The rise of China is no secret, and the country has fascinated everyone with their dynastic cultures and technology. But one thing we can say with certainty is that they are a very different nation. Whether it's their lifestyle or their culture, the country can shock you in many ways. So, let's have a look at some bizarre and surprising facts you probably didn't know about China.
1. Don't Lower Your Chin
Soldier training in China is challenging from the start, as is the case with other countries. But they do things a bit differently.
During training, a pin is put in their collars which prevents them from lowering their chins.
2. Eating Dogs to Celebrate Summer
People in the southwestern city of Yulin eat dogs to celebrate summer.
According to the International Business Times, people believe that the tradition is supposed to bring good luck, and over 10,000 dogs are eaten during their winter solstice festivals.
3. Every Second in China, 50K Cigarettes Are Smoked
According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), China has about 300 million smokers and the country produces 42% of the world's cigarettes.
Moreover, smokers in the country puff 50 thousand cigarettes every second.
4. The Dam That Slowed Earth's Rotation
China has the Three Gorges Dam, which is the largest dam ever built in the world. The dam has the capacity to hold 39.3 cubic kilometers of water. So, how does it slow the earth's rotation?
According to Business Insider, "Raising 39 trillion kilograms of water 175 meters above sea level will increase the Earth's moment of inertia and thus slow its rotation."
5. 30 Days of Rest After a Woman Has Given Birth
In China, women have to sit in bed for 30 days after giving birth.
This is called 'sitting the month' and the mothers are obligated to avoid walking, taking a shower, or drinking cold water for 30 days.
6. Cave People Still Exist
Did you know that in this age of technology there are still about 30 million people in China that live in Caves?
They are forced to live there. In fact, they love their lifestyle.
7. Virginity Restoration Surgery in China
Believe it or not, there are many women in China who are fine with paying a lot of money for doctors to re-construct their hymens before marriage.
They do it before marriage so that their would-be husband doesn't find out about previous intercourse.
8. A Social Network for Plastic Surgery
China has a social network called SoYoung which is specifically for plastic surgery.
It is a Beijing-based social networking platform that connects people to share their surgery experiences. It also helps them connect with various plastic surgery clinics.
9. Keeping Crickets As Pets
Did you know that crickets are a commercially available food source in some parts of the world? If you haven't tasted cricket, you should know that it takes like nutty chicken.
In China, many kids often keep crickets as pets. Moreover, cricket fighting is a sport in the country which dates back to the 14th century. Beijing even hosts an annual Chinese National Cricket-fighting tournament.
10. Eggs Boiled in The Urine of A Boy Younger Than 10 Years Old
The tradition of boiling eggs in the urine of a boy younger than ten years old is recognized as a cultural heritage.
It is believed that consuming these eggs helps increase blood circulation in the body. The eggs are considered a special delicacy in the country.
11. KFC's Rip-Off
China has the original KFC, but it also has a rip-off with the name KFG. It may come as no surprise that China doesn’t have any competition when it comes to ripping-off famous brands.
From Adidas to Sunbucks, you'll find some of the most laughable brand copy-cats in the country. The best part of these copy-cats is that they don't even try to hide it.
12. China's Role in San Francisco's Pollution
China is a big country and it produces a lot of pollution. About 29% of the pollution in San Francisco comes from China alone.
According to a study in Environmental Science and Technology, the pollution in the city is due to the dust which travels from China over the Pacific.
13. Animals As Cosmetic Test Subjects
It is mandatory in the country to test every cosmetic product on animals.
This means that even the European and American cosmetics brands have to go under the law.
14. The Inventers of Toilet Paper Weren't The First To Use It
The Chinese invented toilet paper long ago. Although it was invented in 851 AD, they didn't use it, and nothing was written about their invention until the 14th century.
Romans were the first to use it because they could afford toilet paper made from giant sheets of soft fabric.
15. Judging A Book By Its...Weight
You may think that books with glossy pages and shiny hardcovers are expensive compared to books printed on recycled paper.
However, in China, none of this matters because they sell books based on their weights. That's pretty much the only criteria.
16. Half of the World's Pig Are In China
Chinese bacon which is quite popular in the country is made from pork belly and less frequently from the shoulder.
That explains why over one billion pigs are killed in China annually. China also exports the meat to other countries.
17. It is Mandatory to Visit Your Folks Regularly
Although thousands of citizens in China criticized the government for the "Elderly Rights Law," it was still passed.
The law was a way to prevent the growing loneliness of elderly people.
18. Observing Sunset At Midnight
In Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, people observe the beautiful sunset at midnight during the winter season.
It is because the country follows a single time zone which is Beijing Standard Time.
19. Giant Panda As A Loan
Did you know that most giant pandas in China are on loan? Well, it is because of their dwindling number that the government has started to be careful when it comes to giving them to other countries. According to China Daily, "Before 1982, giant pandas were given away to other countries by the Chinese government as a token of friendship and goodwill.”
According to Business Insider, American zoos will shell out up to $1 million dollars a year to rent just one. Most sign ten-year "panda diplomacy" contracts and if any baby cubs are born, they pay an additional one-time $400,000 baby tax."
20. Country with The Highest Skyscrapers
China loves skyscrapers and that explains why there are hundreds of skyscrapers in the country.
By the way, there are 300+ skyscrapers and 7,000 high-rise buildings in China.
21. Toilets without Toilet Papers
China has the world's largest population and that explains the reason behind so many toilets in the country. But the majority of the toilets do not have toilet paper in them.
So, if you go to a Chinese toilet, always take toilet paper with you.
22. Ghost Marriages
In China, there are ghost marriages in which a lady has to marry a dead man.
It sounds super creepy because the woman has to enter into the family and spend her life knowing about the dead.
23. The Origin of the Word 'Ketchup'
The concept of so many foods without ketchup is impossible. Did you know that the origin of this tasty word came from the Chinese word ke-tsiap which means a pickled fish sauce?
Moreover, ketchup was actually invented in the 17th century by the Chinese.
24. No, No, Yes
In China, if you want to accept the gift then first you'll have to decline it two or three times.
If you accept the gift without refusing it, then your behavior will be considered rude.
25. Sunrise at 10 AM
In some regions of China, you can actually see the sunrise at 10 am.
For instance, Urumqi is located 2,000 miles away from Beijing, and though they are many miles apart, they have to follow the same time zone. That's why many people in distant regions start their day way before the sun is up.
26. Want to Be Reincarnated? Get Permission
Since 2007, there is a new law that if you want to get yourself reincarnated, then you'll have to get official permission from the government.
The State Administration for Religious Affairs is behind this odd law.
27. Popular Chinese Dish That Translates to "Husband & Wife Lung Slices"
Don't start making assumptions about China after reading such a horrible name.
Don’t worry because it is just a mixture of cow offal and beef slices which is marinated in a bunch of spices.
28. Hair To Show Whether You Are Married or Unmarried
In ancient China, young women who were not married used to have simple hairstyles or their hair down to show that they were unmarried.
Traditionally, maidens used to braid their hair until they were 15-years-old and would wash their hair and pin it into a twist for a cultural event to declare the girl's eligibility for marriage.
29. Chinese White Dolphins Are Often Pink
Chinese White Dolphin is the other name for the Indo-Pacific Humpbacked dolphins.
These beautiful sea creatures have spots of green skin that turn to a pinkish color as they grow.
30. China Once Banned Playstation
Chinese are hardworking people and they are always focused on education and development.
So, it wasn't a big surprise when the government banned Playstation because they didn't want children to waste their time playing video games.
31. Chivalrous Chinese Men
You can often find Chinese men holding purses for ladies as it is an act of love and respect.
It is not only the Chinese but also an Asian culture to not let women carry the weight.
32. Trained Pigeons for the Army
The People's Liberation Army in the central city of Chengdu has a unit of trained pigeons. The pigeons are known for being smarter than domestic pigeons.
“They will be primarily called upon to conduct special military missions between troops stationed at our borders," said Chen Hong, an air force expert, to China Central Television (CCTV), the state broadcaster. The pigeons have surely come a long way from delivering messages.
33. You Can Become a Professional Bra Expert
If you are a student in China and you like bras, you can major in bra studies and pursue a career in it.
Becoming a professional bra expert is possible, and you will also get a degree that can be attained at Hong Kong's Polytechnic University.
34. Drinking During Business Deals is Appreciated
Here is a fact about China that party lovers would love. According to Global Times Canada, in Chinese business, success is often related to alcohol.
That's why the boss or business partners don't mind drinking during business deals.
35. China Has The World's Largest Army
With a population of over 1.4 billion, it is understandable that the country has the largest active force level.
The Chinese military forces have also increased their funding by 10% in the last ten years.
36. Extended New Year's Celebrations
Unlike the rest of the world, China celebrates the New Year with 15 holidays.
The Chinese tradition is full of celebrations that extend to half-a-month, and there is a complete public shutdown during this time.
37. One Billion People Watch News
It has been made mandatory since 1978 for all television channels to broadcast a special news program that is about 30 minutes long.
The program is run by China Central Television, and given the humongous population of the country, it is most-watched news in the entire world.
38. China Invented Football
It is believed that football was invented in China about 2,200 years ago.
They used to call it 'Tsu' Chu.' This term meant kicking balls. The balls back then were made of stuffed hair and feathers into a leather masking.
39. There is No Facebook in China
Yes, you've read it right. Facebook has been banned in the country since 2009. After the July 2009 Ürümqi riots, China completely banned Facebook.
It is because it was found that Xinjiang independence activists were using the social platform to plan their agenda.
40. No Film Rating in The Country
There is no set system in the country which checks whether the movie is appropriate for a certain age group or not.
Instead, there is an advanced committee that comprises 36 members, and they are responsible for cutting down any content from the film that is obscene.
41. Pirated Software Installation
In the year 2010, about 78% of software the Chinese people installed was pirated.
According to the BSA's EMEA compliance marketing director, Julian Swan, "The market is being driven by emerging countries, which also have higher piracy rates," He went on to say, "But it is the high-piracy countries that are now the engine of the software industry."
42. Wearing Gloves While Eating Fat-Rich Food Items
In China, you can see many people eating fat-rich foods with gloves on their hands.
It is because many restaurants and food chains don't want fat stains to ruin their customers' clothes.
43. Alice in Wonderland Was Once Not Welcomed In China
Here is a fact that'll make you laugh. Alice in Wonderland was once banned in China due to a strange reason.
The Hunan banned it because General Ho Chien thought that it was insulting that the animals are talking and acting like humans.
44. Sock City
Datang is known as the Sock City of China. Do you know why? Obviously, socks.
Well, the city has a justifiable name because it produces 70 percent of China's socks and about 30 percent of the world's socks.
45. Chinese Were the First to Know that the Heart Pumps Blood Throughout the Body
The Chinese discovered that the human heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body.
It is only fitting that they now have the technologies to make an artificial human heart.
46. China's Amazingly Long Railway Line
Did you know that you can loop around the earth not once but twice by using the railway line of China?
China has extensive railway tracks so intertwined that they look like a web of iron logs from far away.
47. Expensive Summer Olympics in China
In the history of the Summer Olympics games, the most expensive games were hosted in Beijing.
It is believed that the cost of hosting the games was about $40 billion.
48. Expected Male Population Boom
As per the 2017 statistics of the population in China, men outnumber women by about 32.66 million.
It is expected that the population of men will exceed by 30 to 40 million by 2020.
49. Lucky Bats
Unlike most countries, Chinese people consider bats as a symbol of luck.
It is because there are many legends of bats bringing good luck and prosperity in the Chinese culture.
50. God Bless China for Giving Us Green Bean Flavored Popsicles
If you haven't tried the green bean flavored popsicles, then we urge you to go find them and try them out for yourself.
It is a perfect combination of condensed milk with green and red beans. We are confident you will love it.
51. Mirror Protection From the Devil
In ancient China, people used to believe that mirrors provide protection to their owners from the devil.
The people thought that mirrors had supernatural powers that help protect against the dark spirits.
52. The Power of Phoenix
According to many Chinese legends, the Phoenix represents the empress of feminine power.
Thousands of years ago, people used to believe that the phoenix symbolized affluence and peace.
53. The Practice of Concubinage By The Rich Men
The practice of concubinage continued until the Communist Party took control of China in 1949.
It was then declared that it would be socially disrespectful for a male to have any relationship with another woman other than their wife.
54. Every Chinese Year Is Represented By A Zodiac Animal
The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle and there is an animal signature for every lunar cycle.
These signs are in the following order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.