Every Country in the World (Part 1)

This is every country in the world… by Wendover
Productions. We’ll start with
Afghanistan, the first country alphabetically. Afghanistan is one of the few countries worldwide
to be offset from Greenwich Mean Time by a 30 minute interval, its at GMT +4:30, while
China is one of the many countries to only have
one timezone… except its ginormous. It aligns to GMT
+ 8 so that means that stepping over the 47 mile long Afghanistan-China border jumps you
forward by 3.5 hours. That’s the largest single time zone jump
on earth. China in all its craziness
has rather ambitious plans to build a high-speed railroad from Beijing, up across the Bering
Strait, and down into the United States, which happens to be the home of 41% of Wendover
Productions viewers. Up in the north-west of the US, Point Roberts,
a part of the mainland US, is cut off from the US by Canada and since it
doesn’t have a high-school, students have to cross
into Canada then back into the US each day on their way to school. Canada happens to be the
second largest country on earth and has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Its so
huge, in fact, that its easternmost point is closer to Croatia than it is to Vancouver. One of
Croatia’s thousands of islands is Rab, the birthplace of the sculptor Marinas who went
on and founded San Marino, the fifth smallest country
in the world and one of three to be completely surrounded by another country. One of the others is the Vatican—the smallest
sovereign state in the world—and there’s also Lesotho, which
is home to one of Africa’s seven ski resorts. Lesotho
is of course surrounded by South Africa which is the only country in the world to have three
capitals—Cape Town is the seat of the Parliament, Pretoria is the home of the president, and
Bloemfontein is the judicial capital. South Africa also almost completely surrounds
another country—Swaziland, where roads are so bad
that two of the last four transport ministers died in
car accidents. While mostly surrounded by South Africa, Swaziland’s
eastern border is with Mozambique, whose name scores higher in scrabble
than any other one-word country, but in second place for scrabble is Kyrgyzstan which
is home to six enclaves, the smallest of which is
part of Uzbekistan and is only 2 miles wide. In Uzbekistan, no river leads to the Ocean—they
all drain into endorheic basins where all the
water evaporates out. Uzbekistan is one of only two
countries worldwide to be double-landlocked—as in, landlocked by landlocked countries. In this
case, every surrounding country of Uzbekistan also ends in -stan—Kazakhstan, Tajikistan,
Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan,and Turkmenistan. The other double-landlocked country is
Liechtenstein—a tiny and historically neutral nation. In their last military engagement in 1886,
none of the 80 soldiers were injured or killed, and they actually returned with 81 people
since they made a “new italian friend.” Italy is home to the Breuil Cervinia ski resort
where you can ski across the border into Switzerland. Switzerland is rather paranoid about war to
the extent that 3,000 points of entry into the country are
rigged to blow at an instant in case of invasion. Switzerland is also home to one end of the
shortest regularly-scheduled commercial international flight in the world—a six minute, 10 mile
jaunt over to Germany where its not actually illegal to
escape prison. Seriously—they say its only human nature. Germany is home to half of one of the
world’s few internationally divided islands, and the Polish side of this island, despite
being only 200 feet from mainland Poland, is not connected
by any bridges to Poland, so just like point Roberts, residents have to cross international
borders to get to their own country. Poland also
happens to have been a part of Sweden’s monarchy for a brief eight years in the 16th
century. Sweden has an internationally divided island
too, and this one is a mere 7 acres large. The border
looks like this because Finland accidentally built a lighthouse in Swedish territory and
so they just readjusted the border to make everyone
happy. Finland has exactly 187,888 lakes, and its
northernmost point is actually closer to Greenland than Poland due to the curvature of the earth. Greenland isn’t actually a country so I’m
not allowed to talk about it—its a dependency of
Denmark, where its impossible to be more than 30 miles from the ocean. The wife of Denmark’s Crown Prince, Crown
Princess Mary, was born in Australia which is the 6th largest country on earth and is
home to the longest fence in the world—a 3,500 mile structure to keep wild dogs out
of the the fertile south-east region. The middle of Australia also has practically
nobody and nothing in it except a 297 mile long precisely straight section of railroad
track. Australia freed the country of Brunei from
occupation back in WWII which is one of the few countries worldwide to be comprised of
two comparably sized sections. St Kitts and Nevis is
also split into two but that’s because its a two island nation and also the smallest
country in the Americas. In Saint Kitts and Nevis you can gain citizenship
by making a $400 thousand real estate investment much like Bulgaria, where people nod up and
down to signify no and shake left and right to mean yes. Bulgaria is one of the few countries to have
an embassy in North Korea which created its own time zone in 2015 for
no real reason than to be different. North Korea is
only separated by one country from Norway, where more than half the population lives
below this line. Between Norway and North Korea is of course
Russia—the largest country in the world. Its easternmost point is, in fact, closer
to Mexico than Moscow. Mexico once had three
different presidents in one hour during a military coup, but also accustomed to short
regimes is Alsace-Lorraine in France which was an fully-recognized
independent country for 12 short days between being part of Germany and France at
the end of World War One. France, of course, had
an enormous empire including Algeria which is the largest country in Africa and unlike
some of its neighboring countries, is quite nice to
women. 70% of the countries lawyers are female. Right
next door to Algeria is Morocco which has de facto control of some of Western Sahara,
a place thats not really part of any country. That’s why its always blank on data maps. Morocco
surrounds two Spanish exclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, which are politically part of mainland
Spain, rather than overseas territories, despite
being in Northern Africa. Spain once had an enormous
empire, part of which was Micronesia which is now a US associated state, meaning they’re
an independent nation but the US covers defense
and funding. Micronesian citizens can join the US
military without becoming a US resident—a right only given to citizens of freely associated
states. Their currency is also the US dollar. Palau is also a nearby US associated state
which is often compared to Fiji since they’re both
idillic pacific island destinations even though they’re
over 3,500 miles apart. Fiji was a British colony up until 1970 and
you have no idea how hard it was to avoid using this transition up until
now. I could’ve used it with Nauru, St Kitts
and Nevis, Brunei, Australia, South Africa, Canada, the
United States, and Afghanistan but I kept it for now. The UK is home to the shortest regularly scheduled
commercial flight in the world between Westray and Papa Westray in the Scottish isles. It costs 17 pounds, takes 53 seconds, and
traverses only 1.7 miles. The UK has two exclaves—both of which are
overseas territories. One
is Gibraltar, right across from Ceuta, and the the other is Akrotiri and Dhekelia on
the island of Cyprus. There are border control agents from three
countries on Cyprus, the UK, Cyprus, and Turkey. Northern Cyprus is a self-declared state only
recognized by Turkey who helps them keep control of the territory with a heavy military
presence and border control agents. Istanbul,
Turkey, is the only city on the planet to span two continents—Europe and Asia—although
there are plenty of countries on two continents. In Egypt, the Sinai peninsula sits in Asia
while the rest is in Africa. Just past the southern border of Egypt is
Bir Tawil, a piece of land claimed by no country since Egypt and Sudan disagree on
where their borders are. Sudan recently split into two
and created South Sudan—the world’s youngest UN recognized country. The second youngest
country is Serbia which, up until 2006, was called Serbia and Montenegro but split after
a referendum. Montenegro also happens to be a town in Costa
Rica where about 100 people live. The capital of Costa Rica, San Jose, only
allows car owners to drive 6 days a week to fight
pollution and congestion, so the last digit of license plates correspond to their banned
day. Costa
Rica’s southern border is with Panama, home to the Panama Canal which, counterintuitively,
has its Atlantic end, the ocean to the east, to
the west, and its Pacific end, the ocean to the west, to the
east. Panama’s southern border is with Colombia
but there’s not one road crossing this 50 mile
jungle which means its impossible to drive between North and South America. You probably
know that Colombia was once part of Spain but so was the Netherlands. It was called the Spanish
Netherlands. The Netherlands is also home to Baarle-Nassau,
one of the most messed up borders in the world. Belgium is well known for having a UN headquarters,
and so does Nairobi, Kenya —the suspected birthplace of the human race. Kenya’s northern neighbor is Somalia, which
received its first ATM machine in 2014. Somalia has had three separate wars with Ethiopia
in the last century, and Ethiopia national airline
was the second in the world to receive the 787
Dreamliner despite being the 13th poorest country. Ethiopia also has another one of those
internationally divided islands, this one with Djibouti, which is home to the lowest
point in Africa, Lake Assal, at 509 feet below sea
level. Djibouti also hosts the only US military base
in Africa, and Israel hosts one of the smallest
ones, Dimona Radar Base. Despite being a middle eastern country, Israel
competes in Eurovision and many European sports leagues since they’re
culturally much closer to Europe than the middle-east. Israel has one of the weirder international
borders with Palestine which is only a country depending on who you ask. The largest
Palestinian community outside the Arab world is in Chile which is one of the only countries
to have a government sponsored UFO research organization. Chile is the southernmost mainland
country in the world but doesn’t have the southernmost commercial airport. That title goes to
Argentina with their Ushuaia – Malvinas International Airport. This (Iguazu Falls) spectacular
waterfall is the border between Argentina and Brazil which is home to the Amazon River,
which doesn’t have a single bridge over it. Not one—its just in an area where practically
nobody lives. Recife, Brazil is closer to Dakar, Senegal
than to Porte Alegre in South-western Brazil. Just off
the coast of Senegal is Cape Verde which is pretty much paradise. They have a high human
development index score, high GDP, high literacy rate, and the lowest recorded temperature
in history there was 50 degrees fahrenheit. As a former Portuguese colony, Cape Verde
speaks Portuguese which is the 6th most spoken language
in the world even though its origin country, Portugal, is smaller than Kentucky. They just had an enormous empire, which for
a while included Indonesia, which has another one
of those internationally divided islands with Papau
New Guinea, similar to Hispaniola island which is divided between Haiti and the Dominican
Republic. Hispaniola is the 22nd largest island in the
world but Madagascar is number four. Its
also the largest single-island-country. 85 million years ago Madagascar was connected
to India before the continents shifted but Sri Lanka
was connected to India as recently as 1480 via a land
bridge that has since eroded. Sri Lanka is just north of the equator but
right on the equator is Ecuador. Its capital, Quito, is only 20 miles from
the equator so its day length varies by only 15
minutes between winter and summer. Although, since the country is split by the
equator, winter and summer happens at the same time in the
same country. Ecuador is one of 30 countries to have an
antarctic research base and right next door to
Ecuador’s base is Peru’s. Copacabana, not that one, this one, in Bolivia,
can only be reached by driving through Peru. Bolivia, despite being a landlocked country,
maintains a 5,000 person Navy, although Mongolia, also a landlocked
country, maintains a navy that has one ship—a tugboat—and seven total sailors. Mongolia is also the least dense country on
the planet with only 5 people per square mile. While they may seem un-intimidating now, the
Mongolian empire was once, the largest contiguous land empire in
history. Part of that empire was Cambodia, which has
changed its name six times in the last 65 years. 95% of Cambodia’s population is Theravada
Buddhist. The other major branch of buddhism is Mahayana
Buddhism which is practiced in Japan where, out of its total population of
126 million, they had three gun murders in 2012. Iceland, however, can top that, because they
had one murder total in 2012. Of course, Iceland
doesn’t have a huge population which makes it less impressive until you consider that
30% of Iceland’s residents own guns. 60% of that population, however, lives in
this circle. Iceland was
also the first country to recognize Armenia’s independence, and Armenia separates Azerbaijan
from its Nakhchivan exclave and since the Armenia-Azerbaijan border is closed, residents
of Nakhchivan have to go all the way around Armenia
to get to to their own country. Azerbaijan’s
national soccer team has played Andorra’s five times in the past few decades and four
of those games have ended in a 0-0 tie. Andorra is the largest country in the world
to not have an airport which is less impressive when you consider
that they’re the 19th smallest in the world. The
smallest country in the world to have a major international airport is the Maldives, the
8th smallest country. This airport has dozens of destinations and
is on a small island with no land connections to other islands which means once
you land you have to either take a boat or seaplane to your destination. One of the airport’s destinations is Kuala
Lumpur in Malaysia which is home to world’s largest roundabout
in Putrajaya at 2 miles in diameter. Malaysia is the
only country connected by road to Singapore, the largest surviving city-state in the world. Despite having hundreds of skyscrapers, Singapore
is not the densest country in the world. That
title goes to Monaco which is less than one square mile large. Monaco has no income tax, much
like the Bahamas, which is one of two countries whose official name starts with the word
“the”, the other one being the Gambia. The Gambia’s interesting shape comes from
the flow of the river Gambia whose watershed reaches all
the way to Guinea which is one of three countries to have the word Guinea in its name. The other two are Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial
Guinea. Guinea was once the word for the entire west-african
region so when these countries became independent from their colonizers many chose
to include “guinea” in their names. Equatorial
Guinea’s capital actually isn’t on the mainland—its on an offshore island—and,
despite its name, the equator doesn’t intersect Equatorial
Guinea but the country is on both sides of the equator
since they have sovereignty over Annobón island to the south of the equator. This is similar to
Kiribati—a nation comprising of a few dozen islands in the Pacific. Kiribati is the first place on
earth to experience New Year’s since their time zone is UTC +14—a time zone exclusive
to these islands. Kiribati is close friends with Cuba since
Cuba sent doctors to the islands who reduced the child mortality rate by 80%. Cuba—the only Caribbean island to have a
commercial railroad—is one of the few remaining communist
states. One of the others is Laos—the only
landlocked country in south-east Asia—which borders Vietnam—also communist and the 14th
most populous country in the world despite having the size of about New Mexico. Vietnam is
good political friends with Venezuela who is not great friends with bordering Guyana
since Guyana thinks the border looks like this and
Venezuela thinks the border looks like this. Guyana
—the only English-speaking country in South America—borders Suriname—the smallest
country in South America and the only country other than the Netherlands whose sole primary
language is Dutch. Suriname was our 98th country so that means
that we’re halfway through and that that’s the end of part one of Every Country in the
World, however, part two will be out on Tuesday, December 13th so make sure you’re subscribed
to catch that right when it comes out. If you enjoyed this and other Wendover Productions
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every country in the world.

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