Almost everyone who reads this probably knows quite a bit about Asia. We know that it is the largest continent that is home to some of the most densely populated countries in the world and that there have been some fairly large and successful empires in history. Aside from the general information, most people know surprisingly little about the continent.
To bring Asia back to the fore – as almost throughout its history – we are looking for some of the darkest and most interesting facts from the numerous countries that call this vast continent home.
10. Valentine’s Day in some Asian countries is … complicated
Valentine’s Day may be a fairly simple festival in most parts of the world, although it isn’t in South Korea (and some parts of Taiwan and Japan). While they have one Valentine’s day On February 14, only women give gifts to their male partners. While everything goes nowadays, the gifts are traditionally supposed to be chocolates or sweets.
Then, a month later, they have something called White Day when the men should respond with their own gifts; only they should be at least three times the value of what they have received. This is certainly a great way to ensure that both parties receive amazing gifts, as women also have an incentive to spend more.
9. The Caspian Sea is actually a lake
The Caspian Sea is one of the strangest natural formations in the world. It’s the only inland sea we know of, and some people would even say it’s a lake. And they would be absolutely right; The Caspian Sea is actually the largest lake in the world, although it has always been classified as a sea because of its salt water and other sea-like properties.
There is also geopolitics, as many countries – like Russia – want it to be classified as a lake. According to international law, the maritime borders are automatically distributed to the neighboring nations, regardless of how far away they are. However, this is not the case with oceans or seas, as they come under international maritime law.
To solve this dispute five countries recently met and explained that the Caspian Sea is neither a sea nor a lake.
8. The secrets of Hang Son Doong cave, Vietnam
The Hang Son Doong cave system in Vietnam is by far the deepest and largest of its kind in the world. Its sheer size only becomes apparent when you actually visit it, even if you can currently only do so for research purposes. The reason is the almost vertical gradient of at least 85 meters when you want to enter part of it, which explains why there are no signs of earlier human settlements inside.
It is also one of the most mysterious natural formations in the world. Although we know that it is the largest cave system, some recent research suggests that even that may not explain how big the caves really are. In 2018, some divers on a rescue mission accidentally encountered an underground connection to another cave in the region: the Thung cave. It suggests that the underground network is much larger than expected, although it is unlikely to be fully explored since most of the caves are still under water and hidden.
7. Vietnam’s New Year is everyone’s birthday
Vietnamese New Year is known as Tet, although it is much larger than any New Year in the rest of the world. While it falls on the same date as Chinese New Year, it is a distinct tradition that is limited to Vietnam.
It is by far their biggest festival and lasts up to three days when everyone dresses up, celebrates and generally has a good time. Interestingly, according to tradition, that’s anyway birthday by everyone in Vietnam. Tet is when every Vietnamese is supposed to be a year older, and surprisingly, many people are still watching it. According to Vietnamese culture, birthdays are more of a community than a personal thing.
6. China’s hiking trail to hell
At around 7,000 feet high, the Chinese mountain Hua, which is about an hour from Xi’an City, is hardly a scale-to-scale peak. But it’s still perhaps the most dangerous hiking trail in the world, and you just have to see it to understand why.
The entire route is only supported by Thin boards and makeshift railings, and there are many treacherous points where you can slip and fall. Of course, not many people die here, because you can only visit with the right equipment due to past accidents. If you don’t like that and you want the thrill of doing it yourself, there are some similar routes in the same region that you can explore.
5. Asia is the richest and poorest continent
Wealth inequality is a real problem worldwide and has a huge impact on the economy. Are you wondering what would happen if the lowest tier of society exhausted their ability to keep buying new things? It’s a problem with no easy answers and has plagued some of the best economists and thinkers of our time.
Nowhere is this inequality so visible as in Asia. It is by far the richest continent and has the highest number of Billionaires in the world. On the other hand, it is also home to the world’s largest population the poorestunder conditions that would be unfathomable for someone who only lived in a developed, prosperous nation.
4. Asia’s surface is larger than the moon
When we say that Asia is the largest continent, it can be difficult to understand what it really means. The reason why Asia has always had a high population density with more cultural and racial diversity than perhaps any other continent is not that they are only culturally different. This is because the continent is absolutely gigantic and covers about 30% of the world’s total land area.
Of course, a large part of it is Russia (Siberia alone is bigger than all of Europe!), But even without it, Asia is ridiculously large. Its surface is actually more than that of moonand is home to some of the largest and most populous countries in the world, such as China, Russia, India and Indonesia.
3. The Himalayas are so young that they are still formed
The Himalayas were an immensely important mountain range in our collective history. They are by far the largest mountain range in the world (although not the longest, namely the Andes) and offer water and air conditioning to a large part of the entire human population. Himalayan river systems also spawned many different cradles of civilization, such as the Harappan and Indus Valley Civilizations.
However, what most people don’t know is that the Himalayas are actually the ones youngest Mountains. They are still growing at a rate of two centimeters a year as the Indo-Australian continental plate collides with the Eurasian one. That is why, unlike older areas with visible signs of erosion over time (such as the Grand Canyon), the Himalayan peaks are so jagged and fresh.
2. We don’t understand how big the Asian part of Russia is
We all know that Russia is the world’s largest country in the country, even after the dissolution of the huge Soviet empire, which was easily one of the greatest empires in human history. However, what we don’t know is exactly how big that is.
Russia is almost twice the size of Canada – the second largest country – and most of it is not even in Europe. The European Russian territory is actually quite like other Eastern European countries in terms of population density and size, since about 75% of the Russian population lives there. That raises the question; Where’s the rest of Russia?
It is actually in Asia that covers almost the entire Siberian region and accounts for more than 75% of the total Russian land mass. If you can’t instinctively estimate how big that is, consider that. Siberia alone is almost one and a half times the size of Canada, but has a population density of only 2.5 people per square kilometer compared to Canada 27 People per square kilometer on the European side.
1. There is no natural border between Asia and Europe
Asia and Europe have always been different continents with their own unique cultures and beliefs. However, if you notice, they are pretty much the only differences between the two continents. There are no rivers, mountains, or anything else on a map that clearly delineates you, so you wonder if these are real continents at all.
In reality, they are not and actually form the same contiguous landmass known as Eurasia. In addition, there are no natural differences between Asia and Europe. The border was first created by the Greekswho only wanted to part with the “barbaric” kingdoms of the East. The continents were just adopted by later empires who kept the names because there were always strong cultural differences between the kingdoms on both sides of the border. However, Europe and Asia are the same continent in every respect.
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