Stuck at home at the moment? Here are some fun facts about travelling to keep you going until your next trip…
Travellers often head out with great expectations. Amazing facts about the world’s most exciting places can blow your mind away as a traveller before you visit those places in person. For example, how would you feel if you knew that 99% of Libya is desert? Or learning that Canada has over three million lakes? With the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily halting international travel across the world, why not use lockdown to brush up on your fun facts about travelling?
The American airspace never sleeps
The United States of America has one of the busiest airspaces in the world. At any point in time on any given day, roughly 61,000 people are flying over it. The US is home to one-third of the world’s airports, with Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia the world’s busiest. Unfortunately, Covid has hit the industry hard here (and around the world), vastly decreasing passenger numbers.
The shortest international commercial flight is 10 minutes long
Located in the Caribbean Sea, the island of Saint Maarten is not only an exciting place worth visiting; it is also the destination of the shortest international commercial flight in the world. A one-way trip between Saint Maarten and Anguilla’s Clayton airport (British overseas territory) only lasts for about 10 minutes over the distance of 12 miles. Another super-short route to Saint Maarten is from the island to the French Overseas, which is thought to last for only 15 minutes.
The longest commercial flight ever recorded lasted for more than 30 hours
From 1943 to 1945, Qantas airlines operated the so-called “two sunrise” flight service between Australia and Sri Lanka. Each one-way trip typically lasted for more than 30 hours during which passengers would see the sunrise twice. As of today, a flight from Singapore to New York, is the longest commercial flight in the world, lasting almost 18 hours.
India’s trains transport millions of passengers each day
To be more specific, about 23 million passengers are transported by Indian trains every day. This is roughly equal to the population of Australia. In any case, nothing is surprising about this statistic when you understand that India’s population, as of 2020, is more than 1.3 billion people. Some experts have calculated that when you layout the network of India’s railway tracks, they can circle the entire earth 1.5 times.
Pilots in the same airplane eat different meals
Perhaps you already know that as part of a standard aviation procedure, aircrew like pilots and co-pilots are served different meals when they’re flying. The reason for this is to avoid the nightmare of both pilots becoming incapacitated as a result of food poisoning. Should one pilot experience stomach upset after eating, hopefully, the other co-pilot will be fit to do their job.
China observes only one time zone
It doesn’t matter which part of China you find yourself in; you will still observe Beijing’s standard time zone of UTC+8. This means that when it is 6 o’clock in the Forbidden City, it is also 6 o’clock 2000 miles to Xinjiang in the west. The fun fact here is that China spans over five geographic time zones. Although in terms of size, China is nearly as vast as the continental USA, America observes nine different time zones.
Australia has more than 10,000 beaches
It’s a fact that Australia is both a country and a continent. However, there is more to Australia than meets the eye. As an oceanic country, Australia is full of beaches, and it has been estimated that the Commonwealth of Australia has more than 10,000. That’s probably way too many beaches to explore but, if you did, it means you could visit a new Australian beach every day for 27 years. Awesome! Isn’t it?
There are many countries in the world without rivers
If your country happens to have been blessed with natural resources such as rivers, you may want to cherish your water bodies. The Commonwealth of Bahamas, Malta, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are examples of countries that lack permanent natural rivers flowing through them. In particular, a wealthy oil country such as Saudi Arabia also finds itself among the list of countries and territories without a single naturally flowing river. That said, some of these regions have streams (seasonal watercourses). Globally, the Arabian Peninsula is seen as the largest sub region with no permanent natural rivers.
The UK’s country name is very long
Known in full form as the United Kingdom, the UK actually has a much longer official name. The official title of the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So far, this is the longest country name in the world. The United Kingdom comprises four countries, namely Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland, situated across the Irish Sea on the island of Ireland.
Astronauts cannot see the Great Wall of China from space
Despite popular myth that astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) can peer down and catch a glimpse of the Great Wall, it turns out there is little to no truth in that. The ISS is located at about 350 km above the earth’s surface; so, it is virtually impossible for astronauts in low-earth orbit to actually see the Great Wall of China with unaided eyes. They would need some cameras to magnify the wall before they can see it. Meanwhile, some people believe that the Great Barrier Reef is the only biological system visible from outer space.
Japanese railways issue delay certificates
Japan operates some of the world’s best railway transport services in the world. They are known for being the most punctual railway stations in the business. However, there are a few times when delays can occur. But you do not have to worry about that — Japanese trains will issue you an official delay certificate if they were five minutes late. You can use this delay certificate to explain your case to your boss when they are curious to know the reason for your lateness. By the way, Japan is not alone in its issuance of delay certificates; some German and French trains also hand them out.
Introverts and extroverts have different favourite holiday locations
Research studies have shown that people who are reserved (introverts) are more likely to choose mountainous regions as their holiday destinations. On the other hand, extroverts prefer beaches to mountains. The explanation here is that since introverts do not like to talk much, mountains provide them that serene atmosphere to enjoy their vacations. To an extrovert, beaches present golden opportunities for them to meet new people and make more friends.
Sunglasses are essential for enjoying a beautiful summer vacation
As much as it warms your skin, summer sunshine can give you sunburn. But that is not all of its disadvantages; there is also the risk of sunburn damaging your cornea during summer. To protect your eyes from the harsh radiation and improve your vision, be sure to grab yourself some eyeglasses. These prescription lenses can shield your cornea and reduce your risks of sunburn. When you protect your skin and your eyes from summer sunshine, it’s way easier to have a fantastic experience on holiday.
One Boeing 777 engine is more powerful than the Titanic was
RMS Titanic, the world’s largest ship ever built, could carry up to 2,435 passengers and weighed over 52,000 tons. When the monster ship sank in April 1912 after hitting an iceberg, over 1500 passengers tragically lost their lives But did you know that a single Boeing 777 aircraft engine is twice as powerful than all the Titanic’s engines combined? It’s a pretty scary fact but these engines deliver massive amounts of horsepower. In fact, the amount of fuel in a Boeing 747 aircraft is enough to power a road vehicle to circle the earth four times.
You lose water when flying
When you stay in the sky for up to 10 hours, your body can lose over 60 ounces of water. Therefore, you need to drink more water as you travel to keep yourself hydrated. And, no, wine doesn’t count. Also, in a routine flight, the outside temperature can reach -60° F. This temperature is colder than the average surface temperature of the earth during any year.
One fact that can’t be disputed is that travelling is good for the body and the soul. It’s believed that taking holidays helps reduce your risk of heart disease, as well as expanding your mind and making you more tolerant of others. Let’s face it, we could all be doing with a bit more of that.
Hope you enjoyed the fun facts about travelling and, like me, are counting down the days until you can get back on the road.