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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

April 2018Edit

  • Taung Kwe Pagoda (pictured) in Loikaw is impressively built on a big rock with many smaller pagodas sticking out.
  • Buenos Aires has been called the gay capital of South America, and has a vast range of attractions specifically catering for LGBT travellers.
  • Aurora (Illinois) is probably best known for being the setting of the "Wayne's World" movies.
  • Looking at its beauty, it is hard to believe Bergamo (pictured) is also one of Italy's most industrialized cities, from which it derives its relative wealth.
  • Hot weather is not just about temperature, as humidity also greatly influences the effects.
  • With 8 km (5.0 mi) of hotels and restaurants, Boa Viagem beach in Recife is the longest urbanized stretch of beach in Brazil.
  • A fun throwback to colonial days are the calesa horse-drawn carriages (pictured) that still clip-clop through Vigan's streets.
  • The Bâtca Doamnei Fortress outside Piatra Neamț was founded in 1st century BC, but there are traces of a much earlier civilization.
  • Stretching from 17°S in the north to 55°S in the south, Chile is latitude-wise among the longest countries in the world, with several climate zones and types of nature.
  • In Tana Toraja you can see traditional Tongkonan houses (pictured), intricately decorated with upward-sloping roofs.
  • The National Railway Museum in York is the largest railway museum in the world, responsible for the conservation and interpretation of the British national collection of historically significant railway vehicles and other artefacts.
  • The world's largest PEZ dispenser, located at the Museum of PEZ Memorabilia in Burlingame, California, dispenses regular-sized PEZ dispensers.
  • The British Indian Ocean Territory is abundant in enormous coconut crabs (pictured), which can grow up to a meter in length.
  • It's possible to bicycle across the Sahara, crossing hundreds of kilometers of desert from Morocco to Senegal.
  • The Inca Trail through the mountains of Peru follows the same stone paths used by the Incas hundreds of years ago.
  • At a height of 34.1 metres, Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse (pictured), in Gaspé, is the tallest one in Canada.
  • A stunning group of turquoise lakes in the eastern part of the country, Band-e Amir is Afghanistan's first national park.
  • King Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the largest mosque in Morocco and has the tallest minaret in the world.
  • The Mask of Sorrow (pictured) outside Magadan is a huge concrete monument to the victims of the Gulags, for which this region was well known.
  • When buying clothes abroad (or from a foreign online store) you may run into a number of different systems for clothing sizes.
  • Thermopolis is notable for the presence of one of the world's largest hot springs.
  • The Qantas Founders Museum (aircraft on display pictured) in Longreach celebrates their early years in the town that they started from.
  • In the era of transatlantic ship travel Cobh was the first and last port in Europe.
  • Mumbai is named after the goddess Mumba devi of the Koli community.
  • Built at the beginning of the 15th century, the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity (pictured) in Rakvere was a shelter during the Livonian war (1558-1583) and suffered greatly then.
  • Despite originating in the South of Italy, pizza is one of the most popular dishes in North America and has had a degree of cultural and societal impact that far outstrips most foods.
  • Don't use your thumb for hitchhiking in Gambia, as it's an obscene gesture there — instead wave if you want a car to stop.
  • The Poshanu Cham Tower (pictured) in the Phu Hai ward (Thap Po Sha Inu) of Mui Ne is a derelict remainder of the ancient Cham culture that was built in the 8th century.
  • The highest and the lowest points of South America are both located in Argentina.
  • According to a legend, Teotihuacan was where the gods gathered to plan the creation of man.


March 2018Edit

  • The Great Wall of China, as we know it, is actually a series of several walls (map pictured) built at different times by different emperors.
  • South Sea pearls are a large part of the history of Broome.
  • Once famous for its hair-raisingly short runway ending at a cliff over the Atlantic Ocean, Funchal airport has been expanded to handle all sizes of aircraft.
  • The Swiss Papal Guards of the Vatican wear very colourful clothing, similar to the uniforms worn by Renaissance-era soldiers (pictured).
  • Maine's unique accent and dialect lend to its one-of-a-kind charm.
  • The Old Town of Szczecin is jokingly referred to by locals as "Brand New Old Town", as its reconstruction only started in late 1990s and is ongoing.
  • At the Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan (pictured) in Tashkent you can see Russian paintings depicting Uzbek people and their lifestyle, local antiquities, and decorations salvaged from ancient temples.
  • Tobacco products vary enormously in price around the world, mainly because different countries or states tax them differently.
  • Natives call Aguascalientes "the perforated city" or La Ciudad Perforada due to its intertwining passages, or catacombs beneath it that the pre-colonial Indians carved from rock.
  • Blackpool Tower Ballroom (pictured), in the eponymous Lancashire resort town, remains a global mecca for ballroom and Latin dancing.
  • Shenzhen is unique in that if you are travelling from Hong Kong and remain in the Shenzhen special economic zone, you do not need a full China Mainland Visa.
  • Inland San Diego County, California, is a haven for world-class rock-climbing.
  • While mostly known by Westerners for its 1945 conference, Yalta is a popular Crimean resort, and has such varied sights as Anton Chekhov's House and a beautiful Armenian church (pictured)
  • There must be something in the water at Havelock (New Zealand), as two of the world's greatest scientists had their formative education there: Sir Ernest Rutherford, the first man to split the atom, and the NASA rocket scientist Bill Pickering.
  • The Tonga people of Nkhata Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi are famed for their love of fine clothing — it's common to see older men dressed in full suits with Homburg hats, spats and canes!
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park was the place in Pennsylvania where, in the winter of 1777-78, General George Washington forged his Continental Army into a fighting force (re-enactment gunner pictured).
  • Cabo San Lucas captures the essence of Baja California, with excellent resorts, golf courses and watersports to enjoy by day, and one of Mexico's wildest nightlife scenes.
  • While some destinations are better known for their alcoholic beverages than anything else, other places totally ban alcohol. Therefore, a traveller needs to know and adapt to local drinking customs.
  • Zamora in Spain has Europe's highest concentration of Romanesque art and architecture (dome of the city's cathedral pictured).
  • The Honmé Museum in Porto-Novo is the former residence of King Toffa, and offers a nice look into how Beninese royalty lived.
  • The area around the Swedish town of Ljusdal is known for is UNESCO-listed decorated farmhouses.
  • Brisbane is very laid-back, even by Australian standards (Kangaroo rest area pictured).
  • Kisangani in the DRC is exceptionally diverse, with over 250 cultures represented and no single ethnicity or place of origin dominant.
  • The word Farsi entered the English language mainly because West-migrated Iranians didn't know about the English exonym for their language (i.e. Persian)
  • The Slovak National Uprising Memorial and Museum (pictured) in Banská Bystrica memorialises resistance to fascism during the Second World War.
  • Córdoba is the home of a popular genre of Argentine dance music, the lively and fast Cuarteto.
  • Kinsale is perhaps best known for the siege of 1601, the fallout of which resulted in the expulsion of the Gaelic aristocracy from Ireland and the supplanting of the ancient Irish social order by English rule.
  • Park Square, the beautifully-preserved village center of Franklinville, New York, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 (former Town Hall at 11 Park Square pictured).
  • Dhanbad is considered the coal capital of India, home to 112 coal mines and the country's largest colliery.
  • Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas has over 300 caves within its boundary.
  • Built circa 850 CE, the Grand Mosque of Sousse, Tunisia (pictured) is simple and austere in the Aghlabite style, with no decoration whatsoever aside from a string of angular Arabic and curved arches.


February 2018Edit

  • The Skull Tower near Niš was built in the 19th century by the Turks from the skulls of the Serbs killed in the battle of Cegar.
  • Most visitors to Puerto Galera, Philippines are attracted by the excellent scuba diving provided by the protected marine sanctuary.
  • The Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial (pictured) is Brasilia's highest location, a museum dedicated to the life and accomplishments of the president, which also houses his remains.
  • The British Virgin island Jost Van Dyke is known as the home of the notorious rum-based drink painkiller.
  • Bahrain's biggest yearly event is the Bahrain Grand Prix F1 race, held each April at the Bahrain International Circuit.
  • The Nanjing Confucius Temple Museum (pictured) comprises a tiny fraction of the once-massive original buildings.
  • Ohio has been home to eight American Presidents, giving it the nickname Mother of U.S. Presidents.
  • As you approach the Little Castle in Český Krumlov, you cross the Bear Moat, where the famous Krumlov bears gambol about lazily.
  • During the Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, held on the fifth Sunday after Easter, streets in São Miguel in the Azores are carpeted with colorful flowers (pictured).
  • The Gurminj Museum of Musical Instruments in Dushanbe displays Central Asian musical instruments, and during musical or cultural events there you can see and hear them being played.
  • Once named Berlin, Kitchener, Ontario was renamed after British military hero Lord Kitchener in 1916, due to the anti-German sentiment during World War I.
  • Athens offers some of the best and worst urban walking (stairs in the Plaka district pictured) in Europe.
  • For most of human history, people either traveled for religious reasons or out of economic necessity, hence business travel may well be the oldest form of travel.
  • The last two decades, dinosaurs have become a main theme of Savannakhet, Laos.
  • Wycliffe Well is not just another roadhouse — it is the self-proclaimed UFO Capital of Australia (sign pictured).
  • The name Quime comes from the Quechua word for "Place to Rest" and was a traditional stopping point for mules carrying gold.
  • Northern Cyprus has been dubbed as the Turkish Las Vegas, and you will find casinos almost everywhere in the country.
  • The name of the New Forest (ponies pictured) is somewhat misleading, as it is neither new, nor is it a forest in the current sense of the word; in 1079, the word "forest" was understood to mean "game reserve".
  • Visiting the Soviet Lifestyle Museum in Kazan has been described as going through a time-machine back to the USSR.
  • Like the South Pole, the precise location of the North Pole is constantly shifting due to shifts in the Earth's axis of rotation.
  • The Padmanabhapuram Palace (pictured) outside Thiruvananthapuram in southern India is recorded as the world's largest wooden palace by the Guinness Books of Records.
  • Forgottonia's peculiar name in part stems from a semi tongue-in-cheek independence movement from the 1970s that was a reaction to economic hardship and policy decisions harmful to western Illinois.
  • The present Greek alphabet was introduced by a Phoenician called Qadmu (Καδμος) about 800 BCE and has been in use continuously since then.
  • Flights to Milford Sound Airport (pictured) are undoubtedly some of the world's greatest scenic flights, with unsurpassed views of the mountains and glaciers en route.
  • Himachal Pradesh's name literally means "Abode of Snow" in Sanskrit.
  • The title "Nebraska Admiral" is solely honorary; as the only triple-landlocked U.S. state, Nebraska is separated from tidewater by at least three other states or provinces in every direction.
  • A dusty ranching center in northern Argentina, surrounded by cacti and colorful mountains, Humahuaca (pictured) looks like a set for a wild west movie.
  • The former meat-packing plant in Fray Bentos, Uruguay, was once one of the largest industrial plants in South America.


January 2018Edit

  • Jet lag is caused by rapid travel across time zones.
  • The Sintra National Palace (pictured) was the summer estate of the Portuguese royal family from the middle ages until the 1910 republican revolution.
  • The Alexander Pushkin Museum is dedicated to the adventures of Odessa's most famous short-term resident.
  • The Avenida Paulista, with its busy cosmopolitan atmosphere and blend of old and new architecture, is a good representation of São Paulo's aspirations for itself.
  • Morondava is known throughout Madagascar for its ancient baobab trees (pictured), including the two intertwined "baobabs amoureux".
  • North Gyeongsang is the cultural epicenter of Korea, where Buddhist traditions and Confucian philosophy still guide a rather conservative populace.
  • Abu Dhabi is a compulsive shopper's dream.
  • Þingvellir National Park in Iceland sits on the faultline between the Eurasian and North American plates (pictured).
  • The casino in Bad Homburg served as direct inspiration for the Monte Carlo Grand Casino, which the Monegasque Prince ordered to be built "in the German style".
  • The sale of postage stamps and coins to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue for the island nation of Niue.
  • The El Choro Trek (view on day one of the trek pictured) was constructed before or during the Inca Empire for the transport of food and goods to the high mountains from the subtropical woods.
  • Barber shops consisting of nothing but a chair and an enthusiastic barber can be found on the sides of roads in Johannesburg.
  • The best rice in Japan is said to come from Niigata.
  • One of Spain's most spectacular fire festivals, Valencia's Falles (pictured) can be best characterized as a fire-fireworks-gunpowder street party extravaganza.
  • Hamburg still has Bahnsteigkarten. These are tickets for those who wish to enter the platform area but don't want to ride a train.
  • With only 37,000 inhabitants, Nunavut covers a land area larger than Mexico.
  • Martians (tripod sculpture pictured) chose the English town of Woking to launch their invasion of Earth in H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.
  • Luganville, Vanuatu's biggest draw is the wreck of the SS President Coolidge, a WWII troop carrier sunk by friendly mines in 1942.
  • The Pacific Rim Whale Festival celebrates the annual migration of 20,000 grey whales past the small town of Ucluelet, British Columbia.
  • Amateur photographers will appreciate Komsomolsk-on-Amur for its many Stalinist-era neo-renaissance buildings (residential block pictured).
  • Garden City, Long Island, is actually a village.
  • Travellers teaching English must be prepared to strain their knowledge of their own language in order to answer seemingly straightforward questions posed by learners.
  • One specialty of Spanish cuisine is tapas (pictured), small bites of meat, seafood, cheese or vegetables that are traditionally eaten as bar snacks.
  • Gurudwara Sahib in Mantin is one of the oldest Sikh temples in Malaysia.
  • Jesus is said to have been baptised in the Jordan river at Jericho, now in the Palestinian Territories
  • As a purpose-built capital city, Abuja is a great place to see modern Nigerian architecture (National Mosque pictured).
  • Despite the popular Croatian saying that Split experiences snowfall once every 30 years, there is actually at least one snowy day nearly every winter.
  • "Standard souvenirs" to purchase from La Fortuna include photos of the town's erupting volcano, machetes and Costa Rican coffee.
  • Mars, Pennsylvania has a statue of a flying saucer (pictured).
  • DNA researchers in Knysna, South Africa ask visitors to report any elephant dung they discover.
  • The Omani region of Dhofar is UNESCO-listed as the land of frankincense.



Old discoveriesEdit