Fun Facts: Country
If you’ve ever wanted to know something about another country then take a look at our fun facts from Asia to Europe and everywhere in between.
Brazil is the largest country in South America.
The name Brazil comes from a tree named brazilwood.
Famous English scientists include Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking among many others.
The longest river in the United Kingdom is the River Severn. Located in England and Wales, it stretches around 354 kilometres (220 miles) in length.
The longest river found entirely in England is the River Thames, it flows through London and is slightly shorter than the River Severn at around 346 kilometres (215 miles) in length.
The largest lake in England is named Windermere.
In 2012 the population of Canada was around 35 million.
The capital city of Canada is Ottawa.
Major cities include Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.
The 2 main languages spoken in Canada are English and French.
Canada is the second largest country in the world by total area (Russia is the largest).
Canada is made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories.
Canada features the longest coastline in the world, stretching 202080 kilometres (125570 miles).
Canada shares the longest land border in the world with the United States, totaling 8891 kilometres (5525 miles).
It is called Brasil in Portuguese, the official language spoken in Brazil.
Brazil is the only country in South America that speaks Portuguese.
Portugal claimed the land of Brazil in the year 1500. Independence was declared in 1822.
Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world by both land area and population.
The population in 2012 was around 194 million people.
Egypt is officially known as the Arab Republic of Egypt.
In 2012, the population of Egypt was just over 83 million (83,688,164).
Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip, Israel, Libya and Sudan as well as the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
The Sinai Peninsula in Egypt spans across two continents, Africa and Asia.
Mount Catherine is the highest mountain in Egypt, standing 2,629m high (8625 ft).
The official language of Egypt is Arabic, but others languages such as English and French are also understood by many.
The capital city is Cairo, which also has the largest population. Other major cities include Alexandria and Giza.
Egypt is a very dry country. The Sahara and Libyan Desert make up most of the area of Egypt.
The national symbol of Mexico is the golden eagle which features prominently on the coat of arms.
The main language spoken in Mexico is Spanish.
The largest source of immigration to the United States is from Mexico.
Mexican food is known for its range of flavors and spices. Popular dishes include tacos, burritos and enchiladas.
The most popular sport in Mexico is football (soccer).
Mexico hosted the Football World Cup in both 1970 and 1986.
Mexico City hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1968.
The name for Germany in the German language is Deutschland.
The population of Germany was around 82 million in 2010.
The capital of Germany is Berlin, it is also the largest city.
Other major cities include Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.
Germany is a member of the European Union.
Germany has had an unsettled history, including the Nazi regime and tension between East and West Germany (which were reunified in 1990).
Countries that border Germany include Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Luxembourg, Poland and Switzerland.
Germany has the largest economy in Europe.
The capital city is Brasilia, while the largest city is Sao Paulo.
Other major cities include Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Fortaleza.
In Brazil they drive on the right-hand side of the road.
Brazil has a large coastline on the eastern side of South America, stretching 7491 kilometres (4655 miles) in length.
Brazil shares a border with all South American countries except for Chile and Ecuador.
The capital and largest city in Russia is Moscow. Other major cities in Russia include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.
Russians drive on the right-hand side of the road.
The currency used in Russia is the ruble.
Russia has a wide range of natural resources and is one of the world’s largest producers of oil.
The world’s first satellite, named Sputnik, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.
Brazil covers 3 time zones.
Brazil has one of the largest economies in the world.
Brazil is one of the 77 founding members of the United Nations.
The Amazon River flows through Brazil, it is the 2nd longest river in the world (after the Nile).
Around 60% of the Amazon Rainforest is located in Brazil.
The climate in the majority of Brazil is tropical.
Brazil is home to a wide range of animals, including armadillo, tapirs, jaguars and pumas.
India is officially known as the Republic of India.
India has the second largest population in the world, with over 1.2 billion people (1,205,073,612 as of July 2012).
India is the seventh largest country by total area.
India belongs to the continent of Asia, it is bordered by the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal, and Pakistan.
The highest mountain in India is Kanchenjunga, standing at 8,598m (28,209 ft), which it shares with Nepal. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world.
Many different languages are spoken in India. The main ones are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, and Urdu.
The capital city is New Delhi, while the most populated city is Mumbai. Other major cities include Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore.
Because of India’s location, it experiences periods of heavy rain called Monsoon.
The Taj Mahal (a famous mausoleum and popular tourist attraction) is located in the region of Agra.
China is officially known as the People’s Republic of China.
China has the largest population in the world, with over 1.3 billion people (1,343,239,923) as of July 2012.
China is the 3rd largest country by area at 9,706,961 sq km (3,747,879 sq miles).
China belongs to the continent of Asia. Bordering countries include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam.
The summit of Mt Everest marks the border between China and Nepal.
There are many different languages spoken in China, including Mandarin, Yue, Wu, Minbei, Minnan, Xiang, Gan and Hakka.
France is officially known as the French Republic.
The name France comes from the Latin word Francia, which means ‘country of the Franks’.
French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion are also recognized as a part of France.
In 2012, the population of mainland France was just under 63 million (62,814,233). Another 2.8 million (2,816,459) are split between French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion.
Mainland France belongs to the continent of Europe. Bordering countries are Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, and Switzerland.
The Alps mountain range on the border of France and Italy is home to France’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, which stands at 4,807m high (15,771 ft).
The official language is French.
French is the second most studied language in the world after English.
The capital city is Paris. Other major cities include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, and Nice-Cannes.
France is the most visited country in the world, with over 80 million visitors every year.
The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. The famous Mona Lisa painting is on display in this museum.
During World War II, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in northern France. The first day of these landings is called D-Day.
The famous Eiffel Tower in Paris was built as the entrance point for the 1889 World Fair. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world.
The Millau Bridge in southern France is the world’s tallest bridge and France’s tallest structure. At its highest point, it stands 343m (1125 ft) above the ground.
France was the second country to host the modern Olympic Games in 1900 in Paris. Paris also hosted the games again in 1924. Three winter Olympics have been hosted in France.
The most famous road bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France zig zags through the French landscape.
The United States of America is also called the USA, US, United States or sometimes America.
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was issued, establishing the United States of America.
The US is the 4th largest country in the world by land area and 3rd by population.
On February 25, 2013, the estimated population of the US was 315,568,000.
The US is a diverse country with a multicultural society.
The US has the world’s largest economy.
The US developed the first nuclear weapons, using them on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki near the end of World War 2.
The Mississippi and Missouri Rivers combine to form the longest river system in the US and the fourth longest in the world.
The tallest mountain the US is Mt McKinley, located in the state of Alaska it reaches 20,320 ft (6,194 m) above sea level.
Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 and is the largest state in the US by land area.
Hawaii is the most recent of the 50 states in the US (joining in 1959) and is the only one made up entirely of islands.
Most of the world’s tornadoes occur in the Midwest region of the US known as Tornado Alley.
The most populated city in the US is New York City, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago.
English is the most commonly spoken language in the US, followed by Spanish.
The Spanish name for Spain is España.
The Spanish language is spoken in many areas of the world due to the early influence of the Spanish Empire.
Spain is located in Europe.
It is a developed country with a high quality of life.
The largest city and capital of Spain is Madrid.
The second largest city is Barcelona, which is located in Catalonia.
The population of Spain in 2012 was around 47 million.
The currency used in Spain is the Euro.
In Spain they drive on the right-hand side of the road.
It is believed that modern humans first arrived in Spain around 32000 years ago.
Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain (3718 m, 12198 ft) and an active volcano.
The Japanese name for Japan is “Nihon” or “Nippon” which means “sun origin”.
Japan belongs to the continent of Asia. Japan is an island nation surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West.
Japan is made up of 6,852 islands.
The highest point in Japan in Mount Fuji, which stands at 3,776m (12,388ft).
As of July 2012, there are over 127 million people living in Japan (127,368,088), which is the tenth largest population in the world.
Tokyo is the capital city of Japan and also the largest city. Other major cities include Osaka, Nagoya, and Sapporo.
Japanese is the official language of Japan.
Australia is the world’s 6th largest country by area.
Due to its large size and isolation from the rest of the world, Australia is sometimes known as the ‘island continent’.
The largest cities in Australia are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
A desert area known as the ‘outback’ covers much of the land.
The name ‘Australia’ comes from the Latin word ‘australis’, meaning southern.
It is estimated the humans have lived in Australia for around 45000 years.
The indigenous people of Australia are Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
The highest mountain on mainland Australia is Mt Kosciuszko, standing 2228m (7310ft) above sea level.
The first man to walk on the moon was American Neil Armstrong (July 21, 1969).
The US was the leading force behind the development of the Internet.
The US consumes more petroleum than any other country in the world.
The most popular team sports in the US are American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey.
One of the four grand slam tennis events, the French Open, is held in Paris every year.
Louis Pasteur was a French scientist who made many discoveries in the fields of chemistry and microbiology.
The capital city is Beijing, while the most populated city is Shanghai. Other major cities include Chongqing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
47% of the population live in urban areas.
China experiences typhoons every year and also suffers from floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and droughts.
China has the fourth longest river in the world, the Yangtze River, which reaches 5,797km (3,602 miles) in length. It also has the sixth longest, the Yellow River, stretching 4,667km (2,900 miles).
China is the second largest economy in the world, after the United States of America.
In 2003, China became the third country to successfully send a person to space.
The Great Wall of China is the largest man made structure in the world, stretching an incredible 8,850 kilometres (5,500 miles).
The famous Giant Panda is found near the Yangtze River in China.
China hosted the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
India became an independent nation in 1947 after ending British rule that began in 1858.
Mahatma Gandhi is famous for the important part he played in gaining India’s independence.
Once British rule was over, India was split into the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Later, an area between India and Pakistan became the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
The national symbol of India is the endangered Bengal Tiger.
The most popular sport in India is cricket, with the Indian team being the first to win the Cricket World Cup on home soil when they were victorious in 2011.
India hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, but has never hosted the Olympic Games.
Italy is officially known as the Italian Republic.
Vatican City and San Marino are very small independent states located inside Italy.
Campione d’Italia is part of Italy but located within the borders of Switzerland.
Italy belongs to the continent of Europe. Countries that border Italy are Austria, France, Vatican City, San Marino, and Switzerland.
Rome is the capital city of Italy. Other major cities include Milan, Naples, Turin, and Palermo.
Rome was the home to the Ancient Romans, a civilization that grew into a huge empire. Western civilization as we know today is based on many Ancient Roman principles.
Italy has many earthquakes and volcanoes due to the conflict between the Eurasian and the African tectonic plates. The volcanoes Etna and Vesuvius are a constant danger to humans due to their closeness to big cities.
Over 61 million people live in Italy (61,261,254) as of 2012.
Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance, which was a period of great cultural achievements in poetry, painting and architecture. Famous artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo Da Vinci were part of the Renaissance.
Italian is the main language in Italy. German, French and Slovene are also spoken in certain areas.
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are well known Italian car manufacturers.
The most popular sport in Italy is football (soccer). Italy has won four world cups, the last one being in 2006.
Rome hosted the 1960 summer Olympic Games, the only time it has been held in Italy. The winter Olympics has been held in Italy three times.
Italian cuisine is popular around the world. Dishes such as pizza, spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and risotto all come from Italy.
Many famous scientists and mathematicians were born and raised in Italy. Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Alessandro Volta, and Fibonacci to name just a few.
Italy has played a large role in the history of architecture, discovering important building techniques such as the arch and the dome. Buildings such as the Colosseum, Pantheon and the Leaning Tower of Pisa are examples of such architecture.
Human activities such as logging, mining fishing and agriculture are important to the Brazilian economy but are also a serious threat to Brazil’s diverse environment.
Millions of tourists visit Brazil every year.
There are around 2500 airports in Brazil.
Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Brazil with the national team consistently among the best in the world, winning the World Cup a record 5 times.