Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Scotland: 12 Fun, Fast Facts

Home to some of the most rugged terrain and most fiercely patriotic citizens in the United Kingdom, our Country of the Month for May is only small in geographical size. Its colourful history is only rivalled by the equally vibrant landscape.

via Flickr by Moyan Brenn

Kilts, tartans, and bagpipes... if you haven't already figured it out, our country for May is none other than ..Scotland! 

Here are a few interesting and quirky facts to get us started:

1. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, but the largest city is Glasgow.

via Flickr by dun_deagh
2. Scotland recognizes three official languages: English, Scots, and Gaelic.

3. There are over 700 islands in Scotland; however, not very many of these are inhabited. These islands can be grouped into three sections: Orkney, Shetland, and Hebrides.

4. Located on the largest island of the Orkney archipelago, Skara Brae is the most in-tact Neolithic settlement in Europe and home to some of the oldest buildings in Britain, which date as far back as 3100 BCE.

via Flickr by John Lord
5. The official flower and symbol of Scotland is the thistle.

6. The official animal of Scotland is a unicorn! The Scottish unicorn almost always appears in chains though, as they are supposedly very wild and unruly.

7. Scotland is home to the highest population of redheads in the world. Approximately 13% of the population identifies as a redhead and 40% of the population is identified as carrying this rare recessive gene.

8. Scotland is known around the world for its whisky, known internationally as Scotch Whisky. What’s not widely known is that whisky is not actually a Scottish invention! The distillation process used to make this drink originates from Asia.

via Flickr by copiousfreetime
9. Haggis might just be Scotland’s most notorious dish. Made up of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, it’s minced with onion, oatmeal, spices, salt, suet, mixed with stock and then boiled in the animal’s stomach.

10. Golf as we know it originates from Scotland. With accounts of this game dating as far back as the 15th century, the 18-hole game of golf as we now know it dates back to 1764.

via Flickr by Gregory Stewart
11. The first international football game was played between Scotland and England in 1872. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.

12. Did you really think we would leave out Ness? No way! The first recorded appearance of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to 565 AD.

via Flickr by Philippe Teuwen
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below so we can add it to the list!