What Is The Flattest Country In The World?

The Maldives is a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean, about 350 miles southwest of India. The Maldives include about 2,000 islands spread over a distance of 500 miles. Even with all those islands, the total area of the Maldives is just 115 square miles, about the size of Portland, Oregon! If you like … Read more

Where Is Oldest Tree In The World Known To Man?

The city of Anuradhapura was founded in the fifth century B.C. and remained the capital of Ceylonese kings for 12 centuries. After the people of Ceylon had been converted to Buddhism, Anuradhapura became a holy city and the destination of many Buddhist pilgrims. The Ceylonese built in Anuradhapura a number of massive stupas, monumental mounds … Read more

What Is the Legend of Rama’s Bridge?

Today, there is no land link between the mainland of India and the island of Sri Lanka, which lies off the southern tip of India. But scientists believe that India and Sri Lanka were connected in recent times. Adam’s Bridge is a chain of sandbanks stretching more than 30 miles between India and an island … Read more

What Asian Country Was Born in 1971?

Bangladesh, the nation of the Bengali people, is surrounded by India, Burma, and the Bay of Bengal. The people of Bangladesh have belonged to three different countries within the short period of 25 years! The Bengal region was part of India until 1947. That year, when the independent nation of India was formed, the nation … Read more

Which Country Has The Fewest Cars?

Bangladesh is one of the poorest, most heavily populated nations on earth. Though it is only about the size of Idaho, Bangladesh had a population of about 85 million! While 86 countries are larger in area, only 7 have a larger population. The population density of this crowded country is about 1,554 people per square … Read more

Where Is The Largest Delta In The World?

A delta is a large deposit of sand and soil at the mouth of a river formed from sediment carried downstream by the river water. The name comes from the Greek letter D, which is called delta and is shaped like a triangle, because most of the world’s deltas are in the shape of a … Read more

Why Is The King Of Bhutan Called Dragon King?

Bhutan, a nation about half as large as Indiana, is nestled in the Himalaya Mountains between India and China. The high mountains of Bhutan chill the moist winds blowing from the seas to the south and cause heavy rainfall, some parts of Bhutan receive more than 300 inches of rain in a year. The weather … Read more

Why Is The Himalayas Called The Roof of the World?

When it comes to mountain ranges, there is no match on earth for the Himalayas. This range stretches 1,500 miles along the borders of Nepal, India, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Tibet. Together with a neighboring range known as the Karakorum, the Himalaya-Karakorum mountains include most of the world’s Very high peaks. Amazingly, 96 of the world’s … Read more

Does the Yeti of the Himalayas Really Exist?

The Sherpas, the people who live on the slopes of the towering Himalaya Mountains, tell of a strange creature that roams this snow-covered region. The creature, called the Yeti, is described as large and apelike, its body covered with black or brownish-red hair. Stories have been told of the Yeti piercing the stillness with its … Read more

Why Was the Taj Mahal In India Built?

In the seventeenth century, Shah Jehan ruled a vast Muslim empire in India. His capital of Agra was one of the richest and most magnificent cities in the world at the time. When Shah Jehan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631, the emperor set out to build a tomb for his wife that would be … Read more

Where In India Is Sikkim?

Until 1974, one of the world’s least-known countries was Sikkim, a princely state in the Himalaya Mountains, between Nepal. India, Bhutan, and the Tibet region of China. The area of Sikkim is just 2,745 square miles. But within this state, the climate ranges from arctic to temperate to tropical as a traveler journeys up or … Read more

Where Was Badminton Invented?

“Badminton” sounds like an English name, so you might guess that the game is an English invention. Yet badminton, similar to tennis but played with a light “ball” called a bird, actually comes from India! British soldiers played this game while they were stationed in India. They called it poona, after the name of an … Read more

What Is the Mystery of the Iron Pillar of Delhi India?

The Indian city of Delhi is noted for a number of monumental pillars. One of them, called the Iron Pillar of Delhi, now stands in the courtyard of a ruined mosque. This pillar was built around the year 400 and is more than 23 feet high. The pillar is built of solid iron, and that’s … Read more

Were the Original Thugs a Cult In India?

Today, we use the word thug to mean a brutal hoodlum. It might seem that this word is modern slang, but it’s not. It has been in use for centuries as the name of an organization of murderers in India! The modern word Thug is derived from the word Thuggee, which is Indian in origin. … Read more

Where Did The Peanut Come From And Who Eats the Most Peanuts?

The peanut first grew in South America. It was unknown to Europeans before the discovery of the New World. The peanut was then transplanted in Africa, especially to provide food aboard slave ships traveling from Africa to America. Eventually, it was planted in the United States, where George Washington Carver’s research found many new uses … Read more

How Many People Live in India?

After China, India is the second most populous country on earth. In the 1980s, India had a population of more than 650 million. That’s equal to about 16 percent of all the people on earth! According to current figures, it’s been estimated that in the year 2008, India had a population of about 1.13 Billion … Read more

Why Do Men In India Have to Marry A Tree?

Among certain people in southern India, custom holds that a younger brother cannot marry until his older brother is married. What happens if a young man wants to marry, and his older brother is still single? Then the older brother is officially married to a tree! The marriage between the older brother and the tree … Read more

How did Eurasia And Gondwanaland Collide To Form India?

Many millions of years ago, all the continents may have formed a single landmass. Many scientists now believe that this single landmass then broke to form two huge landmasses. These two landmasses later broke apart to form the continents. One of these landmasses, called Gondwanaland, consisted of South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and India. The … Read more

Who Did Akbar The Great of India Use To Play Human Chess?

Akbar the Great reigned as the emperor of a large part of India from 1556 until 1605. Akbar often amused himself by playing chess, but he didn’t use ordinary chess equipment. Akbar liked to do things in a big way! The monarch used an entire garden as his chessboard, and dancing girls were his chess … Read more

Which Country Makes The Most Movies?

Hollywood was the world’s film-making capital for many years. But today, the United States is no longer number one among film making nations, it’s not even number two! Seven nations now make more full-length movies each year than the United States. Japan, France, Italy, the Philippines, the former Soviet Union, and Mexico each make more … Read more

How Did Asoka The Great Spread Buddhism In India?

Asoka was the grandson of a great Indian military leader who set up the first large Indian empire. Asoka himself became emperor around 275 B.C. and according to legend, he immediately killed his brothers. Then he conquered more lands and added them to this empire. After about eight years of rule, Asoka suddenly had a … Read more

What Countries Does the Pamir Knot Tie Together?

Central Asia is called the “roof of the world” because of the great mountain ranges there. The Pamir region of central Asia might also be called the “crossroads of the world”, for here five mountain ranges and five nations meet. The Pamir Mountains are sometimes known as the Pamir Knot because most of Asia’s great … Read more

Where Were the Oldest Pieces of Clothing Found?

During the 1960s, scientists began to unearth the remains of a city that had long lain buried under a mound in Turkey. Only a small part of the ancient ruins have been uncovered so far, but it’s already known that the first city on this site was built about 8,000 years ago! This city, known … Read more

What City Is on Two Continents?

Most of Turkey is in Asia. But a small part of that nation is in Europe, across the straits that connect the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and separate Asia from Europe. Part of those straits is called the Bosporus. For centuries, a great city has stood on the Bosporus, where the East meets … Read more

Did the City of Troy Really Exist?

The great works of the Greek poet Homer, the Odyssey and the Iliad, tell of a war between the Greeks and the city of Ilium, which was also called Troy after the region in which it was located. According to Homer, Troy was a fortified city in present-day Turkey, near the shore of the Aegean … Read more

Which Country Has 1 Millionaire For Every 230 People?

A nation’s gross national product is the total value of the country’s output of goods and services over the course of a year. The GNP, as it’s often called, is thus the best indication of a nation’s wealth. The GNP of the United States was about $2.3 trillion in the 1980s, or $10,765 for every … Read more

What Country Has the Most Men?

Did you ever wonder if there were more men or women in the world? Well, the numbers of men and women on earth are almost exactly equal. But some countries do have more men than women, and others have more women than men. About 85 nations have more women, and about 65 have more men. … Read more

What’s The Difference Between North Yemen And South Yemen?

Yemen has long been the most fertile and populous part of the Arabian Peninsula. Not only are there more people in Yemen today than in the much larger Saudi Arabia, but many thousands of Yemenis working in Saudi Arabia are counted in the population of that country. Located in the southwest corner of the Arabian … Read more

Where Is the Worst Place to Find a Phone?

In the United States, in the 1980s, there were about 162 million telephones, or 74 phones for every 100 Americans. Most Americans use the phone at least once every day. Only the tiny European country of Monaco has a higher rate of telephone ownership. But telephone use is hardly a way of life in the … Read more

What Desert Country Has No Defined Boundaries?

Until recently, the nation of Oman was known as the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman. It was called a sultanate because it was governed by a Muslim ruler known as a sultan. Muscat was the name of the chief port of the territory, and Oman was the name of the desert region in the interior … Read more

Who Was the Queen of Sheba And Where Was The Ancient Kingdom?

The Old Testament tells that during the reign of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba journeyed to the city of Jerusalem, where she marveled at the splendors of Solomon’s court. She presented him with gifts and received gifts in return. Then she traveled back to the land of Sheba, never to be mentioned in the … Read more

Where Is the Longest Pier on Earth?

A pier is a structure built over water and supported by pillars, A pier is usually used as a place to load and unload ships. Most of the piers you’ve seen were probably only a few hundred feet long at most. But one pier at El Hasa, on the Persian Gulf in Saudi Arabia, is … Read more

Where Is the World’s Largest Oil Reserves?

Saudi Arabia is the second largest producer of oil, after Russia. But Russia is a huge nation, while Saudi Arabia is less than twice the size of Alaska. And its population is about 8 million, only slightly larger than the population of New York City! The oil fields in Saudi Arabia now produce around 480 … Read more

Why Was Bahrain Known As The Island of the Dead?

Bahrain is a small, oil-rich island in the Persian Gulf. The northern part of the island contains a plain covered with close to 100,000 burial mounds dating from an ancient era. It was long believed that this island once served as a cemetery for people from the nearby coast of Arabia. For this reason, Bahrain … Read more

How Did Veils Cause A Wedding Mix-Up in Saudi Arabia?

Double weddings are not uncommon in Muslim countries. In 1978, a father gave away his two daughters at a wedding ceremony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In keeping with Muslim custom, both brides wore veils covering their faces. Unable to see his father accidentally gave each of them to the wrong groom. The two couples were … Read more

Why Does Saudi Arabia Import Sand From England?

“To carry coals to Newcastle” means to bring something to a place where it already abounds. We might just as well say “to carry sand to Saudi Arabia,” for that nation is mostly a vast sand-strewn desert. But sand is carried to Saudi Arabia! England exports tons of sand scooped up from river bottoms to … Read more

Why Is The Rub al Khali Desert Known as The Empty Place?

Saudi Arabia is a land of many deserts, but none of them is larger and more desolate than the desert known as the Rub al Khali, which means “the Empty Place.” The Bedouin tribes men who live nearby call it simply “the Sand.” This desert covers some 250,000 square miles, an area about the size … Read more

Which Is the Largest Peninsula on Earth?

A peninsula is a piece of land surrounded by water on three of its sides and connected with a larger landmass on its fourth side. In other words, a land area that “sticks out” into the water. Much of Florida is formed by a peninsula that is surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean … Read more

What Sport Is Played With A Ball made From Willow Root?

Polo is probably most popular today in Britain, Argentina, and the United States. But the sport originated in the East. It may be one of the oldest games on earth that is still played today. There is evidence that a game similar to polo was played in Persia as early as the sixth century B.C. … Read more

What’s the Most Important Strait in the World?

The Strait of Hormuz lies between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula, connecting the Persian Gulf with an arm of the Arabian Sea. This strait isn’t the longest or widest strait on earth, but it is probably the most important. The oil-producing nations of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and other countries on the Persian Gulf … Read more

Which Persian Word Means The King Is Dead?

You might think that Persian, the language of Iran, is unrelated to English. But Persian is an Indo-European language, and it developed from the same source as did Greek, Latin, English, and most other European languages. A number of common English words came from Persian, too. Our word pajama came from the Persian words pai, … Read more

Who Were The Assassins And The Old Man of the Mountain?

Today, the word assassin refers to a killer. But there was once a religious sect known as the Assassins, and they ruled a territory all their own. The members of this Muslim sect did indeed carry out assassinations. The word assassin actually comes from hashishin, a word that means “users of hashish.” (Hashish is a … Read more

What Happened To The Tower of Babel In Babylon?

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia are only 20 miles apart at some points. The land between these rivers was once crisscrossed with canals and covered with fields of golden grain. But the course of these rivers has changed many times over the centuries. In some places, the old course of the rivers, and … Read more

Who Invented The Battery?

In the 1930s, scientists found a set of articles in an ancient city in Iraq. They dated these articles to the third century B.C. One was a clay vessel shaped like a vase, about six inches tall. Inside it was a copper cylinder about 3.5 inches tall. Inside the cylinder was an iron rod covered … Read more

Who Built the World’s First Cities In Mesopotamia?

In Greek, Mesopotamia means “between rivers.” This is the ancient name for the land between and along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now the nation of Iraq. The civilizations that rose there were among the earliest on earth. Some of them were flourishing while the pyramids of Egypt were being built! Before … Read more

Which City Is the World’s Oldest Capital?

Located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and ranging to the upper Euphrates River, Syria has long been a crossroads between the Mediterranean world and the Middle East. During various ancient periods, this was the land of the Amorites, the Phoenicians, and the Hebrews. The region suffered invasions by many foreign conquerors. The … Read more

Which Part of Lebanon Was the Ancient Land of the Phoenicians Empire?

The Phoenicians were the greatest seamen of the ancient world, and Phoenician ships carried the commerce of many ancient empires. The Phoenicians also founded colonies all around the Mediterranean Sea. One of these colonies, Carthage, became a great empire. The Phoenicians’ homeland was a strip along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, where the Phoenicians … Read more

When Did People First Live in Houses?

During the period known as the Old Stone Age, people lived as nomadic hunters. They moved from place to place in search of game, and they lived in temporary shelters. During the New Stone Age, men became fitrmers and herdsmen, and they settled in permanent villages. Ruins found in Syria show that people in this … Read more

Who Lifted the Great Stones at The Temples of Baalbek?

Baalbek was an important city in ancient times. It was a center for the worship of the Near Eastern god Baal. Later Baalbek became a colony of the Romans, who built some of the greatest temples of the ancient world there. Among the vast ruins at Baalbek, the most awesome structure is a wall that … Read more

How Old Are the Walls of Jericho?

A public works is anything built by a government for public use, highways and bridges, for example. The oldest public works yet discovered on earth were the walls surrounding the ancient city of Jericho. Jericho lies about five miles from the Dead Sea. Today, the site of the ancient city of Jericho is a mud … Read more

What Is Written on the Dead Sea Scrolls?

In 1947, an Arab boy lost a goat in the cliffs near the Dead Sea. While searching for the animal, he found a hole in the cliffs. The hole led into a cave, and in the cave were dozens of pottery jars. Thinking that the cave was haunted, the boy ran away. Later, a man … Read more

Why Were The Abu Simbel Statues In Egypt Relocated?

One of the most awe-inspiring structures of ancient Egypt was the temple at Abu Simbel and the four huge statues that stood in front of it. This temple survived the wind and weather for 32 centuries. But the temple faced its greatest threat during the twentieth century, the formation of a man-made lake that would … Read more

What Was The Tallest Roman Obelisk Ever Built?

An obelisk is a four-sided pillar with a pointed top. Many Obelisks were erected as monuments in ancient Egypt. The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is an example of a modern obelisk. Many obelisks once stood outside temples in Egypt, especially in the sacred city of Heliopolis. One obelisk in that city, 68 feet tall, … Read more

Who Helped Build The Greatest Library of Ancient Greece?

Demetrius of Phaleron was the governor of Athens during the fourth century B.C. During a war in Greece, he was forced to flee to Alexandria, the city in Egypt founded by Alexander the Great. There Demetrius became an adviser to the Ptolemies, the Greek kings who ruled Egypt. Demetrius suggested the construction of a great … Read more

Which Part Of Egypt Do Most Egyptians Live?

The nation of Egypt has an area of 386,660 square miles, more than twice the size of California. But 95 percent of Egypt is desert, and most Egyptians live in the fertile valley along the Nile River. The Nile Valley is only one mile wide at some points, and it is just 12 miles across … Read more

Which Ancient Egyptian Tomb Was Filled with Toys And Figures?

In 1920, an American scientist was exploring, a tomb near the site of the ancient city of Thebes. This tomb was the resting place of a nobleman named Meket-Re, who lived and died around the year 2000 B.C. Meket-Re’s tomb had long since been looted by robbers. But the American scientist found one chamber that … Read more

What Country Has No Rivers?

Libya is located in North Africa and borders on the Mediterranean Sea. With an area of 679,358 square miles, it’s the fifteenth largest country on earth. But Libya is also one of the most barren countries in the world. More than 90 percent of Libya is desert, and there’s not a single permanent river in … Read more

What Day Was the Hottest Day in History?

Anyone who was in Death Valley, California, in 1913, when the temperature there rose to 134 degrees, would probably guess that there was no hotter place on earth. But on September 13, 1922, a thermometer in Al Aziziyah, in the desert region of Libya, showed a reading of over 136 degrees in the shade! Thankfully, … Read more

Which Is the Oldest Nation On Earth?

oldest place on earth

Only 45 of today’s nations were independent before the 20th century. And only one nation can trace its independence back to before the time of Christ. Ethiopia, the East African nation formerly known as Abyssinia, has been an independent nation since at least the eleventh century B.C. The rulers of Ethiopia have claimed descent from … Read more

What Country Has the World’s Highest Divorce Rate?

Djibouti is a nation about the size of New Hampshire. It is located in Africa near the entrance to the Red Sea. Formerly a colony of France, it became independent in 1977. The name of the nation was taken from the name of its capital and only large city, where more than half of Djibouti’s … Read more

Which Part Of The Horn Of Africa Is the Land of Punt?

The “Horn of Africa” is a name used for the bulge in the Eastern corner of Africa. Most of the Horn of Africa’s coastline is within the nation of Somalia. Somalia is an L-shaped country. Its longer coast is along the Indian Ocean, and its shorter coast is along the Gulf of Aden. With an … Read more

What’s the Name of Africa’s Belt?

Sudan is the name of an African nation, but it’s also the name of a region that is much larger than any single country in Africa. The word Sudan comes from an Arabic term that means “country of the blacks.” It refers to the land along the southern borders of the Sahara Desert. The Sudan … Read more

Where Can Few People Hope to Grow Old?

A drought that began in the 1970s has brought even more poverty to the already poor nation of Somalia. A war with neighboring Ethiopia has added to the nation’s suffering. In 1977, Somalia invaded the Ogaden, a region of Ethiopia where Somali people live. Somalia lost that war. Since then, more than 1 million people … Read more

Which Is the Largest Country in Africa?

Sudan is a nation in northeast Africa, south of Egypt. The country borders on the Red Sea and shares a border with eight other nations. The reason Sudan borders on so many other countries is that it is the largest nation in Africa and the ninth largest on earth. Its area, 967,500 square miles, is … Read more

How High Is the Highest Average Temperature On Earth?

There are a number of places that might claim to be the hottest on earth. Temperatures of more than 120 degrees have been recorded in every continent. In some places, the temperature has remained at over 100 degrees for weeks at a time. The place that can claim the highest temperature over a long period … Read more

How Long Was the Shortest War in History?

Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Africa that now belongs to the nation of Tanzania. In 1896, Said Khalid seized power in Zanzibar and proclaimed himself sultan. A British fleet soon arrived at the port of Zanzibar and ordered the sultan out of the royal palace. The sultan refused to leave. At 9:02 … Read more

Where Was the Oldest Man Made Construction on Earth Found?

Olduvai Gorge is a 350-foot-deep canyon in Tanzania that has been the source of some of the oldest human remains ever discovered. In 1961, the archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey found there a jawbone, skull, and other bones thought to belong to a human-like creature who lived around 1.7 million years ago. At Olduvai Gorge, … Read more

Where Does the Nile River Begin?

Since ancient times, people have wondered about the source of the Nile River, the lifeline of Egypt. But it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that explorers at last discovered where this great river began, at a great lake in Central Africa. This lake is called Lake Victoria. Actually, the true “source” of the Nile can … Read more

Who Eat the Most Potatoes?

Coffee is the main crop of Uganda. In some years, this small African nation can rank as high as fifth among the world’s largest producers of coffee, accounting for more than 5 percent of world supplies. Most of Uganda’s coffee is exported. The favorite food crop of the Ugandan people is the potato, and Ugandans … Read more

What Are the Great Lakes of Africa?

North America has its Great Lakes, the five big lakes on the American-Canadian border. There’s also a group of big lakes in Central Africa that might be called the “Great Lakes” of that continent. The largest of these lakes is Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake on earth. Another is Lake Tanganyika, the seventh … Read more

Why is Malawi The Switzerland of Africa?

Malawi is a small nation in East Africa, tucked in between Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. This landlocked nation has no seaports, but there’s plenty of water in Malawi, for the country is located on the shore of a 360 mile-long lake known as Malawi, or Nyasa. About the size of Pennsylvania, Malawi is 520 miles … Read more

Why Is The Victoria Falls Called “the Smoke that Thunders”?

Victoria Falls has nothing to do with Lake Victoria. This waterfall is on the Zambezi River, which flows along the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Anyone who has seen Victoria Falls knows that it offers one of the most spectacular sights in all of nature. Near the falls, the Zambezi River flows among many tree-covered … Read more

Why Is The Seychelles Coconut Known As The Coconut Of The Sea?

The Seychelles coconut grows on palm trees that are found only in the Seychelles, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles coconut is sometimes called the “double coconut” because it looks like two coconuts joined together. It’s also known as the coco de mer, or “coconut of the sea,” as some of … Read more

How Many Nations Are Separated by the World’s Shortest Frontier?

One of the meanings of the word frontier is the border between two nations. The smaller the nation, of course, the shorter the borders of that country are likely to be. The tiny nation of Vatican City, for instance, has a frontier of about 2.5 miles, and the colony of Gibraltar, on the Mediterranean, has … Read more

When Did the Last of The Dodos In Mauritius Die?

The nation of Mauritius consists of one large island and a few smaller isles in the Indian Ocean, 500 miles east of Madagascar. The total area of the country is just 790 square miles, but its population is close to 1 million, larger than the population of 50 other nations! Mauritius is the world’s eighth … Read more

Why Was The Seychelles Called The Garden of Eden?

The Seychelles are an archipelago of about 90 islands in the Indian Oceap, near the Equator and about 1,000 miles from Africa. The total area of the islands is only 171 square miles, making the Seychelles smaller than any nation in Africa and one of the smallest nations on earth. The Seychelles were uninhabited when … Read more

Why Was Bottineau Called The Wizard of Mauritius?

Before radio was invented, there was no way for a ship to communicate with land, so there was no way to know when a ship might arrive at a port. A man who lived on the island of Mauritius seemed to have discovered a way of predicting the arrival of ships. No one has ever … Read more

Are There Any Dessert Countries?

When you think of desert countries, you might think of Arabia or nations in the Sahara. But when you think of dessert countries, you might think of Madagascar, as among the major crops of this island nation are cacao, sugar, and vanilla. Vanilla is a member of the orchid family. Like cacao, vanilla came originally … Read more