10 Things You Didn’t Know About Asia

Asia is a continent which possesses more versatility than any other region on Earth, with a myriad of heritages clashing together into one. Today we thought we’d spice things up a bit and explore ten things you didn’t know about this most interesting of regions.

 1. Highs And Lows

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Both the highest and lowest points on the globe are located there, with Mount Everest and the Dead Sea grabbing those honors respectively.

Everest was first mastered by the explorer Edmund Hillary and a local Nepalese Sherpa {although there is some speculation they were beaten to the summit} and sits at 29,029 feet above sea level.

The Dead Sea by contrast, shared by the borders of Palestine, Israel and Jordan, can be found as many as 1,371 feet below sea level. Talk about contrasts.

2. Illegal To Be Fat

In Japan it is “illegal” to be above a certain weight when you hit the age of 40 ~ with special regulations brought in to ensure people stay trim and healthy at all times once they reach middle age.

With compulsory measurements taken, anyone found to be above a set limit for the waistline will be asked to shed the pounds, lest they face a fine.

3. Who Runs The World?

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With a mind-boggling 4.3 billion people living there, Asia can staggeringly boast a whopping 60% of the world’s population ~ meaning there’s more people located there than the rest of the world combined.

With countries like India {1.25 billion} and China {1.58 billion} situated there, it’s perhaps unsurprising it so heavily out-numbers the rest of the world. Africa is a distant second in the rankings, with a measly 1.03 billion residents. 

4. Time Zone Mastery  

China is well documented as the largest nation by population ~ and also clocks up as the fourth biggest when it comes to land mass, behind only Russia, Canada and the USA.

Amazingly though, there’s only one time zone to govern the entire nation. This naturally leads to a lot of problems as “It isn’t uncommon in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, to see people enjoying a beautiful sunset … at midnight. Or for the sun to rise there in the winter around 10 AM.”

5. Longevity

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In Japan there are as many as 50,000 people over the age of 100 currently still living. The median age of the nation is also the second highest in the world, sitting at 44.6 behind only the principality nation of Monaco.

The oldest man to have ever lived was also from Japan. Jiroemon Kimura lived from April 19 1897, to June 12 2013 ~ making him 116 years and 54 days of age at the time of his passing.

6. Baby Throwing

A somewhat shocking culture has developed in a small town in India named Sholapur ~ where it’s become the custom to throw new-born babies off a 50-foot roof.

The practice is said to bring them good luck and wealth in their lives, but naturally leaves the tots a little riled up. Fear not, there’s a blanket at the bottom ~ held up by locals ~ which ensures the young one is ‘safely’ cradled back to Earth, however.

7. North Korean Christmas

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We’re all aware North Korea do things a little…differently. It’s no exception when it comes to Christmas – where they ignore the traditional merrymaking and instead focus their attentions on celebrating the birthday of Kim Jong Il’s mother, Kim Jong-Suk.

Each to their own, we suppose – although one can’t help but feel they’re missing out on the festive season somewhat. Do they even know the wonder of mince pies?

8. Communal Birthdays

I’m not sure if this is really cool or really weird; but in Vietnam everyone has one giant communal birthday – which falls on New Year.

Rather than being aged in the same manner as a lot of people are elsewhere across the globe, anyone who was born within the year of, say, 1992, is the same age – regardless of whether it was in January or December. Imagine the size of the cake.

9. Scraping The Sky

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Asia has nine of the ten tallest buildings in the world (12 of the top 13 if we’re going that far). The largest, the Burj Khalifa, stands at 2,717ft tall and is located within the city of Dubai in the UAE.

The one exception to the rule comes in the form of the number six entry on the list – the One World Trade Center in New York City. This North American construct poses a very lonely figure among the sea of Asian skyscrapers, however.

10. Canned Air

Such is the level of air pollution in China, there’s now a legitimate market for canned air. We’re not sure why this has become popular ~ or how it really helps in any way ~ but it’s said to have sold as many as 8 million cans in the first 10 days alone.

While smog is worse in some Chinese cities than anywhere else on Earth, this is surely a step too far?

Asia will never cease to amaze us. These are just ten interesting facts about this versatile continent, but there are plenty more out there to be discovered. Why not go there and see what you discover for yourself?

Mum’s Two Cents

It really is a privilege to be living in the continent of Asia. We have countless of marvels and wonders enough to enthrall and amaze the rest of the world. It is my dream to be able to see some of the most interesting Asian destinations mentioned above with my family one day. Of course, that would be right after we’ve visited many equally amazing sites here in the country!

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25 Comments

  1. I loved reading your post. I didn’t know that bit about “it’s illegal to be fat in Japan”. Whoa! I think that the fine is a good motivator. It’s a win-win situation anyway if you lose the fat then you don’t get find plus you live longer. With a weather like Japan, I’d probably be encouraged to clock in more hours of running because it’s not as humid as the Philippines. Asia has so much to be proud of and I am glad I am Asian after reading your post.

  2. Thank you for this list. I come to know a few from previous readings, but a first time to hear about the tradition in India re throwing the baby 50ft from a building. It also surprises me to know that Japan has certain weight limit, perhaps one of the reasons they have a number of old citizens living longer than the usual.

  3. Wow! What an interesting post! Seemed like you knew so much about Asia. I have learned a lot from this one. And this is worth sharing. Now i don’t want to live in japan if its illegal to be fat! Now i know why i seldom see Japanese who are fat! They are mostly skinny!

    1. These sure are fascinating! On the contrary, I would love to live in Japan. I guess nothing will motivate me to stay in shape that getting jailed for being fat! :D

  4. Woah! I didn’t know some of these even if I am from Asia myself. Baby throwing in India is a little shocking. I have a 3 month son who’s so delicate and fragile that even if I want to raise him up the air , i am just afraid to do so.

  5. I’m from Asia and I don’t even know half of the this that were written here, hence “10-things-you-didnt-know-about-asia”. it was fun reading this list :) thank you for sharing it online. at least now I’m aware of it haha

  6. Wow. I certainly did not know some of the ones listed here. I got shocked with “illegal to get fat in Japan” and the “canned air in China”. Maybe, that’s why the Japanese live longer than most because they eat healthy and be healthy. But, I couldn’t get why sell canned air. HAHAHA. They could just start cleaning and doing something about the environment.

    1. I did not know that, either. But now that I think about it, it is probably why you won’t see any overweight Japanese citizen! Yes, canned air sound a bit far-fetched but it probably shows the magnitude of air pollution in China. I sure hope their government can find ways to clean up the environment and soon!

  7. This made me proud to be in Asia and being raised and born in Asia. I didn’t recognize that Asia is truly an interesting continent after reading your blog post. I would love to explore other countries in Asia as soon as I’m done in the Philippines. One county at a time, doing it solo.

    1. That sounds really interesting! I sure hope I can go backpacking one day with my boys or on my own, whichever works best for me! Yes, exploring it one country at a time is a great idea, and best to start with the Philippines! :D

  8. This is a great list of things I would definitely want to know as I am from India. The pictures are really beautiful. Asia is beautiful and there is so much to explore.

  9. Amazing trivia. I never thought North Korea celebrates Dec. 25 for a different reason, sad. And there was actually a law against being fat, but I find this good since it forces people to stay fit, haha!

    1. Yes, I thought it would also do Filipinos good if the government will implement a similar law, although, I am sure I will have a hard time keeping the fat at bay! :D

  10. wow… i learned so much from this post.. I am proud to be Asian ..
    I never thought that it is illegal to be an overweight in Japan haha.. naku my mom pala cannot stay there for good LOLs
    thanks for such interesting trivia ^_^

  11. Oh my gosh what an amazing post! I didn’t know nearly all of them! As a mom, reading about that ritual of throwing babies off 50 stories up is just insane! I have no idea if I would really allow my child to be thrown off from such a height (although I might feel differently if it’s an accepted tradition in my town, but still!)
    This was just a great read. Scheduled it for sharing on my Twitter and my FB. Still amazed by it. Wonderful post!

  12. Interesting points. Yes, we Asians have such a contrast. Even our geographical and climatic conditions are so varied with freezing at Himalayas and hot and humid in seversl locations. And yeah, its funny but true, without Asian workforce, USA & Europe would have a very difficult time!!!

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