25 Things You Wouldn’t Believe About These Countries

Posted by on February 3, 2012

Depending upon your definition, and whether or not you count Taiwan, there are “approximately” 196 countries in the world as of this writing. So while you may consider yourself to be a knowledgeable global citizen, and we’re sure you are, given the dynamic and complex nature of our planet there are certain to be at least a couple facts on this list that you will find surprising. Here are 25 things that you wouldn’t believe about these countries.
25

Covers the most time zones – France

If you count everything, including overseas territories, then France claims the title by covering 12 time zones. The United States would be the runner-up with 11 and then Russia with 9.

24

Most likely to disappear beneath the waves – Maldives

With all the talks of global warming and rising sea levels, it is the residents of the Maldives that have the greatest reason to fear. With an average height of around 1.8 meters above sea level their nation is the lowest on Earth.

23

Most overweight population – Nauru

With over 95% of its population being overweight, the small island nation of Nauru is by far the fattest country on Earth. Its obesity epidemic is primarily attributed to the importation of western fast food that coincided with an increased standard of living in the 20th century due to the global popularity of its phosphate exports. It’s almost non sequitur…almost.

22

Roads made of coral – Guam

theworldgeography.com

Because Guam doesn’t have any natural sand, but rather coral, the island nation makes its asphalt using a mix of ground coral and oil rather than importing sand from abroad.

21

Has 350 sheep for every person – Falkand Islands (UK)

With only about 3,000 people the Falkland Islands are home to approximately half-a million-sheep. Not surprisingly wool is a major export.

20

Oldest sovereign state – Egypt

This largely depends upon your definition of a sovereign state but if you are going by first acquisition of sovereignty then Egypt would be the first country in the world to achieve sovereignty based upon the formation of the first dynasty in 3100 BC.

19

Most lakes in the world – Canada

With over 3 million lakes 9% of Canadian territory is actually fresh water and over 60% of all the lakes in the world are found within its borders.

18

Least likely place to meet your neighbor – Mongolia

theatlantic.com

At 4 people per square mile Mongolia is the least densely populated country on Earth. Compare this to the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong that has the highest population density in the world with 340,000 people per square mile.

17

Largest number of tanks – Russia

It is a strange title to hold, but Russia has by far the most tanks of any army in the world (21,000). Unfortunately for the motherland most of these outdated machines are tributes to its past, and although outnumbered (16,000), the United States has a much more advanced tank inventory.

16

The land of no rivers – Saudi Arabia

americanbedu.com

Sounds a bit strange doesn’t it? For a country as big as Saudi Arabia there has to be at least some sort of flowing water. Well, there isn’t. Most of their fresh water comes from desalinization plants or underground reservoirs.

15

Youngest population of any country – Niger

Generally the worlds youngest country is determined by calculating the portion of the population that is younger than 15. Presently it is Niger that holds this distinction with roughly half of its population having barely reached puberty (49%).

14

Most diverse country in the world – India

In almost every category – culturally, economically, climatically, racially, linguistically, ethnically, and religiously India is either the most diverse countries in the world, or the runner-up.

13

Fastest disappearing nation – Ukraine

With a natural decrease in population of .8% annually, between now and 2050 Ukraine is expected to lose around 30% of its people.

12

Most of its citizens live abroad – Malta

After some rough economic times coupled with an increased birth rate, Malta experienced significant emigration. It was so significant that there are now more Maltese living abroad than within the country itself.

11

Smaller than Central Park in New York City – Monaco

Although Vatican City is smaller (.17 sq mi) than Monaco (.8 sq mi), unlike Monaco it doesn’t have any permanent residents which leaves Monaco as the smallest permanently inhabited nation in the world…smaller than Central Park.