Odd Bits of Trivia About Your Country

Inspired by this thread. Share odd bits of trivia about your country. Canadians welcome, of course.

There is or was a banana farm near Osoyoos, BC.

Only the Royal family and some Oxbridge colleges are allowed to eat Swan. All swans belong to the monarch.

There is a whole slew of stuff I could inject about Australia, but an interesting one I only just learnt the other week -

It is estimated that Australia has just over half of the world’s deposits of Uranium.

Come talk to us if you want fuel for your reactor :stuck_out_tongue: Of course we probably won’t give you any as there is currently a moratorium on opening any new uranium mines.

More US presidents (8) have come from one state than any other. Unfortunately, no one can seem to agree whether it’s Virginia or Ohio.

The only mercury mines in the world are Rio Tinto (Red River) in Spain. Not just the only ones now, the only ones ever.

You are mistaken. There were mercury mines in what is now San Jose, California, which operated until 1975. Fish from the creek a mile from my house are inedible due to mercury from the mine tailings. The town at the mines was called New Almaden, and the area is now known as Almaden Valley.

These names are taken from Almadén in the Castile-La Mancha region of Spain, which is home to the world’s largest cinnabar deposit, and accounts for the largest amount of liquid mercury produced in the world.

I’m further confused by your post, though because Wikipedia’s entry for Rio Tinto places it in Andalusia. It’s red color is not caused by cinnabar, but by iron dissolved in the water resullting from acid mine drainage. The mines in the area are for copper, iron, and manganese, not mercury.

The Ramon Crater, in southern Israel, is the world’s largest karst erosion cirque, a rare geological formation - which exists only in the Negev and Sinai deserts - in which water erosion causes impact-crater-like formations.

Also, the lowest point on the Earth’s surface is also in Israel, on the shores of the Dead Sea (shared with Jordan). The Dead Sea is also the most saline natural body of water on Earth – it is denser than the human body, and thus it is impossible to drown in it (e.g., one can sit in the water and read a newspaper, without any props)

Can I blame bullrun excitement on mistaking Almadén and Río Tinto? Didn’t know about Nuevo Almadén at all, our natural science teacher was almost bouncing when he told us about Almadén being the only source of mercury in the world.

Of all the cities in the world with a population of over 1,000,000 people, Perth Australia is the furthest away from another city with a population of over 1,000,000.

Guess you told him!

Very Interesting. Does Almaden wine come from this area? Could the grapes be affected by the mercury?

The world’s longest-running Ice Hockey tournament is British… it’s the Varsity competition between Univ. of Oxford and Univ. of Cambridge.

The first Varsity Match was played in 1885 at St. Moritz in Switzerland.


Oops. Sorry!

Here in Sweden, people drive with their headlights on during the day. Whenever we drive in other countries, people keep pulling up, pointing to our headlights and trying to tell us that we’ve mistakenly left our headlights on.

I guess that’s the law? Volvos and Saabs here always have at least the sidelights on.

Since I live in the US, but come from a country where Rugby Union is played – the reigning Olympic Rugby Union champion is the United States. (And it looks unlikely ever to lose that position).

And one for Australia: Canberra is the only national capital to have an airport with no scheduled intrernational flights.

Since 1990 daytime running lights have been mandatory on all vehicles sold in Canada.

In Quebec, all business signs must have French as the main language, and English (or any other language) must be at most half the size of the French words.

A very popular fast food item from Quebec consists of French fries, topped with cheese curds and gravy. It’s called poutine (poo-TIN) and is actually quite delicious.

That would go down so well here in the world centre of heart disease. Yum!