Friday, 31 March 2017

Kicking Off The A to Z Challenge Tomorrow With Fun Facts About Canada, Eh?

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, I’ve decided to learn everything I can about my country—the people who live here, the cultures that make up the fabric of Canadian life, and the innovations and fun facts that demonstrate what an amazing country we live in.

Which is why my A to Z Blogging Challenge theme this year is all about CANADA. In case you’ve never heard of the A to Z Challenge, that’s where thousands of people post a new blog every day throughout April (except Sundays) corresponding with the letters of the alphabet. So, my “A” post starts tomorrow! (And B will be on Monday...the first day of the epic Superman Duffy school tour!)

But first! I’m kicking off today with some fun facts about Canada (eh?)—most of them new to me too!

We made the world’s first $1-million coin.
In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the world’s first million-dollar coin (it was also named the world’s largest gold coin by Guinness World Records). To date, five of these coins have been bought. I wonder how much they cost!

We eat more Kraft Dinner than people in the U.S.
Yes, Canadians really love instant mac and cheese—which maybe isn’t so surprising given The Barenaked Ladies even referenced KD in their song, “If I Had a Million Dollars.” I admit, if I had a million dollars, I’d probably stock up on KD. (My favourite are the spirals!)

We built the world’s first UFO landing pad.
St. Paul, Alberta, is home to the world’s first landing pad for alien life. The raised cement pad was built in 1967 and was officially opened by then Minister of National Defense, Paul Hellyer, who is an open, alien-conspiracy theorist. o.O

We never owned Alaska.
It’s a common misconception that Canada “sold” Alaska to the U.S. Not true. Our southern neighbours bought the state from Russia in 1867.

We’re home to the waterfall capital of the world.
The region surrounding Hamilton, Ontario, has more than 100 waterfalls, and is dubbed both “The City of Waterfalls” and “The Waterfall Capital of the World.” It may be a self-made claim, but it’s true. Do a Google search for waterfall capital!

We’re the garter snake capital of the world.
If you’re not scared to see tens of thousands of red-garter snakes, head to the Narcisse Snake Den in Manitoba. For two periods each year, visitors can see “more snakes at a glance than anywhere else in the world,” according to the Government of Manitoba’s website. Yikes! I think I’ll pass.

We’re the world’s largest exporter of lentils.
Quick! Name our top exports! Canola? Oil? Lumber? How about lentils? Yes, Canada exports more lentils than any other nation, producing 17% of the world’s supply and sending most of it to India and Turkey.

We hold an annual bathtub race.
Every July, you can watch—or take part in—the World Championship Bathtub Race in Nanaimo, British Columbia. The annual event started in 1967 and is run by a real organization known as the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Racing Society.

We have more doughnut shops per capita than anywhere else in the world.
The doughnut may be commonly considered an American sweet, but it turns out we eat more of the deep-fried treat than anywhere else on the planet.

We supply a third of the world’s French fries.
Thanks to the McCain company, one-third of the world’s French fry supply comes from the small town of Florenceville-Bristol in New Brunswick. Yum!

We have the deepest underground physics lab in the world.
The SNOLAB, located two kilometres underneath the city of Sudbury, is the deepest physics lab on earth. Work in the lab includes experiments about dark matter and research on supernovas. I bet a lot of short stories could be inspired by visiting that lab!

We’re a hotbed for dinosaur research.
One of the world’s richest dinosaur fossil fields is in Alberta’s badlands, and archaeological excavations continue to take place there. The area has been designated as a provincial park (Dinosaur Provincial Park) and an UNESCO World Heritage site. (Hey, did you know that dinosaurs are featured in the Superman Duffy book, TRANSPIRATION?)

How many of those facts did YOU know? Be sure to follow the blog throughout April—starting tomorrow!—for my A to Z posts about CANADA, the greatest country in the world!

Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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