Did you know...
- Singapore consists only of one main island and 63 other tiny islands. Most of these islands are uninhabited.
- Singapore is among the 20 smallest countries in the world, with a total land area of only 682.7 square kilometres. The USA is about 15,000 times bigger.
- Apart from Monaco, Singapore is the most densely populated country in the world, with 6,430 people per square kilometre.
- Singapore became the 117th member of the United Nations on 21 September 1965.
- Symbolism of the National Flag: Red symbolises universal brotherhood and equality of man while white signifies purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise and the five stars signify the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
- The national flower of Singapore, Vanda Miss Joaquim, was first discovered in 1893 by Agnes Joaquim, an Armenian. The orchid is a natural hybrid between V. teres and V. hookeriana.
- The Merlion, a half-fish, half-lion beast, is a fitting symbol of Singapore. The "Singa" or lion represents the animal that a Sumatran prince saw which resembled a lion, and the fish is a tribute to Singapore's history as "Temasek", the ancient sea town.
- Singlish, a Singaporean patois mixing English with the odd phrase of Chinese, Malay and even Tamil, has two entries - lah and sinseh - in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
- Although English is the official working language and the most widely used language in Singapore, the national anthem 'Majulah Singapura' is actually sung in Malay.
- The flying fox, the world's largest bat with a wingspan of up to 1.5 metres, can be found on Pulau Ubin, one of the islands off mainland Singapore.
- Singapore is a stopover point for thousands of migratory birds travelling the East Asian Flyway.
- The world's first night zoo, The Night Safari, is located in Singapore.
- Despite being largely urbanised, Singapore is the largest exporter of ornamental fish (25% of the world market).
- The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore contains more species of trees than the entire North American continent.
- The highest natural point in Singapore is Bukit Timah Hill, which is only 164 metres tall (Singapore has a very flat terrain).
- Buildings in Singapore cannot be higher than 280 metres. There are presently three buildings of that height: OUB Centre, UOB Plaza and Republic Plaza.
- The world's highest man-made waterfall, standing at 30 metres, is located at the Jurong Bird Park.
- The largest fountain in the world is located in Singapore at Suntec City. Made of cast bronze, it cost an estimated US$6 million to build in 1997.
- The buildings of Suntec City have been built in the shape of a palm of a hand symbolising good "feng shui".
- In 2003, Singapore's Changi Airport won the award for "Best Airport Worldwide" for the 16th consecutive year from the UK/Europe edition of the Business Traveller magazine.
- The Guinness book record for the longest human domino chain was set in Singapore on 30th September 2000. Formed by 9,234 students, it measured 4.2km.
- The world domino topple record (303,621 men) was set in Singapore on 18th August 2003 by a 24-year-old woman from China.
- The record for the biggest ever game of pass-the-parcel was set in Singapore on 28 February 1998. It involved 3,918 students removing 2,200 wrappers from a 1.5 x 1.5 x 0.5 m parcel.
- The record for the most number of people participating in line dancing was set in Singapore in May 2002 with 11,967 dancers.
- The Great Singapore Duck Race, an annual event that raises funds for charity, set a new world record in 2002 when more than 123,000 toy ducks took to the Singapore River.
- Russell Lee, a pseudonym for a team of ghost-writers, is the hottest-selling local author in Singapore. His 11 volumes of True Singapore Ghost Stories have sold more than 600,000 copies to date.
- The fastest selling book of all time in Singapore is Hello Chok Tong, Goodbye Kuan Yew: The Untold Story. Written and drawn by political cartoonist George Nonis, it sold 40,000 copies in two months.
- The highest grossing movie of all time in Singapore is Titanic, raking in S$6.65 million in 1997.
- The highest grossing locally made movie of all time is Money No Enough, raking in S$6.02 million in 1998.
- The first Singaporean film to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival was director Eric Khoo's 12 Storeys in 1997.
- British pop violinist Vanessa Mae Nicholson was born in Singapore and moved to England when she was four.
- More Singaporeans are born in the month of October than any other month of the year.
- The first population census taken in 1824 revealed that the total population was 10,683. The 2000 census showed that the population of Singapore is 4.2 million.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 Singaporeans live in public housing flats.
- The most common Chinese surnames in Singapore are Tan, Lim and Lee.
- Singapore has more than 3,000 kilometres of roads. Stretched end to end, they can cover the distance from Singapore to Hong Kong.
- 8 in 10 people in Singapore own cell phones. In fact, telecom companies issue new numbers at the rate of 30,000 to 40,000 per month.
- Singapore's best showing in the Olympic Games ever was a silver medal won by weightlifter Tan Howe Liang in Rome in 1960.
- Swimmer Ang Peng Siong was ranked world number one in the 50m Freestyle in 1982.
- The Singapore Sling was first served in 1915 at the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel. The ingredients are gin, Cointreau, cherry brandy, Dom Benedictine, pineapple juice, Grenadine, Angoustura bitters and limes.
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