With the World Cup starting in Russia on Thursday, we donned our investigative hat, polished off our microscope and went digging for some fun facts about each country.
If you're as excited as us and can't wait for the first ball to be kicked or just want an excuse to have a vested interest in one of the teams, you can enter the Vive World Cup sweepstake for your chance to win a Vive goody bag of delicious treats. Simply use the discount code 'WORLDCUP32' at checkout and not only will you get 32% off your order, you'll get entry to our sweepstake (live draw to take place on Thursday at 12 noon).
If you're not much of a football fan, you're not going to be able to avoid the hype over the next month, so embrace it, get behind your team and impress your friends with these fun, funky facts about each of the 32 countries at this summer's World Cup.
- Russia shares a border with more countries than any other country in the world (14). Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, China, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia & North Korea) all share a border with the Russians but only one is also at the world cup, can you spot it?
- Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river.
- Egypt: The Pyramid of Khufu in Egypt (the largest of all the pyramids) weighs as much as 16 Empire State buildings!
- Uruguay: In Uruguay, there are three times 'mooore' cows than people (12million to 3million).
- Portugal is home to the longest bridge in Europe, Lisbon's Vasco Da Gama bridge which stretches an astonishing 7.6miles (including viaducts) across the Tagus River.
- Spain There is no tooth fairy in Spain, instead, a small mouse called Ratoncito Pérez (above) comes along at night and leaves a gift or money under the pillow.
- Morocco is actually only 8 miles away from mainland Europe, Group B rival, Spain.
- Iran: The world's largest handmade carpet was made in Iran for a mosque in the UAE and guess what, it was the size of a football pitch!
- France: With over 80 million visitors every year, France has the highest number of tourists of any country in the world and it's capital, Paris, is the most visited city in the world.
- Australia: "Get up n head" The record jump recorded by an Australian kangaroo is a whopping 9 metres (30 feet) in a single leap!
- Peru: There are 10 million alpacas in the world, and three-quarters of them live in Peru.
- Denmark: Bluetooth acquired its name from the second ruler of Denmark, King Harald Bluetooth.
- Argentina bizarrely has a Welsh-speaking region called Y Wladfa ('The Colony') that even has its own dialect of Welsh.
- Iceland is one of two countries at the world cup that no longer has a McDonald's anywhere in the country. The only Icelandic franchise was forced to close when the Icelandic Krona collapsed in 2009.
- Croatia: If you were to spread a map of the world flat the town of Ludbreg in Croatia would be bang in the centre.
- Nigeria: Around 7% of the 6,500+ languages spoken in the world are spoken in Nigeria.
- Brazil: A good bet for second place? The most common surname in Brazil is 'Silva'.
- Switzerland is one of only two countries in the world with a square flag. The other? Vatican City.
- Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet's surface.
- Serbia is the largest exporter of raspberry in the world – almost 95% of raspberries sold in the world originate from Serbia.
- Germany is the second largest drinker of beer in the world (after Ireland, of course)! Cheers to that!
- Mexico has the second highest number of Catholics in the world, second only to Brazil, who they could pray (sorry, play*) in the knockout rounds.
- Sweden is owed €300m from North Korea for around 1,000 Stolen Volvos and every 6 months Sweden sends them reminders (apparently).
- Korea Republic: In Korea, babies are considered one year old at birth (kind of makes sense, right).
- Belgium: No arguments, please! Belgium is believed to have the highest divorce rate in the world, estimated at around 70 percent.
- Panama is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic from the same spot!
- Tunisia: You may have seen more of Tunisia than you realise as it is home to many famous film-making sites from the Star Wars films and fans have flocked to Tunisia to spot numerous filmmaking sites
- England: Although it is often associated with tea, England does not actually drink the most tea per capita in the world. Their neighbours in Ireland and Turks both drink more tea than the English.
- Poland: Praying for a win! Poland is said to be Europe's most religious country with 86% of the population describing themselves as religious.
- Senegal: The name 'Senegal' is said to originate from the words “sunu gaal”, which was said by the first Portuguese settlers upon arriving and translates into “these are our boats”.
- Colombia is the only country in South America that has coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
- Japan consists of over 6,800 islands although only 430 of them are inhabited.