When some people hear Africa, they think about poverty stricken people who are less intelligent and the deepest dark skin. However the reverse is the case. Africa is undoubtedly a blessed continent with an heterogeneous mass land, beautiful wildlife, some of the world’s oldest civilisation history, natural resources, multiple and diverse cultures. It also has the fastest growing nation in the world. According to some theories, Africa is a word coined from Greek and Latin word. The words are “Aprica” and “Phrike”. “Aprica” is a latin word which means sunny while ” Phrike” on the other hand is a Greek word which means cold and horror. According to another source, the name Africa is also believed to have been originally called Alkebulan meaning Mother of Tongues or Mother of Nations before it got changed.
Being the second largest continent in the world, it homes 1,216,130,000 people and has 54 countries. Nigeria remains the country with the highest population in Africa. Here are ten amazing weird facts about Africa.
- Civilisation began in Africa. Africa has mysteries surrounding its continent as modern civilization began in Egypt. According to Science, The first man on earth lived in Africa as the oldest human remains were discovered in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. Egypt is famous for its fantastic pyramids while Sudan has more pyramids but its pyramids are not famous. University of Karueein ( Athen’s of Africa) which was founded in 859 AD by Fatima al-Fihiri in Fez, Morocco, is the oldest existing and operating educational institution in the world. The oldest library in the world was founded in Egypt. Also the most basic form of math which is arithmetic was initiated in Africa around 25,000 years ago.
- Several dialects are spoken in Africa. 3,000 different ethnic groups exist in Africa as well as 2,000 different languages are being spoken in Africa. Arab is widely spoken in Africa, followed by English, French, Swahili and so on. More than 50% of French-speaking people live here in Africa. Angola also has more Portuguese speakers than Portugal.
- The richest human being in all history is African. Mansa Musa I of Mali is believed to be the richest man who ever lived on earth. He was born in 1280 and was the king of Timbuktu. His net worth was $400 Billion.
- You can see Europe from Africa. Morocco in Africa and Spain in Europe have less than 9 miles between them. The Strait of Gibraltar is the water channel that connects the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea which separates Africa from Europe. It takes a ferry only 35 minutes to cross from Africa to Europe.
- Africa has the highest rate of twin-births. In recent research, A city Igbo Ora in Nigeria has been given the credit of recording the average birth of 45 to 50 sets of twins per 1,000 births. The city which is in Oyo state in Nigeria has been nicknamed ‘Twin Capital of the World’. The people of Oyo see the birth of twins as an honor and also a blessing from God. Some of them have the beliefs that twins are supernatural beings and also worship them as deities.
- Africa has beautiful, famous and sightseeing rivers and lakes.Overall, Africa has about 9% of the world’s fresh water resources. There are so many rivers in African continent namely Congo, Nile, Zambezi, Niger and Lake Victoria.. The world’s longest river, the Nile, is in Africa stretches across 4,000 miles and runs across 11 countries in Africa. The largest waterfall in Africa is Victoria Fall. It is also noted as the second-largest freshwater lake in the world. Its location is on the Zimbabwe and Zambia border. The lake is also among one of the seven Natural Wonders. Its height is 355 feet. Africa also has a pink lake in Senegal called Lac Rose. The pink colour has been caused by bacteria however it is safe to swim in it. Ikogisi warm springs which are in Nigeria can never be excluded as tourists yearly visit the spring to see the hot and cold water meets at a confluence. There are still other rivers in Africa which have historical myths and legends surrounding them. Some rivers are worshipped and are believed to be connected to ancestors.
- 25 people from Africa have been awarded a nobel prize. Africans have received five of the six noble prize categories which ranged from Peace, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Chemistry. Nelson Mandela who was notably known as the first democratically elected president of South Africa was awarded a Peace Noble Laureate in 1993. Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu were both notable South Africans who were given the Nobel prize. They influenced South Africa positively and sought independence for their country. Also at one time, they both lived in the same country. Wole Soyinka was also given a nobel prize in literature. This shows that Africans are intelligent and have great intellect. It also implies that African leaders and members are also notable and respectable in the world.
- Africa homes varieties of wildlife. It has different types of habitat ranging from jungles and forest to grasslands and desert. The largest, tallest and fastest animals in the world are in Africa. African Elephants are larger compared to Asian Elephant. African Elephant therefore is the largest animal in the world and is gigantic in nature. The tallest animal in the world, the giraffe is also in Africa. As well as the fastest animal in the world, Cheetah. The Goliath frog is the world’s largest frog and lives in Cameroon. Africa is also home to 25% of the world’s bird species. Four of the five fastest land animals are in Africa. These include cheetah, Wildebeest, lion and Thomson’s gazelle. Some wild animals in Africa are categorized as the Big Five namely Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros.
- Africa has a rich culture. The norms, values of age old Africa are forms that shows Africa’s uniqueness. The people of Northern Namibia cover their skin with a natural pigment which contains iron oxide to protect themselves from the sun. For that reason, their skin tone is always red. In the Fulani tribe, a tradition called Sharo is followed. Sharo happens when two men ask for a lady’s hand in marriage. They compete for her by beating one another. The one who takes the wife must have withstood the beating and show no sign of pain.
- Finally most people only associate Africans with dark skin but Africa’s skin colour ranges from different groups. There are various different skin tones in Africa from very dark to very light.The southern Sudan is known to have the darkest people in the world. People in Africa have almost every skin colour in the world. There are 3 main factors which determine skin colour; genetics, exposure to sun, concentration to Melanin. Melanin determines skin colour, eye colour and hair colour; it protects the skin by absorbing Ultraviolet radiation.
These convincing facts can make one deduce that Africa is rich not only in culture and history but also in intelligence. Africa has both paved the way to civilization and is contributing to the immense development of its nations.