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Welcome to The World Factbook
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, a World Oceans map, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.
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January 16, 2019
The Yucatan Peninsula is a huge land body extending north from Central America that divides the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea; it is shared by three countries. Can you name them? Various maps under the References tab will help you determine the answer.
January 10, 2019
These additional six common words - pains, plane, pure, rain, regalia, serial - can also be unscrambled to form the name of a country. How did you do?
January 03, 2019
Each of following six common words - also, chain, enemy, laity, mail, moan - can be unscrambled to form the name of a country. Did you get them all?
December 31, 2018
Although the three island groups that make up the Pacific nation of Kiribati only have a land area of 811 sq km, their 32 coral reefs and one coral island are dispersed across 3.5 million sq km of ocean and fall on both sides of the Equator and the 180th meridian. Kiribati thus is the only country in the world to fall into all four hemispheres (northern, southern, eastern, and western).
December 20, 2018
Did you know that Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean is the most remote island in the world (the farthest from any other point of land)? A territory of Norway, the island is 1,639 km (1,019 mi) from Antarctica.
December 14, 2018
There are 11 countries whose names begin with an 'A'; all but two of them also end with an 'A'. Can you name the two 'A' countries that don't end with an 'A'?
December 06, 2018
All of the Energy numbers, including those for "Electricity," "Crude oil," "Refined petroleum products," "Natural gas," and "Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy," have been updated with the latest data available.
November 28, 2018
The number of countries by continent varies greatly. Africa has the most with 54; South America only has 12. To find out how many countries compose the other four inhabited continents (Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania), and which countries appear on what continent, visit the 'World' entry and go to the Geography category>countries by continent.
November 21, 2018
While a number of countries around the world celebrate harvest festivals, several observe a special Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving in the United States takes place on the fourth Thursday of November and typically includes a turkey dinner, with lots of trimmings. Liberia, an African country settled by freed American slaves beginning in 1822, adopted a number of American customs including Thanksgiving. In Liberia, Thanksgiving celebrations occur on the first Thursday of November and the repast consists of roasted chicken, accompanied by mashed cassavas and green bean casserole.
November 14, 2018
Most maritime commercial cargo is containerized, and the distribution of container ports is a useful indicator of world maritime trade. The "Ports and terminals" entry in the Transportation section of the World entry has been updated to reflect the latest statistics on world container traffic. This entry includes the 20 largest container ports in the world as measured by the throughput of "Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units" or TEUs, twenty feet being the standard measurement of a cargo container. In addition, major container ports are listed in individual country entries with their respective throughput. Of the 20 largest container ports in the world, 15 are in East Asia, 3 in Europe, 1 in North America, and 1 in the Middle East.