Most people know the capital city of Chile is Santiago and could locate Chile on a world map. When told to think about Chile, most people would probably think of the Andes or of Chilean rodeos. Here are some unexpected and interesting facts about Chile that you probably don’t already know.
The Landscape is Out of This World
Chile’s Atcama Desert looks like Mars. In fact, it is so eerily reminiscent of Mars that it has even been filmmakers’ destination of choice to represent Mars in their films. For example, Mars in “Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets” was filmed in Chile’s Atcama Desert! Additionally, the device used by scientists to test whether there was life in the Atcama Desert soil is the same device used to try and detect life on Mars. Even though it is the driest place on earth, the Atcama Desert is not uninhabited.
Chile is a Large Exporter of Salmon
When thinking of countries that export salmon, Canada and Norway are usually at the top of the list. Chile is hoping to reach Norway’s salmon production levels within a few years. Last year, Chile exported $3 billion of salmon, of which 39 percent went to Japan. With Chile’s 80,000 kilometers of coastline, sprinkled with rivers and fjords, the country’s salmon exports are an important part of the economy.
Tennis is Chile’s International Claim to Fame
Chile has won a total of two gold medals at the Olympics, and both of them were won in Athens in 2004. Fernando González and Nicolás Massú beat the German doubles team for the gold. Nicolás Massú, nicknamed “the vampire,” also won the gold for men’s singles. Massú is the only athlete in Olympic history to win gold for both singles and doubles. While soccer is Chile’s most popular sport, tennis is its most successful.
Don’t Ask for Coffee and Wait for ‘Onces’
If you travel to Chile and are hoping for a good cup of coffee, be sure to ask for “café café” to avoid getting instant coffee mix. (Nescafé seems to be the most popular instant coffee brand.) You have to clarify because Chile is traditionally a tea drinking country. In fact, they have a traditional afternoon tea, or a break after work called once that includes a light snack with coffee or tea.
You Don’t Have to Speak Spanish
Spanish is of course widely spoken in Chile, but it is not textbook Spanish. Chilean Spanish is known across South America for its uniqueness; they speak with soft consonants and use words that Spanish speakers outside of Chile wouldn’t recognize.
Interestingly, many Chileans are of German ancestry, so don’t be surprised to hear some German spoken, particularly in southern Chile.
Chilean indigenous languages, such as Mapudungun and Huilliche, are still considered living languages; there are seven extinct tongues in Chile.
There is much more to Chile than you would expect. This list of interesting facts about Chile is just the beginning. Chile is a vast, diverse and cultured country with lots of unexpected secrets to uncover and explore.
What are some interesting facts about Chile that you’ve discovered?
About the Author
This post was written by the team at Seasons in Style, offering a wide selection of luxury holidays at resorts and hotspots around the world. Visit us online at http://www.seasonsinstyle.co.uk/. Thanks for reading!