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People Share The Most Obscure Facts About Their Home Countries

Reddit user BernadetteSwansongt asked: 'What are facts about your country, which foreigners do not usually know about?'

FACTS MATTER pin on a black backpack on a person's back
The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

Ashley Montague noted:

"To admit ignorance is to exhibit wisdom."

Most children receive an education that focuses on their part of the world. As adults, we often find ourselves quite ignorant of countries and cultures other than our own.

But it's never too late to learn.

Reddit user BernadetteSwansongt asked:

"What are facts about your country, which foreigners do not usually know about?"

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland 🦄

"National animal is the unicorn."

"Not joking."

~ sodsto

"Our national animal is not native to our country and can't even be found in the wild here."

"It was chosen symbolically centuries ago due to its significance in local folklore and has remained an integral part of our national identity ever since."

~ Better_Mistake_1401

Unicorn GIF by MOODMANUnicorn GIF by MOODMANGiphy

🇳🇱 Unvarnished WWII History Of The Netherlands 🇳🇱

"One fact not even people who were born and raised here know about: During World War 2 the Netherlands had one of the worst survival rates for Jews in all of the German occupied territories; only 5,000 out 105,000 survived the war."

"The extensive Dutch civil administration is often cited as a cause of this; once German police had access to the public records they knew exactly who was Jewish, and where they lived. Once they had that information, it was easy for them to target and deport any Jewish people living in the Netherlands."

"While that is true, what is not often talked about is how much of the work tracking down Jewish people was done by Dutch people, many of whom benefitted financially from their actions."

"Police and civil servants got paid bonuses if they found Jews in hiding, notaries public would make a hefty commission on the sale of confiscated Jewish properties, even the national rail company got their cut charging the Germans for use of their trains to transport captured Jews to concentration camps."

"Education about this aspect of the German occupation has gotten much better over the past ten years or so, but when I was a kid we were taught none of this."

"We only heard about the how the heroic resistance would oppose the Germans and try to hide Jewish people, when in reality there were more collaborators than there were ever members of the resistance."

~ ConstableBlimeyChips

🇨🇦 Oh, Canada 🇨🇦

"Canada is a well known place for animation. A lot of US studios farm out work here and it's subsidized by the provincial governments."

"The standards for children's animation are high and it is easily exportable to other countries."

~ 1_art_please

"Also for video game development, film production, and special effects, which have a lot of overlap with animation, naturally."

~ jtbc

"I knew you Canadians were up to something."

"Trying to convert our little ones to the metric system."

~ WYOrob75

The Simpsons Canada GIFGiphy

🇧🇷 Brazil 🇧🇷

"Brazil actually has strong laws against crime. We are just incapable of enforcing them."

"I think most Brazilians don't know this either."

Corruption, laziness, incompetence and fear, especially at the local Judiciary level."

"I'm a police officer specializing in corruption and money laundering investigations. Every day I see how the justices simply do not want to do anything or even hear about these crimes."

~ Gentle_Capybara

🇦🇺 Sunny Down Under 🇦🇺

"I feel like too few people are really prepared for how fast the Australian sun will burn them when they get off the plane..."

"If your SPF isn't 50+ it might as well go in the bin."

"Retirement in Australia is basically skin cancer treatments."

"Slip slip slap people."

~ blahblahrasputan

"A few years ago I was on a flight from Perth to London after a major cricket match—may have even been an ashes test. That whole flight smelt like aloe vera cream."

"There were a lot of crispy poms on the plane that day! People really underestimate the strength of the sun here."

"And add to that the strength of the rips and undertow at the beaches too."

~ ponte92

Australia sun GIFGiphy

🇩🇪 No Need For Speed 🇩🇪

"The autobahn is just a mundane part of everyday life many of us don't really think about, and speed limits do exist."

~ blacka-var

"Yeah, I got to drive on the autobahn a couple years ago and for the majority of it the speed limit was lower than what I drive in the US."

"Also it's like playing a video game with constant changing speed limits and changing lanes due to construction—you really have to pay attention."

~ NArcadia11

🇺🇸 Not ALL Armed And Dangerous 🔫

"Many people in the USA do not carry firearms."

~ OldSamSays

"I had a conversation with an Australian once. I was working at the gym, and the discussion of guns came up."

"He said, 'When you bring your gun to work, do you have a wall locker for it?' Me and my coworkers stared at him, and we're like, 'Dude this isn't a gun shop. We don't bring guns to WORK!'."

"He thought Americans were strapped 24/7."

~ NearbyCamp9903

"To be fair to the rest of the world, all the ammosexuals posting photos online of themselves and their gun buddies getting a coffee or groceries with an AK-47 or AR-15 slung across their body and multiple holsters with handguns doesn't exactly make us not look like we're all strapped 24/7."

~ LakotaGrl

ammosexual GIF by Black Rifle Coffee CompanyGiphy

🇸🇬 Function Over Form 🇸🇬

"Singapore has entire clusters of crammed foreign worker housing out in the fringes of the city in industrial areas, at the edge of forests, and along the sea."

"Our architecture outside of billion dollar luxury projects and historic districts is very super pragmatic and soulless."

~ I_love_pillows

🇳🇿 Frozen Kiwis 🥝

"New Zealand is colder than people expect."

"A lot of people think we're some kind of South Pacific tropical paradise, but it's definitely more misty mountains to be honest."

"I mean, we’re kinda close to Antarctica."

~ pgraczer

"Also farther away from Australia than many assume."

~ bthks

"Further away than New York to Florida or Copenhagen to Rome."

~ flyfart3

New Zealand travel GIF by Melly LeeGiphy

🇦🇺 Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) 🇳🇿

"We have a shared day dedicated to celebrating a joint national defeat rather than a victory."

"It's a solemn remembrance of a pivotal battle over a hundred years ago, which significantly shaped our national identities."

"It's a day of reflection on resilience and the unity of our people in the face of adversity."

~ Proper-Cantaloupe261

*Anzac Day is a binational—Australia and New Zealand—day of remembrance commemorating all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served." Observed on 25 April, Anzac Day originally honored the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who served in the Gallipoli campaign (1915–1916)—their first engagement in WWI.

🇮🇹 Romulus And Remus Loved Their Mother 🐺

"The Italian national animal is the wolf, yes, but it's usually not specified that it's the female wolf."

~ AlbiTuri05

"From the ancient Roman legend?"

~ UnsightedShadow


~ AlbiTuri05

wolf cub GIFGiphy

🇿🇦 Made More Than Trevor Noah And Charlize Theron 🇿🇦

"First human heart transplant took place here in South Africa."

"Also, the Kreepy Krauly pool cleaner and solar powered cat's eye road studs were invented here."

~ Saffer13

🇮🇩 Nyepi 🤫

"We officially recognize a national 'Day of Silence'—Nyepi in Balinese—where, for 24 hours, no noise is made, no work is done, and the streets are empty."

"It's a day for reflection, meditation, and resetting spiritually."

"While it might sound like a dystopian novel to outsiders, it's a deeply respected tradition that beautifully illustrates Bali's cultural emphasis on balance and introspection."

~ Better_Mistake_1401

Pura Taman Ayun, Bali GIFGiphy

🇮🇸 No Happy Meals Here 🍔

"Iceland does not have McDonald's restaurants. None."

"Not sure if this is a well known fact or not, but I get asked by tourists a lot."

~ BlueBabyCat666

🇨🇦 Beware The Cobra Chickens ⚠️

"As a Canadian, I cannot stress this enough:"


"I used to live very close to a park where a lot of Canada geese were found and I sometimes couldn't even leave my home without having them run at me hissing."

"They get particularly aggressive during late April/early May when they have goslings."

~ Rorschach_22

goose attack GIFGiphy

🇮🇪 Setting The Record Straight 🇬🇧🥔🍺

"We're not all drunken alcoholics."

"We're not British."

"There is more food and drink in Ireland than your stereotypes of potatoes and Guinness."

"We don't like it when you claim you're Irish through a long line of relatives 300 years ago."

"The people here are not leprechauns—some are just wee or ginger."

~ Complex-Breadfruit88

Did you know any or all of these facts?

As a half-Canadian who lives by the border with New Brunswick, I concur on the geese. Although Canada geese have infiltrated the United States pretty thoroughly, they just seem more aggressive here than the ones I encountered in Denver and Washington DC.

Here in Northern Maine, I've seen them knock full grown adults down and—on separate occasions—chase off a bull moose and a black bear. In Colorado and the capital, they just honked for food.

If they don't fear a silverback gorilla, they definitely don't fear you.

goose vs gorilla GIFscared animals animal GIFGiphy

I've never been to England, but I'm told the swans aren't to be messed with either.

What facts would you add?