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22 interesting facts about Argentina

Scattered with outstanding natural wonders and vibrant, colourful cities, Argentina is an immense and varied country. Our journey from Patagonia and the end-of-the-world archipelago of Tierra del Fuego to Buenos Aires, the “Paris of South America”, taught us a multitude of interesting facts about Argentina, the best of which we share below.

interesting facts about Argentina

1. The name Argentina comes from the Latin word for silver, argentum. When the original Spanish conquerors first met the indigenous people in the region, they received silver objects as presents.
(Source: Argentine Embassy in London)

2. In 2001, during the year of the country’s worst financial and political crisis, Argentina had five presidents in just 10 days.
(Source: BBC)

3. Due to rapid inflation, Argentina has dropped 13 zeroes off their currency since 1970, a factor of 10 trillion.
(Source: PanAm Post)

interesting facts about argentina currency

4. It’s estimated that between 1974 and 1983, around 30,000 people disappeared under the regime of Argentina’s military junta.
(Source: The Guardian)

5. In 1892, Argentina became the first country to use fingerprinting as a form of identification when Francesca Rojas confessed to killing her own children in an attempt to improve her chance of marrying her boyfriend. Her bloody thumb-print was found at the scene of the crime.
(Source: History.com)

6. Tango, the intense and sensuous Latin dance and music, originated in the 1880s in the slums and bars of the country’s capital city, Buenos Aires.
(Source: BBC)

interesting facts about argentina tango

(Image: © King Ho Yim | Dreamstime)

7. The remains of the largest dinosaur ever discovered, Argentinosaurus, were first unearthed in Argentina in 1987. In 2014, the remains of what is thought to be “the largest creature to have ever walked the earth”, possibly even larger than Argentinosaurus, were also discovered in Argentina.
(Source: The Telegraph)

8. The current pope, and the first from the Americas, Pope Francis, used to work as a bar bouncer in Buenos Aires.
(Source: Fox News)

9. Argentina’s retired soccer player Diego Maradona has inspired a religion: the Church of Maradona. It has over 120,000 members.
(Source: The Guardian)

interesting facts about argentina maradona religion

(Image: © Meunierd | Dreamstime)

10. Argentina is the only Latin American country to have won an Oscar. In 1986, Official History (La Historia Oficial) won an Oscar for the best foreign language and in 2010 El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) won the best foreign-language award.
(Source: The Guardian)

11. In the Chubut province of Patagonia in southern Argentina, around 5,000 people speak Welsh. In 1865, a group of Welsh settlers crossed the Atlantic to settle in remote Patagonia. Today, some 50,000 Argentinian nationals can claim Welsh ancestry.
(Source: BBC)

12. Argentine farmer Pedro Martin Ureta cultivated a guitar-shaped forest to honour his late wife, Graciela, who died during childbirth in 1977. He has never seen his creation from above, except in photos from friends.
(Source: The Guardian)

interesting facts about argentina guitar

13. The world’s widest avenue is in Buenos Aires, Avenida 9 de Julio (Avenue 9 July, Argentina’s national day of independence). It has 14 lanes of traffic and four lanes of parallel streets.
(Source: Britannica)

14. Since 1953, the national sport of Argentina has been Pato, a game played on horseback that fuses elements of polo and basketball. Pato is the Spanish word for ‘duck’ as early games used a live duck inside a basket instead of a ball.
(Source: The Argentina Independent)

interesting facts about argentina pato sport

(Image: © Edurivero | Dreamstime)

15. Argentina has the world’s second-highest rate of anorexia, after Japan. One in 30 women have also undergone cosmetic surgery.
(Source: The Argentina Independent)

16. Government officials in Lionel Messi’s hometown in Argentina have banned parents from naming their children “Messi” because an influx of babies named Messi could “lead to confusion”.
(Source: USA Today)

17. The Cuban revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Rosario, Argentina.
(Source: BBC)

18. In 1977, Argentina sent a pregnant mother to Antarctica in an effort to claim a portion of the continent. The boy, Emilio Palma, was the first human to be born in Antarctica. He was born in Fortín Sargento Cabral at the Esperanza Base near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and weighed 3.4 kg (7 lb 8 oz).
(Source: Antarctica in International Law)

19. In 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage.
(Source: BBC)

20. The highest mountain outside of Asia is in Argentina. Aconcagua is 6,962m (22,841ft) high and is located in the Mendoza province. It is also one of the seven summits.
(Source: The Guardian)

interesting facts about argentina

21. Major political parties in Argentina produce their own craft beers and brand them with historic political icons.
(Source: Huffington Post)

22. Argentina has the world’s highest number of psychiatrists per capita. In 2012, the number of practising psychologists surged to 196 per 100,000 people.
(Source: New York Times)

(Additional photography: Dreamstime)

 

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