Largest Forest Cover in the World
Russia, the largest country in the world, has about eight million square kilometres of forest cover. That’s essentially about 25 per cent of the Earth’s standing forests concentrated in one country; and 60 per cent of all boreal forests in the world! As a result, Russia is the world’s largest carbon dioxide converter, followed by Canada, Brazil, the US and China. Russia’s forest cover is even larger than the continental United States. The forests are especially important for the planet because of their sheer size. They regulate climatic changes and also play a role in balancing environmental impacts.
Go Back in Time in Ethiopia
While the rest of us are bracing for 2020, Ethiopia might just be chilling in 2013. According to their calendar, at least. The Ethiopian calendar is roughly 7-8 years behind the Gregorian calendar which is followed by most countries today. Their calendar is similar to the Gregorian’s predecessor, the Julian calendar. With 13 months in a year, 12 of which have 30 days and one has only five, the Ethiopian calendar is full of Biblical references. They also hold steady on the fact that Jesus was born in 7 BCE. The shortest month gets an extra day in the leap year, and each leap cycle, if we may, is broken down into the John year, Matthew year, Mark year and Luke year.
Tip Your Graduation Cap to Canada
If natural beauty, infinite lakes and intellectual conversations sound like your travel style, book that ticket to Canada right now. It has topped the list of the world’s most educated countries - over 56 per cent of adults in the Great White North have a higher education—anything beyond high school. Education is considered the nation’s greatest resource, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (he said that at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos). Canada is followed by Japan, Israel and Korea in the ranking put together by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The Collectible Currency
We in India have a love-hate relationship with our currency. Some people like the new, smaller, more colourful notes in larger denominations. Others prefer to call it 'monopoly money'. But step back India, because Niue—a tiny island nation in the South Pacific—beats every other country in the currency game. In an effort to gain momentum on the world stage, Niue’s coins have characters from Star Wars, Disney princesses, Pokémons, and the usual suspects like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto, among other childhood favourites. They are traded as legal tender in the country, and made of gold worth more than the face value!
Learning New Tongues
If you like travelling in order to learn new languages, you’ll be in for a treat in Papua New Guinea. It is the most linguistically diverse country in the world, with over 820 languages - that's about 12 per cent of the total languages in the world! It has multiple official languages, including English, which is spoken by about one to two per cent of the people. On the richness of language diversity scale, Papua New Guinea is followed by Indonesia (742 languages), Nigeria (516 languages), India (427 languages) and the US (311 languages).