I love this e-mail from Judy.
I have met Judy on the Internet through this blog thanks to this old picture I have in my collection since 2007.
I am sure I can post her e-mail message on this blog about genealogy.
It’s always nice to reflect about the world we live in…
My sister “the world traveller” sent me this and I thought it was something nice to forward on to family tree relatives and connections–just to say hi and that I am thinking of you every now and then (I am sorry …. I know I am kind of “corny” sometimes …. but maybe that’s why I do family tree research!??)
Depending upon your definition, and whether or not you count Taiwan , there are “approximately” 196 countries in the world as of this writing. So while you may consider yourself to be a knowledgeable global citizen, and I’m sure you are, given the dynamic and complex nature of our planet there are certain to be at least a couple facts on this list that you will find surprising. Here are 25 things that you wouldn’t believe about these countries.
25: Country that covers the most time zones –
If you count everything, including overseas territories, then France claims the title by covering 12 time zones. United States would be the runner-up with 11 and then Russia with 9. Single continental size countries put Russia as #1 and Canada as #2.
24: Country most likely to disappear beneath the waves –
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.
23: Country with largest overweight population –
With over 95% of its population being overweight, the small island nation of Nauru is by far the fattest country on Earth. Its obesity epidemic is primarily attributed to the importation of western fast food that coincided with an increased standard of living in the 20th century due to the global popularity of its phosphate exports. It’s almost non sequitur… almost.
22: Country with most roads made of coral –
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.
21: Country with most sheep –
Falkland Islands (UK)
With only about 3,000 people the Falkland Islands are home to approximately 500,000 sheep. Not surprisingly wool is a major export. That’s 350 sheep per person.
20: Oldest sovereign state –
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.
19: Country with most lakes in the world –
With over 3,000,000 lakes, 9% of Canadian territory is actually fresh water and over 60% of all the lakes in the world, are found within its borders.
18: Country where you are least likely to meet your neighbor –
At 1.5 people per square kilometer, 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 131,000 people per square kilometre.
17: Country with largest number of tanks –
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.
16: Country with no rivers –
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.
15: Country with youngest population –
Generally the world’s 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%).
14: Most diverse country in the world –
In almost every category – culturally, economically, climatically, racially, linguistically, ethnically, and religiously, India is either the most diverse country in the world, or the runner-up.
13: Fastest disappearing nation –
With a natural decrease in population of .8% annually, between now and 2050 Ukraine is expected to lose around 30% of its people.
12: Country with most of its citizens living abroad –
After some rough economic times coupled with an increased birth rate, Malta experienced significant emigration. It was so significant that there are now more Maltese living abroad than within the country itself.
11: Country that is smaller than Central Park in New York City –
Although Vatican City is smaller (.44 square kilometres) than Monaco (2.07 square kilometres), unlike Monaco it doesn’t have any permanent residents which leaves Monaco as the smallest permanently inhabited nation in the world… smaller than New York City’s Central Park.
10: Country almost entirely covered in jungle –
With 91% of its land covered in jungle, Suriname’s 500,000 residents live primarily along the coast near the capital. Only 5% of the population (mainly indigenous people) live inland.
9: Country that is almost entirely treeless –
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).
8: Country that has absolutely no farms –
Although there are a number of small nations in the world that show no hint of having an agriculture based economy, (take Vatican City for example) Singapore is the largest of these urban city-states.
7: Country with most languages spoken –
Papua New Guinea
Although English is its official language, only 1 – 2% of the population actually speak it. As the most linguistically diverse country in the world, over 820 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea, or 12% of the world’s total.
6: Country with most educated people –
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%.
5: “Country desert” –
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.
4: Least peaceful nation in the world –
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.
3: Country that produces most of the world’s oxygen –
Siberia is home to approximately 25% of the world’s forests that span an area larger than the continental United States, making Russia the largest converter of CO2 into breathable compounds.
2: Largest opium-producing country in the world –
Producing a whopping 95% of the world’s opium, not even 10 years of occupation by American forces have slowed down the industry.
1: Country with most people behind bars –
When it comes to incarcerating its population, the United States is the world’s uncontested leader. With 2,200,000 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 1,500,000 and Russia comes third at 870,000.