Fascinating facts about Sri Lanka

Fascinating facts about Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been blowing our minds since we got here- with a variety that it has to offer – thousands of waterfalls, tuk tuks, nation of the snakes, rice and curry, safaris, tea plantations, rice fields, elephants, kind and humble people, rich cultural heritage and much more.

We have been exploring and part of our worldschooling journey we gathered some fascinating facts about this superb destination.

  1. Sri Lanka was called Ceylon up until 1972. Nowadays it is also called The Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Asia’s wonder and also a teardrop of India due to its shape.
  2. Sri Lanka is a huge tea producer and it is the second largest tea exporter in the world;
  3. Sri Lanka grows over 60000 hectares of coffee (mainly Arabica, Liberica and Robusta). Most of the coffee is grown in Nuwara Eliya and Kandy regions due to elevation. Coffee was planted first by the dutch that brought the plant in 1780.
  4. Ceylon cinnamon is also a leading export good. Sri Lanka is the second largest exporter of cinnamon in the world. Ceylon Cinnamon is different fromt he rest of the types of the cinnamon – it has 63 times LESS coumarin than cassia (other type of cinnamon )so it is safer to use, especially in large quantities.
  5. Sri Lanka’s flag is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 486 BC.
  6. Volleyball is the national sport of Sri Lanka although cricket is played much more in this beautiful country.
  7. People shake their heads to say “YES”.
  8. It is an ideal destination for whale watching- Blue, Byrde’s, Fin, Humpback, Sperm, Killer, Minke, Melon headed and Omura’s Whale are all types that you could see here in Sri Lanka. truly fascinating.
  9. 4 main religions are practiced in Ceylon , Buddhism being the most common (around 70% people practice);

10. If you see a sign – HOTEL- it may as well be a bar, cafe or a restaurant.

11. The death penalty by hanging is still in effect here in Sri Lanka.

12. The oldest human planted tree ( a fig tree) is located in Anuradhapura and it is estimated to be planted in 288 BCE.

13. Sri Lanka is just a few square km bigger than Lithuania but has a whopping population of more than 21 million people (mostly sinhalese) compared to 2.5 mln in Lithuania.

14. Sri Lanka has a total of 8 UNESCO Heritage sites.

15. Rubbies, sapphires and other precious gems are mined in Ceylon. Ratnapura is known to be the GEM Capital of Sri Lanka.

16. Because of the thousands of waterfalls,- they have become a chief source of electricity in the country through the use of hydroelectric generator system.

17. There are around 1.2 million tuk tuks in use on the road in the country, mainly imported from India.

18. The Department of Wildlife states that the wild elephant population in Sri Lanka has now been increased to 7000. Sri Lankan elephant ( a subspecies of Asian Elephant) is on avergae 11 feet tall and can weight up to 5400 kg. Life span 55- 70 years.

19. There are 3 different species of monkeys in Ceylon – Tufted gray Langun; Purple faced leaf monkey; Toque Macaque (which has a population of 3 million in Sri Lanka which means it is highly overpopulated).

20. Stilt fishing is a unique traditional fishing method in the country- the fisherman sits on a narrow bar tied to a poll which is then embedded into the floor of the sea- it requires extreme balance and skill.

21. Sri Lanka houses 102 species of snakes. Out of 102, 14 are sea snakes. Around 80000 people are bitten by snakes every year, with potential for up to 400 fatalities. Local treatment for snake bites currently depends on the anti-venom from India which is not always 100% effective due to the stronger venom of Sri Lankan snakes.

While there are more to know about Sri Lanka, but these facts seemed to be fascinating and were news to us. We loved learning about this beautiful country! Hope you enjoy as well! Thank you for reading!

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