As I travel the world on my bicycle, I’m constantly on the lookout for new and interesting pieces of information. Constant curiosity, after all, is the secret to long-term world travel.
This year I cycled across Portugal, Spain, France, Andorra, Norway, Sweden, the United States and Ecuador and I wrote down any little interesting nuggets of information I happened across. Looking back at my notes now, I realize I learned quite a lot this year!
I learned so much, in fact, that I thought it might be fun to take a moment and share ten of the most interesting pieces of information I acquired this year.
#10 – How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?
Herbert Nitsch is an Austrian free-diver who holds the world record for diving to a depth of 253 meters (831 feet) on a single breath. Can you believe that!?!
#9 – Should We Keep Jobs In America?
The idea that keeping your money/jobs in the USA (or in any one country) might be a narrow-minded one. The world might be a more peaceful place if we traded more frequently with people and companies in other countries. After all, we wouldn’t want to go to war with Russia, let’s say, if we got a large amount of food, resources and money from that country. If you owned a business, for example, and your customers were in Russia, you wouldn’t want to go to war with them because it would be bad for your business. Bertil Ohlin and James E. Meade won the Nobel Peace Prize for this idea in 1977.
#8 – Russia Sold Alaska For Only $0.02
Alaska was purchased by the United States from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million dollars (or $0.02 USD per square mile). At their closest points, Alaska and Russia are only three miles apart.
#7 – They’ll Never Find Your Mother’s Murderer
Many police departments in the United States have a “clear rate” of less than 10% for class 1 crimes (such as murder, rape, etc.). That means that 90% of the class 1 crimes in these areas go unsolved. And yet no agency or governmental body steps in to say, “This is unacceptable.”
#6 – Are You As Hairy As This Gorilla?
As it turns out, yes, you are! Gorillas have the same number of hairs per square inch as human beings. Gorillas just have longer and thicker hairs than humans.
#5 – I Hope You’re A People Person
There are more than twice as many people per square mile in Paris, France as there is in New York City. The population density of New York is 27,000 people per square mile, whereas the population density of Paris is 56,000 people per square mile.
#4 – Beetles Are Taking Over The Amazon!
There are approximately 10 million species of animals, plants and insects known to man and more than half of them live in the Amazon rainforest. 90% of the animals in the Amazon rainforest are insects, with beetles accounting for about 40% of that.
#3 – Hitler Hated Smoking
Adolf Hitler did some atrocious things in his lifetime. But did you know that Hitler created the first anti-smoking campaign in history, which is estimated to have saved the lives of more than 20,000 people who might have otherwise died from lung cancer? Click here to learn more.
#2 – Are You a Mama’s Boy?
The average American lives only 18 miles away from his or her mom. The wealthier and more educated an individual is, the further away from home he or she tends to move.
#1 – Your Name Dictates Your Future
“Nominative determinism” is the hypothesis that people tend to gravitate towards areas of work that fit their name. For example, if your last name is Farmer, there’s a good chance you’ll grow up to become a farmer. If your last name is Tooth, you’ll likely grow up to become a dentist. And if your last name is Law, there’s a good chance you’ll gravitate toward being a judge or a lawyer.