How to Land a Jumbo Jet and Other Random Travel Facts
To help plan my upcoming weekend trip to Paris in July, I got a few guidebooks to Paris the other day. In the corner of my eye on another shelf I spotted this rather eye-catching title: “How to Land a Jumbo Jet”. The book has a brightly-coloured cover and as I’m easily persuaded by a snappy title, I picked it up and ended up taking it home with me. It’s a coffee-table book by Lonely Planet filled with random little facts about travel and is an entertaining way to whittle away an hour while filling your reservoir of random titbits of knowledge to sprout at a dinner party or a pub quiz.
You can buy it on Amazon or on Lonely Planet’s online store. I love random facts but am always forgetting the fine details, meaning that I invariably end up inventing statistics on the spot to support my argument. But in any case, here are some of the more interesting ones I found in this little book…
- A Black Russian cocktail is not at all from Russia, but from Belgium.
- Over 700 million adults worldwide would like to migrate to another country if they had the chance. You can definitely include me in that number.
- A polar bear is capable of cutting off a human head with a swipe of its paw. So beware!
- 50,000 people die every year from snakebites in India alone.
- How proud are you of your nationality? The proudest countries are Colombia, Ghana, Guatemala, Mali and Trinidad & Tobago, and the least proud countries are China, Germany, Japan, Moldova and Ukraine.
- The most visited tourist sit in the world is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which receives 6.8 million visitors a year. I’ve already been up it twice so that’s not high on my to-do list for my upcoming trip to Paris.
- France is the most visited country in the world, receiving 74.2 million visitors every year. With a population of only 65 million, it’s no wonder the French are grumpy towards tourists.
- There are 911 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, and Italy is the country boasting the most, followed by Spain in second place… I knew there was a reason I chose to study Italian and Spanish!
- In 2003 Sir Ranulph Fiennes completed seven marathons on seven continents on seven days. Excuse me but what?! I find this one very hard to believe.
- Salen, Sweden, is home to the first ever ski-through McDonald’s. At this point I’m starting to wonder if the author is just making stuff up.
- The rainiest place on earth is Lloro in Colombia, where they have 13,229.4mm of rainfall a year. The Spanish word ‘Lloro’ actually means ‘I cry’! And we Brits should really stop complaining, as it only rains less than a tenth of that amount over here in London.
- A woman was arrested in Melbourne airport, Australia, for attempting to import 51 live tropical fish in an apron of water-filled bags beneath her skirt.
- Worldwide crime rates: of all the countries in the world, you’re most likely to be assaulted in the United Kingdom (did I mention that I want to emigrate?), robbed in Belgium and murdered in El Salvador.
- Marco Polo spent roughly 24 years completing his voyage and adventures in Asia in the 13th century.
- Global temperatures are expected to rise 1.1ºC in the next 40 years and it’s expected that 50% of all ski hills will be out of business by 2050. Seriously bad news!
- As sea levels are rising, it’s predicted that 75% of the Maldives will be underwater by 2070. Get there quick before it’s gone! The Maldives are definitely on my to-visit list.
- Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) in Australia covers the same surface area as 462 football pitches and is 48m taller than the Eiffel Tower.
Do you have any other goodies to add to this list? Equally, if anyone can teach me how to make these amazing infographics or knows of any good websites then I’d appreciate it!
PS. If you were actually looking for instructions on how to land a jumbo jet, then this book does have a good explanation, but I imagine there are other somewhat more thorough and reliable resources available!