Top 10 Facts About The UK You Probably Didn’t Know About
The United Kingdom is one of the most talked about, studied and most popular regions in the entire world. Whether it is the queen of England, the storied London bridge, the iconic Big Ben or even Manchester United the football club, no matter who you ask, anywhere in the world, they are sure to have at least one thing to say about the UK. Even though not all of this fame and adulation was acquired by entirely noble means, one has to admit that for a region that is relatively small when compared to most that says a lot. Now to be clear, this article does not go into any of the “well known” facts about the UK. What we have here are the facts about the UK which you probably don’t know-the ones you may have missed up till now. As can be expected for an old piece of civilisation as old as the UK, especially one with a history as storied as theirs, such interesting titbits abound. But here we only cover those we consider to be the top 10 most interesting. Whether you live in the UK or not we hope that by the end of our list you will have added to your arsenal for conversation starters for when you are around the dinner table or hanging out with friends.
Strange Eating Trends
There are a few notable and interesting facts that can be learned about eating trends in the UK. First of all, it may surprise some that the UK’s favourite beverage: tea is actually borrowed from Asia. Indeed, tea drinking dates back to the 3rd millennium BC in China. It was not until the mid-18th century that the British tradition of afternoon tea became mainstream practice. Today, the UK is among the heaviest drinkers of tea, consuming an estimated 165 million cups a day. In terms of amount of tea drunk per person annually they come up third behind Turkey and Ireland, boasting over 4 pounds of tea drunk per person annually.
Another notable food trend has to do with sausages. The UK consumes 5 million sausages each day! One more quick fact before we round up the eating chapter: baked beans; Brits love them. According to reports the UK’s citizens eat twice as many baked beans as any other citizens in Europe.
Strange Bathroom Habits
Anywhere there are people you can expect quirky-and the UK is no exception. There are a few bathroom habits worth talking about. Some you might find interesting, while others not so interesting. First of all, there is the UK’s obsession with freebies which accounts for 430,000 gallons of shampoo which go missing from hotels every year.
8% of men in the UK do not clean their teeth in the morning. Ladies may want to take note of this one whenever the idea of romantic jaunt in the UK comes up. Apparently, the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire leads the way in number of culprits for this habit or lack thereof. They have the highest casualties recorded for fillings or missing teeth.
11% of the UK’s resident do not wash their hands after using the restroom. That’s one recalcitrant bloke in every 10! While this statistic is actually among the best in the world, you might consider hand sanitizer if your stay involves a lot of hand shaking.
Dark zig-zag pattern along the whole length of back, red eye with vertically split pupil, ridged scales-if you see any of these you may be staring at an adder. Stepping back would be the only logical move at this point. Emphasis on only. The adder is the only poisonous snake in the UK and boasts the most highly developed injecting mechanism of all snakes, however they are protected by UK law and it is illegal to attack one, even in the unlikeliest of events that they attack you. Adders rely on highly efficient camouflage and only attack as a last resort ( or when they are stepped on). They are the only snakes known to Scotland, and are responsible for only about 10 deaths in the last 100 years. With advances in modern medicine and understanding of snakes, the adder has not killed anybody in the UK for the last 20 years.
UK Women Don’t Like to Shop for Clothes
If you don’t believe feel free to read that again. 64% of UK women find clothes shopping to be depressing, and an estimated 10% have cried in changing rooms.
Many of us got acquainted with her through the Disney movie-but she was a real person: a chieftain’s daughter who came to England and died at Gravesend in Kent. A statue is now placed for her there. She was instrumental in the English colonial settlement of Jamestown, Virginia.
A Really Old Tree!
The oldest living tree in the UK stands in a Welsh churchyard, St Cynog at Defynnog near Sennybridge, Powys to be precise, and according to experts this ancient yew tree is 5000 years. This tree species is common in churchyards across the UK because of their evergreen nature which is a symbol of Christ’s transcendence of death. This is interesting because if the experts are to be believed, this yew tree was already 3000 years old when Christ came along.
One of the many things we take for granted today is the availability of clean water. It was not always so! In 14th century Herefordshire, for example, due to the uncleanliness of the water at the time, babies were baptised in cider!
In the UK it is an act of treason to place a postage stamp upside down! Yeah, no kidding!
Stay Alive in Parliament
In the UK it is illegal to die in the House of Parliament. One wonders who gets charged should you have the effrontery to die there for whatever reason. A public poll in 2008 named this the most absurd law in the land, the second being the law on postage stamps above. Experts on these matters suggest a reason for the law is because the House of Parliament is a Royal palace. Therefore anybody who dies there is entitled to a state funeral. If you look sick, they ferry you out quickly.
While we are yet on the subject of death, it is worth knowing that it is perfectly legal to kill a Scotsman in York…provided he is carrying a bow inside the city walls.
Oliver Cromwell’s Law Against Gluttony
The puritan Oliver Cromwell influenced the passing of a law that was aimed at combatting gluttony. What law you ask? It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas day! And this law stands to this very day.
And that wraps up our list of the UK’s top 10 facts you probably didn’t-but now do-know about.
To know 19 things you didn’t know about UK click here
Do you know any other strange facts about the UK? Share with us below!