China is one of the biggest countries in the world, and it’s also got one of the strongest economies. It’s also home to more billionaires than anywhere else on the planet. But for a lot of people, China remains one of the world’s biggest mysteries. Aside from being famous for silk, Confucius, Maoism, Communism and Chinese food, China would appear to be known for little else.
But China is actually a wonderfully exotic country with a whole wealth of interesting and bizarre secrets hidden underneath its remote plains, and because it’s home to 1.3 billion people, it’s gotta be a little bit crazy, right? After all, you can’t have that many people in the same country and not go a little crazy.
So without further ado, let’s take a journey into the heart of one of the world’s last remaining communist counties and find out 10 interesting and crazy facts about China, the most fascinating, weird and wacky (and perhaps scariest) country to have ever existed. Just don’t blame us if you have nightmares tonight…
1. In China, Rich People Can Hire Body Doubles To Do Their Jail Time
Are you rich? Do you live in China? And have you murdered someone recently? If you answered ‘yes’ to all of those questions, you won’t need to worry about serving your own prison sentence, because in China rich folks can actually hire a body double to serve their jail time.
Indeed, in China money can buy you just about anything, and because there are 1.3 billion people to choose from, finding your exact body replica won’t exactly be hard. You’ve just gotta know where to look.
2. Rich People In China Also Hire Traffic Jam Stand-Ins
Can’t get a job? No problem. You can fly over to China and become what is known as a “traffic jam stand in.” The only previous experience you’ll need is “experience with sitting in a traffic jam for hours on end.”
It’s not the most fun job in the world, but it pays alright. See, when entrepreneurs and rich folks get stuck in a traffic jam, the Chinese economy could collapse. To resolve this issue, motorcyclists are sent to rescue the guys in suits, whilst a traffic jam stand-in takes their place at the wheel. Crazy.
3. The Chinese Eat Less Dogs These Days
Just 20 years ago, you literally couldn’t pop into a restaurant without seeing ‘DOG’ on the menu. Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner or a cup of tea, everyone around you was ordering dog and fries. These days, though, the Chinese have actually curbed their appetites for dogs, and prefer to keep them as pets. Aww.
Snake is still hot on the menu, though, as are fried scorpions. Ew.
4. Bird Nest Soup Is Hugely Popular
Okay, so the Chinese have given up their appetite for dogs, but did you know that one of their favourite soups is composed entirely from birds nests? The bird is taken out of the equation, but apparently there is something just so darn tasty about an edible birds nest. The question is whether you would be up to the task of trying it! We think we’ll just stick to eggs on toast …
5. China Is Responsible For 29% Of San Francisco’s Air Pollution
It’s so easy to blame China for just about everything these days, simply because they’re always up to something. If your computer has been hacked, blame it on China. If you’ve had your identity stolen, blame it on China. And if your city is covered in smog, blame it on China!
San Francisco, which is situated on the west coast of America, is pretty much a sitting duck for China’s air pollution and smog problems (and it has a lot of them), and as a consequence, it bears a lot of the brunt. What happens is all that smog drifts over the ocean and right into the heart of downtown Frisco. Not cool.
6. China Has A Bigfoot
Another one of interesting facts about China is that, just like North America, China has its very own Bigfoot! His name is Yeren (Wild Man), and apparently he lives in Hubei province. In 2010, there was a big push to try and find the shy, reclusive old boy.
Anyone seen him?
7. Ice Cream Was Invented In China
Ben & Jerry’s might be about as Chinese as fish and chips, but ice cream wasn’t invented in America, as many might think; instead it was invented in the land of noodles and dim sum – China! Indeed, ice cream was invented back in 2000BC, which means it is older than the ice cream van by about 2,000 years. Wowzers.
8. In China, There Are Vending Machines That Sell Live Crabs
In the western world, vending machines remind us of the good things in life. A can of Pepsi at work, a Mars bar before a movie. We love vending machines (Homer Simpson is obsessed with them).
Another one of interesting facts about China is that, in certain parts of the country, rather than cans of Pepsi and bars of chocolate, there are vending machines jam-packed with live crabs. Also, there is a text on the machines that guarantees that your crab will definitely come out alive. Lovely.
9. More People Speak English In China Than They Do In Americ
Ah, America. The land of the free…
But certain parts of America have something of an issue with literacy, and as a consequence there are now more English speaking Chinese people than there are English speaking Americans. This is a crazy fact that is down to both the amount of people living in China, as well as the fact that they just love to learn.
10. 35 Million People In China Live In Caves
Ever thought cavemen disappeared after the Iron Age and the invention of houses? Think again! Cave families actually still exist in China, and although they’re certainly more sophisticated than their hunched-over neanderthal brethren from 5,000 years ago, their way of life is essentially the same. The government did attempt to house these cave dwellers a few years ago, but when they realised that 35 million Chinese just love their caves too much, they instead decided to just improve the caves. What a lovely thing to do!