16 Strange Facts from All Around the World

1. The Only Royal Palace Used by a Monarch in the U.S.

The only royal palace used by a monarch in the U.S. is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is the Iolani Palace and belonged to the monarchs King Kalakaua and Queen Lili'uokalani until the monarchy was overthrown in 1893. The building then served as the capitol building until Hawaii became a state in 1959. Today the Iolani Palace is a museum.

2. Central Park - Surface Area (NY, U.S.)

New York's Central Park is larger than the principality of Monaco. It occupies an area of 840 acres (340 hectares).

3. No Water Heaters in Iceland

Strokkur geyser, Iceland
Urban Icelandic homes do not need a water heater or a furnace for heating. Steam and hot water are piped into the city from natural geysers and hot springs for use in homes and buildings.

4. European Territories on the African Continent?

Ceuta, Spain
Spain is the European country closest to Africa. In fact, the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla are the only European territories on the African continent. This area is Spanish exclave located on the north coast of North Africa surrounded by Morocco. Mainland Spain is only 12 miles away from Ceuta. You can take a 35 minute ferry from Ageciras on the southern coast of Spain, to Ceuta. From there you can enter Morocco to visit cities like Tangiers, Casablanca and Fez.

5. Why Canberra is the Capital of Australia?

The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. A location was chosen which was 248km (154mi) from Sydney and 483km (300mi) from Melbourne. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city.

6. Table Mountain - Plant Species (South Africa)

Table Mountain alone has over 1,500 species of plants, more than the entire United Kingdom.

7. Canary Islands Were Named After Dogs (Spain)

Tenerife, Canary Islands
The Canary Islands were named after dogs, not birds. In Roman times, the islands were known for the wild dogs which roamed there. The Latin word for “dog” is “canis” and so they were christened the Canary Islands. When explorers visited the islands in the 16 th century, they brought home pretty little singing birds which they had found there and which they duly named “canaries”.

8. French Overseas Departments and Territories

France in the World
Nearly 20% of the territory of France lies outside Europe. These regions are known as "DOM-TOM" (overseas departments and territories), where over 2.5 million French citizens live.

9. Guam's Roads are Made With Coral

Guam's Road
Roads on the Pacific island of Guam are made with coral. Guam has no sand, all the “sand” on the beaches being ground coral. So this coral sand is used for mixing concrete rather than going to the expense of importing real sand from other countries.

10. India's Population

With one child born every 1.26 seconds in India the population is expected to grow rapidly and will at current rates become the most populated place in the world by 2075 with a projected population of 1,900 million.

11. Salt Deposit in Bolivia

The largest deposit of salt on the planet is found in Bolivia. The Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt beds or salt flats) contain over 64 million tons of salt! Believe it or not what you see in the picture above is SALT! When it rains the water forms a thin layer on top that reflects the entire sky!

12. The Caribbean - Island Inhabitation

One of the most awesome facts that you’ll ever hear about these isles, is that roughly only 2% of the islands are inhabited. Think of the islands that you know & that figure only represents 2% of the total islands that are down there. It is amazing the amount of land, there is down here, only seen and roamed upon by wildlife.

13. Mt. Everest Grows?

Mt. Everest grows about 4 millimeters every year: the two tectonic plates of Asia and India, which collided millions of years ago to form the Himalayas, continue to press against each other, causing the Himalyan peaks to grow slightly each year.

14. Chinese Unused Homes

These skyscraper in Chenggong, where there are already 100,00 new homes, should be bustling with life but are instead empty
By 2025, China will build sufficient skyscrapers to make up 10 New York-sized cities, yet China has 64 million unused homes, including whole empty cities. Build and populate later is China's policy, as can be seen also in Las Vegas and Spain.

15. Longest Street in the World (Canada)

Yonge Street
The Longest Street in the World is Yonge Street (pronounced “young”), referred to as “Main Street Ontario”, connects the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto in Canada to Lake Simcoe, a gateway to the Upper Great Lakes. Actually, it starts on the Toronto lakeshore and winds its way northwesterly along Highway 11 to Rainy River, Ontario, at the Minnesota border. Yonge Street is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest street in the world at 1,896 km (1,178 mi), and the construction of this street is designated an Event of National Historic Significance.

16. Multi-Ethnic New York
In New York, there are more Italians than in Rome, more Irish than in Dublin and more Jews than in Tel Aviv. The big apple stands out anytime, no matter who you are or what you’re interested in.


Richard Feynman's Sketches and Paintings

Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988), Nobel Laureate, teacher, icon and genius – one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, possessed an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and adventure that drove him to pursue seemingly unrelated paths. Feynman pursued biology, percussion, Maya hieroglyphs, and lock picking - subjects totally unconnected to his primary expertise which is physics. Another one of his interest was art.

Richard Feynman started taking art lessons at the age of 44, and continued drawing for the rest of his life. These include portraits of his close friends, wife and daughter and professional models that posed for him at his friend’s studio. Feynman was also an avid supporter of topless bars, which he used to frequent a lot while he was at Caltech, which also explains why he loved drawing nude models.

Feynman signed all of his artwork with the pseudonym “Ofey”. Here are some of his sketches.