Russia is the biggest country in the world so there is no doubt its culture and history is as vast as its land. You may have been aware about the Red Square, Stalin, the Russian Revolution, borscht and the balalaikas, but there is something more interesting about this country that you probably did not know. In the world of anything big, great, and super-unique, Russia leads all the way. So, click through in this gallery to find interesting facts about Russia, from the more familiar to the less well-known.
Russia is clearly the world’s largest nation. It has a land area of 17,098,242 square kilometers (6,592,800 square miles), covering more than 1/8 of the Earth’s inhabited land area. In fact, Russia is even larger than the entire planet of Pluto, whose land mass is about 16.6 million square kilometers.
Russians drink an average of 6.3 shots of liquor a week, compared to 3.3. in the United States. This might account for the over 500,000 alcohol-related deaths in Russia every year. It is likely that the use of vodka is to blame for the stats.
It’s not a surprise in such a huge country there would be huge bodies of water. Lake Baikal is a rift lake in the southern part of the country’s region, Siberia. The lake accounts for about 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. It’s also the deepest lake, measuring 1,642 meters (5,387 feet.) Its elongated, crescent-like shape has a surface area of 31,722 square kilometers (12,248 square miles). Lake Baikal holds 23,615.39 cubic kilometers of fresh water which is much more than all the water of the Great Lakes combined. This makes the lake looking a lot more like an ocean simply for its sheer vastness.
Russia’s pipelines are measured at 259,913 kilometers long; the Earth, on the other hand,is 40,075 kilometers in circumference. This means the pipelines in Russia could go around the Earth more than six times.
Those pipelines include natural-gas condensate, gas, liquid petroleum gas, oil, water and refined products.
Before, Russia used to have 11 time zones, but in 2010 the country cut their times zones down to 9.
Then-President Dmitri Medvedev said the reason for the reduction in the number of time-zones was because “The less fractional division of the country will enable us to resolve a number of transport and communications issues, will increase its manageability, and strengthen the position of Russia as an important chain in the world’s global infrastructure.” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed decrees to disestablish the time zones of four Russian regions. Of course, at the time of the ratification of the time zone reduction, many people gave mixed reactions.
Next to Saudi Arabia, Russia is the world’s second largest oil producer, bringing an average of 9,900,000 of crude per day as of 2012. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, produces an average of 10,900,000 barrels per day, while the United States comes third.
Want to shake hands? The Russians would probably say “no thanks!” An age-old superstition says that shaking hands, especially over the doorway, brings bad luck, and Russians believe that this gesture would create arguments.
Each of the countries has its own uniqueness, in an interesting and strange way. Russia, as a large country, has obviously a big share of those pretty unique things to offer to the world. Move on and find out what some of those things are!
In the United States and some other countries, it is common that married couples wear their wedding bands on the fourth finger of their left hands. But in Russia, it is a tradition to wear the wedding ring on your ring finger of your right hand. Other countries such Ukraine, Poland, Spain, Germany, Austria, India and Greece follow the same tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the right hand.
Do you know where to find the largest McDonald’s restaurant? Nope, not in the US, McDonald’s country of origin, but in Russia! The country is home to the largest McDonald’s in the world, located in Moscow’s Pushkin Square. The restaurant has been operating since 1990.
A larger McDonald’s restaurant opened in London, England for the 2012 Olympics. The building boasted a 1,500 seating capacity, but was otherwise a temporary location. The restaurant was dismantled six weeks after it first opened its doors, and once the games had ended.
It’s not surprising that the world’s largest country has also the world’s longest single railway — the Trans-Siberian Railway. It stretches almost all the way across the country. It measures an amazing 9,289 kilometers (5,772 miles) in length. The network of railways connects Moscow in the west and the Pacific Ocean port of Vladiovostok in the Far East. The railways also have connecting lines to Mongolia, China, and North Korean. Yes, from Europe to Asia.
It will take you about 152 hours and 27 minutes to complete this epic cross-country (or cross-continent) railway ride. It sounds like a great challenge!
Fortunately for most on-the-go Muscovians, they have the most rapid way they can rely on to ride for work or for any other reason — the Moscow Metro railway system. Its trains have a minimum interval time at 90 seconds during morning and evening rush hours. An estimated 9 million passengers ride the Metro every day.
In Russia, people consider giving flowers a sign of bad luck. They also associate flowers with funerals. So giving your Russian girl a dozen red roses would be a sign of insult rather than affection or a compliment to her.
Everything big and great seems to have come from Russia, and it’s not a surprise. Even in the world of wealth, opulence, and luxury, Russia is still tops. The country’s capital, Moscow, has more billionaires than any other city in the world, totaling 74 wealthy residents.