10 Interesting Facts About Scotland

Scotland: more than just a pretty face.
Scotland: more than just a pretty face.

Scotland, a country of the United Kingdom, is renowned for its spectacular landscapes. There are, however, many other fascinating facts related to Scotland in addition to its natural beauty. The Scots are known for their unique dishes, costumes, and customs. The country has also produced some of the most gifted writers, poets, and scientists that the world has ever known. Scotland also has many of the world’s “firsts” like the first official international football match. Below are 10 of the most interesting facts related to Scotland.

Scotland’s National Animal Is A Mythical Creature

The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. A symbol of innocence, purity, power, and masculinity in the Celtic mythology, the unicorn was selected to by a symbol for the country. Scottish legends often feature the mythical unicorn. The unicorn was first used to represent Scotland in the Scottish royal coat of arms by William I in the 12th century. In the 15th century, gold coins featuring the unicorn were manufactured.

The World’s Tallest And Longest Hedge Is In Scotland

Meikleour Beech Hedge(s), noted in the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest (30 m) and longest (530 m) of its kind, is located near the village of Meikleour in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The hedge is located on the side of the A93 Perth-Blairgowrie Road. It was planted in 1745. Today, many visitors come to the area to see the hedge. It is trimmed once every decade.

The World’s Longest Echo In A Man-made Structure Was Recorded In Scotland

As recently as 2014, an underground fuel depot named Inchindown tunnels in Scotland became the site of a new world record for the longest echo in a man-made structure. An acoustic engineer from Salford University recorded the echo generated inside the Inchindown tunnels from a shot fired from a pistol loaded with blanks. The reverberation time was recorded to be 112 seconds.

Scotland Has The Most Red-Headed People In The World

Only about 1 to 2% of the world’s population have red hair but in Scotland, the figure is much higher. About 13% of Scots or 650,000 people are red-haired. In fact, researchers believe that many more Scots are carriers of the gene responsible for red hair. When two such carriers who are themselves not red-haired marry, there is a chance that their offspring will be red-haired.

Scotland Is Home To A Cryptid -The Loch Ness Monster

Scottish folklore and anecdotal evidence mention the presence of the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie in the Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The creature has been described as large in size with an elongated neck and humps on its back. Science has, however, not found any conclusive proof about the existence of any such creature in Loch Ness.

Scotland Has The World’s Shortest Commercial Flight

Just 57 seconds! It is the time taken to travel by the Loganair airline (a major UK airline headquartered in Scotland) between the islands of Westray and Papa Westray in the Northern Isles of Scotland. The service costs £36 on a day return and is availed by many islanders on a daily basis as well as by visitors from outside. The airline has been operating on this route since 1967.

Scotland Was The Venue For The First Official International Football Match

The ground of the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland served as the venue of the first ever official international football match. It was played between Scotland and England on November 30, 1872. The matched was a 0-0 draw and was attended by 4,000 spectators.

Scotland Is A Must-visit For All Harry Potter Fans

The Elephant House cafe in Edinburgh is often pinned as "the birthplace of Harry Potter". It is here that J. K. Rowling wrote a significant part of her first Harry Potter book. It is believed that the spellbinding magical landscapes of Scotland inspired Rowling to create the fictional magic world through her writings. Many other sites in Scotland have been linked to Harry Potter and Rowling and are visited by Harry Potter fans from all over the world.

Scotland Has One Of The Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World

The world’s oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse, the Bell Rock Lighthouse, is located in Scotland. The structure was built between 1807 and 1810 on the Bell Rock in the North Sea to warn ships of the dangerous approach. It is 35 m tall and its light can be seen from as far as 56 km inland. The masonry work of the lighthouse has been praised for its strength that allows the structure to stand even today. The Signal Tower Museum is located in the lighthouse which serves as a visitor center detailing the history of the structure.

The World’s Oldest Working Post Office Is In Scotland

The Sanquhar Post Office, located in Sanquhar on the River Nith in Dumfries and Galloway, is the world’s oldest operating post office. It was opened in 1712 and since then has never stopped operating.


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