Interesting Facts About China
(And perhaps a few fractured fairy tales sprinkled in for good measure. Can you identify them?)
We’ve brought you lots of information lately about Chinese food, and all the Chinese restaurants that we have reviewed, ranked, and recommended. Now we thought we would share some interesting facts about China. Which did you know? What did you learn after reading this article?
- The Mandarin word for China is Zhongguo which means “middle country”, implying that China is in the center of the world.
- 24% of the world speaks Chinese. Though there are over 200 different languages and regional dialect. The official language is Mandarin.
- The Great Wall of China is NOT visible from outer space. It’s too thin. The only man-made structures visible from space are the Great Pyramid’s of Giza and the Hoover Dam. Though good Chinese food can be smelt from miles away.
- The purpose of the Great Wall of China was not especially to keep the Huns out from the north. They could easily find places where they could scale the walls with ladders. But, they couldn’t get all their horses across. Without their horses, they weren’t very effective warriors.
- Tea, popularized by the Chinese was first bagged and shipped around the world in 1903.
- Gunpowder was first discovered in China where it was used to create fireworks, signal flares, and small missiles used for military purposes.
- Tsintao Beer, brewed since 1903 (oddly the same year that Tea was first shipped around the world… perhaps without tea, they turned to beer?), makes up more than 50% of China’s beer exports (obviously, they drink the rest!)
- China is one of the few countries where fossils of homo gigantus have been found. Homo gigantus is more commonly called “Big Foot”. I bet those were some meaty spare ribs!
- Paper was first invented in China in 105 A.D. It was a closely guarded secret and didn’t reach Europe until the 8th Century (around the time that the first Chinese take-out restaurant opened and they needed something to print their menu’s on to drop at everyone’s cave. Umm, perhaps not fact is not quite historically accurate).
- In 550 AD, two Chinese monks smuggled silkworms out of China and started the western world’s silk boom.
- Fingerprinting was used in China as early as 700 A.D. (this was implemented to thwart the theft of fortune cookies from the Emperor’s Palace).
- How to manufacture porcelain, or “china” was a mystery known only to the Chinese until around 1700. Although imitation porcelain was made earlier in Italy.
- The Chinese invented matzo over 3000 years ago in an effort to lure the Jews who had been around for over 1000 years before that to try their food. And the rest, they say, is history. Or is it?
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
–Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)