Middle Kingdom Mysteries: 40 Captivating Facts About China

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China has deforested most of its historically wooded areas. A law promulgated in 1981 requires that every school student over the age of 11 plants at least one tree per year.

2. Some restaurants in China maliciously lace their food with opiates to get the customers addicted to their food, to make them return for more.

3. China's subway beggars have designed a system that governs which turf they get to work. Greenhand beggars who intrude on lines reserved for the disabled or elderly get a beating.

4. The three gorges dam in China holds back so much water that it slows the rotation of the earth slightly.

5. Hong Xiuquan was a man who thought he was the younger brother of Jesus, led a rebellion in 1850 to establish his 'Heavenly Kingdom' in China. The conflict caused 20 million deaths which was more than World War 1.

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6Space debris

Space debris

In 2007, China tested a missile and shot down one of their own satellites, accidentally creating 2,087 pieces of space debris on crazy orbits, all of which are now required to be tracked to avoid space collisions.

7. The famous image of Tank Man is almost entirely unknown to people in China due to government censorship, even to this day.

8. China discovered multiple ancient tombs dating back 1,800 years in the city of Nanjing, only to destroy them by building an IKEA over the site.

9. The Great Wall of China is being stolen brick-by-brick by locals to build houses and also by visitors as souvenirs.

10. A Chinese businessman bought a non-functional aircraft carrier from Ukraine, allegedly to use it as a floating hotel/casino. It took more than 4 years to tow it to China. Later the Chinese government bought and modernized the carrier, making it its only aircraft carrier its navy owns today.

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11Dragon holes

Dragon holes

The reason buildings in Hong Kong have gaping holes is to allow dragons free passage from their mountain homes to the sea.

12. The Chinese army is under the control of the Communist Party and not the national government of China.

13. The Ting Hai effect is a stock market phenomenon in which there is a sudden and unexplained drop in the stock market whenever a film or a television series starring Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng is released.

14. It is a taboo to wear green hats in China because it signals you as a cuckold.

15. The tomb of the first Emperor of China (Of Terracotta Army fame) has not yet been explored. Ancient historians wrote that the tomb contains rivers of mercury mechanically operated to flow like real rivers. Modern tests have reported mercury levels in the soil over 100 times what occurs naturally.

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16Peng Daxiang

Peng Daxiang

In China, 97% of all counterfeit bills in circulation originate from the templates hand-drawn by 73-year-old painter Peng Daxiang. Peng profited by selling templates between $8000 and $12,000 each to counterfeiting gangs. Peng was arrested in 2013 and is currently serving a life sentence in prison.

17. China has banned time travel on TV, saying that it "disrespects history".

18. A dairy farm (Hong Ning Dairy) in Hong Kong, despite having no cattle on site, has been churning out some 4000 bottles of “fresh milk” made of formula every day since 2008 without the public's knowledge.

19. China is the birthplace of the seismograph. Built-in 132 A.D., it consisted of 8 metal dragons holding 8 carved balls over 8 frogs. If an earthquake made the ground vibrate, the dragon facing the quake’s source would drop a ball into the mouth of its corresponding frog.

20. People living in Hong Kong and Japan who cannot afford to live in a house, take advantage of McDonalds' "doors are always open" policy and live in their restaurants. These people are also known as McRefugees.

21Yellow River

Yellow River

In the Yellow River in China, there are so many corpses to be found that it is lucrative to recover them and sell the bodies back to the families of the deceased for 500$.

22. The Last Emperor of China (Pu Yi) lived until 1967, and was a communist prisoner for years tending a vegetable garden, simply known as "Prisoner No. 981".

23. China's Emperor Qin sent his magician (XuFu) to find the elixir of life. The magician sailed away with the "sacrifice" of 6000 boys and girls, lots of wheat, and never returned. Some believe that he settled in Japan and became their first emperor.

24. In China, women who remain unmarried until their late 20s are given the term "leftover women".

25. In the 1400s, China owned the greatest seagoing fleet in the world. But by 1525, all of China's "Treasure Fleet" ships had been destroyed at the urging of the political elite who had become alarmed at the rise of a newly rich merchant class.

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