Although New Zealand might have hit the headlines due to the recent success of its rugby team, it’s surprising how little most of us know about this beautiful country. So here’s top ten weird facts about New Zealand ranging from pioneering slots games to some very odd beasts!
1. Longest Name
Despite its modest size, New Zealand boasts the longest place name in the world with Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapiki-maungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu being the somewhat unwieldy name for a hill near Hawke’s Bay.
Although that place-name might be fairly hard to spell and pronounce, the Maori name for New Zealand, Aoetaroa, actually means ‘land of the long white cloud’, which is strangely appropriate given the often brooding weather of the nation.
3. Women’s Rights
New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the world’s most forward-thinking nations, as was seen when it became the first country in the world to give women the vote in 1893.
4. Animal Curiosities
With humans making up only 5% of New Zealand’s inhabitants, the country has a global reputation for its many strange beasts. But interestingly there are no snakes on the whole of the island nation.
5. Scary Insects
Despite there being no snakes in New Zealand, the nation has the heaviest insect in the world, with the giant weta providing more than enough nightmare inspiration for anyone with a fear for creepy-crawlies.
6. Gaming Revolution
Whilst we may associate New Zealand with sheep, it’s future looks more high tech with its own games developers’ association and online pokies that pay out big jackpots at sites like Lucky Nugget Casino that are all part of the country’s nascent gaming culture.
7. Terrifying Creativity
But it’s not just games of slots that New Zealand have helped promote, as the country also led the way in introducing the terrifying activity of bungee jumping to the world.
8. Fantasy Attractions
One of the most famous things about New Zealand in recent years was the fact the fantasy series Lord of the Rings was filmed there. But what many people don’t know is that the nation’s government even instituted their own Lord of the Rings minister.
9. Beach Confusion
As New Zealand is an island nation, it has more than its fair share of beautiful beaches. But there must have been a bit of a mix-up when a 90 km long beach was officially named Ninety Mile Beach.
10. The Final Destination
And finally, New Zealand is believed to be the last place of Earth that was habited by humans. Now those exorbitant airfares make a little more sense!
Original article: 10 Surprising Facts About New Zealand.