27 Of The World's Weirdest Country Rankings
You might think you know the basics of what each country is best and worst at, but what about the weird stuff that nobody ever really thinks about? These random superlatives for countries may surprise you.
Most Cumbersome Currency
Most countries use coins or paper money that are easy to store and carry, but that's not the case in the Federated States of Micronesia. In the island state of Yap, giant limestone discs known as rai stones serve as the currency.
Most Educated Country
Canada easily takes the top spot as the most educated country in the world, with 50 percent of its people receiving education beyond a secondary level.
Most Time Zones
Counting overseas territories, France covers the most time zones of any country — 12 in total. It could be noon in French Polynesia and 10:00 a.m. the next day in French-owned Wallis and Futuna.
Most Diverse Country
This is a pretty broad statement, but India holds its place as the most diverse country in the world by being one of the most diverse culturally, climatically, religiously, linguistically, racially, ethnically, economically, and in many other ways.
Most Linguistically Diverse Nation
Papua New Guinea is the country that speaks the most languages of anywhere in the world. English is recognized as its official language, but only about 2 percent of the population actually speak it. The people of Papua New Guinea speak over 820 languages, which is 12 percent of the world's total.
Most Overweight Country
The small island nation of Nauru hold the distinct title of being the most overweight country in the world. With over 95 percent of its population classified as being overweight, the island in the Central Pacific likely grew into this title due to the importation of Western food, which coincided with an increased standard of living as their phosphate exports became more popular. Suddenly, the people of Nauru had fatty foods and a lot of money to buy them with.
A Breath Of Fresh Air
The country that produces the most oxygen is Russia. About 25 percent of the world's forests are located in Siberia, which makes Russia the largest converter of carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen of any country in the world.
Least Peaceful Country
Although Iraq has been in the lead for this category in recent years, Somalia recently overtook it as the least peaceful country in the world. The country is known for its various wars, most of which are caused by its lack of food or money.
The Land Of The Not-So-Free
The United States of America may be known as the land of the free, but it also has the most citizens locked up in jail than any other country. The U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population, but a whopping 25 percent of the world's incarcerated population.
The country of Niger has the largest portion of population that is under the age of 15. About half of the country's population hasn't reached puberty.
Only Country In All Four Hemispheres
Kiribati holds the distinction of being the only country in the world to fall within all four hemispheres. Because the island nation is comprised of a bunch of small islands spread across the Pacific Ocean, it has territory in each hemisphere.
The country with the most lakes in the world is Canada, which contains over 3 million lakes. Over 60 percent of the world's lakes are in Canada, and fresh water actually makes up about 9 percent of Canada's entire territory.
Most Insane Sheep-To-Person Ratio
The U.K.-owned Falkland Islands are home to about 3,000 people, and about half a million sheep! Of course, wool is the main export. It's also one of the only places in the world where you can see sheep and penguins at the same time.
The country of Libya is the most desert-covered country in the world. Desert makes up 99 percent of Libya, making it one of the most arid places in the world. It's not unusual for some parts of the country to go decades without a single drop of rain.
Global warming and rising sea levels are a cause for alarm everywhere, but it's most urgent in the Maldives, which is the lowest country in the world from sea level. The average height of the Maldives is just 1.8 meters above sea level, which means it will most likely be the first country to disappear beneath the waves as the ocean rises.
Most Citizens Living Abroad
Malta has had some tough luck economically, which has not been helped by an increased birth rate. This led many of its citizens to immigrate elsewhere. Now, more Maltese citizens live abroad than actually live in the country.
Least Religious Country
A recent Gallup poll found Estonia to be the least religious country in the world. The poll asked citizens "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" Only 14 percent of Estonians said it was.
Country That Is Furthest Behind
Speaking in terms of time, Ethiopia is several years behind the rest of the world. Since the religious country is so strongly influenced by the Coptic Orthodox Church, it still adheres to the traditional calendar of that church, which is seven years behind the rest of the world. When Christianity changed the date Jesus was believed to be born in the 16th century, the religious leaders in Ethiopia made the decision to continue to recognize the original date.
Haiti has the least trees of any country in the world. The nation has been so badly deforested that you can actually tell where it borders the Dominican Republic from a satellite image by noticing where trees are beginning to appear.
Country That Most Believes In The Existence Of Elves
Iceland takes this title. A recent study found that 37 percent of Icelanders believe that elves possibly exist, 17 percent believe that they likely exist, and 8 percent said that they most definitely exist. The belief is so strong that an Icelandic company changed their plans for building a new road because it claimed elves where living in the planned path.
Most Coral Roads
The roads in Guam are different from anywhere else in the world because they are made from coral. Guam actually doesn't have any natural sand, which is a main ingredient in making asphalt. Instead of importing sand from elsewhere, the country substitutes ground coral and oil in their asphalt.
Largest False Teeth Producer
Strangely, the small country of Liechtenstein holds this honor. Although it doesn't even have 40,000 residents, Liechtenstein managed to manufacture 60 million false teeth in 2010, which is a fifth of all the false teeth produced in the world that year.
Least Openly Affectionate Country
If you hate seeing PDA while going about your day, then you would love the United Arab Emirates. Public displays of affection are illegal in the country.
Highest Opium Production
Afghanistan produces 95 percent of the world's opium. Countries like Turkey, Mexico, and Burma also produce the drug, but are nowhere near Afghanistan's level.
Most Lucrative Domain Name
The Polynesian island country of Tuvalu probably doesn't come to mind when thinking of the most Internet-savvy nations, but their country code allowed them to have the most lucrative domain name of any other country in the world. Tuvalu received $50 million for the rights to their domain name .tv.
Least Densely Populated
With just four people per square mile, Mongolia is the least densely country in the world. The most densely populated area in the world is Hong Kong's Mong Kok district, which has 340,000 people per square mile.
Shockingly, the massive country of Saudi Arabia easily takes the title for having the fewest number of rivers of any country in the world by actually having no flowing water at all within its borders. Instead, the country has to get its fresh water from underground reservoirs.