The World’s Smallest National Border is Only 85 Meters Long

Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, a small rock in northern Africa conquered by Spain in 1564, holds the title for the world’s smallest national border, measuring just 85 meters in length.

Spain has almost 2000 kilometers of land borders with Portugal and France, but it also has much smaller borders with countries like Andorra, the United Kingdom (Gibraltar), and Morocco. It is with the latter, the African nation of Morocco, that Spain shares the smallest land border in the world, an 85-meter-long stretch of land linking a rock about 19,000 square meters in size to the Moroccan coast. Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera has been Spanish territory since 1564 when it was conquered by Admiral Pedro de Estopiñán, and although Morocco has repeatedly laid claim to it, Spain has never agreed to return the land and actually has troops stationed there to enforce Spanish rule.

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The Tale of Frank Hayes, the Only Jockey to Win a Horse Race While Dead

Frank Hayes is believed to be the only jockey in history to win an official horse race while dead. He suffered a heart attack while competing at New York’s Belmont Park in 1923.

According to Frank’s mother, the young stable boy and apprentice jockey had always been fond of hoses and dreamed of one day becoming a full-time race jockey, so when finally given the chance to prove himself in a 2-mile, 12-jump race at Belmont Park, he leaped at the opportunity. Frank Hayes loved training horses, and one of his favorites was Sweet Kiss, a 7-year-old unremarkable mare that wasn’t well thought of even by her owners. She had 20-1 odds in the big race and wasn’t expected to pull off anything extraordinary, but Frank believed she could win, so Sweet Kiss’ owners gave him the chance to prove it. This would be their only race together, but one that would be remembered a century later.

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China Builds World’s Deepest Underground Laboratory to Study Dark Matter

Located 2,400 meters under the Earth’s surface, the Deep Underground and Ultra-low Radiation Background Facility for Frontier Physics Experiments (DURF) is the world’s deepest underground laboratory.

In December 2020, Tsinghua University and Yalong River Hydropower Development Company, Ltd. began work on a daring project under Jinping Mountain in Sichuan’s Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. Designed to facilitate China’s research in relevant frontier fields, such as particle physics, nuclear astrophysics, and life sciences, the DURF reportedly provides the cleanest space on Earth to study the invisible substance known as dark matter, as the extreme depth it is located at (2,400 meters underground) helps block most of the cosmic rays that usually interfere with the observation of dark matter.

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The World’s Strongest Animal Can Lift 1,180 Times Its Own Body Weight

Measuring about 1 millimeter in size, the oribatid mite or armored mite is recognized as the strongest creature on Earth. It can lift over 1,000 times its own body weight.

For us humans, being able to lift even double our own body weight is an impressive athletic achievement, but that pales in comparison to the strength displayed by creatures hundreds of times smaller. The Asian weaver ant, for example, can lift 100 times its own body weight, while the dung beetle can lift up to 400 times its body weight. That’s like a human being able to lift tens of tonnes, you know, Superman stuff. But even these impressive insects don’t come close to the strongest creature on the face of the planet, the tiny oribatid mite, which, thanks to an extremely strong exoskeleton, can lift a whopping 1,180 times its own body weight.

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This Old Stamp Is the World’s Most Expensive Object by Weight

It’s hard to believe that a humble stamp could be considered exorbitantly expensive, but at $8.5 million, this 1856 postage stamp is considered the world’s most expensive object by weight.

The world is full of valuable objects, from jewelry to rare artworks, but when it comes to value per gram, nothing even comes close to ‘The British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta’, a one-of-a-kind postage stamp that weighs just 40 milligrams but is valued at around $8.5 million. To put that into perspective, the average 0.2-carat diamond (which also weighs 40 milligrams) costs about $700, while the same amount of LSD costs around $5,000. There just isn’t an object that can compare to this ultra-rare stamp in terms of value per weight.

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In the Coldest Place on Earth Temperatures Drop to Minus 135.8 Degrees Fahrenheit

According to NASA Earth Observatory satellites, the coldest place on Earth is a mountain ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures can drop to -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-93.2 degrees Celsius).

For the past week, much of the US has been affected by an extreme winter storm that brought massive snowfalls, destructive winds, and freezing temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-28 degrees Celsius). That’s low enough for the average person to suffer frostbite in just under 10 minutes of direct exposure, but it’s nowhere near as dangerous as the coldest place on Earth. NASA satellites recently a high mountain ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau where, on clear winter nights, temperatures drop to an abysmal -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-93.2 degrees Celsius).

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The World’s Fastest Animal Reaches Speeds of Over 300 Km Per Hour

Cheetahs are famous for their speed, but they don’t even come close to the world’s faster animal, a falcon that swoops on its unsuspecting prey at speeds of over 300 km per hour.

The peregrine falcon is one of the most efficient predators on Earth, and it owes much of that efficiency to its unrivaled speed. During its characteristic dive, this majestic creature reaches an average speed of 320 km/h, but the highest measured speed of a peregrine falcon is actually 389 km/h (242 mph), which makes it faster than the vast majority of commercially available cars. And it’s obviously much faster than the cheetah’s 64 mph record.

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Honeypot Ants – The World’s Only Honey-Producing Ants

Honeypot Ants, or honey ants, are specialized workers of several species of ants whose sole job is to gorge on nectar until they become living honey-storage.

Did you know that honeybees aren’t the only insects capable of producing the sweet, viscous, and brown-to-golden-colored natural product we know as honey? Several other species of bees, as well as bumblebees and even wasps are known to produce the sugary treat, but perhaps the most unusual insect able to convert nectar into honey is the honeypot ant. Belonging to a number of ant species, the most common of which is Camponotus inflatus, honeypot ants are specialized workers that act as living storage for their colonies when food is scarce.

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Pheasant Island – A Small Patch of Land That Changes Country Every Six Months

Pheasant Island is a tiny island on the border between Spain and France that alternates ownership status between the two countries every six months.

Located on the Bidasoa River, the natural border between Spain and France, Pheasant Island is a deserted patch of land with a rather fascinating history and political status. It might not look like much today, but hundreds of years ago it was where the Thirty Years’ War between Spain and France finally ended. The two countries sent a couple of their most important dignitaries to the island to negotiate, with their respective armies gathered on both sides of the Bidasoa, in case things went wrong. 11 years and 24 summits later, a deal was struck, and Pheasant Island became the world’s smallest condominium, under the joint sovereignty of the two nations.

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