Saint Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s official national day and we decided to have a little fun with it and celebrate it by sharing some weird facts about Scotland’s food, heritage, sports, language and technology.
By Mariam Elhamy
1. Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn. Because unicorns are colorful and pretty so why not?
2. It’s pretty obvious, but Scotland has the highest rates of redheads in the world! Gingers are so cute, no?
3. The Scots are big on mythology. From giants to unicorns, Scotland’s mythology holds some of the most famous unsolved mysteries in the world.
4. Scotland has over 900 offshore islands, most of which are uninhabited.
5. Scottish inventor John Logie Baird was the first to invent the world’s first color tv. While Scottish scientist Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone and the world’s first color photograph was taken in Edinburgh. Seems like the Scots have got it all figured out!
6. Golf was actually invented in Scotland, the world-famous St Andrews is known as the home of golf and is where The British Open is held every 5 years.
7. It is believed that bagpipes actually originated in ancient Egypt and was brought to Scotland by the Roman invaders. Yay Egypt!
8. The shortest commercial flight in the world is a 1.7-mile route between two Scottish islands. The flight between Westray and Papa Westray near the mainland of Orkney lasts just 57 seconds.
9. King James I passed a law in 1818 banning street football. This law was ignored in Alnwick until 1827 when the Duke of Northumberland provided a field for the game to be played on legitimately.
9. A 112-second echo was recorded to be the longest echo in a man-made structure by a shot fired from a pistol in an underground fuel depot constructed in Scotland before World War Two.
10. “Braveheart” was the nickname given to Robert the Bruce not William Wallace. Wallace was a nobleman and not a peasant and he was much younger than 38-year-old Gibson.
11. Scotland’s official languages are English and Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic is the founding language of Scotland and is thought to originate from Ireland. Speakers of the language were persecuted over the centuries but it is still spoken today by around 60,000 Scots.
12. Bonnybridge is a small town in Scotland and it is considered a UFO hotspot with more than 300 sightings reported every year.
13. The Fortingall Yew, known for being one of the oldest trees ever, ages between 2,000 and 3,000 years is located in the village of Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland.
14. You might not know this but Scotch whisky is malt or grain whisky that was first made in Scotland.
15. Haggis is a dish typically made with the heart, liver, and lungs of sheep, and boiled with seasoning in the animal’s stomach. It has been banned in Scotland since the 70s.
16. There are over 4,500 listed buildings in Edinburgh, of which around 900 are listed at category A. This is more than any other city in the world.
17. In Scotland, it is estimated that there are 3,000 castles, nearly one for every 100 square miles, so no matter where you are, a castle is never far away.
18. Scotland has more than 600 square miles of freshwater lakes, including the famous Loch Ness.
19. People stopped living in caves only 100 years ago in Scotland when cave-dwelling was banned in 1915 after they found 24 men women and children, some naked and scarred, living in a cave.
20. The Meikleour Beech Hedge is the longest hedge in Scotland and the highest of its kind in the world. It was planted in 1745 and is (530 m) long and (30 m) high.
Happy Saint Andrew’s Day!