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Discover

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The Discover page is an archive of about strange but true trivia about destinations around the world, previously featured in the Discover section on the main page. You can contribute and add or edit future facts to the list here. Previously displayed facts from this year are below. You can find older facts from previous years using the links at the bottom of the page.

May 2020[edit]

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  • The fountain at Piazza di Spagna (pictured) in Rome celebrates the boat which once ending up in the square when the river Tiber flooded.
  • Bhaktapur Durbar Square was the seat of Nepal's royalty before 1769.
  • The Sultan's Armed Forces Museum in Muscat is housed in a building built in 1845 as a royal summer home.
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  • The well preserved exterior of Bodiam Castle (pictured) outside Robertsbridge has been used in many famous films, including Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail.
  • Senhime Shrine in Himeji is the only shrine in Japan associated with a castle.
  • Tupelo is a city in Northeast Mississippi that is known best for being the birthplace of Elvis Presley.
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  • Potosí (pictured), at around 4,000 metres above sea level, is one of the world's highest large cities.
  • Llotja de la Seda (the silk exchange) in Valencia is considered to be one of the most significant secular Gothic buildings in Europe.
  • The Fisheries and Maritime museum in Esbjerg presents the North Sea coast both from a natural and economical point of view.
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  • Cape Coast Castle (pictured) is one of several UNESCO World Heritage slave forts along the southern coast of Ghana.
  • The Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways intersect in Portage la Prairie, making it a good place for railway aficionados to view trains.
  • As the Roman Empire originated in Italy and held onto this territory for the longest time, most remnants are found there and across the Mediterranean basin.
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  • Bodaiji Temple on Mount Osore is built around a number of volcanic cauldrons (pictured) bubbling in all sorts of unnatural shades from canary yellow to blood red.
  • Only 400 tourists are permitted to visit Lord Howe Island at any one time.
  • McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is one of the few airports in the world to have slot machines in it.
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  • The Old Government Buildings (pictured) in Wellington is the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest in the world.
  • India has more cattle than any other country in the world, and milk and its derivative products are used in a range of Indian savory dishes, drinks and desserts.
  • El Centro is the largest American city to lie entirely below sea level.
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  • The crypt of Vilnius Cathedral (pictured) shows a cross section of Vilnius through the ages, well worth seeing.
  • A planned city, Chandigarh was built as a city of "Sun, Space and Verdure", to fulfill the basic functions of working, living, and care of body and spirit.
  • Ven is best known as the site of the Renaissance-era astronomical observatory built by Tycho Brahe.
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  • It's easy to get distracted by New York's Times Square (pictured); even in this city of giant skyscrapers and famed landmarks, the night glow of the Theater District overwhelms everything around it.
  • While Kuala Lumpur is more of a concrete jungle compared to other parts of the country, it is still easy enough to delve into nature.
  • The Bottle House in Ganja was built of 48,000 bottles and in honor of World War II soldiers who did not return home.
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  • The Ghana Armed Forces Museum (pictured) in Kumasi predominantly features information and artifacts related to the British-Asante War.
  • The highlight exhibit of the Museum of Buryatia History in Ulan Ude is a rare illustrated book from the 17th century on Tibetan medicine.
  • In St. Louis you can visit the World Chess Halls of Fame.


April 2020[edit]

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  • Cuc Phuong National Park (view in the park pictured) is Vietnam's largest national park and one of the most important biodiversity sites in the country.
  • It may be called "Australian rules" football, but the city that rules the game is Melbourne.
  • Altitude sickness is a great danger for high-altitude mountaineering, and moderate danger for mountain sports and when flying in to a high-altitude city.
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  • A specialty of Chorley is the Chorley Cake (pictured), a thin sweet cake, made with currants in shortcrust pastry.
  • The Asturian Railway Museum in Gijón displays rolling stock mostly from Asturias' industrial heyday of coal mining and steel production.
  • A culinary specialty of Durban is bunny chow, a quarter loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with a curry of your choice.
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  • The Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong (pictured) is the biggest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • In Kurashiki you can visit a jeans museum and a school uniform museum.
  • Polson is at the south end of Flathead Lake, the U.S.'s largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.
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  • Outside Baku you can see the famous oil pump fields (pictured) from the opening scene of the James Bond picture The World is Not Enough.
  • Naarden is a small town surrounded by large 17th-century fortifications, among the best preserved in Europe.
  • The Royal Regalia Museum in Bandar Seri Begawan displays the royal accessories utilised during the coronation, and some reproductions, as well as gifts received by the Sultan.
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  • McMurdo Station (pictured) is by far the most populous Antarctic station in summer and something of a transportation hub for members of the scientific community on the southern continent.
  • Aarhus town hall is considered one of the highlights of Danish architecture.
  • At the Revolution Memorial in Timisoara you can lear about the short seven days during which Romania overthrew its communist government in 1989.
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  • Yangshuo is popular for its incredible karst scenery (pictured), beautiful mountains, rivers, caves, and temples as well as its laid back cafes and bars.
  • The climate of Salt Lake City is extremely seasonal.
  • While booking flights well in advance is a good idea, it does not guarantee you the cheapest fares.
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  • Toulouse Capitale (pictured) is a magnificent red-brick building in Neoclassical style, lording it over the pedestrianised main square Place du Capitole.
  • Maliguda railway tunnel north of Koraput is the highest broad gauge tunnel in India.
  • Once used by foreign vessels to navigate the Senegal River the Gandiol lighthouse continues to be maintained for the local fishermen and lighthouse lovers.
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  • In Havana the Malecón (pictured) is where the locals come to party on the weekends.
  • Württembergisches Landesmuseum in Stuttgart is a direct descendant of a collection of local antiquities formed in 1862 by King Wilhelm I of Württemberg.
  • Makassarese cuisine is based on seafood and highly prized throughout the region.
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  • Forte dos Reis Magos (pictured) in Natal was perhaps the most important of Brazil's defense barriers during the colonial period.
  • The numbers 1 to 4 have three gender forms in Icelandic, depending upon whether the number is attached to a masculine, feminine, or neuter word.
  • The didjeridu originated in Arnhem Land, and the area is also world-renowned for its distinctive Aboriginal art.
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  • The Trans-Siberian Railway (map pictured) is the backbone of the Russian rail network and the connection between the Asian and European railway networks.
  • Founded by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville is together with his residence listed as a world heritage site.
  • The 12th-century Chiesa dei Catalani is one of the few old buildings in Messina that survived the earthquake in 1908.


March 2020[edit]

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  • The Edison-Soo Hydro-electric Power House in (pictured) Sault Sainte Marie (Michigan) is the world's longest canal-powered electric plant.
  • For 58 years, Mannheim served as a royal residence, and gave Schiller, Lessing, Goethe and Mozart a home for some time.
  • Dundee used to be a grubby, rough industrial town famous for its three J's of jute, jam and journalism.
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  • Described as "the truest fusion of dream and reality", every inch of the surface of the Lingaraja temple (pictured) in Bhubaneswar is covered with elaborate carvings.
  • The gold and black enamel work by Toledo artisans is known throughout Spain.
  • Badagry outside Lagos was founded as a slave port and was also known as the "Point of No Return".
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  • The Ashgabat flagpole (pictured) was upon completion to tallest freestanding flagpole in the world, and at a height of 133 metres (436 feet) still one of the tallest.
  • Nowadays a park, the Howard Watson Trail in Sarnia is a former railway line that passes through a combination of urban and rural areas.
  • Guo Zhuang garden in Hangzhou is one of the garden masterpieces of Jiangnan (the lower region of the Yangtze River) thanks to its incomparable surroundings and the smartly managed garden space.
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  • The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (pictured) in Hobart features an exciting permanent exhibition of Antarctic natural history.
  • Sint-Truiden is in the centre of Belgium's fruit producing region, Haspengouw (French: Hesbaye), and is renowned for its pears, apples (Jonagold), and sweet cherries.
  • The sheltered waters of Glacier Bay ebb and flow with the region’s huge tides, which can change as much as 25 feet during a six-hour period.
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  • The Big Mosque of Chennai (pictured) is a magnificent grey granite structure, built without steel and wood.
  • Every April the Koryo Mountain Azalea Festival is celebrated in Incheon, and many people climb the mountain to see the azaleas bloom.
  • Tórshavn was founded in the 10th century and named after Thor, the god of thunder and lightning in Norse mythology.
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  • The largest and one of the oldest churches in Bratislava, St. Martin's Cathedral (pictured) was the coronation-church of several Hungarian kings.
  • Jerash was never buried by a volcano, nevertheless it's sometimes misleadingly referred to as the "Pompeii of the Middle East".
  • Idaho Falls features the Museum of Idaho, dedicated to the state's history and receives many famous traveling exhibits.
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  • Casablanca is one of the two Moroccan cities with a tram network (Casablancan tram pictured).
  • Greeks consider Thessaloniki a gourmet city - this refers to the excellent local specialities and cheap-and-cheerful ouzo taverns rather than to haute cuisine or a range of foreign restaurants.
  • The Nauryz celebrations in Shymkent in late March are the among the largest in Kazakhstan.
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  • The national dish of Guyana is pepperpot (pictured), a slow cooked stew of pork (or other meats), red peppers (capsicum), cinnamon and casareep.
  • On the Ogasawara Islands, often dubbed as the "Galapagos of the Orient", animals and plants have undergone unique evolutionary processes since these islands have never been connected with a continent.
  • Fethiye is probably the only city in the world where you'll find sarcophaguses in the streets.
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  • As you walk around St George's Cathedral (pictured) in Addis Ababa, you will notice people praying beside the walls, but it is unlikely that you will find an entrance.
  • Founded before 1378, Einbecker Brauhaus is one of the oldest still operating breweries in the world.
  • Isle Royale is a wilderness preserve first, a sanctuary for those seeking to experience it second, and a travel destination third.
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  • The Tháp Đôi Cham Towers (pictured) outside Quy Nhon are the most accessible Cham towers in Vietnam.
  • Montepulciano has gained notability from being used as a location for the Twilight films.
  • Serbian uses both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, the only Slavic language to do so.
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  • The historic El Camino Real (mission bell marker pictured) links the 21 Spanish missions of California.


February 2020[edit]

  • The ice-rimmed trees along Songhua River in Jilin are considered one of the four major natural wonders of China.
  • Dolores Hidalgo was the starting point of the fight for Mexican independence from the Spanish Empire, and the town has several related museums and monuments.
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  • Walking around Cathedrale Notre Dame (pictured) in Le Havre you'll see a striking contrast between the 15th century cathedral and the buildings constructed in the 1950s and 1960s around it.
  • Even if you never get to go to space yourself, there are quite a few space-related places on Earth.
  • Few cities of the world have a history as rich as that of Alexandria; few cities have witnessed so many historic events and legends.
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  • The former Eckerö mail and customs house (pictured) was hugely oversize for the village, as it was built as a symbol of the Russian Empire at the main mail route to Sweden.
  • Hiring a motorhome and travelling around New Zealand is a popular and relaxing way of seeing the country.
  • The market in Kisumu is second largest open air market in Kenya, and one of the oldest.
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  • Placentia (pictured) was the French capital of Newfoundland in the early 17th century.
  • California doesn't have a very well-defined cuisine of its own, but rather a remarkably diverse food scene defined by its large population of immigrants of varied ethnic backgrounds.
  • Spa in Belgium is known as the "original" spa, i.e. a place where tourists came in to enjoy the health and wellness benefits of water and hot springs in particular.
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  • Rajabhakti Park in Hua Hin was built to honor past Thai kings (statues pictured) from the Sukhothai period to the current Royal House of Chakri.
  • The Pioneer Settlement in Swan Hill gives a twee look back at white Australias roots, complete with 1850s cottages, horse-drawn carriages and river cruises.
  • The Horseless Carriage museum in Fenelon Falls is a museum specializing in pre-1914 transportation and early mechanical technology.
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  • Dishes made with potatoes (draniki pictured), called "the second bread", are common in Belarus.
  • Pokhara is Nepal's top yoga destination and there are over a dozen yoga retreats.
  • The Vine City area of Atlanta holds the U.S.'s largest concentration of African-American colleges dating back to the post-Civil War era.
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  • From as early as the 16th century, the windmills (pictured) are one of the most recognized landmarks of Mykonos.
  • Keszthely has a Balaton Museum presenting the development of the lake, its flora and fauna and the historical relics of its surroundings.
  • Royal Oak is home to Detroit Zoo, recognized as one of the top zoos in the U.S.
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  • Founded in 1730, San Antonio de Areco is proud of its gaucho tradition (gaucho and horse pictured), and visitors can explore the surrounding villages and ranches.
  • To do scuba diving you don't need to be a strong swimmer or super-fit, but you do need to feel comfortable in the water.
  • For a nice view of Dodoma and surroundings, head to Lion Rock (also called Simba Hill) north of the city.
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  • The Hands of Harmony monument (pictured) in Homigot outside Pohang are at the easternmost point of South Korea, and a popular place to shoot pictures of the sun rising through the fingers of the hand.
  • The name of Helmsdale derives from Norse Hjalmundal, meaning the "Dale of the Helmet".
  • Yeoor Hills in Thane has the highest density of leopards in India.
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  • The vast Parque Grande José Antonio Labordeta in Zaragoza has impressive features, arrangements and a monumental fountain staircase (pictured).
  • The temple complex of Wilcahuaín outside Huaraz is virtually undamaged, providing a unique opportunity to see a complete pre-Columbian building in Peru.
  • In Simi Valley you can visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum.


January 2020[edit]

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  • In the Greek cuisine salads (horiatiki salata pictured) and vegetables play an even bigger role than in other Mediterranean cuisines.
  • Muzium Padi in Alor Setar is a museum that teaches all you need to know about paddy and rice.
  • McCaig's Tower in Oban was supposed to become a replica of Colosseum in Rome, but only the circular shell was eventually completed.
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  • Turkish coffee (pictured), served in tiny cups, is strong and tasty, and very different from the so-called Turkish coffees sold abroad.
  • Guan-Yue Temple in Quanzhou has a huge ritual furnace for burning joss paper, becoming very busy around the holidays such Yuanxiao, when people line up to burn their offerings.
  • Quezon City has no single place considered the city center; it is a multipolar city, with central business districts and commercial centers scattered at different points.
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  • Sibiu (downtown pictured) has Romania's largest German community, and due to initiatives by the local government, the Germanic feel of the area has been maintained.
  • Besides pronunciation differences, there are also significant lexical differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Almost everything about Mashhad relates to its role as the holiest city in Iran, even its name – literally: "burial place of the martyr".
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  • At the Museum of Former Changchun Film Studio Site (pictured) you can learn about the history of the Chinese movie industry.
  • Edmonton is the birthplace of two major Canadian restaurant chains: Boston Pizza and Earl's.
  • Le Jardin des Plantes in Montpellier is France's oldest botanical garden.
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  • Paarl has a monument (pictured) and a museum to the Afrikaans language.
  • Suquamish means "place of clear salt water" in the Native Lushootseed language, and has been the primary home of the Suquamish people since ancient times.
  • Manama has a busy nightlife by Gulf standards and is a getaway for Arabs and expats residing in Arab countries where alcohol is banned.
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  • Asado, Argentine barbecue (pictured), is maybe the most famous dish of the Argentine cuisine.
  • Situated nearly at the center of the north Pacific Ocean, Hawaii marks the northeast corner of Polynesia.
  • A neo-Norman Victorian fantasy castle from the 19th century, Penrhyn Castle in Bangor contains a collection of "Norman" style furniture and old masters' paintings.
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  • Embodying several centuries of history, Catedral de Santa Ana (pictured) can be seen from almost any point in the city center of Las Palmas.
  • Mizoram is a kaleidoscopic "pleasure trove" for the discerning visitor, with its wide array of festivals and dances, handicrafts, flora and fauna, breathtaking natural beauty, and temperate climate.
  • Phra Kahn in Lopburi is site of a small shrine, the remains of a Khmer prang (tall tower-like spire, usually richly carved), a few stalls and lots of monkeys.
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  • The Palacio Estévez (pictured) in Montevideo was the office building of Uruguayan presidents until 1985. Today it is a museum of the Uruguayan presidency.
  • Böttcherstrasse in Bremen is an incredible Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) street that runs from the main square towards the river.
  • Barbecue is the mainstay of many Texan's diet and some Texans will frown at you if you call it B-B-Q.
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  • Liechtenstein is together with Uzbekistan, doubly landlocked; one of only two countries to be landlocked by landlocked countries (location map pictured).
  • Sano is famous for Sano Premium Outlet, Sano ramen-noodles and Sano Yakuyoke Daishi which exorcises people in unlucky and critical ages.
  • Oljeön ("the Oil Island") outside Fagersta is the world's oldest preserved oil refinery.
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  • The Erebuni Museum of History (pictured) in Yerevan stands at the foot of the Arin Berd hill, on top of which the Urartian Fortress Erebouni has stood since 782 BCE.
  • The annual motorcycle Australian Grand Prix is held at the 1950s purpose-built Motor Racing Circuit at Phillip Island, and draws a massive contingent of motor sport fans every year.
  • Greetings in Swahili are very important and long and drawn out.
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  • Maresias beach (pictured) outside São Sebastião is part of the international surf circuit and regarded as "the Ipanema of São Paulo".


Old discoveries[edit]