AltitudeTravelers to La Paz, Bolivia, often become ill the moment they arrive in the city, Why? La Paz is 11,900 feet above sea level, the highest metropolis in the world. People with ailing hearts or bronchial problems are warned to stay away, and even those in perfect health usually cannot avoid some illness resulting from the Altitude.
AntarcticaAntarctica is the only continent that does not have land areas below sea level.
Daylight Savings TimeThe states of Arizona and Hawaii have never adopted Daylight Savings Time, Neither has Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or American Samoa.
DecisionsBefore 1903 Panama was part of South America. After 1903 it was part of North America. This was due to an arbitrary Decision of the Panamanian government, which in 1903, after staging the last of fifty revolutions (perhaps a record in itself) against its parent country, Colombia, gained its freedom both to dissociate itself from Colombia and to Decide which continent it wished to be part of. After less than a year's consideration, the government Decided that the country should be North American, and so it has remained ever since.
Land AreaJuneau, Alaska, has a greater Land Area than any other city in the Western Hemisphere. In 1977 the main city and outlying districts were consolidated, making Juneau officially 3,108 square miles in size. Of this area, 1476 square miles are dry land, 928 are an icecap, and 704 comprise water. Compare this 3,108 square miles with other large cities Jacksonville. Florida, traditionally considered the largest American city, has an Area of 840 square miles. Houston, Texas, boasts 450, Los Angeles 455, and New York City 320. An answering service Dallas has to manage 4 area codes within its 385 square miles, but the same answering service in Juneau only has to manage one area code.
MountainsOf the twenty-five highest Mountains on earth, nineteen are in the Himalayas.
MountainsThe highest Mountain in all the British Isles, Ben Nevis in western Scotland, is only 4,406 feet high. In many other countries a "Mountain" of this size would be considered something less than a large hill.
NavigationThe needle of a compass does not point directly north. It points either a little to the east or a little to the west, not enough to make any difference to the average hiker. The difference is known to navigators as the "variation of the compass," and they take it into consideration when making critical geographical calculations. The phenomenon is due to the fact that the magnetic north and south poles do not coincide with the geographic north and south poles.
New York CityOn a clear day one can see five states from atop the Empire State Building in New York City: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
OceanWe are still unsure of what is in 90% of the ocean.
PopulationThe nation of Bangladesh covers approximately the same land area as the state of Wisconsin. Yet it ranks eighth in Population among all the world's countries.
PurchasesIn 1867, when Secretary of State William Seward purchased Alaska, one of the most resource-rich areas in the world, for the unbelievably low price of $7.2 million, he was showered with abuse by the American people and was almost forced to resign. Newspapers dubbed the acquisition "Seward's Icebox ... .. Walrussia," and "Icebergia." Seward, however, stood by his decision and named the country Alakshah, which means "great country" in the Aleut language.
RiversIf the Nile River were stretched across the United States, it would run just about from New York to Los Angeles.
RiversThere is only one River in the world that has its source near the equator and from there flows into a temperate zone: the Nile For some little understood reason, the flow of most Rivers is in the opposite direction.
Sand DunesAlaska has a Sand desert with Dunes over 100 feet high. It is located along the flatlands of the Kobuk River in the northwestern part of the state.
SizeCanada, the second largest country in the world (3,851,809 square miles), could fit into the largest country, the Soviet Union (8,647,250 square miles) more than twice.