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Europe (from Greek: Ευρώπη) is the second-smallest continent by area but the third most populous, with approximately 750 million inhabitants (2018), of which over 90 percent speak languages belonging to the Indo-European language family. The continent consists of 45 countries. However, Europe is the second most densely populated continent and has the second-highest productivity per person. Even if you have been a part of Europe your whole life, we can almost guarantee that you didn’t know all these ten points about the continent in question!

We have Europe – and a bird – to thank for the Guinness World Records…

Sir Hugh Beaver, the director of Guinness Brewery in 1950s Ireland, Europe, was at a shooting party where he missed a shot at a golden plover (a type of bird). In his defense, he claimed it was the fastest bird in Europe but couldn’t find any reference books to confirm his statement. Therefore, he created the Guinness World Records. [source]

Even chocolate milk has its origins in Europe…

Chocolate milk was invented by the Irishman Hans Sloane in the 1680s when he visited Jamaica. He found the locals’ mixture of chocolate and water distasteful and used milk instead. He then brought chocolate milk to Europe, where it was initially sold as medicine. [source]

Chocolate milk was invented by the Irishman Hans Sloane in the 1680s when he visited Jamaica. He found the locals’ mixture of chocolate and water distasteful and used milk instead. He then brought chocolate milk to Europe, where it was initially sold as medicine.

German madman wanted to unite Europe with Africa into a supercontinent…

There was a German architect who devoted his entire life to promoting his grand plan of damming and draining the Mediterranean to create vast amounts of land and unite Europe and Africa into a supercontinent. Today, the continents remain separate, which means he never succeeded in his grand plans. [source]

Saved large parts of Europe from radioactivity…

Three Soviet engineers voluntarily sacrificed their lives in Chernobyl to release water from the damaged reactor. If they hadn’t done so, the resulting fallout would have covered larger parts of Europe. All three men died within two weeks. [source]

Three Soviet engineers voluntarily sacrificed their lives in Chernobyl to release water from the damaged reactor. If they hadn’t done so, the resulting fallout would have covered larger parts of Europe. All three men died within two weeks.

The origin of blondes…

Blond hair in humans evolved only in about 11,000 years ago as an evolutionary response to the lack of sunlight in Northern Europe to enable more vitamin D production. [source]

The plague had some advantages too…

The plague solved an overpopulation problem in Europe during the 14th century. In its aftermath, wages increased, rent decreased, wealth was distributed more evenly, diets improved, and life expectancy increased. [source]

Found traces of the same DNA at 40 different crime scenes across Europe…

From 1993 to 2008, the same DNA was discovered at 40 different crime scenes across Europe, leading to the investigation of the “Phantom of Heilbronn“, who turned out to be a woman working at a cotton swab factory and inadvertently contaminating the swabs with her own DNA. [source]

From 1993 to 2008, the same DNA was discovered at 40 different crime scenes across Europe, leading to the investigation of the "Phantom of Heilbronn", who turned out to be a woman working at a cotton swab factory and inadvertently contaminating the swabs with her own DNA.

Only one country still has the death penalty…

Belarus is the last country in Europe that still uses the death penalty. The condemned are shot in the back of the head with a silent PB-9 pistol. The entire procedure takes no longer than two minutes. [source]

Fictional bridges on the euro became a reality…

The euro currency has been designed with images of fictional bridges to represent architectural styles from across Europe. They were careful not to represent any specific country, but the Netherlands later built the bridges in reality. So all the bridges you see on the euro actually exist in the Netherlands today. [source]

The euro currency has been designed with images of fictional bridges to represent architectural styles from across Europe. They were careful not to represent any specific country, but the Netherlands later built the bridges in reality. So all the bridges you see on the euro actually exist in the Netherlands today.

Once upon a time, lions were living in Europe…

Lions are often associated with warmer latitudes, but there was a time when we also had lions in Europe. This was until they were hunted to extinction around 100 BCE. The first lion fossils were found in southern Germany. [source]


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