Interesting Facts about Belgium

Belgium represents the «essence of Europe».

This country is famous for production of various types of beer, chocolate and waffles for different tastes and nuances. Here you may finds several amusing facts about Belgium.

Production of 200,000 Tones of Chocolate per Year

One of the remarkable facts of the life of Belgium is a production of chocolate. Belgium produces approximately 220,000 tons of chocolate per year. Belgian national airport in Brussels is the largest point of sale for this sweet product.

Education

Belgium is one of the countries, which pays great attention to education. Education is the mandatory condition for all citizens younger than eighteen.

Highway System

Belgian highway system is the only manmade structure, which may be seen from the Moon.

The Birthplace of Oil-Base Paint

Do you know that oil colors were invented in Belgium in the 15th century? One of the hobbies of rich Belgians is to collect different virtuosos and the paintings. Belgians as Americans like to collect discount cards.

World Diamond Center

Belgium is the world diamond center. Moreover the diamonds here are sold and polished as well. Antwerp is considered a world capital of diamonds.

The Birthplace of Saxophone

Saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax. It is interesting that Herge, the author of Tinti famous series of comics was also born in Belgium.

The Country, Where Everybody Likes Animals

Do you know that…

Roller-skates appeared in Belgium

It is considered that roller skates were introduced by Belgian inventor John Joseph Merlin. Joseph Merlin, attended London masquerade party of 1760. He moved around the audience in expensive pumps with small metal wheels, playing the violin. His roller skates were not perfect. The fiddling skater stood no chance and Merlin crashed solidly into the mirrored wall and broke an expensive mirror.

The Language Barrier Caused the Accident

In 2001 Belgium suffered a curious railway accident: eight people including both engine drivers died as a result. This central collision of trains happened due to the language barrier. The engine driver of one of the trains ignored a red light of a semaphore signal post and left the station. The traffic controller called to the next station to warn about a danger. Unfortunately, one traffic controller spoke French and another one spoke Dutch. Keep in mind, that both above language are official ones in Belgium. The rules of a railway company prescribed that personnel had to know at least one of these languages. This was a manifest error.

Cows Mutated Accidentally

Belgium is a place where Belgian Blue breed of beef cattle differed by their giant size and heavy muscles are bred. This breed appeared due to accidental mutation in the myostatin gene which codes for the protein that acts to inhibit muscle development. Meat of Belgian Blue cows is valued for decreased fat content. Breeding of these cows supposes crossbreeding of young heifer with their direct ancestors.

People in Zoos

The number of zoos in European Countries and in the North America increased by leaps and bounds in the second half of the 19th century. Besides open-air cages with wild animals one could see paraded life and way of life of different primitive nations, such as Eskimos, Indians, Polynesians and others. Sometimes Black people were accommodated with apes to demonstrate transition of a man from fauna to civilized world. In the 20th century such displays decreased noticeably. However, in 1958 in Brussels the life of a Congolese village was shown at the World Fair. In the 21st century only certain zoos demonstrate the life of ethnic settlements. However these people enter into labor contracts or they are residents there on a voluntary basis.