There’s a lot of facts about Europe that will surprise you!
Europe may not be the biggest continent on planet Earth, however it does have a long history and many different cultures. With over 700 million people and 50 countries, there’s bound to be some weird and wild people things there! All this contributes to the reason why Europe is such a magical and a unique place to visit and live. This also means there’s a lot of facts about Europe that will surprise you. See how many you know below!
The name 'Monkey' is banned in Denmark
This is true! The country has 7,000 pre-approved names, and if you want to choose one not on this list you have to get it approved by government officials. One such name proposed by expecting parents was Monkey, which the government swiftly denied.
The word 'Europe' originates from Rome
The name actually originates from Greek mythology. Europa was a Phoenician princess, a love interest of Zeus.
Iceland is mosquito free
Iceland is actually Mosquito free! The climate in Iceland and lack of shallow ponds makes for a completely unsuitable environment for mosquitoes. This fact is sure to make many jealous of the Icelandic!
There is a jungle in Europe
This is actually true! The jungle is found in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to a great number of rare and endemic species. Access is restricted, and you are only able to visit with a licensed tour guide.
The French flag was designed by Napoleon.
Wrong! He actually designed the Italian flag and based it on the French tricolour.
Italy is home to one microstate.
Not true! It has 2! San Marino and the Vatican are both separate countries from Italy despite both being entirely surrounded by the country.
Of the British Museum's Collection, only 5% is on display
It’s even less - it’s only 1%! Despite having 2 miles of exhibition space, only 1% of the museum’s collection is on display.
Ö is a city in Sweden
Meaning ‘island’, this is not the only city with a one letter name in Europe. In fact, Å is the name of 9 cities across Scandinavia.
Spain didn't participate in WW1 or 2.
Along with Switzerland and Ireland, Spain didn’t officially take part in either wars.
You aren’t allowed more than 1 rabbit in Switzerland
Not true! The Swiss must be animal lovers since their laws look out for their furry friends. Rabbits - along with other pets such as guinea pigs and parakeets - are social animals, so the Swiss are required to keep more than one at a time to make sure they don’t get lonely or depressed. Companies even provide rental pets in case one passes away and you need a stand in whilst you find a new one.
How did you do? Europe is full of surprises. Some of the languages there are particularly interesting. Did you know there are 24 official languages, but more than 200 are actually spoken? Let us know if there’s any facts you think we missed out on.