25 Crazy Facts You Never Knew About Switzerland

Although you know it has mountains, cows, and lots of chocolate, you probably didn’t realize a lot of crazy things about Switzerland. It’s the only direct democracy in the world, it has some of the most liberal guns laws, and yes, there are actually palm trees! These are 25 crazy facts you never knew about Switzerland.

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25

You probably wouldn't have thought this but Switzerland has some of the most liberal gun laws of any country (2.3–4.5 million guns in a population of 8 million)

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24

It also has one of the lowest crime rates in the world

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23

Foreigners account for 23% of Switzerland's roughly 8 million people

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22

Switzerland isn't all mountains, in the south there are actually palm trees around Lake Lugano

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21

Switzerland has 4 national languages - German, French, Italian, and Romansch

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20

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Quality of Life Index, Switzerland is the best place to be born. This takes into account employment, crime levels, quality of life, healthcare, happiness, etc

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19

It has 208 mountains over 3,000 meters high and 24 over 4,000 meters

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18

The stereotype is true, chocolate really is a major export

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17

In case of a nuclear war the Swiss have bunkers capable of housing their entire population

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16

Also in case of war, they can easily convert their highways into landing strips by removing the grade separations

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15

Back on the topic of chocolate, the Swiss have actually created edible chocolate gold. Top that.

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14

Swiss speeding fines are actually adjusted for your income. Recently a man speeding in a Ferrari was fined a quarter million dollars because he made nearly $1 million per year.

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13

The Swiss have one of the only nations in the world with a direct democracy. This means that any citizen can challenge any law and propose modifications to the constitution

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12

It is also known as the Confoederatio Helvetica (Latin). Now you know why its internet domain name is CH

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11

Once again, back to the chocolate...every year in Bern 7 million chunks of Toblerone are produced

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10

In 2010 the average teacher's salary was $120,000

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9

Military service for men is mandatory beginning at 18. Due to the country's militia style military, all the men are required to keep their weapons and equipment at home and ready for action. And you thought the Swiss were a bunch of pacifists?

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8

In Bern there is a 500 year old statue of man eating a bag of babies. Nobody knows why.

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7

The Swiss military has basically prepared every potential mountain pass and tunnel that enters the country for demolition. Why? In case of war the Swiss will lock their junk down.

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6

Switzerland doesn't have a head of state. Instead it has a 7 member council that gets the job done.

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5

It doesn't have a capital either because its constitution didn't designate one (Bern is the de facto capital)

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4

In Geneva there is a giant three legged chair that symbolically opposes the use of landmines

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3

In 1802 the Swiss fought a civil war called the Stecklikrieg. The crazy part? They only used sticks because Napoleon had taken their weapons.

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2

The only part of a Swiss Army Knife not made in Switzerland is the corkscrew. It's made in Japan.

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1

Once again we're here to destroy your idea of Switzerland as a country of pacifists. The military actually keeps fully stocked bunkers disguised as country homes in the middle of populated villages. Don't mess with the S.

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