42 Surprising Facts Few People Know About Popular Travel Destinations

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1Syndey Opera House

Syndey Opera House

The Syndey Opera House is considered one of the worst project management failures of our time. It was 10 years late, 14 times over budget, the architect never saw it completed and the project manager never worked on another project in his career. He became a lecturer at Hawaii University.

2. World’s largest salt pan Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is so flat that water can’t drain out of it when it rain, creating the world’s largest natural mirror. It’s also 5 times better for satellite calibration than the surface of the ocean, due to having an elevation measurement accuracy of 0.8 inches.

3. The Eiffel Tower still exists today because Choltitz, a German infantry general, refused direct orders from Hitler to destroy it.

4. The Golden Temple in India (which is regarded as the holiest site in Sikhism), runs a free kitchen that feeds more than 100,000 visitors a day regardless of race, class, or religion.

5. Indonesia created manta ray sanctuaries upon realizing each manta ray brings lifetime tourism income of $1 million.

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6Table Mountain

Table Mountain

More people have died climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town than have been killed by Everest. Poor planning, dehydration and even losing concentration while taking selfies are to blame.

7. When the Grand Canyon divided the local squirrel population, they evolved into two different species. Despite being separated only by the Colorado River and remaining extremely similar in appearance, they are now so genetically incompatible that they can no longer interbreed.

8. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is so tall, you can watch two sunsets in one day. You can watch the first one at the ground level, and the second by going to the top by taking an elevator.

9. In March 1848, Niagara Falls froze over and was completely blocked with ice. Factories shuttered, the US Cavalary marched on the dry riverbed, loggers collected ancient logs, and souvenir hunters collected relics from the War of 1812.

10. In 86 A.D., the Colosseum was filled with water to stage a full naval battle.

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11Hollywood sign

Hollywood sign

On January 1st, 1976, the Hollywood sign was modified to read 'Hollyweed' after some pranksters added $50 of fabric to it.

12. The Hollywood Walk of Fame star for Muhammad Ali is the only one that's placed on a wall and not on the ground because Ali “did not want the name of Muhammad to be stepped on.”

13. The Great Sphinx of Giza is so old that its first restoration dates to 1400 B.C., when it was already a thousand years old.

14. The Tower of London's ravens are enlisted as soldiers of the Kingdom. As in the case with soldiers, the ravens can be dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct. Raven George (Enlisted 1977-1986) lost his appointment to the Crown and was retired to Wales for attacking and destroying TV aerials.

15. The Notre-Dame Cathedral features a carving of a knight fleeing from a rabbit, symbolizing cowardice. This carving inspired the Rabbit of Caerbannog scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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16Chichen Itza pyramid

Chichen Itza pyramid

If you clap your hands at the base of a Chichen Itza pyramid, the echo you hear back sounds similar to chirps made by birds.

17. The Taj Mahal was covered with a huge scaffold during World War 2 to make it look like a stockpile of Bamboo to protect it from German Bombers. This was done again during 1965 and 1971, when Pakistan waged wars against India.

18. The whitewashed village of Juzcar, Spain used 4,000 liters of paint to turn the entire village blue for the release of Smurfs (2011). After the movie had been released, residents voted to keep it blue as it had helped increase tourism.

19. The traffic on the Arc de Triomphe roundabout in Paris is so chaotic, insurance companies will always split the liability of an accident 50/50.

20. Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the largest religious structure in the world. It is 80 times bigger than St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, and at least 3.5 times bigger than the Vatican City itself. It was built to the Hindu god Vishnu by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the period 1113–50.



In 1687, the Parthenon in Athens exploded when it was hit by a Venetian mortar round in a war between Venice and the Turks. The building was being used by the Turks to store gunpowder. One account says the Turks did not expect the Venetians to target such a historic monument. 300 people died.

22. The Easter Island heads actually have bodies that were swallowed by the ground due to the sheer age of the statues. Their burial also preserved ancient petroglyphs from erosion.

23. After a 10 year, $40 million project, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stopped moving for the first time in its 800-year history. The tower is now expected to stay stable for at least 200 years.

24. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was not originally going to be painted orange. The orange color was only supposed to be for a sealant and was to be painted with black and yellow stripes to ensure visibility by passing ships. The orange color worked better for fog so it was kept instead.

25. Disneyland had to close the "It's a Small World" ride for several months in 2007 for renovations because people were too fat for the ride and the boats were regularly getting stuck.

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