We all like to think the country we live in is the best at something. With that in mind, when you actually look into it you’ll find that a lot of countries are the best at rather odd or unexpected things. Consider for example that …
10. Afghanistan: Drugs
Anyone who’s seen the Rambo movies think Afghanistan is full of nothing but people playing sheep ball. However, the country is actually one of the drug capitals of the world. Cannabis, hashish, opium and heroin are all shipped by the metric ton from a place that 30% of the people in the world can’t locate on a map.
It’s weird: for a country most people think is kind of backwards, Afghanistan sure has all of our drug addicts by the balls.
9. Singpore: Keeping Babies Alive
We’re just going to get this out there — people in Singapore just aren’t getting laid. Seriously, the birthrate over there is so low the government itself has stepped in to try and get couples to do the horizontal hug.
But when they do have sex, the resulting baby is good to go for a long time. Singapore has brilliant healthcare — so good in fact, that they have the lowest infant mortality rate in the world. So while Singapore couples have sex less often than Amish people, their babies are like Superman, only they grow up to fight for truth, justice and the Singaporian…Singaporese…that Country’s Way.
Dammit, we should have paid more attention in geography class.
8. Australia: Uranium
It’s a running joke that Australia is full of things that could kill you. Spiders, scorpions, snakes — hell, probably even the sand can straight up kill you. So it’s not so much surprising as it is really, really disheartening that even the ground in Australia is absolutely crammed with deadly uranium.
How much? Try 31 freaking percent of the entire world’s supply. That’s how much of the stuff is sitting comfortably underneath oodles of spiders. But here’s the weird thing: Australia doesn’t even use nuclear power. They’re sitting on thousands of years worth of energy and, even though half their country looks like a screenshot from Fallout 3, they don’t even use the energy they have access to. Come on, Australia. You and Turkmenistan need to talk.
7. Venezuela: Beautiful Women
Some people say beauty pageants give women an unhealthy body image and are massive anti-feminist, but as Lisa Simpson once said, “that’s what a fat girl would say.”
We jest, but the so called “big four beauty pageants” are where some of the world’s most objectively attractive women meet to be judged by people who get to write “staring at people in bikinis” on their tax return.
By far Venezuela has the most Big 4 wins with 19: five more than America (the second place winner) and 11 more than India, the third place winner. Now, we know that everyone is beautiful in their own way, but be honest: how many of you are debating going to Venezuela for a vacation after reading this?
6. United Arab Emirates: Not Dying
The record for lowest death rate is owned by a truly unexpected nation. By far, the fewest people overall die in the United Arab Emirates. And we mean by far. While there are dozens of countries that best the mighty United States (Qatar, Nepal, Laos, Pakistan, Aruba and Iran all have lower overall mortality rates,) the UAE is the only country around with less than one death per thousand citizens. We presume this means people only get scared half to death over there or something.
5. Switzerland: Not Bribing People
Bribes are commonplace just about everywhere, except in Switzerland. Now, most people’s image of the Swiss is a bunch of people in funny hats, eating chocolate while clocks-a-plenty chime in the background. We don’t really picture them as shrewd businessmen, let alone honest ones. Hell, does anyone picture a businessman anywhere being honest?
Well, according to the Bribe Payers Index, which is apparently a thing, the Swiss are the unlikeliest group of people to slip someone a bribe. For all of you cynics out there, Russia and China are the most dishonest countries in this category. Among many others.
4. Armenia: Piracy
Prior to reading this title, did you think of Armenia as a technologically advanced country, or anything other than the country that brought us System of a Down? If you’re Armenian we apologize, but let’s face it: you’re not exactly South Korea.
However, regardless of how much we think Armenian people understand technology, they themselves understand it well enough that they don’t have to pay for it anymore. Yes, Armenia is a pirate’s paradise, with 92% of all software there being pirated. Except for System of a Down albums. Those guys get all the money.
3. Russia: Billionaires and Diamonds that Nobody Can Reach
When you think of Russia, you probably think of a bunch of people wearing furry hats and drinking bottles of vodka by the crate to stave off the cold. Sure, we’ve all heard the rumors about Russia being full of billionaires, but did you know that’s no mere rumor? Turns out, the city of Moscow alone had 64 billionaires living there.
But it’s not just billionaires — Russia is full of diamonds too and, because everything Russian has to make you grow chest hair on your eyeballs, they’re all there as a result of a meteor smashing into the Earth. The Popigai Crater supposedly contains trillions of carats worth of diamonds that will never be mined. Why? Because the environment is just too harsh and unforgiving for mining to be economical. Yes, Russia is sitting on billions of dollars worth of diamonds, and no one can touch them because Mother Russia is too badass to let them go.
2. Italy: Go-Karts
Considering how good Italy is at virtually every kind of sport that involves strapping a driver into a fiberglass coffin and asking him to go around hairpin corners at 200 MPH, it’s probably not surprising that they whup ass at the mini version of that too.
In a way though, it is surprising. This completely confirms a stereotype we’ve all been too scared to admit. Just for a second, rack your brains and see if you can think of a fictional Italian with a penchant for go-kart racing. Yes, Mario Kart isn’t just stupidly good fun. It’s also an accurate representation of how much ass the Italians kick at karting.
We’re not just clutching at straws here; take a look at the bottom of the list of winners of the karting world championship:
See? We told you; Italy utterly dominates. Even Wikipedia knows!
1. Israel: Social Media
Social media dominates the online landscape these day. Even on this very site, you’ll see links to share this article on Facebook, Twitter and *stifles laughter* Google Plus. It’s unavoidable, but strangely, it’s not the US that uses social media the most. It’s Israel.
Though exact numbers are hard to pin down, Israeli citizens used social media almost twice as much as people in the US, which would make them the most avid users of social media on Earth. In fact, social media is such a problem that the Israeli government has had to crack down on soldiers using the service after a female soldier uploaded “racy pictures” of herself to her Facebook profile.
Say what you want; we’ll bet you never expected to learn Israeli soldiers are so into Instagram their government had to step in and tell them to cut the crap.