Russia, located in Eurasia (the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia), is one of the most popular countries in the world. The official language is Russian but there are 27 other languages co-official in various regions throughout the country. Most people are aware of where Russia is located and what types of people live there, but there are many little known facts about this country and its culture that are really quite interesting.
Here are 10 cool facts about Russia:
1. World’s Longest Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway spans almost all the way across the county, making it the single longest railway in the world. The 9200 kilometers (or 5700 miles) railway departs in Moscow (located in European Russia) and crosses into Asia. It then makes its way to the Pacific Ocean port of Vladivostok where it reaches the end of its incredible journey. The entire journey non-stop will take you 152 hours and 27 minutes to complete.
2. World’s Largest McDonald’s
If you’re a fan of the famous golden arches, Russia is the place to go. The country is home to the largest Mcdonald’s restaurant in the world. With 700 seats. A larger building, seating 1,500, was constructed for the 2012 Olympics in London, England but it was a temporary location and was dissembled six weeks after the doors opened (once the Olympics had come to an end).
3. Women vs. Men
There are approximately 10 million more women in Russia than there are men. The imbalance was initially believed to the result of so many men dying during World War II.
4. Wedding Ring Tradition
For many Russians, it is tradition to wear your wedding ring on your ring finger of your right hand. Countries like Ukraine, Poland, Georgia, Germany, Spain, Austria, India, and Greece have a similar tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the right hand.
5. Flower Superstition
A dozen roses? No thanks! In Russia, men never give an even amount of flowers to women. It is considered bad luck and is associated with funerals.
6. Largest Country by Area
Russia is the largest country in the world by area. Its total area is 17,075,400 square kilometers and it covers more than a ninth of the Earth’s land area. The area of the land in Russia is 1.8 times larger than the total size of the United States.
7. Home to Many Billionaires
Moscow has more billionaire residents than any other city in the world. There are a total of 74 billionaires living in a popular city, which is exactly 3 more than the second-place city, New York.
8. Second-Largest Oil Producer in the World
As of 2012, Russia is the second-largest producer of oil in the world, producing an average of 9,900,000 barrels of crude per day. Saudi Arabia landed the top position with 10,900,000 barrels per day, however, it is estimated that the US will surpass both Russa and Saudi Arabia by 2020 to become the world’s largest oil producer (the US is currently in the third position).
9. Fastest Means of Transportation
Moscow’s amazing metro system is the fastest means of transport. During rush hour, trains are scheduled for every 90 seconds. It is estimated that over 9 million passengers ride the Meto every day. The Metro of St. Petersburg is also the deepest subway in the world, clocking in at a whopping 100m deep.
10. Shaking Hand Superstition
Russian’s will never shake hands over a doorway. It is believed to be a bad omen and most Russians are convinced the action will lead to an argument.