Due to the immense popularity of my 69 fun facts series (69 Fun Facts about Germany has a staggering 150,000+ page views!) I’ve decided to continue the tradition, and bring some more 69 fun into the world. And what better country to choose than Spain? Not only is it one of the countries I’m most excited to visit this year, but let’s face it – if any country deserves 69 fun facts, it would be Spain.
1. the name Spain diverged from the word Ispania, which means the land of rabbits.
2. Spain has over 8000 km of beaches.
3. There is no tooth fairy in Spain but rather a tooth mouse called Ratoncito Perez.
4. They have highest number of bars out of all the countries in the EU.
5. Barcelona’s city hall provided 1 million euro to fund the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
6. Christopher Columbus (the famous explorer) is Spanish, but they have no idea where he was buried.
7. Spain has the lowest population density in western Europe (excluding Scandinavia)
8. Spaniards are famous for their contributes to art, with famous Spanish artists including Dali, Picasso, gaudi, el Greco, and Goya
9. Spain was not part of the first or second world war.
10. 40% of Spanish people between 17-24 smoke.
11. Spain is the country closest to Africa.
12. Spain produces 44% of the world’s olive oil.
13. Spaniards own more cars than cell phones.
14. Over 98% of the population used to be roman catholic… presently it is around 76%
15. The Spaniards aren’t known for very many inventions…but they did invent the mop.
16. …and the beret!
17. …and Chupa Chups! The famous lollipops that line cash registers across the world were initially created by the Catalonian Enric Bernat in 1958.
18. Juan Mica claims that his family were the first to invent the drink, called Nuez de Kola Coca’, which he then took to the US and sold the recipe.
19. The tennis player Rafael Nadal first picked up a racket at the age of 3.
20. There’s a Facebook group called “I worship Rafael nadal’s biceps”
21. Nadal originally showed promise as a soccer player but gave it up at 12 to focus on tennis
22. In 2003, a newly discovered asteroid belt was named 128036 Rafaelnadal, in his honor.
23. Javier Bardem was the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar.
24. Penelope Cruz was the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar for best supporting actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
25. Cruz and Bardem got married in 2010 and have a son named Leo.
26. Many of the paintings by the Catalan artist augsti pugi appeared in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
27. Enrique Iglesias is half Filipino, half Spanish.
28. Enrique’s favorite movie is Raiders of the Lost Ark.
29. Antonio Banderas was a soccer player until he broke his foot at the age of 14 and instead became a famous movie star (not a bad alternative)
30. Also, in Spanish, Banderas means “flags”.
31. Nadal is messy at home, and when he was a teenager in Majorca, his mother used to complain about his room.
32. Nadal is naturally right-handed, except when it comes to playing tennis, which he does left-handed.
33. Nadal was featured in Shakira’s music video “Gypsy”
34. Nadal’s favorite movies are Titanic and The Gladiator.
(Yes, there are a lot of Nadal facts – but really, who can complain?)
The language of romance:
35. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.
36. There are 329 million native Spanish speakers in the world.
37. Spanish is spoken in 44 countries (with at least 3 million native speakers in each).
38. After Latin, the language that has the largest influence in Spanish is Arabic.
39. Spanish is expected to be the first language of 50% of the population of the United States within 50 years.
40. Spanish is the most popular foreign language to learn in America and Europe.
41. Approximately 100 million people speak Spanish as a second language.
42. There are two types of Spanish – European Spanish and Latin American Spanish.
43. There are more native Spanish speakers than English.
44. The Spanish language began on the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar.
45. Every hour of every day over three thousand pedestrians stroll through Fontanella-Portal del Àngel.
46. Spain is the only country in Europe that produces bananas.
47. Spain is the only country that has the sports bull fighting counted as a sport.
48. Nearly 75% of the world’s saffron flower is grown in Spain
49. Tomatoes, potatoes, avocadoes, tobacco, and cacao, were all brought to Europe (then spread around the world) by the Spaniards from their American colonies
50. Spain was one of the first European countries to ban smoking in workplaces and bars (2006)
Love and Sex:
51. On May 15th all the single women in Madrid visit the chapel called Ermita de San Isidro to prick their fingers with pins and put it in a vessel, in order to find a husband.
52. Same sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005.
53. 90% of prostitutes in Spain are illegal immigrants.
54. Teenagers in Spain normally start dating in groups when they’re 14.
55. The divorce rate in Spain is 17% (relatively low compared to over 50% in the USA).
56. In Barcelona, on St George’s Day (23 April) it was custom to exchange a book and a rose with the person they loved.
The best sport in the world…
57. Club president Joan Laporta, a self-proclaimed nationalist, requires all foreign Barça players to learn Catalan.
58. Fans of FC Barcelona are known as culés, the Catalan word for ‘ass’
59. The two most successful Spanish football teams, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are also fierce competitors. The rivalry stems from Franco’s dictatorship; Barcelona represented an opposition to Franco while Real Madrid was a symbol of nationalism and was favored by the regime and Franco.
60. FC Barcelona is the biggest privately owned stadium in the world (seating 100,000 people)
61. The 1992 summer Olympics were held in Barcelona.
62. Soccer is the most important sport. It’s also pretty much like a religion.
63. Real Madrid is the most popular club in the world with over 228 million supporters
64. Real Madrid is also the richest club in the world.
65. The name Madrid comes from the arabic “magerit” which means ‘place of many streams’.
66. Madrid enjoys more cloudless days than almost any other city in Europe.
67. The population of Madrid is just over 6 million…which is more than the population of some countries, such as Norway, Ireland, Scotland, denmark.
68. In Ibiza, tourists spend about 1430 million euros each year.
69. One in every five citizens registered in Ibiza lives in an isolated house in the country.