Monday, 20 February 2017

Fun Facts about the UK

With the Olympics currently going on and taking place in London, I think this has only fuelled everyone’s obsession with everything British – because really, everyone has at least one totally British thing they love (Whether it’s rock music, Harry Potter, the Royal Family, tea, soccer, culture, or the lovely British accent).

So here’s 69 fun facts about the UK. Enjoy!

1. Big Ben does not refer to the clock, but actually the bell.

2. London has been called Londonium, Ludenwic, and Ludenburg in the past.

3. French was the official language for about 300 years

4. The shortest war against England was with Zanzibar in 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes.

5. There is nowhere in Britain that is more than 74.5 miles from the sea.

6. The first telephone directory published in England contained 25 names.

7. While the Great Fire of London was largely destructive, the casualty rate was just 8.

8. The first hot chocolate store opened in London.

9. There are over 300 languages spoken in England.

10. The English drink more tea than anyone else in the world.

11. In the Medieval Times, animals can be put on trial for crimes (and be sentenced to death!)

12. “The Star Spangled Banner” (the American national anthem) was created by an Englishman.

13. “Pygg” used to mean “clay” in olden day English. People kept their coins in clay jars that were called “pygg jars,” which have evolved into what we currently call piggy banks.

14. Gargoyles were originally used as drain pipes!

15. Buckingham Palace has its own police station.

16. Chickens outnumber humans in England.


All about the Royal Family

17. Windsor Castle is the largest royal home in the world.

18. The Queen has 30 god children.

19. The Queen owns all the sturgeons, whales and dolphins in the waters within 3 miles from the UK.

20. The Queen sent her first e-mail in 1976.

21. Prince William wanted to become a cop when he was younger.

22. He also has his own postage stamp.

23. It’s considered treason to place a stamp bearing the King or Queen’s image upside-down.

24. Prince William paid $200 to sit in the front row and watch Kate in the fashion show.

25. Kate Middleton is allergic to horses.

26. According to biography.com, when Kate was younger, the boys in her school rated her a 2 out of 10 for looks and personality.

27. Prince William had a poster of Baby Spice on his boarding room wall.

28. Prince Harry got in trouble for dressing as a Nazi to a costume party.

Famous Brits

29. When Nelson Mandela met the Spice Girls, he called them his “heroes.”

30. Ginger Spice was originally Sexy Spice, but changed to better suit their younger fans.

31. Francesca Gray wrote J.K. Rowling her first fan letter, but thought she was a man, and began her letter with “Dear Sir…”

32. J.K. Rowling is the first person to make a billion dollars from writing books.

33. James Bond’s code “007” was inspired by the author Ian Fleming’s bus route from Canterbury to London.

34. No portrait was ever painted of William Shakespeare when he was alive.

35. Macbeth is the most produced play ever written. On average, a performance is staged every 4 hours somewhere in the world.

36. In the final episode of Skins Season 2, where Sid is looking for Cassie on the streets of New York, the reactions from people were real and unscripted.

37. Kate Moss is good friends with Daniel Craig.

38. David Beckham has a fear of birds.


London

39. London is home to 4 World Heritage Sites – The Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, and Kew Botanical Gardens.

40. The London Eye is the tallest ferris wheel in Europe.

41. 25% of the people living in London today are born in another country.

42. There are 409 escalators in the London subways.

43. 16% of UK’s restaurants are located in London.

44. The London Bridge is rumoured to be haunted…people have claimed to see a woman in black roaming in the night.

45. Everyone calls it the Tower of London, but the building’s full official name is His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London.

46. London is the first city in the world to have an underground subway system.

47.If London were a country, it would be the 8th largest in Europe.

48. Angel Tube Station has the longest escalator in Western Europe.


The 2012 Olympics

49. London hosting the 2012 Olympics is the first time a city has ever hosted the Olympics three times.

50. The London 2012 Olympics is the first time that every country has at least 1 female athlete.

51. The London Olympic Stadium is the lightest stadium in the world.

52. Survival by Muse is the official song of the games.

53. It’s expected that 4 billion people will watch the opening ceremony (more than half the population of the world!)

54. Sports equipment used in the olympics will be given away to charity.

55. The gold medals used are actually 93% silver and 1.3% gold.

Misc.

56. William the Conqueror ordered everyone to be in their beds by 8 pm.

57. 80,000 umbrellas are expected to be lost annually in the London tube.

58. There are over 30,000 people with the name John Smith in England.

59. Rudolf Hess was the last prisoner kept in the Tower of London.

60. England has the highest rate of obesity in Europe.

61. England brought the world soccer, rugby and polo.

62. The highest temperature ever recorded in England was 38.5 degrees in Kent in 2003.

63. The first fish and chips restaurant was opened in 1860 by a Jewish immigrant.

64. England is 74 times smaller than the USA.

65. The English invented the world’s earliest railways.

66. The Beatles originally called themselves the Blackjacks, and then the Quarrymen.

67. Other famous musicians/bands include: The Smiths, New order, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, The Cure, Black Sabbath, The Who, The Clash, Radiohead, Coldplay, Muse, Pink Floyd…(the list goes on and on!)

68. Bristol is known as the “Seattle of England” because of its youth culture and fashion.

69. England is thought of as having the world’s worst food.


Important Dates[8][12][20][21]
DateEvents
2200 B.C.The building of Stonehenge begins.
700Celtic tribes begin invasion of Britain.
55–54Britain invaded by Romans led by Julius Caesar. He introduces chickens to the British Isles.
450Angles, Saxons, and Jutes begin invasion of Britain.
793Viking raiders destroy the monastery at Lindisfarne.
937Athelstan becomes first king of a united England.
9th centuryKenneth McAlpin declares himself ruler of both the Scots and the Picts and unites Scotland north of the Firth of Forth into a single kingdom.
1017Canute becomes first Danish king of England.
1050Edward the Confessor begins building Westminster Abbey.
1066William, Duke of Normandy, defeats King Harold of England at the Battle of Hastings and becomes the first of the Norman kings.
1135Civil war breaks out when King Henry I dies without an heir.
1154Henry II becomes first Plantagenet King of England and ruler of Angevin empire. He introduces system of common law which is still used in England today.
1170Archbishop Thomas Becket is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four of Henry II’s knights.
1215Rebellious barons force King John to sign the Magna Carta.
1249The first Oxford college, University College, is founded.
1295Edward I summons first representative English parliament.
1337The Hundred Years’ War with France begins when English King Edward III claims throne of France.
1349–1351The Black Death kills one-third of the population of England.
1380sGeoffrey Chaucer begins writing The Canterbury Tales.
1453The French defeat English at the Battle of Castillon, which marks the end of the Hundred Years’ War.
1455The War of the Roses breaks out between the houses of Lancaster and York.
1474William Caxton publishes the first book printed in England, The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye.
1497John Cabot becomes the first English explorer to visit the New World.
1534King Henry VIII breaks with the Roman Catholic Church.
1558Elizabeth I becomes queen.
1577Sir Francis Drake embarks on voyage to circumnavigate the globe.
1585Sir Walter Raleigh establishes the first English colony in Roanoke, Virginia.
1588English navy defeats the Spanish Armada.
1592William Shakespeare’s first play, Henry VI, is performed.
1603Elizabeth I dies and is succeeded by James I, first Stuart king and first ruler of a unified British Isles.
1605Guy Fawkes and his group of Catholic sympathizers attempt to carry out the failed bombing of the House of Lords on November 5th.
1611The King James Version of the Bible is published.
1620Pilgrims set sail in the Mayflower for New England.
1649Charles I is executed; period of English Commonwealth begins under Oliver Cromwell.
1660Charles II takes up the throne to begin the Restoration. He orders the body of Oliver Cromwell dug up.
1666Great Fire destroys much of London.
1688The Glorious Revolution ousts James II and brings William of Orange and his wife Mary to the throne.
1714Queen Anne dies; George I becomes first Hanoverian king.
1745–1746“Bonnie Prince Charlie” Stuart is defeated at Culloden in Scotland. This also marks the end of the Scottish clan system.
1776American colonies formally declare independence from England.
1782James Watt invents the steam engine, signaling the start of the Industrial Revolution.
1783American Revolutionary war ends when England formally gives up the colonies in the Treaty of Paris. Last of British troops evacuate New York, ending British rule in America.
1788The English establish a colony in Australia.
1801First British national census is taken.
1813Duke of Wellington defeats the French under Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.
1829Sir Robert Peel creates the first English police force, known as “bobbies,” in his honor.
1833Slavery is outlawed in the British Empire.
1837Victoria becomes queen, opening what will become the longest royal reign in English history. The British Empire reaches the height of its power.
1851Charles Dickens writes David Copperfield.
1863The London Underground (“the Tube”) is opened.
1870Education Act establishes first state schools; schools are made compulsory for all children to age 11.
1884Telephones are introduced to Britain.
1888First football game between Celtic and Rangers takes place in Glasgow.
1909Lord Robert Baden Powell forms the “British Boy Scouts.”
1912The RMS Titanic sinks.
1914–1918World War I takes place.
1919The right to vote is given to British women over the age of 30.
1921Ireland is divided into the Irish Free State (later the Republic of Ireland) in the south and Ulster in the north.
1922First national radio service begins.
1926Britain’s first-ever strike takes place: a 9-day walkout in support of the coal miners. The workers lose.
1928Vote is given to all men and women over 21.
1931Great Depression hits England.
1936First scheduled television service begins.
1939World War II begins; England declares war on Germany.
1948National Health Service is established.
1953Elizabeth II is crowned in Westminster Abbey.
1963The Beatles become the world’s most popular musical group.
1973England joins the European Economic Community.
1979Margaret Thatcher is elected Britain’s first, and so far only, female prime minister.
1981Prince Charles of Wales marries Lady Diana Spencer in a “fairy tale” wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
1982England defeats Argentina in a war over Falkland Islands.
1992Elizabeth II agrees to pay taxes for the first time.
1994The Channel Tunnel (a.k.a. the Chunnel), under the English Channel, is opened, linking England and France.
1997Mad Cow Crisis happens in United Kingdom.
2003Britain joins the U.S. and other countries in the “Coalition of the Willing” to invade Iraq, despite large anti-war protests.
2005The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect, allowing same-sex couples to have legal recognition of their relationships.
2011Prince William marries Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abbey.
2012London becomes the only city to host an Olympic games three different times.
2014Scottish citizens vote “Nay” on the referendum for independence and decide to keep Scotland a part of the United Kingdom.

Weird Facts About The United States That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

In case you hadn’t noticed, the United States is a really weird place.  Not that “weird” is always bad.  Sometimes “weird” can keep life interesting.  But without a doubt, the United States is one of the most unique nations in the history of the world.  Some of the weird facts about the United States listed below may be difficult for you to believe.  Others are likely to completely shock you.  Hopefully there is a little something for everyone in this article, and hopefully you will learn some new things from reading it.  I know that I certainly learned some new things as I wrote it.  In general, everything tends to be larger in America.  The people are larger, the cars are larger, the divorce rate is the highest on the planet and the U.S. government has piled up the largest debt in the history of the world.  Whether America does something good or bad, it usually does it in a very “big” way.  It is easy to love the United States and all the good that it has done, but it is also easy to be horrified by how far this nation has fallen and by the direction that this country is currently headed.  So where does America go from here?  That is a very good question.

The following are 40 weird facts about the United States that are almost too crazy to believe….

1 The highest point in the state of Florida is only 345 feet (115 yards) above sea level.

2 Today, 66 percent of all Americans are considered to be overweight.

3 The state of Alaska is 429 times larger than the state of Rhode Island is.  But Rhode Island has a significantly larger population than Alaska does.

4 The average supermarket in the United States wastes about 3,000 pounds of food each year.

5 Approximately 48 percent of all Americans are currently either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

6 Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other 49 U.S. states put together.

7 In the UK, an average of about $3,500 is spent on healthcare per person each year.  In the United States, an average of about $8,500 is spent on healthcare per person each year.

8 Montana has three times as many cows as it does people.

9 The average U.S. citizen drinks the equivalent of more than 600 sodas each year.

10 The only place in the United States where coffee is grown commercially is in Hawaii.

11 The United States has 845 motor vehicles for every 1,000 people.  Japan only has 593 for every 1,000 people and Germany only has 540 for every 1,000 people.

12 The grizzly bear is the official state animal of California.  But no grizzly bears have been seen there since 1922.

13 For many years it was the other way around, but today a majority of all Americans (including Pat Robertson) actually support the legalization of marijuana.

14 Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. president to have been born in a hospital.

15 In the middle of the last century, the United States was #1 in the world in GDP per capita.  Today, the United States is #13 in GDP per capita.

16 Today, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.

17 One survey found that 25 percent of all employees that have Internet access in the United States visit pornography websites while they are at work.

18 In 2011, our trade deficit with China was more than 49,000 times larger than it was back in 1985.

19 One out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.

20 The city of Juneau, Alaska is about 3,000 square miles large.  It is actually bigger than the entire state of Delaware.

21 The United States puts a higher percentage of its population in prison than any other nation on earth does.

22 There are more unemployed workers in the United States than there are people living in the entire nation of Greece.

23 The original name of the city of Atlanta was “Terminus“.

24 Sadly, more than 52 percent of all children that live in Cleveland, Ohio are living in poverty.

25 The median price of a home in the city of Detroit is now about $6000.

26 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

27 According to author Paul Osterman, about 20 percent of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages.

28 According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, approximately 167,000 Americans have more than $200,000 of student loan debt.

29 There are three towns in the United States that have the name “Santa Claus“.

30 There are 313 million people living in the United States.  46 million of them are on food stamps.

31 In the United States as a whole, one out of every four children is on food stamps.

32 In 1940, 68.0% of all women in the 20 to 34 year old age group in the United States were married.  In 2010, only 39.2% of women in that age group were married.

33 The United States has a teen pregnancy rate of 22 percent – the highest in the world.  New Zealand is number two at 14 percent.

34 According to the CDC, there are 19 million new cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in the United States every single year.

35 The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.  Puerto Rico is number two.  Perhaps Puerto Rico really would fit in as the 51st state.

36 More people have been diagnosed with mental disorders in the United States than in any other nation on earth.

37 The United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

38 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

39 The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

40 It took from the founding of the nation until 1981 for the U.S. national debt to cross the one trillion dollar mark.  Today, our national debt is well over 15 trillion dollars and we add more than a trillion dollars to our debt every single year.

Do you have any other weird facts that you think should be added to this list? Please feel free to leave a comment with your feedback below….

Crazy Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Australia, Interesting Facts about Australia

1. Australia is as wide as the distance between London to Moscow.

2. The biggest property in Australia is bigger than Belgium.

3. More than 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast.

4. In 1880, Melbourne was the richest city in the world.

5. Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman, earns $1 million every half hour, or $598 every second.

6. In 1892, a group of 200 Australians unhappy with the government tried to start an offshoot colony in Paraguay to be called ‘New Australia’.

7. The first photos from the 1969 moon landing were beamed to the rest of the world from Honeysuckle Tracking Station, near Canberra.

8. Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote (New Zealand was first).

9. Each week, 70 tourists overstay their visas.

10. In 1856, stonemasons took action to ensure a standard of 8-hour working days, which then became recognised worldwide.

11. Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a world record for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Hawke later suggested that this was the reason for his great political success.


12. The world’s oldest fossil, which is about 3.4 billion years old, was found in Australia.

13. Australia is very sparsely populated: The UK has 248.25 persons per square kilometre, while Australia has only 2.66 persons per square kilometre.

14. Australia’s first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts.

15. Australia has the highest electricity prices in the world.

16. There were over one million feral camels in outback Australia, until the government launched the $19m Feral Camel Management Program, which aims to keep the pest problem under control.

17. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia (mostly for meat production).

18. Qantas once powered an interstate flight with cooking oil.

19. Per capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation.

20. In 1832, 300 female convicts mooned the governor of Tasmania. It was said that in a “rare moment of collusion with the Convict women, the ladies in the Governor’s party could not control their laughter.”

21. Australia is home to the longest fence in the world. It is 5,614 km long, and was originally built to keep dingoes away from fertile land.

22. Australia was one of the founding members of the United Nations.

23. Melbourne is considered the sporting capital of the world, as it has more top level sport available for its citizens than anywhere else.

24. Before the arrival of humans, Australia was home to megafauna: three metre tall kangaroos, seven metre long goannas, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard.

25. Kangaroos and emus cannot walk backward, one of the reasons that they’re on the Australian coat of arms.

26. Speaking of, Australia is one of the only countries where we eat the animals on our coat of arms.

27. If you visited one new beach in Australia every day, it would take over 27 years to see them all.

28. Melbourne has the world’s largest Greek population outside of Athens.

29. The Great Barrier Reef is the planet’s largest living structure.

30. And it has it’s own postbox!

31. The male platypus has strong enough venom to kill a small dog.

32. And when the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed the Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.

33. Before 1902, it was illegal to swim at the beach during the day.

34. A retired cavalry officer, Francis De Groot stole the show when the Sydney Harbour Bridge officially opened. Just as the Premier was about to cut the ribbon, De Groot charged forward on his horse and cut it himself, with his sword. The ribbon had to be retied, and De Groot was carted off to a mental hospital. He was later charged for the cost of one ribbon.

35. Australia has 3.3x more sheep than people.

36. Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, and was never seen again.

37. Australia’s national anthem was ‘God Save The King/Queen’ until 1984.

38. Wombat poop is cube shaped! This helps it mark its territory.

39. European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per capita than any other society in history.

40. The Australian Alps receive more snowfall than Switzerland.

41. A kangaroo is only one centimetre long when it is born.

42. Sir John Robertson, a five-time premier of NSW in the 1800s, began every morning with half a pint of rum. He said: “None of the men who in this country have left footprints behind them have been cold water men.”

43. The Box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.

44. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.

45. The average Aussie drinks 96 litres of beer per year.

46. 63% of Australians are overweight.

47. Australia is ranked second on the Human Development Index (based on life expectancy, income and education).

48. In 2005, security guards at Canberra’s Parliament House were banned from calling people ‘mate’. It lasted one day.

49. In Australia, it is illegal to walk on the right-hand side of a footpath.

50. Australia is the only continent in the world without an active volcano.

51. Aussie Rules footy was originally designed to help cricketers to keep fit in the off-season.

52. The name ‘Kylie’ came from an Aboriginal hunting stick, similar to the boomerang.

53. 91% of the country is covered by native vegetation.

54. The largest-ever victory in an international football match was when Australia beat American Samoa 31-0 in 2001.

55. There are 60 designated wine regions in Australia.

56. Melbourne has been ranked the world’s most liveable city for the past three years.

57. If all the sails of the Opera House roof were combined, they would create a perfect sphere. The architect was inspired while eating an orange.


58. Australia is home to 20% of the world’s poker machines.

59. Half of these are found in New South Wales.

60. Moomba, Australia’s largest free festival, held in Melbourne, means ‘up your bum’ in many Aboriginal languages.

61. No native Australian animals have hooves.

62. The performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the 2000 Olympics opening ceremony was actually a prerecording- of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

63. The wine cask (goon sack) is an Australian invention

64. So is the selfie.



65. Durack, Australia’s biggest electorate, is larger in size than Mongolia.

66. The world’s first compulsory seat belt law was put into place in Victoria in 1970.

67. Each year, Brisbane hosts the world championships of cockroach racing.

68. In 1932, the Australian military waged war on the emu population of Western Australia. Embarrassingly, they lost.

69. Canberra was created in 1908 as a compromise when Sydney and Melbourne both wanted to be the capital city.

70. A gay bar in Melbourne won the right to ban women from the premises, because they made the men uncomfortable.

71. In 1992, an Australian gambling syndicate bought almost all the number combinations in a Virginia lottery, and won. They turned a $5m purchase into a $27m win.

72. Eucalyptus oil is highly flammable, meaning gum trees may explode if ignited, or in bushfires.


73. In 1975, Australia had a government shutdown, which ended with the Queen firing everyone and the government starting again.

74. A bearded Australian was removed from a darts match in the UK, after the audience started chanting ‘Jesus!’ at him, distracting the players.

75. There have been instances of wallabies getting high after breaking into opium crops, then running around and making what look like crop circles.

76. An Australian man once tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.

77. In 1940, two aircraft collided in midair, in NSW. Instead of crashing, the two planes became stuck together and made a safe landing.

78. The male lyrebird, which is native to Australia, can mimic the calls of over 20 other birds. If that’s not impressive enough, he can also perfectly imitate the sound of a camera, chainsaw and car alarm.


79. Some shopping centres and restaurants play classical music in their car park to deter teenagers from loitering at night.

80. Despite sharing the same verbal language, Australian, British and American sign language are all completely different languages.

81. In 1979, debris from NASA’s space station ‘Skylab’ crashed in Esperance, WA. The town then fined NASA $400 for littering.

82. There have been no deaths in Australia from a spider bite since 1979.

83. There currently a chlamydia outbreak among koala species, which has led to a 15% drop in koala populations.

84. In NSW, there is a coal fire beneath the ground which has been burning for 5,500 years.

85. An Australian election TV debate was rescheduled so it didn’t conflict with the finale of reality cooking show Masterchef.

86. Chinese explorers travelled to Australia long before Europeans arrived. As early as the 1400s, sailors and fisherman came to Australia for sea-cucumbers and to trade with Indigenous peoples.

87. The first European to visit Australia was Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon, in 1606. More Dutch explorers visited the country over the next hundred years, plotting maps and naming it ‘New Holland’.

88. Captain James Cook first landed on Australia’s east coast in 1770. In 1788, the British returned with eleven ships to establish a penal colony. Within days of The First Fleet’s arrival and the raising of the British flag, two French ships arrived, just too late to claim Australia for France.


Facts About New Zealand That’ Blow Your Mind (New Zealand)



1. The kea, a bird native to NZ, is known for pulling windscreen wipers off cars and eating the strips of rubber from windows.

2. No part of the country is more than 128km (79 miles) from the sea.

3. In the scene of Star Trek: First Contact, where we see Earth from space, Australia and Papua New Guinea are clearly visible but New Zealand is missing.

4. Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world.

5. Only 5% of NZ’s population is human- the rest are animals.

6. NZ is the least corrupt nation in the world (tied with Denmark), according to the Corruptions Perception Index.

7. New Zealand has more Scottish pipe bands per capita than any other country in the world.

8. Blue Lake, in Nelson Lakes National Park, has the clearest water in the world.

10. New Zealand is home to the world’s smallest dolphin species.

11. There are no land snakes, native or introduced, in NZ.

12. New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language.

13. In 2008, TripAdvisor named Milford Sound (pictured below) the world’s top travel destination, based on an international survey.



14. Organised commercial bungee jumping first began in New Zealand.

15. The first man to climb Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, was a Kiwi.

16. The lowest denomination in NZ currency is the 10 cent piece.

17. More people die in New Zealand each year playing lawn bowls than scuba diving.

18. NZ is home to more species of penguins than any other country.

19. In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.

20. Auckland is one of the most affordable cities in the world to live in.

21. One in three Auckland households own a boat.

22. The Māori name for NZ, Aoetaroa, means ‘land of the long white cloud’.

23. In 2013, NZ legalised same-sex marriage.

24. Lake Taupo was formed by a supervolcanic eruption 26,000 years ago. The dust from the eruption could be seen in modern day China.

25. New Zealand is home to the giant weta, the heaviest insect in the world. It is heavier than a sparrow and looks like a giant cockroach.

26. Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, is the world’s steepest street. The road has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 at its steepest section, a 38 per cent grade.



27. 15% of NZ’s population are Māori.

28. New Zealand is similar in size to the UK, but only has a population of about 4 million (compared to 63 million in the UK).

29. About one third of the country is protected national park.

30. NZ was voted the world’s best country in 2007 and 2008 by Wanderlust magazine.

31. Pelorus Jack was a dolphin who guided ships through dangerous and rocky waters around NZ in the early 1900s.

32. There are only two countries in the world where drug companies are permitted to advertise to the public: New Zealand and USA.

33. Kiwi Nancy Wake was the Gestapo’s most wanted person during World War II. She once killed a SS sentry with her bare hands.

34. More people live in Auckland than in the whole of the South Island.

35. The logo for the Royal New Zealand Air Force is a kiwi- a flightless bird.

36. In the Lord of the Rings films, the beer drunk on camera was a custom NZ brew called ‘Sobering Thought’.

37. The filming of these movies pumped around $200 million into the country’s economy. The New Zealand government even created a Minister for Lord of the Rings, to ensure the most money could be made from the films.

38. In 1996, a man broke into a radio station in Wanganui and took the manager hostage, demanding that they play the Muppet song “Rainbow Connection”.

39. Two NZ rescue dogs were taught to drive a car around a track, in order to prove the intelligence of shelter animals.

40. The Kiwi badminton team name was ‘The Black Cocks’, but after a year, had to change it due to complaints.


41. In 1990, the NZ prime minister appointed a National Wizard.

42. Rugby player Wayne Shelford got his scrotum ripped open mid-game in a bad tackle. He was taken off the field with one testicle LITERALLY hanging out, got stitched up on the bench and continued the game.

43. NZ high schools and universities are permitted to keep a pound of uranium or thorium for educational purposes. However, there is a $1 million fine if it explodes.

44. There is a giant carnivorous snail living in the South Island.

45. From 1867 to 1927, the government planed ahead for shipwrecks by building supply-filled huts on remote islands.

46. There is a clock in Dunedin which has been running since 1864, despite never having been wound since it was made.

47. Gisborne airport has train tracks running across the middle of the runway. Quite often, trains and planes have to stop until one moves out of the way.

48. NZ had a 58% casualty rate in World War I.

49. Kiwifruit were originally called Chinese gooseberries.




50. New Zealand is one of the only countries to have two national anthems- God Save The Queen and God Defend New Zealand.

51. Ninety Mile Beach is actually only 90 kilometres long.

52. Moa birds were native to NZ, but are now extinct. They were 12 feet tall and weighed about 230kg.

53. The man who pioneered plastic surgery, Harold Gillies, was a Kiwi.

54. As was Baron Ernest Rutherford, who was the first man to split an atom. He also discovered (and named) the proton.

55. New Zealand is the only country in the world where all the highest positions have been simultaneously held by women: In 2006, the Queen, the Governor-General, the PM, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chief Justice were all women.

56. The national sport of NZ is rugby union.

57. There are no nuclear power stations in New Zealand.

58. In 2008, Henry the tuatara became a father for the first time at the age of 111. (A tuatara is a reptile native to New Zealand.)

59. New Zealand is the only country with the right to put Hobbit-related images on its currency.




60. New Zealand was the last habitable land mass to be populated.

61. Three quarters of New Zealanders living overseas are in Australia.

62. 94% of all prisoners in NZ are male.

63. The only land mammals native to NZ are bats. The rest were introduced by Maoris and Europeans.

64. In 2007, the NZ courts banned a couple from naming their child 4Real. In the end they named him Superman.

65. New Zealand produces 100 kg of butter and 65 kg of cheese each year per person.

66. Earlier this year, after losing a poker bet, a New Zealand man legally changed his name to Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova. The 99-character name was almost denied because the legal limit is 100 characters.

67. NZ has banned all television advertising on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, ANZAC Day, and Christmas Day.

68. Niue, a self-governed island of NZ, has images of Pokemon on its legal tender coins. There is also a limited collection of coins with images from the Star Wars films.

69. There are more vending machines in Japan than there are people in New Zealand.


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