Fond Regards

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…

famille-hilaire-binette

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!??)

Fond regards,

Judy

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

France

25 France

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 –

Maldives

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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 –

Nauru

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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 –

Guam

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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)

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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 –

Egypt

 
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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 –

Canada

 
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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 – 

Mongolia

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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 –

Russia

 
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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 –

Saudi Arabia

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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 –

Niger

 
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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 –

India

 
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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 –

Ukraine

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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 –

Malta

 
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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 –

Monaco

 
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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 –

Suriname

 
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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 –

Haiti

 
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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 –

Singapore

 
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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

 
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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 –

Canada

 
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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”  –

Libya

 
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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 –

Somalia

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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 –

Russia

 
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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 –

Afghanistan

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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 –

United States

 
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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.