Here we go again! It's time for another installment of "The World at a Glance," a new feature we added to The World Almanac 2007
to call attention to some of the thousands of eye-opening facts we packed into the book. This time, the focus is on "Surprising Facts"—from hard-to-believe bits of geographical trivia, to startling statistics that made us wonder whether one of the interns was playing a practical joke. (They weren't, but we still made them triple-check the fourth item on this list.)
- Young American men (18-24) watch less TV per week than any
other group, an average of 23 hours, 1 minute in 2005.
- Despite rising 2005 domestic gasoline prices, U.S. prices averaged among the lowest in the
world: 46% lower than in Japan
and nearly 60% lower than in Germany
and the U.K.
- Antarctica is considered a desert, with annual precipitation
of only 8 inches along the coast and far less inland.
- The African nation of Equatorial Guinea had the world’s
second-highest per capita GDP in 2005 ($50,200, up from only $2,700 in 2002),
thanks to booming oil sales.
- The easternmost point in the U.S.
is in Alaska: Pochnoi Point, on Semisopochnoi Island, is at 179°× 46' E longitude.
- All 50 of the world’s tallest mountains are in Asia.
defense spending of $465 billion in 2004 was more than 3 times the combined
estimate of spending by Russia,
China, North Korea, Iran,
- The most popular radio format in the U.S. is country
(19% of stations), but rock music sells the most (32% of sales).
- In the U.S.,
firearm deaths by suicide outnumber those by homicide by more than 40%.
Got some surprising statistics of your own? Let us know in the comments.
Previously: The World at a Glance: Number Ones
Related: "Unbreakable" Sports Records
Photo from Meredith Farmer's Flickr stream (CC)