100 Interesting Facts about Switzerland

1Guinea Pigs

In Switzerland, it is illegal to own one guinea pig because they are prone to loneliness.

2. In 1866, two separate entrepreneurs started competing for milk companies in Switzerland. By 1905, when both men were dead, the two companies merged to become Nestle.

3. Switzerland is unique in having enough nuclear fallout shelters to accommodate its entire population, should they ever be needed.

4. 1816 was called "The Year Without a Summer" after the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia. Crop failure forced Joseph Smith to leave Vermont, and his journeys resulted in "The Book of Mormon," the dreary rain in Switzerland drove Mary Shelley to stay indoors, where she wrote "Frankenstein."

5. In Switzerland, if you fail in your practical driving test three times, you have to visit a psychologist to explain why.

6Konstanz city

The German city of Konstanz, which sits on the Swiss border, survived World War 2 without being bombed by leaving all house and streetlights lit at night, making Allied bombers raiding nearby Dornier and Zeppelin aircraft factories think it was part of Switzerland.

7. In Switzerland, Rabies has been virtually eradicated after scientists placed chicken heads laced with a vaccine in the Swiss Alps. The foxes of Switzerland, proven to be the main source of rabies in the country, ate the chicken heads and immunized themselves.

8. In Switzerland, one of the most neutral countries in the world, when you turn 20, you are required to undergo 18 weeks of mandatory military training.

9. There is a second "Mona Lisa" painting held in a secret vault in Switzerland also thought to have been painted by Leonardo DaVinci that shows a much younger version of the female subject.

10. In Switzerland, a group of citizens may challenge a law passed by Parliament if they gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days. A national vote is scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law.

111955 Le Mans disaster

Switzerland banned nearly all forms of motor-racing after the tragic 1955 Le Mans disaster, where fragments of a crashed car flew into the stands, killing 83 spectators, the most deadly accident in motorsport history. Despite numerous attempts to lift it, the ban is still in place to this day.

12. Switzerland shot down both Allied and Axis aircraft during World War 2.

13. Switzerland is rigged with over 3000 demolition points to collapse bridges and create bomb shelters in event of an attack.

14. Average teacher salary in Switzerland in 2010 was $112,000 per year.

15. Men in Switzerland are required to keep the firearms they are issued during military service at home after they leave the military so as to prevent home break-ins and have the countries men ready to mobilize in the event of a threat.

16Rooster trail

A rooster in Basel, Switzerland was sentenced to burn at the stake for committing the "heinous and unnatural crime of laying an egg".

17. There is a 500-year-old statue of a man eating a sack of babies in Bern, Switzerland, and nobody is sure why.

18. Not only is assisted suicide legal in Switzerland, the law does not require a physician to be involved and the recipient doesn't have to be a Swiss national.

19. Paul Hogan (the actor of "Crocodile Dundee") lost $32 million because when he wanted to hide his money in offshore tax havens his tax adviser duped him. His money lies untouched in Switzerland since the 1980s.

20. Switzerland swore eternal neutrality in 1515 after losing the Battle of Marignano.

21Bondage pornography

Kim Jong Un was caught with a bondage pornography magazine when he was in school in Switzerland.

22. Switzerland has no official capital city.

23. There has been ongoing research in Switzerland into using LSD to alleviate anxiety for terminally ill cancer patients coping with their impending deaths, with preliminary results from the study being deemed "promising".

24. Liechtenstein a nation smaller than the size of Washington D.C. has been accidentally invaded three times in the past thirty years by their neighbor Switzerland.

25. There is a statue of Freddie Mercury overlooking Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

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