Did You Know?

Joshua Kelly, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

For our first issue this year, we’ll take a step back and gander at the bizarre and astonishing things that populate this world, such as….

  1. The place with the longest name belongs to a place in the northern island in New Zealand called “Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu” which means “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who traveled about, played his nose flute to his loved one” in Maori, the aboriginal language of that nation. This word consist of 57 letters and is usually shortened to “Tamuta.”
  2. In the northernmost part of Finland, Lapland, the evergreens freeze oversnowtrees_bonfadini_960 in the winter where temperatures range from negative sixty to negative one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, despite the fact that anything at all can grow there.
  3. On the border of Israel and Jordan the Dead Sea, the world’s saltiest body of water (which is over eight times saltier than the ocean) is so salty that due to the natural buoyancy of humans, you could float on the water without effort.
  4. Despite being in Antarctica, the McMurdo Valleys are collectively the driest place in the world. They completely lack any kind of ice and nearly no life. 
  5. The town of La Rinconada, Peru is the highest settled place in the world at over 16,700 feet above sea level (or 3.16 miles.) 30,000 people live in this gold mining town.
  6. Even though the thermosphere, with its altitude exceeding six hundred miles, has an extremely high temperature.  If you were to go there, you would freeze to death due to extremely low air pressure (individual molecules can go one kilometer without interacting with another molecule.)
  7. The least densely populated sovereign nation in the world is Mongolia, with a meager 1.92 persons per square kilometer, although that is still more than Alaska with 1.3 person per square kilometer.
  8. The most densely populated and second smallest sovereign nation in the world is Monaco, which borders France on three sides and the fourth with the Mediterranean. It is so small it is impossible to see on a map of Europe, let alone the world.
  9. The northernmost landmass is the northern tip of the Kaffeklubben island, just north of Greenland.  Though there are some notable gravel bars further north (note that the north pole is not a land mass).
  10. Finland has the most islands out of all the nations in the world, with no less than 100,000, and no more than 180,000 islands, most of which are in its myriad lakes and rivers.
  11. The place on the earth furthest from any body of water is in a desert in China’s Xinjiang region, near the border of Kazakhstan (the exact coordinate is (46° 17′ 0″ N, 86° 40′ 0″ E) and the nearest settlement is Suluk, eleven miles to the east. It is 1644 miles away from any coastline.
  12. The point in any ocean that is furthest away from any landmass is at 8° 52′ 36″ S, 123° 23′ 36″ W, in the South Pacific which is 1670 miles from any landmass.
  13. The world’s largest island Turducken (an island, on an island, on an island).  It is in the lake of an island, which is in a lake seventy five miles inland in Victoria island, which is the eighth largest island in the world. Which is in the Arctic Ocean in the sovereign nation of Canada. Presumably nobody has seen this island with human eyes.
  14. Ny-Ålesund is the northernmost settlement in the world, which is on the island of Svalbard in the nation of Norway. It is a research town which provides housing for scientist from ten countries. However, at most there are only one hundred and twenty people living there at once (in the summer).
  15. Puerto Williams is the southernmost settlement in the world with a slightly less meager population of 2,874 and serves as a point of passage to the Antarctic. This place is an island just southeast of Argentina and under the rule of Chile.
  16. Dahala Khagrabari was, until very recently the only enclave Turducken. It was a part of India which was surrounded by a part of Bangladesh which was again surrounded by India and was once more surrounded by Bangladesh. It was a mere 1.7 acres large. On August 1st 2015, it was ceded to Bangladesh.
  17. The word island was written fifteen times in this article. For comparison, Nicki Minaj repeats the title of her song “Stupid Hoe,” forty times in that song.  Just saying….
  18. In the year 1971 in what is now Turkmenistan, a natural gas field had collapsed into a cavernous hole in the ground. In order to keep the deadly methane gas from spreading from the crater, geologist lit the hole on fire. Somehow it still burns to this very day.
  19. Time in Urumqi and Beijing (both of which are in China) is the same for both due to the entirety of China sharing the same time zone (China Standard Time, which is UTC+8) even though they are 2300 miles apart. This means that in reality the sun is two hours and ten minutes behind the time it raises in Beijing.  So that sunrise is at 8:00 in the morning in September and March.
  20. The State of Arizona, for whatever reason, does not observe daylight savings. However, the Navajo reservation in Arizona does observe daylight savings, meaning that there is a difference of one hour when on the Navajo reservation, vs the rest of the state (if the Navajos leap forward it could be 8:00 am there but 7:00 in Phoenix, AZ.) Meanwhile, the Hopi reservation, on the Navajo reservation, doesn’t observe daylight savings either, only compounding the issue!