are what help attract them.
6. Coca-Cola Is Unavailable In Thee Countries, Not Two
If you didn’t already know, Cuba and North Korea are infamous for forbidding the sale of the popular fizzy drink Coca-Cola. The reason is that the US has enforced trade embargoes on the two that will last for several years. In 2022, Ukraine was the latest addition to the list as the company decided to leave following the outbreak of the war.
7. The World’s Spiciest Chili Can Kill You
Some of us have a special penchant for seeking out spiciness simply because of the tears that flow. It even became an internet challenge to see how spicy of a chili one can handle. However, the chili pepper known as Dragon’s Breath can literally be fatal because of its spiciness. It was created to treat medical conditions where it can perform as a skin anesthetic, numbing the area.
8. Santa Cruze del Isolte – The Island With The Highest Population Density
Do you know the island that has the highest density of population? It is the Santa Cruz del Islote in the Archipelago of San Bernardo, near Colombia. It is a man-made island with only ten neighborhoods and four main streets. However, it also has 155 houses across those neighborhoods, and the population is approximately 500.
9. Indonesia and the Netherlands Have the Shortest and Tallest Average Heights Respectively
In 2017, a study showed that Indonesia had the shortest average population. After accounting for both genders, the average adult height was just 5 feet 1.8 inches. The title of the tallest goes to the Netherlands, where the average stands at 6 feet.
10. The Quietest Room In The World Belongs To Microsoft
The world has become extremely noisy, with all the background noise from all kinds of machinery and movement. Even in nature, you can seldom find true silence. However, in Redmond, Washington, the headquarters of Microsoft has a lab room where background noise was detected to be -20.35 dBA. Yes, that is a negative decibel, meaning it is 20 decibels lower than our range of hearing. It is so silent, that people often have trouble staying in the room.
Read: 9 “Facts” You Learned In School That Are No Longer True
11. The Longest Place Name Is In New Zealand
In Australia, there is a place called Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya Hill. No, we do not know how to pronounce it. More importantly, that is not the longest-name place! That belongs to a place in New Zealand and it has 85 letters! Ready for it? Here it is: Taumatawhakatangihangak-koauau tamateaturipukakapikimaung-nukypokaiwhenuakitanatahu
12. The Coldest Recorded Temperature On The Planet Is In Antarctica
If you think you have seen the coldest there can be, then we are pretty certain you actually have not! The coldest recorded day was in Antarctica, which stood at -144 degrees Fahrenheit. It was recorded during a span of 12 years, from 2004 to 2016. A couple of breaths of that air will instantly make your lungs bleed and turn fatal.
13. Japan Has The Highest Frequency of Earth Quakes
Earthquakes are one of the most terrifying natural disasters. After all, feeling the solid ground beneath you shake while everything around you collapses is nothing short of traumatizing. They happen more frequently in countries such as Turkey, China, Indonesia, and Iran, however, they are most frequent in Japan. According to the USGS, they have the densest seismic network in the world.
14. The Ozone Layer Should Heal By 2040
A lot of us have grown up reading about how there’s a hole in the ozone layer due to a number of artificial gas emissions, such as the CFCs. However, the recovery process has already started, and a study recently showed that it will recover completely by 2040. The majority of the recovery is due to the prohibition of CFCs in 1987 via the Montreal Protocol.
15. Today’s Human Population Accounts for 7% of Every Human That Ever Lived
As per the Bureau of Population Reference, Humans (Homo sapiens) first appeared on the planet 50,000 years ago. Since then, there have been over 108 billion individuals born of this species. A considerably large percentage of that number is currently alive too! As per the Bureau, the present world population accounts for 7% of all the Homo sapiens that have ever existed.
16. Only Two Countries Have Purple In Their Flags
There are over 200 countries in the world, and colors are synonymous with the concept of flags. However, there is one color that is exceptionally rare among all these flags. In fact, it only appears on two countries’ flags. The color is purple, and it is featured in the flags of Dominica and Nicaragua.
17. The US Once Minted a $20 Coin
Most of the coins in circulation today aren’t worth much. The coin with the highest dollar value in the world is a relatively modern one too. It was created in 1933 and denoted $20. The coin was a Double Eagle U.S. coin created with gold. It was never available to the public, and only nine copies stolen by mint workers survive.
18. The World’s Youngest Nation is Just Over a Decade Old
South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. It gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after years of civil war, but violence continues to ravage the world’s youngest nation. South Sudan also has one of the youngest populations, with 70% of it being under the age of 30.
Read: 18 Facts That Should Be Common Sense, But Aren’t
19. There Are More Than 24 Time Zones In The World
Theoretically, Earth’s time zones are supposed to be every hour apart. So there should be exactly 24 time zones. However, practically, time zones are not that tidy. Several zones have a difference of only 30 minutes or 45 minutes between them. So, presently there are about 37 distinct local time zones.
20. 28 Royal Families Still Exist In The World
There was once a time when being ruled by Kings and Queens was believed to be the best form of governance. Since then, democracy has taken over as the dominant government, where the power belongs to the people. However, there are still Rroyal Families present with considerable power behind them as well. The number stands at 28, spread across 43 countries.
21. All Captive Pandas Belong To The Government Of China
If you are lucky enough to live in a place that has a zoo that houses a Panda, then firstly, admire its cuteness. Secondly, understand that it will probably not remain there long. This is because the Panda has probably been loaned to your zoo by China, which is the case for every panda outside of China! According to Vox, the owner of all the world’s captive Pandas is the Chinese Government.
22. The World’s Most Common Bird Lives In The Sahara
Crows may be the birds you have seen the most in your life, but they are not the ones that number the most! Scientists estimate that the red-billed quelas, a sub-Saharan African native, take the title of the most common bird. Estimates put its number anywhere between 1 billion and 10 billion. Enormous flocks of these birds can sometimes destroy miles of crops.
23. Genghis Khan Has 16 Million (Approx) Descendents In Today’s World
Genghis Khan is not only remembered for his enormous empire and military prowess but also for his active fertility. He lived from 1162 till 1227, and there is no definite count on how many children he fathered. However, scientists today estimate that there is someone who descended from Genghis Khan in every 200 men! If it is exact then there are currently 16 million descendants of the Mongolian Emperor.
24. Sign Language Is An Official Language For 41 Countries
Speaking verbally is not the only form of language that can be used for communication. Sign language, the language of using your hands exclusively to communicate, has about 300 different types. For the 72 million people who cannot function without them, there are 41 countries that also give them an officially recognized status.
25. Only Two Countries Have ‘The’ In Their Official Names
The English word “the” is one of, if not the most common ones that you will encounter. Grammar also says that country names, which are proper nouns, must be preceded by “The” while being written or said. However, officially, only two countries include “The” in their names, irrespective of the rules of grammar. It is The Bahamas and The Gambia.
26. New Zealand Has More Pets Per Household Than Any Other Country
Pets are some of the best companions we can get, whether it be a cat, dog, bird, or any other animal. Of all the countries, New Zealanders seem to be most likely to have a pet. 68% of the households in New Zealand have at least one pet. Second is Argentina, with 66%.
27. Interpol Was Founded in 1914
Interpol, (The International Criminal Police Organization) has become a globally recognized force when it comes down to capturing fugitives with an international reach. It was born in 1914 when the Monaco International Criminal Police Congress was held. Judicial representatives and police from 24 nations attended it and decided on the new body.
28. There Are Two Deaths Taking Place Every Second
At present, at least four new human lives are born on Earth every second. Sadly, there is an opposite statistic too – every second, about two humans depart from the land of the living. The calculation eventually comes out to about 56 million deaths every year. It’s unnerving, but its a fact of life.
29. Hawaii Is The Best Place To See Rainbows
Rainbows are rare, and we usually think of the day being lucky if we happen to spot one. However, a study published in 2021, has claimed that the geographic and atmospheric conditions in Hawaii, make it the best place for catching rainbows. It is also, the claim continues, the place with the most frequent ones!
30. Mount Everest Continues To Grow
The world’s tallest peak above sea water, Mount Everest, originally formed when the plate containing the Indian subcontinent hit and began to merge with the Eurasian plate. As such, the mountain, according to theory, still continues to gain a very tiny amount of height as the plates continue to push into each other. In 1856, its height stood at 29,002 meters above sea level. A more recent GPS measurement stated that the height is now 29,031.69 meters above sea level.
Read: 45 Historic Pics And Artifacts That Might Make You See Things In A New Light
31. More Twins Are Born Now Than Ever Before
You may or may not have seen twins, but according to studies, they are more common today than ever before. Scientists theorize that women have children later on in life on average. Apparently, twins are more commonly born to older women. With today’s medicinal and social advancements, families begin much later, thus helping the trend. In vitro fertilization treatments may also play a role.
32. France Sees The World’s Highest Number Of Tourists
France is one of the most iconic European countries, with several famous traits, like its cheese, wine, and romantic atmosphere. As per the UN World Tourism Organization, it is also the country that welcomes the most tourists every year! Approximately 90 million tourists come for a tour of the country, with Spain being the second-most visited place.
Read: 25 Destinations Being Ruined By Excessive Tourism
33. Canary Islands Gets Its Name From Dogs
When you hear the word “Canary,” you might think of the little yellow songbird. However, the Canary Islands got its name from dogs and has no relation to birds! The original name of the area was Islas Canarias – a Spanish name. It is derived from Canariae Insulae, a Latin phrase that means “island for dogs.”
34. The World’s Most Common Name Is ‘Muhammad’
Depending on the area of the world you live in, your impression of the name you have heard the most will probably differ. Some usually mentioned options are Jane, John, Mary, or James. However, they all fall behind “Muhammad” when it comes to exact counts, as per the BBC. There is an Islamic tradition where every firstborn is given this name, thus increasing its count.
35. This Is The Most Typical Type of Human
We all have our own quirks and traits that make us different from everyone else in the world. However, a 2011 National Geographic study defined the “most generic” type of people in the world. They are right-handed, have a yearly income that is less than $12,000, and own a phone, but do not have any bank accounts.
36. The Moon Also Has ‘Earthquakes’
Earthquakes, or the shaking of the ground that you feel on Earth are not a phenomenon that only takes place on our planet. In fact, the Moon, our closest celestial neighbor, also has its version known as “moonquakes.” They are, however, not nearly as intense as the quakes that we experience and also much rarer. Apparently, they are associated with how the distance between the two celestial bodies differs through time.
37. The Hottest Recorded Temperature
We already know about the coldest temperature ever recorded, but how about the hottest? It was once thought the hottest spot on our planet was recorded in Libya’s El Azizia. Weather stations recorded a high of 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit on September 13, 1922. However, according to Reuters, it was revealed there were errors in recording the temperatures, and the record for the hottest recorded is 134 degrees Fahrenheit, which occurred in Death Valley, Nevada, in 1913.
38. The Deepest Place Known To Man Is The Mariana Trench
Mount Everest is the tallest place on our planet. The deepest point lies deep in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, at a place called the Mariana Trench. Its depth is measured to be 36,201 feet or 11,034 meters. If you did not realize, Mount Everest can fit within it, with ample room to spare!
39. Lobsters Can Indefinitely Replicate Their DNA And Repair Cells
While age and death remain an eternal aspect of life, some species are kind of immortal. Among them are some types of jellyfish and lobster. We say ‘kind of’ because the jellyfish’s immortality comes from its offspring being its exact copy. The lobster, conversely, secrete an enzyme that repairs any cells and allows indefinite replications of their DNA.
40. Trees Can ‘Speak’ By Emitting Gases
It has long been hypothesized that trees have their own language and ways of communication. In Africa, acacia trees have been proven to do so using a specific toxin. When there is a need to stave off hungry animals, they would emit a particular type of gas. This will be picked up by other trees as an alert, and they will produce tannin, a toxin, that will prevent them from being harmed by predators.
41. The World’s Most Colorful Flag Belongs To Belize
Flags of countries may not have purple more than twice, but some are extremely colorful. Belize, whose flag was created in 1981, has exactly a dozen colors in it. It features Belize’s vibrant coat of arms with a blue background and red stripes on the top and bottom.
42. The Anglo-Zanzibar War Is The Shortest War In Recorded History
Sadly, human history is marred with conflict, wars, and bloodshed. There has hardly been a span of ten years where there were no wars being fought anywhere in the world. However, even if some wars last longer than others, some are done within an hour! The 1896 Anglo-Zanzibar War between the British Empire and the sultanate of Zanzibar lasted for only 38 minutes, earning it the title of the world’s shortest war.
43. The Mongolian Empire Was The Largest Contiguous Land Empire
Alongside conflict, massive empires have been formed that followed the rule of one person or culture for years. For example, think of Alexander the Great’s Macedonian Empire, or the British Empire that lasted for several centuries. However, in sheer contiguous land mass, the title of the largest belongs to Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire which stood in the 13th and 14th centuries.
44. The Oldest Country In The World Is 6000 Years Old
We have already heard of South Sudan and its claim as the world’s youngest country. We also have the world’s oldest officially recognized country. This title belongs to Egypt, whose history dates back to the days of the Egyptian Civilization ruled by the Pharaohs. Since there have been no prolonged periods of occupation by any foreign civilization since the Pharaohs till today, its existence is considered contiguous. As such, it is believed to date back to 3100 BCE.
45. The World’s Oldest Artwork Is In Indonesia
Humanity has been creating and admiring art for centuries if recent discoveries are anything to go by. In 2019, scientists unearthed what is considered the oldest known artwork in the art. It is located in Sulawesi which is an island in Indonesia, and it is 44,000 years old.
46. Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ Is The World’s Most Expensive Painting
If you ask any aspiring artist, they will tell you how difficult it is to make a career or even a living wage off of artwork alone. Even many of the greatest artists throughout history only gained recognition after their death. Currently, the most expensive painting is Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi”, which has a value of $450.3 million.
47. The Tallest Statue In The World Is In India
There are quite a few iconic statues throughout the world. Think of the Statue of Liberty in the US, or Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer. However, amongst all of them, the tallest statue at present is India’s Statue of Unity, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhai Patel, an influential politician of the nation. It stands at 182 meters of 579 feet.
48. The Longest Reign Of Any Monarch Was Louis XIV
In recent history, England lost its longest-serving monarch – Queen Elizabeth II. However, did you know that she is not the longest-serving monarch in history? She comes close, though, as she was only 2 years short. The record belongs to King Louis XIV of France. His rule lasted for 72 years and 110 days.
49. Marie Curie Was The First Ever To Win Two Nobel Prizes
Winning one Nobel Prize is an achievement for generations, let alone a lifetime. Even amongst them, 4 people stood out as they won two Nobel Prizes for their work. The first one to receive two remains Marie Curie, a Polish scientist. She was awarded her first one in 1903 in Physics, while her second one came in 1911 in Chemistry. Both were related to her work in radioactivity.
50. Tristan de Cunha Islands Are The Remotest Inhabited Settlements In The World
Humans may not be everywhere, but they are usually nearby. When it comes to uninhabited land, there are many places that we may never fully reach because of their remoteness. However, when it comes to land with permanent settlement, the Tristan de Cunha islands are known as the remotest. They are situated in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The nearest inhabited settlement to them is Saint Helena, which is 2,434 km away.
51. The Earth Is Constantly Moving At A Tremendous Speed
Earth, the planet we live on, is moving at 67,000 miles per hour with respect to the Sun. Moreover, you may also be moving as fast as 1000 miles per hour, considering the speed of the Earth’s spin. So far, the Earth is believed to be at least 4.54 billion years old, so humanity really has not been here for very long.
52. The Tallest Stalagmite Ever Found Is In Cuba
Stalagmites are rock formations found inside caves that have been formed through millions of years of dripping water. Stalactites are the ones hanging from the ceiling like icicles. Stalagmites are the ones reaching up from the floor. The largest stalagmite found so far exists in the Cuevo San Martin Infierno in Cuba. It has a height of 220 feet or 67.2 meters.
53. The Tallest Peak, Measured From Base To Peak, Is Mauna Kea
Mount Everest is the tallest when it comes to mountains that are completely above sea level, and it stands at 29,029 feet or 8848 meters. However, in Hawaii, there is a dormant volcano known as Mauna Kea. From its base to its peak, it measures 56,000 feet or 17,710 meters, almost double the height of Mount Everest! However, it is only 13,680 feet above sea level, while it continues a further 16,400 feet below the sea. Finally, at the floor of the sea, the volcano has depressed the sea floor by 26,000 feet, reflecting the crater’s profile.
54. The Mid-Ocean Range Is The World’s Longest Mountain Range
Similarly to the true tallest peak, the longest mountain range also exists underneath the oceans. Known as the Mid-ocean range, it is a range of volcanic mountains that span 65000 km or 40389 miles. Its average height is 18000 feet from the sea floor. Furthermore, the chain continues to grow, as new eruptions mean new crust gets deposited on the seafloor.
55. The Earth Receives 100 Tons Of Cosmic Dust Every Day
Our planet receives a drizzle of cosmic dust every day. In fact, every 24 hours, the planet’s surface receives approximately 100 tons of interplanetary material. It is usually dust and unperceivable to the naked eye. The smallest particles come from comets when the ice in them gets vaporized by being near the Sun.
Keep Reading: 15 Mindblowing Facts We Learnt Last Week
- “55 Fascinating World Facts You Need to Know.” Best Life Online. DESIRÉE O CARRIE WEISMAN. April 18, 2023.
- “50 interesting facts about Earth.” Live Science. Stephanie Pappas, et al. February 4, 2022.
- “50 unbelievable facts about the world to make you seem cultured.” EF. Danny.
- “50 Awesome Facts About Everything.” Mental Floss. March 15, 2018.