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.
The “country desert” – Libya
With 99% of the country covered in desert, Libya is one of the aridest places in the world and in some regions decades may go by without a single drop of rain.
Least peaceful nation in the world – Somalia
Although for the last three years Iraq has been ranked as the least peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index Somalia overtook it this year for the top spot.
Produces most of the world’s oxygen – Russia
Siberia is home to approximately 25% of the world’s forests that span an area larger than the continental United States, making Russia the largest converter of CO2 into breathable compounds.
World’s largest opium producer – Afghanistan
Producing a whopping 95 percent of the world’s opium, not even 10 years of occupation by American forces have slowed down the industry.
Most people behind bars – United States
When it comes to incarcerating its population, the United States is the world’s uncontested leader. With 2.2 million people behind bars it has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. China comes in second place at 1.5 million and Russia comes third at 870,000.