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71 Weird and Interesting Facts about England
Newcastle Upon Tyne
St George's Day
Published March 25th 2016
Will the real Big Ben please stand up?
Angel of the North close-up. Public Domain.
Strange but true! Do you know about London's beer wave? Have you visited Warehouse City? Read on for 71 delightful, interesting and just plain bizarre facts about England, United Kingdom.
1. If you cover all of its history, the British Empire has invaded all but 22 countries in the world.
2. The regional accent variation is so strong that people living only a mile from each other might sound slightly different.
3. Buckingham Palace has its own police station.
4. Legally, the Queen owns a whopping 20% of the Earth's land surface!
5. You can actually drive from England to France, via a tunnel underneath the ocean!
6. The current tallest Englishman is Neil Fingleton, who is 7 feet and 7 inches tall
7. The invention of the World Wide Web is credited to an Englishman by the name of Tim Berners-Lee.
8. If you turn 100 you no longer get a telegram from the Queen, but a birthday card.
9. In 1814 a vat of beer ruptured in London, causing a 'wave' of beer to rush down the street!
10. It is estimated that in England up to 6,000 people per year die as a result of their own trousers... whether that's tripping over the hem, or falling down the stairs while trying to pull them up.
11. And if you think that is worrying, in 1999 over 2,000 people in England were hospitalised after tripping over a laundry basket.
12. England is the only country in the world that doesn't have its name on its stamps.
13. There is a professional 'rent a mourner' service, whereby you can hire people to attend funerals... and their business is booming!
14. The Queen owns all of the whales in the water surrounding the UK.
15. The largest lake in England is Lake Windermere, which measures 5.6 square miles.
16. England (as part of the UK) is the first part of the world to allow triple-parenting, which is the creation of babies from the DNA of three people rather than two.
17. Alcohol is prohibited in the Houses of Parliament... with one exception. The chancellor may drink during the reading of the annual budget!
18. England's first telephone directory listed just 25 names and addresses
19. Created in 1386 and continuing today, the UK's alliance with Portugal is the longest in the world.
20. The clock in the Big Ben bell-tower is adjusted by using British pennies to add or subtract weight from the pendulum.
21. Approximately 80,000 umbrellas are lost on the London Underground every singe year!
22. Forget fish and chips, every single year the English consume 11.5 billion sandwiches.
23. Putting a postage stamp with the Queen's image onto your envelope upside-down is considered an act of treason.
24. Famous brand Derwent began producing its sketching pencils in England in 1986.
25. The American National Anthem was created by an Englishman.
26. The United Kingdom and Great Britain are not the same thing, as Great Britain does not include Northern Ireland.
27. Given the size of England, you can never be more than 115km from the ocean. So there's always the chance for a trip to the beach!
28. The famous Big Ben of London is not actually the name of the clock-tower, but the name of the bell inside it.
29. England has been known by two other (non-official) names: Albion and Loegria.
30. There are more chickens in England than there are people.
31. There are over 50,000 Christian churches in England.
32. English people have the highest rate of obesity in the whole of the European Union
33. The first successful motorised vacuum cleaner was invented in England.
34. England was part of the shortest war in history, which lasted only 38 minutes!
35. During the Industrial Revolution, Manchester was known as 'Warehouse City.'
36. The guards outside Buckingham Palace are not merely there for show – they are highly trained soldiers carrying real weapons. Don't mess with them!
London Cultural Icons. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
37. French became the official language of England following the Battle of Hastings.
38. It is claimed by some that the earliest version of a metric system was invented by an Englishman.
39. Heathrow Airport in London is the world's busiest airport as measured by international customers.
40. Ginger Spice, of England's famous pop group The Spice Girls, was originally going to be called 'Sexy Spice,' but changed her name to appeal to younger music fans.
41. There are over 7,000km of navigable waterways in England.
42. England is, of course, home to the English language, which is now spoke by hundreds of millions of people all over the world.
43. One quarter of all the people now living in London were born in another country.
44. Buckingham Palace has its own police station.
45. Queen Elisabeth has been on the internet longer than you have – she sent her first e-mail in 1976!
46. Cricket, now a worldwide game, originated in England.
47. England is 74 times smaller than the Unites States of America, but has about 150% more people than California alone!
48. Shakespeare's 'Macbeth,' often known only as 'the Scottish play' is the most-produced play in the world.
49. The original London Bridge was shipped tot he US, where customs declared it a 'large antique.'
50. The first fan letter that Harry Potter author J.K rowling ever received was from a girl called Francesca, who thought that the author was male and began her letter "Dear Sir."
51. England is home to some prehistoric architecture, most famously Stonehenge.
52. There was a lunch break for both sides during the Battle of Hastings.
53. The richest person in England is Len Blavatnik, who is actually Ukranian/American
54. The longest road in England is called the A1, which stretches from London all the way north and out of England to Scotland.
55. There are a few pubs which all claim to be the oldest in England, one of which has the unusual name of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.
56. There are over 500 thousand pigs in England.
57. The sky above Suffolk was the inspiration for the song 'twinkle twinkle little star.'
58. One of the shortest-reigning Queens of England was Lady Jane Grey, who held the title for only nine days.
59. In medieval times in England, animals could be put on trial for crimes, and even sentenced to death.
60. The London Eye is the tallest ferris wheel in Europe
61. A small village which borders England and Wales, called Hay-on-Wye, claims to hold the world's largest secondhand book market.
62. The eye-catching Angel of the North is made of 200 tonnes of steel, and is as tall as four double-decker buses.
63. The longest colouring pencil in the world is located in Keswick at the Cumberland Pencil Museum.
64. The last 'witches' hanged in England were in 1662, when three women accused of sending he devil to their neighbours' homes, in the form of a tabby cat.
65. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the English consume more tea (per capita) than anywhere else in the world.
66. Brockworth, in Glostershire, holds an annual cheese-rolling event. Participants start at the top of Cooper's Hill and roll their cheese to the bottom.
67. Speaking of cheese, one of the wedding gifts Queen Victoria received was an enormous wheel of cheese that had a diameter of 3 metres.
68. In Victorian Britain, people who couldn't afford a chimney sweep would instead drop a live goose down their chimney. The poor goose would flap its wings all the way down, brushing away the soot.
69. The medieval version of football was so violent that players sometimes died on the pitch.
70. Champagne, now a hallmark of the French, was invented in England.
71. J.K. Rowling is the first author in the world to become a billionaire through writing.
Stonehenge. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
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So many cool facts; this was fun to read.
(score: 4|12558) 1470 days ago
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