Talk of Argentina, and most people think football, Messi and Maradona. The Argentinian flag, much like the Brazilian flag, is well known through the world, especially because of the spread of football and the popularity of the Argentinian teams. However, there is so much more to this country. It has the continent’s highest mountain, it has glaciers, its full of national parks that have many exotic animals. Argentina has given the world three Nobel Prize winners in science. It has been a pioneer in radio and animation, and also in the world of movies.
There are many countries I have written facts about. Argentina has, in my head, one of the most diverse ‘interesting set of facts’ among all of them!
18 Interesting Facts about Argentina
1) How diverse the country is, is known by this first fact itself. Argentina has the highest literacy rate in South America. It also has the highest point in the Southern Hemisphere – Mount Aconcagua standing tall at 6,962 metres. The lowest point in South America is also in this country – Laguna del Carbon -105 metres). Also, the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in South America, both occurred in Argentina!
2) Argentinians have one of the highest movie watching rates in the world. At 2.1 hours a week, Argentines also spend the most time listening to the radio of any nation in the world. It’s the only Latin American country to have won an Academy Award, for La Historia Oficial in 1985, and, in 2010 for El Secreto de Sus Ojos.
3) Argentine women go through the highest number of (per person) plastic surgeries in the world. Arguably, it’s one of the world’s most looks-conscious countries. At least one in 30 Argentines have undergone cosmetic surgery (sadly more than 30% of its women undergo some form of eating disorder too).
4) In 2001, Argentina had 5 presidents in 10 days. What chaos!
5) Pedro Martin Ureta, a heartbroken Argentine farmer, spent years and years creating a guitar-shaped forest in honour of his late wife, who died tragically at the age of 25.
6) Howler monkeys, found in the forests of Argentina are the loudest land animals in the world. Only the sperm whale can make louder sounds.
7) Argentina has probably the highest infidelity rate in all of South America. Divorce became legal in the country in 1987, and now the country holds the highest divorce rate as well.
8) Argentina has the most Psychologists per capita in the world. Recent studies show that there are 145 psychologists per 100.000 residents.
9) In 1977, Argentina sent a pregnant woman to Antarctica in order to claim a small part of the continent. Her baby boy, Emilio Palma, is the first human to be born in Antarctica. Argentina also held the first wedding on Antarctica soil.
10) Remember birthday bums, when you spank, kick the birthday kid’s ass?!!! Instead of doing birthday spanks, Argentines pull the earlobes on the birthday boy or girl.
11) Pope Francis, the current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, is a native of Argentina and the first non-European chosen to become Pope. He once worked as a bar bouncer in Buenos Aires.
12) Argentina is the first country to accept a child having two fathers. Born in Buenos Aires in 2012, the child has two dads listed on his birth certificate.
13) The city of Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. Its also the docking point for many ships that go to Antarctia.
14) Argentina is the first country in the world to use fingerprinting as a method of identification. In 1892, the town of Necochea was rocked by the bloody stabbing of two children. Having no witnesses to the crime, local police were unable to tie the murder to any particular suspect. Finding a bloodied fingerprint on a door handle, a local detective discovered the murderer to be the kids’ mother (she eventually confessed to the crime)
15) The Tango dance got its full fledged form in Argentina!
16) Officials in Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi’s hometown of Rosario have banned parents from naming their children “Messi”. It would lead to too much chaos and confusion, they stated.
17) Of all the birds in the world, the Argentine Lake Duck has the biggest penis. Its almost 3 feet long, almost as long as its body. Eeeps!
18) It is the country closest to Antarctica – the ice continent! If you wish to go to Antarctica, go to the town of Ushuaia, and take a cruise boat from there to the beautiful continent.
Captain Nero’s recommendations in Argentina:
a) Iguazu Waterfalls – Argentina’s northeast region, close to the Brazilian border, has 275 waterfalls!!! Ithe guazu Falls are the largest waterfall system in the world. The best way to reach the area is by plane, although you could also take a bus from Buenos Aires.The route makes it totally worth the experience!
The Devils Throat Falls are the ones to spot – a collection of 80-metre high falls with winding walkways that allow you to peer straight down into the flow. It’ll overwhelm you for sure.
source : gapyear.com
b) Perito Moreno Glacier – If there is only one glacier that you could see in the whole world, and you had the choice to pick which glacier, this would probably be the one!
There are few sights like the Perito Moreno glacier. Just saying the name makes me feel as if I am saying something special 😉 But jokes apart, what a sight it is! 30 kms long, and 250 feet high above the waters of Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park, it looms like it was from some other world.
There are viewing platforms from where you can see the glacier, overlooking Lake Argentino. Just standing there, taking in the chilly fresh glacier air, will make your heart race. If you stand for sometime, you might see cracks in the front face of the glacier wall, and chunks of ice fall off and crash into the water, the roars reverberating everywhere. It’s not melting because of global warming. The glacier is actually advancing continuously and that creates the cracks.
c) Treks from El Chalten town: El Chalten town is a superb base to do some of the best day treks and multi day treks in the Patagonian region. This town is a hiker’s Mecca of sorts and within a day you can explore trails, lakes, icy mountains, streams and more.
The most popular treks here are the Laguna de los Tres trek and the Laguna Torres trek . The first gives the best views of the three peaks – Mount Torres, Mount Fitz Roy and Mount Poincenot. And the second trek gives majestic views of Torres mountain. When in Argentina, if your soul loves adventure, you must must visit this region.
d) Ushuaia – The southernmost town of the South American continent, and the gateway to Antarctica, attracts a lot of tourists for the latter purpose.
e) Tierra del Fuego: Take the “end of the world” train from Ushuaia to Tierra del Fuego. If Ushuaia was the the southernmost town on the continent, this trove of islands are even more mysterious with stories of shipwrecks, indigenous communities, failed missions all adding to the lore. Travellers come here to see the furthest points of the continent, and what spectacular views one gets! It makes you feel you are in a dramatic storybook!
f) Buenos Aires: The capital city of Argentina, is also its most vibrant! I usually don’t talk about the obvious places in my recommendation list, but it would be insulting to leave this city out. Explore it to understand the vibe of Argentina, for its colours and flavours, for the food, for the music and dancing, for the tango, for its narrow streets, for the European faded past blending with the Latino passion. This city will titillate your senses for sure!