Countries Fun Facts
Flushing Toilets: a rare commodity! Only 7% of homes in Afghanistan have flushing toilets.
19% of homes in Afghanistan have television. (The New York Times, 2007)
In 2004, China gained about $80 billion due to its imports to and exports from US. If it weren’t from the US, China would have about $50 billion trade deficit.
73% of the world's beer is consumed in China (The Wall Street Journal, 2007).
For the first time in over 100 years, in 2008, China became the world's biggest producer of gold. South Africa held the title of the world's biggest gold producer for about a century (The Wall Street Journal, 2008).
According to a report published in the Associated Press, China consumes 32% of the world's rice. Also Chinese use 47% of the world's cement. And the Chinese smoke about 33% of the world's cigarettes.
From poor to less poor: the average Chinese in 1985 consumed 44 pounds of meat. In 2008, the average Chinese consumed 110 pounds of meat (The Washington Post).
In 2002, the number of Chinese billionaires was 0. In 2007, the number of Chinese billionaires was 106.
In Hong Kong, a wife may legally kill her unfaithful husband, but she must do so with her bare hands.
In 1997, in Hong Kong, to stop the spread of the chicken flu virus, 1.2 million birds were slaughtered.
Iceland: the best country to live in! That is, according to the U.N. Human Development Index.
The U.N. Human Development Index considered Iceland to be the most desirable country to live in. The Index based this statement on the following:
1. People living in Iceland have a long life expectancy.
2. People living in Iceland are well educated.
3. People living in Iceland make good income.
Yes, a frozen, dark, tiny island could be the perfect place for you!
The average Japanese watches an average of 4 hours and 29 minutes of television every day—the highest in the world. Americans came in second place—4 hours and 25 minutes (Associated Press).
In 1923, an earthquake in Tokyo and Yokohama killed 143,000 people and destroyed 575,000 thousand homes.
Luxury Living: In 2008, Kenyans found out that a large amount of government money is given as salaries to wives of high government officials. Kenyans only found this out because of a leak of information. President’s wife gets $92,000; vice president’s and prime minister’s wives get $72,000. In a country where the average worker’s income is less than $400 per year, the generous spousal pay seems to be a bit too generous and a representation of a corrupt government.
Microchipped Human Beings: In 2007, there were more than 6,500 people abducted in Mexico. As a result of these abduction, some Mexicans (those who could pay for it) are implanting microchips under their skins to be tracked in case of being abducted. The company that start these microchips implants in humans is Xega, whose own CEO was abducted in 2001.
Gum on Sidewalk: In Mexico City, the average square yard of a sidewalk contians about 70 discarded gums.
Mount Everest—should you attempt the climb? About 3000 people so far have reached the top of the 29,035 foot peak of Mt. Everest. Those people and others who attempted the ascent left over 100 tons of trash. There are about 120 corpses left on the mountain. The rate of success: one death for every 10 successful ascents.
Students on their exams are allowed to use text-messaging language. Teachers must treat these abbreviations as standard English and may not penalize students.
Basant festival is an annual kite-flying competition that has caused the deaths of many. Competitors tie to their strings and kites sharp objects (such as knives, glass, and metal) to slash their opponents strings. However, many injuries and deaths occur from falling off roofs. The government has banned the competition the last few years.
United Arab Emirates
Camel for $2.7 million! Sheikh Hamadan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is the wealthy son of the ruler of Dubai, bought in 2008 supposedly the best camel in the country. The price: $2.7 millions.