1. The tiny island of Nauru is the fattest nation on earth. About 95% of its adult population is overweight!
Nauruans historically engaged in fattening ceremonies, where well-born young women were kept inside and fed to excess.
2. Over 800 languages are spoken in Papua, New Guinea.
So why does Papua New Guinea have so many indigenous languages? Deep valleys and unforgiving terrain have kept the different tribes of Papua New Guinea relatively isolated, so that the groups’ languages are not blended together but remain distinct. While the country is thought to have over 800 living languages, some, like Abaga, are spoken by as few as five(!) people.
3.New Zealand was the first country that gave women the right to vote in 1893.
With the signing of the Electoral Bill by Governor Lord Glasgow, New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant national voting rights to women. The bill was the outcome of years of suffragette meetings in towns and cities across the country, with women often traveling considerable distances to hear lectures and speeches, pass resolutions, and sign petitions. New Zealand women first went to the polls in the national elections of November 1893.
The United States granted women the right to vote in 1920, and Great Britain guaranteed full voting rights for women in 1928.
text via: history
4. Oldest sovereign state – Egypt
This largely depends upon your definition of a sovereign state but if you are going by first acquisition of sovereignty then Egypt would be the first country in the world to achieve sovereignty based upon the formation of the first dynasty in 3100 BC.
5. Dogs gave name to the Canary Islands
Many think that the islands received their name from the canary birds. But it is just the contrary. The yellow canary as we know it is gets its name from the Canary Islands.
The islands received this name for the many large wild dogs. The Latin word for dog is canis, hence the name Canary Islands.
6. Roads made of coral – Guam
Because Guam doesn’t have any natural sand, but rather coral, the island nation makes its asphalt using a mix of ground coral and oil rather than importing sand from abroad.
7. Largest country with no farms – Singapore. The entire island is a metropolis!
8. Youngest population of any country – Niger
Generally the worlds youngest country is determined by calculating the portion of the population that is younger than 15. Presently it is Niger that holds this distinction with roughly half of its population having barely reached puberty (49%).
9. In Australia the population of kangaroos (about 50 millions) is more than double than the population of the people living there.
10. Most lakes in the world – Canada
With over 3 million lakes 9% of Canadian territory is actually fresh water and over 60% of all the lakes in the world are found within its borders.
11. In Milan, there is still a law that requires citizens to smile at all times while being in public places, except funerals or hospital visits.
12. Has 350 sheep for every person – Falkand Islands (UK)
With only about 3,000 people the Falkland Islands are home to approximately half-a million-sheep. Not surprisingly wool is a major export.
13. Fastest disappearing nation – Ukraine
With a natural decrease in population of .8% annually, between now and 2050 Ukraine is expected to lose around 30% of its people.
14. Siberia contains more than 25% of the world’s forests.
15. Almost entirely covered in jungle – Suriname
With 91% of its land covered in jungle Suriname’s half-a-million residents live primarily along the coast near the capital. Only 5% of the population (mainly indigenous people) live inland.
16. The land of no rivers – Saudi Arabia
Sounds a bit strange doesn’t it? For a country as big as Saudi Arabia there has to be at least some sort of flowing water. Well, there isn’t. Most of their fresh water comes from desalinization plants or underground reservoirs.
17.The “country desert” – Libya
With 99% of the country covered in desert Libya is one of the most arid places in the world and in some regions decades may go by without a single drop of rain.
18. Almost entirely treeless – Haiti
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Haiti, a country that has been so badly deforested that you can tell where it borders the Dominican Republic by looking at a satellite image (Haiti is on the left in the photo above).
19. Most educated people – Canada
With 50% of its population having been educated at the post secondary level, Canada easily has the most educated populace in the world. It is followed by Israel at 45% and Japan at 44%.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. Covers the most time zones – France
If you count everything, including overseas territories, then France claims the title by covering 12 time zones. The United States would be the runner-up with 11 and then Russia with 9.
24. Most likely to disappear beneath the waves – Maldives
With all the talks of global warming and rising sea levels, it is the residents of the Maldives that have the greatest reason to fear. With an average height of around 1.8 meters above sea level their nation is the lowest on Earth.
25. Least likely place to meet your neighbor – Mongolia
At 4 people per square mile Mongolia is the least densely populated country on Earth. Compare this to the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong that has the highest population density in the world with 340,000 people per square mile.
26. Largest number of tanks – Russia
It is a strange title to hold, but Russia has by far the most tanks of any army in the world (21,000). Unfortunately for the motherland most of these outdated machines are tributes to its past, and although outnumbered (16,000), the United States has a much more advanced tank inventory.
27. Most diverse country in the world – India
In almost every category – culturally, economically, climatically, racially, linguistically, ethnically, and religiously India is either the most diverse countries in the world, or the runner-up.
28. Most of its citizens live abroad – Malta
After some rough economic times coupled with an increased birth rate, Malta experienced significant immigration. It was so significant that there are now more Maltese living abroad than within the country itself.
29. Smaller than Central Park in New York City – Monaco
Although Vatican City is smaller (.17 sq mi) than Monaco (.8 sq mi), unlike Monaco it doesn’t have any permanent residents which leaves Monaco as the smallest permanently inhabited nation in the world…smaller than Central Park.
30. In Turkey, purple is the color of mourning and not black.