A World of Curiosities: Surprising, Interesting, and Downright Unbelievable Facts from Every Nation on the Planet

Author(s): John Oldale


From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe: everything you never knew you never knew about every country on Earth.A scientist by training and an explorer by passion, Dr. John Oldale has logged half a million miles visiting more than ninety nations. Now, he celebrates our weird and wonderful world in a cornucopia of fascinating facts brought vividly to life through the unexpected stories behind them. Touching on history, travel, politics, natural history and more, he paints a unique portrait of each country from the mightiest to the most miniscule. You won't find the following in your average travel guide: - Why is kissing on trains banned in France?- In what country are litigants expected to present their case at court in the form of a poem?- Which war did women win in 1929 just by sitting down?- If Panama hats aren't from Panama, where are they from?- Who eat fresh camel dung as a cure for dysentery (and why does it work)?- Why were US disk jockeys once told they could play birthday requests on any day except the one requested?- Which modern dictator banned old age, libraries and gold teeth, and was later replaced by his dentist?- And 2,000 more funny, trivial, poignant, and telling facts A must for active and armchair globe-trotters alike, "A World of Curiosities" will engross anyone who is at all curious about the world beyond their door. Explore and enjoy.


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"Turn to any page in this compendium of countries and you'll be surprised and amazed by its vast array of far-flung facts from around the world. Sure to satisfy of the appetite of any lover of trivia." --Don Voorhees, author of "The Book of Totally Useless Information" "An absolute winner! A fascinating and entertaining spin around the world, its oddities and its secrets." --Noel Botham, author of "The Book of Useless Information" "Jam-packed with facts of every description from the horrific to the hilarious. My life has been richer since I read that, in order to cram more showings into the day, one cinema in South Korea made The Sound of Music shorter by cutting out the songs." --Caroline Taggart, author of "I Used to Know That"--.

John Oldale speaks five languages, has outrun knife-wielding brigands (twice), and has been rescued from a sub-Antarctic beach. He lives with his family in a former village pub in Hampshire, England.

General Fields

  • : 9780452297838
  • : Penguin Putnam Inc
  • : New American Library
  • : 226mm X 154mm X 21mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 320
  • : 910
  • : Paperback / softback
  • : John Oldale