18 Cool Facts About The World You Should Know

Facts about the world with the sea and a forest

Just how well do you think you know our world? Call it a geographical general knowledge session if you wish, but these facts about the world are definitely interesting and handy! At the very least, you’ll be more knowledgeable, which is a plus in any situation. When conversation topics get scarce, you could whip out one of these world facts as well! So brush up on your general world knowledge with these cool facts about the world!

1) There Are 195 Countries In The World

Whatever it is, it isn’t 500. ‘Nuff said. Additional fun fact: the Republic of San Marino is thought to be the oldest country in the world with a founding date of 3rd September, 301 B.C.

2) South Sudan Is The Youngest Country In The World

In fact, South Sudan is just nine years old in 2020. It gained its independence from better-known Sudan in 2011, effectively making it the youngest country to date.

3) The Longest Place Name In The World Is 85 Letters Long

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu. That’s the name of the place. No, we did not try to read it at all, though you’re welcome to try. Incidentally, that’s a hill  near Porangahau, south of Waipukurau in southern Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

The Longest Place Name In the World: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, New Zealand
Image Credit: worldatlas.com

4) Microsoft’s Headquarters Has The Quietest Place In The World

Scientifically and in measurements, their lab room has a background noise of -20.35 dBa, 20 decibels below the threshold of human hearings. According to CNN, “if you stand in it for long enough, you start to hear your heartbeat.” We don’t know what the dBa means to us in terms of hearing, but we definitely can imagine how quiet it must be to start hearing our own heartbeats. It actually has been theorised that the background noise here is absolute zero, and the next step down would be a vacuum.

5) Japan Has The Most-Recorded Earthquakes In The World

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the most earthquake-prone country. Indonesia is actually located in a more seismically active area, but due to its size Japan records more earthquakes. The lack of recording equipment could also be a factor, where earthquakes of smaller magnitudes may go unnoticed and hence unrecorded in different areas.

6) 43 Countries Still Have A Royal Family

Most monarchies nowadays are figureheads, and represent their country. Not many have legislative power, though that can differ from country to country. Monarchies seem to be a relic of the past, but perhaps it is due to long-standing tradition that countries do not abolish them.

The royal family of Britain
Image Credit: hellomagazine.com

7) Canada Has The Most Lakes In The World

In fact, 9% of Canada is freshwater lake! In total, there are 31,752 lakes in Canada, more than anywhere else. Some of the lakes are pretty huge as well, with 561 of them having an area of more than 161 square meters.

8) Mount Chimborazo Is The Closest To Outer Space

Mount Everest may have the tallest peak in the world, but that doesn’t automatically make it closer to the stars. The Earth isn’t actually spherical, but oval with an inflated middle. Mount Chimborazo is in Ecuador, which is near the Equator, and this inflated position actually brings it closer to outer space, despite not being as tall as Mount Everest.

9) The Smallest And Largest Countries In The World Are…

Vatican City and Russia, in that order, and by area. Vatican City fits within Rome, while Russia has 11 time zones in total. In other words, you hardly need a day to tour Vatican City, while it could be morning on one end of Russia, and night on the other end.

Emerald Lake, Canada
Image Credit: the crazytourist.com

10) Maryland, USA Has The Largest Man-Made Oyster Reef

Due to overfishing and disease, Chesapeake Bay’s oyster population dropped drastically. Oysters weren’t just food, but they also played a crucial role in keeping the waters clean. Therefore, dedicated scientists and organisations decided to build an oyster reef, hoping to revive the oyster population. The reef is 330 acres and is now home to over a billion oysters. It is also now a no-fishing zone, and hopefully that means the oysters will continue to thrive there!

11) The Coldest Recorded Temperature Was -89.2°C

In Antartica, unsurprisingly. Said temperature was recorded by ground measurements on 21st July 1983, and it remains the coldest recorded temperature to date. In recent years there have been reports of temperatures dropping down to -98°C, but it is unsure how the “new record” was recorded. You can also check out 12 Coldest Countries In The World if you really like the cold!

12) There Are Only Two Countries In The World Which Use Purple In Their National Flags

Those countries are Nicaragua and Dominica. Nicaragua’s flag features a rainbow, which naturally has a purple arc, and Dominca’s flag has a sisserou parrot, whose feathers are purple!

A clump of oysters
Image Credit: chesapeakebay.net

13) Tokyo Is The World’s Most Populous City

With more than 37 million inhabitants, of course it would be. Following closely behind it is Delhi, India; and Shanghai, China.

14) Africa Is The Only Continent That Spans All Four Hemispheres

And the hemispheres are north, south, east and west. In fact, Africa covers about 6% of the earth’s total surface, and has 54 countries, the largest being Algeria.

15) Sweden Has The Most Islands 

Take a guess at how many islands Sweden has. The answer is: an estimated total of 267,570 according to a report in 2013. Most of the islands are uninhabited, but plenty of them are little slices of heaven regardless, and one of them is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site, being more than 5,000 years old.

The island of Gåsharsskäret, Sweden
Image Credit: lonelyplanet.com

16) France Is The Most-Visited Country In The World

Ooh la la, we’re actually not surprised, because the appeal of the City of Light and Love (Paris) is great indeed. And even if you’re not thinking of Paris, France has other tourist destinations as well. In 2019, there were 89.4 million international tourists!

17) Iceland Expands About 5 cm Per Year

Iceland is divided by the North American and European tectonic plates. These plates are growing wider apart, and hence every year Iceland just grows with them, at about 5 cm each year.

18) You Can Track The World Population Live

There’s this website called the World Population Clock, and you can literally see the numbers run as it calculates the world’s population. We aren’t really sure how it does that, but a trip to their website may lead you to more!

River cruise in Paris, France, with Eiffel Tower in the background
Image Credit: sdxcentral.com

And we’re done with the geography lesson today! We hope you found these facts about the world interesting, because we certainly we while looking them up! Which did you find most interesting? Let us know in the comments!