Top 10 AMAZING Facts About ARGENTINA
Awe and wonder await us as we continue across the globe and make a stop in the South American country if Argentina! Brush up on your Spanish to enjoy a land of food, sport, and rich culture with these top ten amazing facts about Argentina!
Argentina's World Record
A country as large as Argentina is bound to have its fair share of wacky world records, and it sure doesn’t disappoint. 2017 saw a new record for most people floating in a line unassisted – an incredible 1,941 – and in 2015 the greatest distance between people singing a duet was achieved by Andres Evans in Argentina and Shân Cothi in Wales. Argentina is also home to the world record for most hair dyed in an eight hour relay. 160 volunteers had their hair coloured by a total of 50 hairdressers back in 2013... because why not!
The Shaping of Modern Argentina
Before its independence, modern day Argentina was part of the Spanish-created viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, of which Buenos Aries was the capital. The Spanish monarchy ruled, and rivalries were fierce between Spanish people from Europe, known as Peninsulares, and American people, known as Creoles. In 1810, the May Revolution took place and signaled the beginning of the Argentine War of Independence. During the years that followed, violent conflicts raged on between royalists and those fighting for independence, until finally, on 9th July 1816, the independence of the United Provinces of the Plata was declared, and the Río de Plata was eventually dissolved.
Wildlife in Argentina
Boasting one of the world’s largest bio diversities, there are over 1000 bird species alone in this ecologically rich land. In the subtropical north you’ll find jaguars, crocodiles and howler monkeys, and if you head into the central grasslands, you might see giant anteaters, maned wolves and armadillos. The western mountain region is home to the Andean condor, which is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurements of weight and wingspan. Venture south to the coast of Patagonia and maybe you’ll discover elephant seals, penguins, and maybe even orca whales coming to feed on South American sea lions.
The Origins of "Argentina"
The name Argentina has its origins firmly rooted in myth and adventure. European explorer Juan Díaz de Solís originally gave a name to “Río de la Plata”, or “Silver River,” in the early 16th century before being attacked and killed by indigenous people. Having survived the ordeal, Aleixo Garcia ventured inland and heard tales of a “White King” in a country rich with silver. These tales of silver stretched throughout time and, in 1554, Portuguese cartographer Lopo Homem made reference to “Terra Argentea”. Within 50 years, poet Martin del Barco Centenera mentioned “Argentina” in La Argentina.
Festivals of Argentina
Argentina has an exciting calendar of fiestas and celebrations throughout the year, including what’s considered to be the biggest tango festival in the world. Many of Argentina’s national holidays centeron their history and heritage, such as Day of the Flag, Independence Day, the Anniversary of the First National Government, and the National Festival of Folklore. Argentines also seem to really value their friends, to the point where they celebrate it annually! On the 20th of July each year, Argentines celebrate friendship with a holiday that, in 2005, proved its popularity when it crashed mobile networks.
Argentina's Sights to See
There are 30 incredible national parks around Argentina and visitors are spoiled for choice with so many bucket-list worthy sites. Loved by adventurers and photographers alike, Patagonia is a truly unique experience. This breath-taking region boasts jagged peaks and vast landscapes that need to be seen to be believed. Below Patagonia is Ushuaia, which is widely considered the southernmost city in the world and is commonly used as the starting point for trips to Antarctica. One site not to be missed is Iguazu falls, situated on the border with Brazil. Measuring taller than Niagara Falls and almost twice as wide, the falls stream across the Parana plateau and divided at several locations with half of the falls emptying into The Devil's Throat.
Argentina's Traditional Dance
When Argentines aren’t playing or watching sports, you may well find them dancing. Tango is the traditional dance of Argentina and originated in the 1880’s along the border with Uruguay. This passionate dance started to spread from the suburbs to working class districts, which were packed with European immigrants. The dance soon became fashionable and the craze made it as far as Paris, London and Berlin by the early 20thcentury. Tango is such an integral part of Argentinian culture and history that, in 2009, it was added to the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage lists.
Argentina and Sports
The most popular sport in Argentina is football thanks in part to their two-time champion national team, which took the world cups in 1978 and 1986. River Plate is currently the highest-ranking football club and no visit to Argentina is complete without a trip to see one of the country’s teams play. Argentina’s national sport is a 17th century creation known as“Pato,” or “duck” where two teams on horseback vie for possession of a ball with six equidistant handles. The original version of the game was played with a live duck inside a sack rather than a ball, but thankfully that was outlawed years ago. Other popular Argentinian sports include basketball, polo, rugby and golf.
Argentina is the birthplace of a fair few famous people, some you may even recognize like TV actors Martina Stoessel and Sebastian Rulli, pop star Sebastian Olzanski and former Victoria’s Secret angel Ines Rivero. Argentina also has a host of charismatic and awesome YouTubers such as Julian Serrano, DrossRotzank and Alejo Igoa. Local sports stars include Lionel Messi, and Diego Maradona who was responsible for the infamous “hand of god” handball controversy. Speaking of which…
Cuisine of Argentina
Argentina is renowned for flavourful, fresh and fiery dishes and world-class wines for optimal pairing. Asado-style Beef is a local Argentine favorite, cooked similarly to common barbecue, roasted over an open fire and served with chimichurri sauce made from parsley, garlic, oregano, olive oil and red or white wine vinegar. What goes best with asado beef, you ask? Well, that’s a no brainer! Iconic Malbec from the city of Mendoza pairs perfectly with this South American barbecue feast. Argentina’s cuisine was heavily influenced by the Mediterranean and you can expect plenty of pizza and pasta on offer in the capital city of Buenos Aries.