Random bits of information that are more interesting than useful.

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92
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6answers
9k views

When I travel next, I want to reach the point on the earth that is exactly opposite my home, how can I discover where that is?

My wife and I are planning to travel to Japan next September (we are from Brazil). Since I was a child I have known that if I made a hole (a big one) straight down, I would reach Japan. Well, as the ...
84
votes
9answers
14k views

Why do people on airplanes often have tomato juice as a drink?

Tomato juice seems to be a favorite drink for many travelers to have on board an airplane. I've seen this on almost every flight I've been on, but I have never noticed this same trend at ground-level. ...
72
votes
8answers
7k views

Why is the departures level always above the arrivals level?

It seems to be a pretty strong convention for airport terminals with more than one level to have the departures above, and the arrivals below. Is this specified in some international standard? Are ...
61
votes
13answers
15k views

Where is the quietest place on Earth?

I just wondered if there is a known "most quiet" place on Earth. Perhaps people have measured "ambient" sound throughout the year in various places claimed to be the most quiet. And perhaps one has ...
47
votes
8answers
9k views

Why is the food so bad on airplanes?

I traveled on a couple of airlines for transcontinental flights, and they always give food to economy class passengers. However, the quality of the meal often looks poor; it gives the feeling that a 5–...
46
votes
5answers
13k views

Why are there holes in ice cubes in airplanes?

It could be due to boredom that I notice this, but it seems that only on airplanes ice cube have holes. Why is that?
43
votes
9answers
7k views

Where in the world can you tour a live nuclear reactor?

Are there nuclear plants that allow you to tour the facility and learn more about nuclear power while the plant is running?
41
votes
3answers
6k views

One foot in Belgium and the other in the Netherlands!

I come across this photo in Facebook where the borderline between Belgium and the Netherlands is drawn in the ground splitting a house in two sides one side at each country. One can literally put one ...
40
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the longest scheduled public bus ride in the world?

I'm about to take a depressingly long bus ride in Latin America and am wondering what the longest scheduled public bus ride in the world is. By 'scheduled' I mean for there to be a regularly ...
38
votes
5answers
5k views

Where is the Asia-Europe divide and where can we cross it?

Where is the division between Europe and Asia? What are places where we can cross it? Are there roads that go from one continent to the other? Bonus particularly scenic locations or places of ...
37
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do airplanes at every airport disembark at the left (port) side?

I travel by air a lot, and at virtually every airport I've ever been too, including where you disembark by stairs, as opposed to by jet bridge, the left-hand-doors are always used; and the right-hand-...
35
votes
6answers
5k views

Why do they sell luggage in airports?

It seems that in almost every airport I'm in, there are luggage stores behind security. How often do people get to the airport carrying handfuls of clothes and needing something to put them in? I ...
33
votes
5answers
5k views

Where can I try an autonomous driving car?

I heard that in the Netherlands there would soon be a self driving bus, and this would be the first sharing the road with other cars. There are also a couple of other places with autonomous cars, but ...
31
votes
4answers
19k views

If a baby is born on an international flight over international waters, what nationality are they?

I seem to remember one of our members being on a flight when a baby was born, but can't find any reference to what happened to the baby in terms of citizenship. Generally you hear about pregnant ...
30
votes
9answers
8k views

From what point could you view the most US states?

A fairly simple question: from what single point could you see the most US states? It seems like it should be a popular tourist attraction.
30
votes
4answers
10k views

What (if any) regularly scheduled airline flights pass over Antarctica?

We were just discussing at lunch if there are any such flights.
27
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a tourist destination where the new year starts first and at the same time the old year ends last?

We were brainstorming where to celebrate the next new year. It would be fun if it is possible to be the first in the new year to then with minor traveling enjoy yet a bit of the old year. Is there ...
27
votes
5answers
12k views

What is the least useful passport in the world, visa-wise?

An Israeli colleague and I were debating the merits of his passport, and that he can't travel to many countries. So with the proviso that a passport is not 'useful' if you require a visa to get into ...
26
votes
10answers
2k views

What is the LONGEST Tour operated by travel companies?

I remember 6 years ago, discovering "The Great South American Journey" operated by Gap adventures (now G Adventures), a 5 month trip around the continent (although essentially a bunch of their smaller ...
26
votes
8answers
6k views

Can I see fireworks from a passenger airplane (at cruising altitude)?

Next year, I plan to fly from Europe to China around new year's eve. That's why I was asking myself whether it is possible to see fireworks on the ground from an passenger aircraft traveling at ...
25
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the fastest theoretical route for the London “Tube Challenge”?

The "Tube Challenge" is the accepted name for the Guinness World Record attempt to visit all the stations on the London Underground network in the fastest time possible. The rules are here. The ...
25
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do UK people stand on the right on escalators?

UK uses left-hand traffic. Traffic flows on the left side, people walk on the left. Is there any reason to stand on the right while using escalators?
23
votes
5answers
31k views

Do airlines fly directly over the North Pole?

I always like flying to/from north America, since the route usually goes over Greenland. I do like the idea that I am only 10 km away from this inaccessible land. I would love to be able to say that I ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the shortest commercial passenger flight (with a flight number) in the world?

With the occasional debate about Oxford airport in the UK becoming a new London airport, and hearing of a flight that once landed at Heathrow due to fog, then flew on to Gatwick, I was wondering - ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

The most difficult countries to travel in?

Now at first sight that's a subjective question. But I'll explain now that it's not. So please don't answer subjectively either! Pamir Highway between Dushanbe and Khorog, Tajikistan When papers ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the youngest new natural landmass that can be visited?

I recently visited the Vulcão dos Capelinhos, which is an extension of Faial Island in the Azores that erupted from the sea bed only 50 years ago. Visiting this area gives you a great sense of the ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do taxis in Japan have mirrors on the hood?

In every country I've been in - save for Japan - cars have their mirrors on their doors. Even most cars in Japan do but the taxis don't. Any ideas as to why? It just seems strange. Here's a pic: ...
21
votes
8answers
2k views

Can you get married while traveling?

As a traveler getting married while traveling must be the ultimate experience. Can you actually legally get married while traveling?
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there any women-only places in the world?

It looks like reports of a women-only city in Saudi Arabia are greatly exaggerated. But are there any other places in the world where the population is entirely or almost entirely female? The place ...
21
votes
4answers
6k views

What's the highest number of countries whose borders meet at a single point?

What is the maximum number of countries meeting at a single point on earth? Where is it? What are the countries?
21
votes
4answers
1k views

How many countries are there in the world to travel to?

If you've travelled a bit, at some point you'll either have dreamed of or been asked - 'will you visit every country in the world?'. However, it's not a straightforward goal to aim for... I've heard ...
19
votes
9answers
3k views

Are there any man-only places in the world?

I know it is forbidden to enter to Muslim's mosques/shrines without proper Islamic cover or having your shoes during walking through temples/tombs/shrines in India and some other Hindu countries or ...
19
votes
3answers
29k views

Does the rotation of the earth affect the travel time from Europe to Australia?

Assuming that a place in Europe is exactly on the opposite side of the earth than Sydney. Now I want to take a plane to travel there. Does it matter if the plan flies with the rotation of the earth or ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are there no 2,3,4,5 tier bunk beds on airplanes?

Lie-flat seats in business class, are a fact of life. Even private cabins and showers are now a fact of life on airplanes. I have traveled on bunk beds in economy style class train cabins for >22 ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the deepest accessible point on earth?

There is the Kola Superdeep Borehole and the Mariana trench but both are not accessible to average humans. What is the deepest point on earth I can reach?
19
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the purpose of numbers on some UK street name signs?

As a frequent traveller around the UK I have developed a somewhat unhealthy obsession with street signs and their small but significant differences. Can someone explain what the purpose of the small ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Longest distance ordinary road sign?

Outside Narvik, Norway (at Gratangseidet north of Bjerkvik, at the border between Nordland and Troms) is a road sign indicating the distance to Kirkenes along the E6 as 1042 km: Kirkenes 1042 km ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

Snowfall at sea level closest to the equator?

My question is simple. Which is the place closest to Equator, in any country, where has snowfall occured? By that I mean snowfall only at sea level - mountains are excluded. I can't find anything ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do passports expire?

Based on this question, why do passports expire? What possible function does it serve to limit their validity in time?
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Most radioactive places on earth

I recently visited Iwaki, Fukushima province to visit Spa Resort Hawaiians. Partially because it sounded interesting, and partially to buck the trend of overseas tourists avoiding Fukushima province. ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

Oldest subway/underground/metro rolling stock still in operation

As a rider of various subway/metro/underground systems I was curious where would I find the oldest fleet still in operation. NYC subway C line has cars built in the mid 60s. I was wondering if there ...
17
votes
4answers
15k views

Is there any other country than Germany with no speed limits?

I'm very into road trips. Therefore I'm always looking for something special. I think it is very special that at least parts of Germany's highways have no speed limits. But since I live very close to ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

Can the ship's captain really perform your wedding when in international waters?

On the question about whether you can get married while travelling, Mark Mayo posted a comment that any marriage has to be on dry land or close to it. But I'm sure all of us have heard of ships' ...
16
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the most expensive train ride in India?

Considering a lot of people use trains in India, train tickets tend to be cheap, depending on class of travel, of course. What I am interested in is finding out which train ride or which route (since ...
16
votes
3answers
448 views

What high-speed intercity trains allow passengers to sit in the front cabin?

Calling "Shotgun" might be the wrong word, since the driver's cab would be on top of the train, or absent altogether. What are some examples of high-speed long-distance intercity trains that have ...
16
votes
2answers
40k views

What is the fastest speed a passenger airplane flies at?

How fast does the world's currently fastest passenger plane fly (cruise speed)? Do any passenger planes fly faster than the speed of sound?
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a celebration in a plane when crossing the Equator line?

I recently read that in the old days (early 60s) the planes that crossed the Equator line would do some celebration when this happened. Cabin crew would give some pastries, and even liquors, to the ...
15
votes
2answers
6k views

Second most photographed building in the southern hemisphere - why?

I think this can be objectively answered, hopefully. Apparently the most photographed building in the southern hemisphere is the Sydney Opera House. Makes sense, pretty popular, scenic location etc. ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is the moon hiding from me?

I've already been on quite a few overnight flights, but so far, I never saw the moon. I saw stars, other planes, city lights, but never the moon. Obviously, the moon should still be there, but somehow ...
15
votes
2answers
224 views

Where from Ethiopia can I see the Red Sea?

Ethiopia is a landlocked country, however it's mostly high elevation (2000-2500m) and given that Eritrea seems to be narrow, I'm wondering if it's possible to see the Red Sea from Ethiopia. I'm ...