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The Discover page is an archive of about strange but true trivia about destinations around the world, previously featured in the Discover section on the main page. You can contribute and add or edit future facts to the list here. Previously displayed facts from this year are below. You can find older facts from previous years using the links at the bottom of the page.

Contents

August 2017Edit

  • Rotorua (pictured) is built over a geothermal hot spot.
  • It's more than just a stereotype: Ireland's highlights are indeed the stuff of knights' tales.
  • Turkish has a linguistic feature called vowel harmony.
  • The pink Bahaman Parliament Building in Nassau has a statue of an enthroned Queen Victoria out front (pictured).
  • Verona is most famous as the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
  • On Anegada there's a museum with relics from centuries past that have washed ashore.


July 2017Edit

  • Gaborone was constructed as a planned city in the 1960s, and you will find a great deal of modern architecture (Parliament pictured) there.
  • The Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk has one of the world's most diverse collections of exhibits from the Ice Age.
  • Miami has the largest Latin American population outside of Latin America.
  • The Sanahin Monastery (pictured) in Alaverdi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and for good reason. Its incredibly well preserved Armenian architecture has stood for almost a thousand years, with little change.
  • Girona has an ancient and proud Jewish heritage.
  • In 1979, Shenzhen was a small town with a total population of only a few hundred thousand; today it is a bustling city of 14 million, due to being China's first Special Economic Zone (经济特区).
  • The airport on the island of Barra, Scotland (pictured), is one of only two in the world where scheduled flights land on a beach runway.
  • The tombs of generations of Habsburg royalty are housed in the Kaisergruft in Innere Stadt of Vienna.
  • The Grand Canal (大运河) in China is an engineering work comparable to the Great Wall but unlike the Wall, it is still heavily used and actively maintained today.
  • The mining museum in Ostrava's Landek park is the largest exhibition of coal mining equipment in the world (exhibits pictured).
  • Malaria is life-threatening, and requires immediate treatment.
  • Chihuahua is famous for Norteño food, a delicious if not particularly heart healthy cuisine that makes liberal use of beef, cheese, and chiles.
  • The historic town of Siwa stands on an isolated oasis (pictured) situated in the Western Desert region of Egypt.
  • The Faroese parliament has been meeting at the same site in Torshavn since 900 AD.
  • In Sucre, "7 Cascadas" (7 waterfalls), are just a 8-km hike out of town.
  • The island of Lysøen, near Bergen, used to belong to Ole Bull (pictured), a famous musician, who bought the island in 1872.
  • Known as "Little Italy" for over a hundred years, the North End proudly carries the torch of Boston's Italian heritage.
  • French cuisine has set a standard for fine dining around the world.
  • A special combination of climate and shape means that Fox Glacier (pictured) moves approximately 10 times quicker than other valley glaciers around the world.
  • Ulsan is the gateway to the Yeongnam Alps, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful national parks in South Korea.
  • The Arrernte Aboriginal people have made their home in the Central Australian desert in and around Alice Springs for more than 50,000 years.
  • While the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (pictured) was only made a national monument in 2013, the recreation areas within the current monument have been developed for a while now, with visitor centers, campgrounds, trails, and new roads being constructed over the past couple of decades.
  • In the Yongsan district of Seoul, you can visit the I'Park Mall e-Sports Stadium where professional video game players duke it out real-time on an enormous screen and top players can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
  • One of the mottos of Leave-no-trace camping is "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints."
  • At Ranua Zoo you can observe Arctic animals (Eurasian lynx pictured) throughout the year.
  • The Homestead Museum in Drumheller features over 10,000 artifacts from the Victorian and Edwardian era, including a two-headed calf and a complete house bought from an Eaton's catalogue.
  • O.R. Tambo International Airport serves as the major sub-Saharan hub.
  • Incredibly, it is possible to safely swim in natural pools (pictured) at the top of the Victoria Falls, on the Zambian side.
  • Barentsburg is named after Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz, who (re)discovered Svalbard in 1596.
  • Pinyin allows very accurate pronunciation of Mandarin for those who understand it.
  • The National Civil Rights Museum (pictured) in Memphis was designed around the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot in 1968.
  • Despite its size and location in-between some of the most-visited cities in Europe, Liège sees very little tourist traffic.


June 2017Edit

  • Poipet hosts Cambodia's main border crossing with Thailand, and cross-border activity has made the town grow to be larger than its provincial capital.
  • Krasnoyarsk (pictured) was originally called Krasny Yar, meaning "Red Steep Bank".
  • A local airport opened on eastern Saint Helena in 2016, but landing has proved challenging due to wind shear and the originally-planned passenger services remain on hold.
  • In Brazil, spoken language can be very different from written language and official grammar, confusing non-native speakers.
  • The casbah (pictured) of Algiers dates to the 17th century and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Winnipeg is a "gateway to the West", and can be visited for architecture, museums, and a broad retail market.
  • The famous pier Zhan Qiao is the iconic symbol of Qingdao.
  • While numbering may suggest otherwise, Lisbon retains only five of the 28 tram (pictured) lines it became famous for.
  • The trip from Trinidad to the Valle de los Ingenios takes place in an old steam train with a restored carriage.
  • Along with Italian (italiano), Sardinians speak one of the dialects of Sardinian (sardu), considered by many scholars to be one of the most conservative Romance languages.
  • The Barossa Valley (pictured) is one of the best wine-producing regions on the Australian mainland.
  • Also called the "Pink Lake", the high concentration of cyanobacteria indeed gives Lake Retba in Dakar a pink tone.
  • Isfahan translates to Half The World in Persian.
  • In Roxbury, Boston, the Shirley-Eustis House (pictured) is one of the last remaining mansions of royal governors in the United States.
  • In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. Nearly 50% of the population are not native to the Netherlands or have at least one parent born outside the country.
  • High Wycombe, England has an annual "Mayor Marking" ceremony where they weigh the mayor to see if they're getting fat at taxpayers' expense.
  • In 2004, Lake Wales (pictured in the top left of image) was hit by three hurricanes, which was the first time in recorded U.S. history that 3 hurricanes passed through the same county in one year.
  • Altrincham can be accessed by narrow boat along the Bridgewater Canal.
  • As the first and last European colony in East Asia, Macau has more visible colonial history than Hong Kong.
  • At the Four Corners Monument (pictured), visitors are either vastly underwhelmed by this attraction, even angry they drove so far out of their way to see so little; or they are inordinately pleased with running from state to state and having their picture taken.
  • When visiting San Carlos de Bariloche, look out for the St Bernard dogs on display for tourists.
  • In 2001, the town council of Kensington, Maryland banned Santa Claus from touring the town on a fire truck, prompting national media attention and a protest with dozens of Santas!
  • The plant-filled River of Seven Colors (pictured) in tiny La Macarena, Colombia is said to be the most beautiful river in the world.
  • The new congress building in Asunción, Paraguay was built with funding from Taiwan, as Paraguay is the only country in South America that recognizes Taiwan instead of the People's Republic of China.
  • Rauma, the third oldest town in Finland, is famous for seafaring and lace—it still celebrates an annual Lace Week.
  • Beautiful ice and snow sculptures (pictured) appear throughout the "Ice City" of Harbin during its annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.
  • Despite what you might think, the city of Weed, California, is named after a person, not a plant.


May 2017Edit

  • The enormous golden Buddha statue in Bangkok's Yaowarat district (pictured) was hidden under a layer of plaster until a fall during transport cracked the plaster and revealed the gold underneath.
  • Vatican City, located entirely within the city of Rome, is the world's smallest country both by area and by population.
  • The U.S. state of Texas was an independent republic for nine years after gaining independence from Mexico.
  • Traditional Catalan human towers (castells, pictured) rise above the crowds at festivals in Barcelona.
  • Meat and alcohol are banned in the entire cities of Rishikesh and Haridwar in Uttarakhand, India.
  • Though not aligned with any country or ethnic group, the constructed language Esperanto is useful for the Pasporta Servo home stay network.
  • Qibao ancient town (pictured) in Shanghai's Minhang district has two canals and lots of traditional buildings.
  • Dachau, Bavaria was known for its impressionist painters until the presence of the first Nazi concentration camp cast a pall over the town.
  • Old-growth coastal redwoods, the tallest living things on the planet, can be seen in their full glory near Mill Valley, California.
  • The Uruguayan beach resort of Punta del Este has an enormous sculpture of fingers (pictured) sticking out of the sand.
  • Wakkanai sounds like "wakannai", which happens to mean "I don't understand / I don't know" in colloquial Japanese, so you can expect to get some ribbing if you answer questions like "Where are you?" with "Wakkanai"!
  • The Dead Sea, shared between Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, is the lowest point in the world at 394.6 m (1,269 ft) below sea level.
  • The Laas Gaal cave complex outside Hargeisa, Somaliland has some of the earliest known art in Africa (pictured).
  • Formerly outlawed for part of the 20th century, the Catalan language is a point of pride for many inhabitants of Catalonia.
  • Donkeys are used for transporting goods in the well-preserved medina of Fez, the world's largest car-free urban zone.
  • Provincetown (pictured) has an intriguing history as the first landing site of the Pilgrims and the place where the Mayflower Compact was signed.
  • Montevideo's 40-day carnival, said to be the longest in the world, features parades, performances, and African-influenced candombe music.
  • Kabak, in Turkey, doesn't have a large enough population to be designated even as a "village", so it's often omitted from maps, even quite detailed ones.
  • Thornicroft's giraffe and Crawshay's zebra (pictured) are both species endemic to South Luangwa National Park (Zambia), and both known for their unusual appearance within their respective genera.
  • Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire is the only known place in the UK ever visited by Elvis Presley.
  • The Sereer people of Senegal practise a distinct form of wrestling, in which combatants use brute force and magic to force their opponents to the ground.
  • Although often thronged with mountaineers attempting Everest, Namche Bazaar (pictured) remains a small hillside village with just 60 permanent residents.
  • The name of Amqui, Quebec charmingly means "where we have fun" in the local Mi'kmaq language.
  • In Kannur's Muthappan Temple (Kerala), there is no idol to worship; in its place, there is a ritualistic art form, which is unique in India
  • In the French Quarter of Haidhausen in Munich (pictured), the streets are named after places in France and the layout of the street grid imitates that of French cities.
  • České Budějovice was founded in 1256 by the Czech King Premysl Otakar II, who now has a square named after him in the city.
  • The highest point in Antigua and Barbuda was named Mount Obama for the 44th U.S. President.


April 2017Edit

  • St. Jacob's Church (pictured), accessible only by a steep trail through the woods outside of Ortisei, South Tyrol, is more than 700 years old.
  • Nha Trang is Vietnam's most famous seaside resort town, and the scuba diving centre of Vietnam.
  • Fanø hosts Denmark's first golf course, the Fanø Golf Links, established in 1901.
  • Contrary to intuition, seeing the Northern Lights (pictured from space) isn't just a matter of heading north. The Lights occur mainly in a circular band centered on the Earth's Magnetic North Pole, which is not at the same location as the Geographic North Pole.
  • The borders of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet in Vaals, on the Drielandenpunt.
  • The Geysers del Tatio, in San Pedro de Atacama, are some of the highest geysers in the world. It's also the third-largest geyser site on Earth, with over 80 active ones.
  • Ulsan (pictured) is the gateway to the Yeongnam Alps, considered to be one of the most beautiful national parks in South Korea.
  • Mombasa was founded in the 16th century and has been ruled by the Portuguese, Arabs and British. The city's culture today still exhibits those of its past.
  • The fact that the small town of Simpelveld had two different monasteries gained it the local title of "kloesterstedsje", or "monastery town".
  • Denver Airport (pictured) has been the focus of numerous conspiracy theories, with some people suggesting ties to everything from the Illuminati to the New World Order.
  • El Balneario de Alhama de Granada in Andalusia is a spa which has been in use since the 1st century.
  • The world's longest known cave system is in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, with over 392 miles of cave.
  • Palais de l'Isle (pictured) is a former palace-turned-prison situated on a tiny island between canals in Annecy.
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan was Thailand's first seaside resort, having been popularised by King Rama V and his family.
  • The Rio Negro and Rio Solimões flow parallel to one another for many miles before finally meeting near Manaus, forming the Amazon.
  • St Mary's and All Saints' Church (pictured) in Chesterfield, Derbyshire is best known for its crooked spire, which has inspired much local folklore.
  • Carver, Massachusetts once produced more cranberries than any other town in the world.
  • Taxis in Freetown are normally shared and operate fixed routes; travellers wishing to charter their own taxi should say "cha cha" to the driver and negotiate a price.
  • Zamboanga (pictured) is known as Asia's Latin city, due to its melting pot of Spanish, Filipino and world cultures.
  • Tallinn is treated as a home away from home by day trippers from Finland, due to their close linguistic and cultural ties with Estonia.
  • White pearl-sand beaches, bathed in a perfumed breeze, are a most popular visitor attraction of Comoros.
  • Apple Valley's 485-acre Minnesota Zoo (pictured) was one of the first to organize animals into themed areas and trails by their living environment, as opposed to their species.
  • The national flag of the Czech Republic was banned by the Nazis in 1939. It was restored at the end of World War II and still flies across the country.
  • The steepest street in the world is claimed to be in Dunedin, New Zealand, and celebrated by the annual rolling of 40,000 chocolates down the street.
  • In about 1257, Mount Rinjani (pictured) erupted so violently that its shape changed, and this event is believed to have contributed to the onset of the Little Ice Age.
  • There are 160 monasteries in Bulgaria, which remained vital centres of local culture for centuries under Ottoman rule.
  • For a town pretty well slap bang on the Equator, Entebbe is a few degrees cooler than you might expect.
  • Magadan, an oblast in the Russian Far East, served as a gateway to the notorious Kolyma Gulags.
  • Bautzen, home to an medieval-era old city in Saxony, was infamous throughout East Germany for its penitentiaries.


March 2017Edit

  • In Balatonfüred, you can go to the Anna Ball, which is one of the most unique balls in Hungary, and has been organised annually since 1825.
  • The last Emperor of the French, Napoléon III, is entombed in Farnborough, a quiet suburban corner of Hampshire, England.
  • Mongolia (pictured) is nicknamed the "Land of Blue Skies" and with good reason; there are said to be about 250 sunny days throughout each year.
  • In 1960, Grand-Bassam was little more than a ghost town, until a surge of tourism in the 1970s led to its resettlement, with today, a modest 5,000 people calling the town their home.
  • Wikivoyage's E11 hiking trail article is the only English-language guide giving a precise routing of the trail.
  • It is said that Christopher Columbus sighted Saba (pictured) on his trans-Atlantic voyage, but did not land due to the rocky shores.
  • Derry is the only remaining completely intact walled city on the whole island of Ireland.
  • The most famous landmark in Jakarta is the 137m-tall obelisk of solid bronze National Monument, commissioned to celebrate Indonesia's independence.
  • You can visit the dam which James Bond bungee jumped from in the opening scene of Golden Eye (pictured) in the Verzasca Valley.
  • Bahrain means "two seas" in the Arabic language.
  • Antarctica is notable for being the only continent with no significant land plant life and no native land mammals, reptiles, or amphibians.
  • The TelefériQo cable car (pictured) hoists visitors up the active Pichincha Volcano, with views of half-a-dozen volcanoes and all of Quito below.
  • Eskişehir province is the only place in the world where Meerschaum is extracted.
  • Riobamba is known locally as the "Sultan of the Andes", due to its majestic mountains and regal colonial architecture.
  • Fort St. Angelo (pictured) has been in Cottonera (Malta) since Roman times, and possibly before.
  • Ooty was founded in the 19th century by the British, and served as the summer headquarters of the Madras Presidency.
  • The Atlantis resort on Paradise Island is responsible for an amazing 11% of the Bahamas' GNP.
  • Albany (pictured) is the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.
  • At about 1,700 m above sea level, the airport in Samedan (Switzerland) is the highest in Europe.
  • Frankfurt airport has two railway stations, one for local trains only and one only for long distance trains.
  • The Arkansas State Capitol (pictured) in Little Rock occupies the former site of the state penitentiary.
  • Most sites in Egypt offer a hefty 50% discount on entrance fees for holders of the International Student Identification Card (ISIC), or the teacher equivalent.
  • Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota technically has well over 15,000.
  • In Melbourne centre, a number of intersections require drivers to perform the infamous hook turn (warning sign pictured).
  • Since its opening in 1998, Skytrax has named Hong Kong International Airport the world's best airport eight times.
  • Madeira Casino (pictured) in Funchal, the only casino on the island, was designed by Oscar Niemeyer who also designed much of Brasilia.


February 2017Edit

  • With a huge selection of records and instruments, the House of Guitars in Rochester (New York) is considered a shrine to music and musicians.
  • The bullring (pictured) in Colonia is almost unused, it was finished two years before bullfighting was outlawed in Uruguay.
  • Greenland is the world's largest non-continental island.
  • Tsitsikamma translates to "place of much water" in Khoisan, and probably refers to the average annual rainfall of 1,200 mm.
  • At low tide, you can walk between Saint Martins Island and the island of Chera Dwip (pictured).
  • There are more native speakers of Wu Chinese than there are native speakers of French.
  • Lviv has a multicultural history but just a little of the evidence of this has survived the ravages of war, Nazism and Stalinism.
  • The 18 survivors of the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation (map of circumnavigation pictured) were the first recorded people to have sailed around the world.
  • There is no standard for written Azerbaijani in terms of spelling.
  • Tulum is one of the earliest resorts in Mexico, offering a place of worship and solitude for the Mayan kings, clergy and gods in early times.
  • Krabi Town (pictured) is, in reality, two towns.
  • According to a German internet meme, Bielefeld does not exist. Incidentally this is the one thing almost all Germans know about the town.
  • Lotus Lake in Kaohsiung is surrounded by temples, some of which have built out onto the lake.
  • Clusane (pictured) was founded during the Bronze Age, and has been a fishing village since the 18th century.
  • Almost all long distance trains in Germany are run by state owned Deutsche Bahn.
  • Albert the Bull in Audubon is the world's largest bull statue.
  • Berenty Reserve is world-famous for its lemurs (pictured), which have been studied and filmed extensively.
  • The Republic Square is the main meeting point of Belgradians, and popularly referred to as "by the horse".
  • In one part of Washington D.C., you can visit the place where President Lincoln penned the second draft of his Emancipation Proclamation.
  • You can see the remains of the HMS Bounty (painting of ship pictured) in Bounty Bay in the Pitcairn Islands.
  • The Brecon Beacons National Park contains some of the most spectacular and distinctive upland formations in southern Britain.
  • The Ark citadel was once the fortified residence of the rulers of Bukhara.
  • Lublin is a beautiful mid-sized city with its own particular Renaissance style, called the Lublin Renaissance (St. Joseph church pictured).
  • Although the ground at the South Pole is close to sea level, the thick ice at that location raises the station to an altitude of 9,300 feet (2,835 meters).
  • The black stupa in Vientiane is the mythical abode of a seven-headed dragon that protects the city.
  • Cuzco (pictured) is the city with the highest average level of UV-radiation in the world.
  • On both sides of the Atlantic there are museums and memorials to RMS Titanic's tragic journey.
  • The Midwest was historically the center of the American brewing industry, and major domestic breweries remain headquartered in the area.


January 2017Edit

  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane is the world's first and largest koala sanctuary, and also features other Aussie wildlife (resting kangaroo pictured).
  • The outdoor night club Heat in Mbarara is a car wash during daytime.
  • Sleeveless shirts and short pants or skirts are not permitted within the borders of the Vatican.
  • The Tiger Leaping Gorge trek leads through some of the most naturally beautiful and diverse landscapes China has to offer (pictured).
  • Llanwrtyd Wells claims to be the smallest community in the UK with the status of a town.
  • Elburg, rebuilt in the 1390s, is the only historical city in the Netherlands to have been entirely rebuilt on a grid pattern before the the Industrial Revolution.
  • Bento Gonçalves is the wine capital of Brazil; most of the country's wine and grape juice is produced in the region (Miolo vineyards pictured).
  • Karni Mata temple outside Bikaner is home to holy rats.
  • Elk Island National Park is one of the last remaining large areas of natural aspen parkland.
  • In Abiquiu (pictured), you can visit the home of famous painter Georgia O'Keefe.
  • Whenever you buy something at Manchester Airport, you're probably saving someone, somewhere, some money on their council tax!
  • An uninhabited island off the southern coast of Puerto Rico is named Caja de Muertos — "Box of the Dead".
  • Laxey is home to the Laxey Wheel (pictured), often described as the biggest water wheel in the world.
  • Puerto Pirámides is one of the best sites to observe the famous southern whales.
  • Always wanted to sleep in a lighthouse? Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse outside Rauma has been converted to a hotel.
  • Awash National Park (pictured) features places where some of the earliest human remains have been found.
  • Kuala Lumpur translates to "muddy river confluence" in Malay.
  • Norfolk Islanders have their own language, Norfuk, a blend of English and Tahitian. It is not easily understood by outsiders.
  • Rishikesh is scenically located where the Ganges River (pictured) comes down from the Himalayas.
  • Big Bend is one of the largest national parks in the lower 48 states yet one of the least visited.
  • The Rance tidal power plant in Saint-Malo reportedly attracts 200,000 visitors per year.
  • The Castle of Good Hope (pictured) in Cape Town is South Africa's oldest surviving building.
  • Some divers know Isla Malpelo as the "shark heaven."
  • The Tamil language is described as having one of the richest literatures in the world.
  • The most popular association football team in Mexico, as rated by FIFA, is Club Deportivo Guadalajara (stadium pictured) in Guadalajara.
  • Legend has it that Kraków was built on the cave of a dragon whom the mythical King Krak had slain.
  • With the same time zone and latitude (though to the south, rather than the north of the equator) as Hawaii, the Cook Islands are sometimes thought of as "Hawaii down under".
  • The Ha Long Bay archipelago (pictured) is made up of 1,969 islands, both inhabited and uninhabited.
  • Barbados has a well-deserved reputation for producing excellent rum.
  • Savaii has no real towns as such, just a series of small villages with people living in traditional huts.
  • Mount Sinai (pictured) is said to be the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God; indeed, the Arabic name Gebel Musa means "Mount of Moses".


Old discoveriesEdit