Questions tagged [factoids]

Random bits of information that are more interesting than useful.

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108
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
90
votes
9answers
18k 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. ...
85
votes
12answers
15k views

What is the most remote airport from the center of the city it supposedly serves?

As an example, "Frankfurt" Hahn is actually 120 km away from the city of Frankfurt and "Paris" Beauvais is actually 85 km away from the center of Paris. Are there airports that are even further away ...
80
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
70
votes
12answers
17k 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 ...
61
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
58
votes
7answers
25k views

What commercial flight route requires the most (minimum possible) stops/layovers from A to B?

For travel hacking (and interest) value, colleagues and I have been trying to work out which routes worldwide might have the highest number of required legs. That is, for a one-way flight from ...
54
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
54
votes
3answers
12k views

Strange looking region of France on Google Maps

I was idly browsing on google maps and came across this area on the Atlantic coast of France. The terrain looks intriguing. What is it, any idea? They look like water bodies. But the shapes are not ...
52
votes
8answers
8k views

Longest bridge/tunnel that can be cycled over/through?

I'm cycling around Japan, and a few days ago I cycled the Shimanami Kaido, a series of bridges connecting islands between the mainland and Shikoku in the inland sea. One of the bridges there was (if I ...
51
votes
8answers
10k 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–...
48
votes
5answers
16k 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?
48
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9answers
13k 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?
46
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5answers
10k views

Taming the nightmare of public toilets in the UK

Public toilets in the UK are established and maintained by the local authorities, most commonly local councils. This is great for people that advocate local autonomy, but a hellish nightmare for ...
44
votes
30answers
8k views

What is the closest airport to the center of the city it serves?

Inspired by this, but the complete opposite: What is the most remote airport from the center of the city it supposedly serves? Personally, I can't think of anything closer than Adelaide Airport (ADL),...
43
votes
8answers
9k views

What is the cheapest regular-priced scheduled flight I can book and fly?

What is the cheapest (regular priced, scheduled) flight anywhere in the world, that I can book and fly? To be a bit more specific: by regular priced I mean: no error fares (Allitalia once had a ...
43
votes
3answers
5k 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-...
42
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
42
votes
7answers
8k views

Any railway stations more than 1 change from London?

This question is just for curiosity, rather than for anything practical. Is there any railway station in the UK from which it is not possible to get to London with only 1 change? The obvious ...
41
votes
4answers
6k 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 - ...
39
votes
7answers
12k views

What is the oldest building in the world still in use?

What is the oldest building or structure in the world that's still in regular use today? For the sake of the question, I'm not looking for something that still exists purely as a tourist attraction....
38
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4answers
16k views

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

We were just discussing at lunch if there are any such flights.
38
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6answers
10k 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 ...
36
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9answers
11k 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.
36
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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 ...
35
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5answers
4k 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 ...
35
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5answers
8k 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 ...
34
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8answers
8k 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 ...
34
votes
4answers
20k 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 ...
33
votes
1answer
4k views

What do the additional numbers on the side of houses in Rome stand for?

In Rome, many houses have large numbers. For example, 3187 as on photo. It is obviously not the post address of the house but something else. What do they mean? Is it a number in some catalogue?
32
votes
13answers
10k views

What are the closest international airports in different countries?

From my house I see many planes coming in to land at Tijuana International Airport (8km/5mi from me), and on occasion I can also see planes that (I assume) are coming in to land at San Diego ...
32
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
32
votes
1answer
5k views

Are there any railroads in Antarctica?

I am wondering if there are any railroads in Antarctica. Maybe on research stations, even those shorter than 1km?
31
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3answers
8k 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?
30
votes
1answer
404 views

Is the “dark and stormy lab” in which Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson developed Unix still in existence and preserved?

Is the "dark and stormy lab" in which Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson developed Unix still in existence and preserved as of the end of 2017? I might take a trip to USA someday and go visit that lab. ...
29
votes
7answers
21k views

Why do airlines not have you put your bag underneath your own seat?

On airplanes, they tell you to put your bags either in the overhead or under the seat in front of you. Considering that the front row doesn't have a seat in front of them, and the back seats don't ...
29
votes
8answers
7k views

What flight has the highest ratio of timezone difference to flight time?

Inspired by crossing four time zones in six hours today: what commercially operated scheduled flight has the largest time difference per flight time? For example, if there's a 2-hour flight that has ...
29
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 ...
29
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
29
votes
2answers
4k 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: ...
29
votes
1answer
4k views

What do letters “R” and “E” before parking slots in Spain mean?

In Spain, more precisely in the Basque Country, I have seen letters "R" and "E" before parking slots. What do they mean / stand for? This one is in the town of Zumaia. Picture is taken on Google ...
28
votes
7answers
11k views

Can a teenage Ethiopian legally drink in other countries using their ID?

The current year in Ethiopia is 2009 as they use something similar to the Julian calendar. Could this mean that an Ethiopian born in 1995 (using their calendar), could present their passport/driver's ...
28
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
27
votes
10answers
3k 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
4answers
8k views

Do road signs showing a country and a city as destinations really exist?

I was watching the movie "The Day of the Jackal (1973)", where Jackal was driving on a road, past this road sign. It shows one country(Italie) & one city(Paris) on the road sign. I never saw a ...
26
votes
5answers
60k 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 ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

What does this Suriname traffic sign mean?

I saw several of them around Paramaribo, Suriname. Left side looks kind of like "vehicles not allowed" and the right side like "parking prohibited" signs, but there was plenty of cars riding and ...
25
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...