Europe is a small continent, second only to Australia in that aspect. It is a lucrative avenue for businesses and professionals. This continent also welcomes numerous international students each year. The countries in Europe pull countless tourists because of their scenic beauty and historical monuments.
Has Europe been on your bucket list of places to see? If your answer is ‘yes’, then the facts that we are about to present may delight you and strengthen your resolve to visit it. If your answer is ‘not yet’, then here are eight interesting facts about Europe that might change your mind.
Europe gets its name from a mythological princess
The continent receives its name from a Phoenician princess called Europa. According to Greek mythology, she was such a beauty that she bedazzled Zeus. He fell in love with Europa, transformed himself into a bull, and abducted her. He took her to Crete, where he resumed his human form and mated with her. Three sons were born out of this liaison. Historical realities back the legend of the abduction and the search for her by her brothers. It summarizes the movement of civilizations. Europa married a Cretan king Asterion and became the first Queen.
It is home to the largest country in the world.
The largest country in the world is Russia. It shares its borders with no less than fourteen countries! It spans more than 17 million square kilometers. Even if you weren’t aware of this, one look at the world map would make it evident that Russia has the honor of being the largest country by area. It is so vast, that even if it separated 7 million square kilometers of land, it would still be the largest while the separated section would hold the record for being the seventh-largest in the world.
The second most active volcano is present on this continent.
Mount Etna is the second most active volcano in the world, while also being the tallest active volcano in the continent of Europe. It lies on the eastern coast of Sicily, Italy. This volcano has erupted multiple times in the last thousand years. The ashes from its eruptions have reached as far as Rome at times. It explodes in effusive and mildly explosive styles. There are frequent flank eruptions as well as summit eruptions. The year 2019 witnessed summit eruptions of this volcano with rivers of lava flowing down its slopes and flight interruptions because of the same. Etna is almost continuously active.
Its boundaries are debatable.
Europe’s boundaries on all sides are debatable, and there are also disagreements about the center of the continent. Europe shares a landmass with Asia, with the Ural mountains being the separation of the two continents. The separation of these two continents is so confusing at times that people prefer to refer to the two as Eurasia. The reasons behind this separation are more about history and culture than geographical distinction. The most confusing part is that some countries belong to both Europe and Asia that have an area on both continents.
Europe has a project under construction for more than a century
La Sagrada Familia is a church under construction in Barcelona, Spain. Antoni Gaudi designed it. This project was started in 1882 and is still under construction. The completion date of the project is in 2026, on the 100th anniversary of the death of Gaudi.
Its construction has taken a longer time than the construction of the pyramids, and slightly lesser time than the Great Wall of China. The process sped up due to the arrival of computers, or it could have taken longer! It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 and has the honor of being a basilica since 2010. An underground level of this structure houses the tomb of Gaudi. La Sagrada Familia is also notable for its height, being one of the tallest religious buildings of Europe.
It has a town with the longest name
The train station of a town in Wales bears this name ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’. Imagine trying to tell someone you wish to visit this place. Pronouncing the name of this town would be a feat in itself. The meaning of the name is ‘The Mary Church by the pool near the White Hazels’. If you do wish to visit this place, you could call it LlanfairPG or LPG with love. A short form of the name is used in official contexts. This town lies on the island of Anglesey on the Menai Strait.
It has ten villages with the shortest names!
These villages bear names that consist of only one letter! With the record for the longest name, Europe did not want to stay behind in the list of shortest names. In Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, nine villages bear the name Å. There is another one in Sweden with the name Ö.
Europe has the world’s oldest zoo
The world’s oldest zoo that has been in continuous operation is Tiergarten Schönbrunn. It is in Vienna, Austria. It started as an imperial menagerie constructed under the reign Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, and it, in recent times it is a scientific center for species conservation. It is also one of the best zoos in the world, drawing a couple of million visitors each year.
Weren’t these facts mind-blowing? These facts must have planted the seed of desire to explore this continent yourself. This sounds like a good time to get a carte a gratter and use to mark places you have visited. You can mount it on the wall and display it to your friends. It will become the starting point of long and fun conversations. You could use it to plan your next trip too!