The world is full of extremes, which I can’t help but find extremely interesting.
The world’s hottest place:
The highest air temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134 degrees Fahrenheit, at Death Valley National Park on July 10, 1913.
The world’s coldest place:
On the high ridge of the East Antarctic Plateau, the temperature can drop to as low as -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in August, 2010.
World’s most populated city:
At a whopping 24,150,000 permanent inhabitants, Shanghai is the single city that is home to the most people in the world.
World’s least populated city:
With a paltry population of 842, the city-state of Vatican City is the smallest city and state in the world.
World’s wealthiest city:
That tower might as well be made of gold, since Tokyo tops the charts with a GDP of $1,520 billion (only beating New York by a mere $310 billion).
Highest point in the world:
Towering 29,029 feet in the air, the top of Mount Everest is the closest you can get to touching space, while still standing on Earth.
Lowest point in the world:
The lowest known natural point in the world is Challenger Deep, 35,797 ft below sea level at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Only three people have ever made it to the bottom, one of which was filmmaker James Cameron.
Most photographed place:
Photos have always told stories, but in today’s world of cell phone cameras and social media, that story is relayed as data to companies who monitor everything we do. Geotagged data was culled by Sightsmap using a Google-based image sharing software, and can now show us the most photographed places in the world, right down to the landmark. The Winner? The Guggenheim in New York.
The wettest spot on Earth:
Rainwise, anyway. In Mawsynram, India, it rains an average of 467.35 inches per year, and with a record of 1000 inches in 1985.
The driest spot on Earth:
The 600 miles of South America’s Atacama desert is the driest place on Earth, no contest. The Desert sees an average of 4 inches of rain every thousand years. Yes, you read that right.
Sunniest Place on Earth:
In Yuma, Arizona, the sun shines for an average of 11 hours a day. Its forecast is sun for 90 percent of the year, averaging a total of 4015 daylight hours a year.
Most expensive city to live in:
The new champion of the world, Singapore has recently beat out Tokyo for the title of “most expensive city” for 2014. Cars can cost between 4-6 times in Singapore what they cost in the US or UK (for example, a Toyota Prius actually costs about $150,000.00 there).
Least expensive city to live in:
At the other end of the spectrum, Mumbai, India, is the cheapest place to live in the world, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living Index 2014. For some perspective, a loaf of bread that would cost $3.36 in Singapore, would only cost $0.91 in Mumbai.
Country that consumes the most food:
I suppose there must be a reason why Americans have a food-related reputation when it comes to other countries: we eat an average of 3,770 calories a day each.
Youngest country in the world:
The people of South Sudan were formally recognized as an independent country in 2011, making it the youngest country in the world to-date.
The world’s most popular country:
The results of the annual BBC World Country Rating Poll are in, and Germany came out on top as the most positively viewed country in the world (at a 59% positivity rating).
The world’s least popular country:
On that same rating scale, Iran has come in dead last (at a 59% negativity rating). Only 15% of people polled viewed Iran in a positive light.
Most caffeinated city in the world:
The coffee in Sweden will put a spring in your step, and hair on your tongue. The Swedes consume an average of 388 mg of caffeine in coffee per person, per day (that’s almost 5 Red Bulls).
Most drunken city in the world:
In Belarus, each person above the age of 15 drinks an average of 4.62 gallons of alcohol every year.
The most bicycle friendly city in the world:
By comparing cities along the criterion of average number of bicycle trips made daily, one city reigns supreme: Groningen in the Netherlands. In Groningen about 50 percent of the population commute via bike daily, making it the city with the greatest proportion of cyclists on the planet.
World’s most energy efficient city:
All of the energy and heat used by the citizens of Reykjavik Iceland come from geothermal plants and renewable hydropower, making it the most sustainable and energy efficient city in the world. On their mission to be completely free of fossil fuels by 2050, the city has also been replacing traditional buses with hydrogen-fueled buses, from which the only emissions are water.
Most cat friendly country:
With a pet cat population of 76.43 million feline friends, the United States dominates the world stage for most cat friendly country in the world.
Most dog friendly country:
Similarly, America more than doubles the amount of pet dogs any other country has, with a dog population of 61.1 million.
Most sexually satisfied country:
Switzerland might just be the most progressive and least sexually repressed country in the world. Between liberal views on pornography and prostitution, and sex ed that starts in Kindergarten, over a fifth of the population consider their sex-lives “excellent.” They even recently opened up a very successful array of tax-funded drive-in sex boxes in Zurich. Bonus, in spite of all this, Switzerland also holds the title as one of the lowest teen birth rates in the world.
Least sexually satisfied country:
With its extreme conservatism, Japan is the country with the least sexual satisfaction, as only 15% of individuals reported having a fulfilling sex life. Furthermore, over 45% of Japanese women report being either uninterested in, or actually despising, sexual contact.
Country with the longest life expectancy in the world:
According to the World Health Organization’s study from 2013, Monaco tops the charts for longest living citizens, with an average life expectancy of 87.2 years. Men in Monaco live an average 85.3 years, and women live to an average of 89 years.
Country with the shortest life expectancy:
On the other side of that coin, the population of Sierra Leone live to an average of 47 years. The men of Sierra Leone live to an average of 47 years old, whereas women live an average of 48 years.
Sexiest country in the world:
There will always be a debate about which countries are home to the most attractive people, in part because who’s to say what is objectively attractive? Though the means are hardly scientific, a recent poll found quite a disparity between which countries men believe are the sexiest, and which countries women find the sexiest. For men, Brazil tops the charts for the most attractive people. For women, it’s about the thunder down under in Australia.
Most stressed-out country in the world:
By looking at the dimensions of Homicide Rate, GDP per capita, Income inequality, Corruption, and Unemployment, one thing is clear: Nigeria is hands-down the most stressed out country in the world.
Least stressed-out country in the world:
Along the same dimensions, Norway was at the far-end of the other side of the spectrum, and is deemed the least stressed-out country in the world.
World’s most well-connected city (for internet):
Surprisingly, despite it’s 618 million internet users spending an average of 18.7 hours a week surfing the net, China didn’t even make the top 10. Along the dimensions of average connection speed, availability (weighted towards free access), openness to innovation, support of public data, and privacy/security, Seoul in South Korea is the champion of internet-connectedness. With 10,000 government supported free WiFi spots dotting the city, and an internet speed that goes unchallenged globally, Seoul is an internet junkie’s paradise.