Whether you’ve lived on this island for 40 years or just 14 years, you’d never fail to find something intriguing about our island. Every day, I learn new things about our home ground and I know it’s cliché but Singapore never ceases to amaze me.
We’ve gotten a lot of flak recently from being ranked the unhappiest and least positive country in 2012 to being ranked the most expensive city to live this year. I say enough with that. Let’s focus on the things we do love about our country. Like these facts about Singapore that will amaze you.
Here’s 12 facts you never knew about Singapore!
1. You can find the national anthem in microtext on the back of the $1000 note.
You don’t really see these big bucks often but if you manage to get your hands on one, flip it over and see if you can spot the lyrics to the national anthem! I think it’s a pretty cool idea and I wish they’d do so for every other note.
2. Singapore has the biggest Yakult bottles in Southeast Asia
When I was younger, I used to pester my mother to buy me Yakult every time we went to the supermarket. They didn’t sell the packets with all Grape flavour back then so every time we bought it, I would rush to ‘chope’ the Grape flavoured one.
I’ve always hated how Yakult bottles are really small but actually, the Yakult bottles in Singapore are the largest compared to those overseas, and of course the most expensive. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind paying for a 500ml Yakult.
Oh, and it turns out, Hong Kong has the largest Yakult bottle at 100ml. Ours is only 80ml. But we still top the ranks in Southeast Asia. If you happen to travel and see a bigger Yakult bottle than that, do let us know!
3. There were no lions in this Lion City
We all know the story of how Sang Nila Utama, a Srivijayan Prince from Palembang saw a creature he thought was a lion and named the island Singapura which means Lion City in Sanskrit. But truth be told, there were no lions ever in Singapore.
It’s possible that the creature he saw was actually a tiger. Think about it! We could have been called Tiger City. That’s so strange…
4. Singapore is one of three surviving city-states in the world
There’s only three city-states in the world – Monaco, the Vatican City and Singapore! It’s weird to think that we don’t have a capital. I mean, it’d be pretty cool if Orchard Road became our capital but sometimes, meh. We’re also both a country and a state which I guess makes it easier when you want to insert your mailing address.
5. There’s a ‘Hug Me’ Coca-Cola machine in Singapore
Located at the National University of Singapore, the first ‘Hug Me’ Coca-Cola machine dispenses a bottle of Coke when a person wraps his or her arms around the machine! That’s just so cute!
Money definitely can’t buy love but it can sure get you some Coke to quench your thirst!
6. We have a Singapore version of David Beckham’s family
We don’t have David Beckham but we do have someone who’s pretty much similar to him and a legend in Singapore. So just who am I referring to?
Well, it’s none other than Fandi Ahmad of course. He was captain of the Singapore National Football Team from 1993-1997 and was the first Singaporean to play in Europe! His phenomenal achievements have made him so deserving of being a national legend.
He is no David Beckham but boy do they have the genes to boot. Just take a look at their family!
7. Cartoon Network thought Singapore was in Malaysia
Yes, you read that right. In Season 3 Episode 5 of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Terrence and Mac battle it out as to where Singapore was. If you watched the video above, you’d know that they got it all wrong.
It’s pretty embarrassing how despite being a highly recognized metropolitan city, some people still think we’re in Malaysia…and some still think we’re in China.
8. Singapore has changed our timezone 6 times since 1905
For 36 years, Singapore was 7.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In 1982, the Singapore Standard Time was redefined to be 8 hours ahead of GMT.
The story behind it is that East Malaysia was GMT +8.00 but West Malaysia was GMT +7.50. Malaysia decided to standardize their timing but it’d be awkward for Singapore to be the only one who’s 7.5 hours ahead of GMT. So, they changed it.
But come to think of it, have we being cheated of half an hour our whole lives? Food for thought!
9. We are the fastest walkers on this planet
According to a research by the British Council, Singaporeans have the fastest walking speed. On average, we walk a distance of 18 metres in 10.55 seconds. That’s approximately 6.15km in an hour!
Here’s a fun fact: That’s also how fast bumblebees fly. Guess that’s why they always say Singaporeans are busy bees…lol
10. The youngest person to pass the GCE ‘O’ Level Chemistry paper is a Singaporean.
Ainan Celeste Cawley was only 7 years and 1 month when he took the GCE ‘O’ Level Chemistry paper and passed, making him the youngest in the world to do so.
Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to a child prodigy. At 16 I was still trying to cope with the fact that I had to sit for a major exam, how did a 7 year old kid do it? It makes me feel quite incompetent.
11. A two-part episode of Hawaii Five-O was filmed in Singapore
If that doesn’t make you go ‘woah…’ then I don’t know what else would. I didn’t even know this happened! It’s rare that an international TV series would film their episode in Singapore. This was from the episode ‘The Year of the Horse’ in Season 11.
Wow, I wish shows like Modern Family or Big Bang Theory would film in Singapore…I can dream right?
12. There’s another Singapore in the World
Say what? Guess our name isn’t so special anymore. But alas, Singapore is also the name of Michigan’s famous ghost town.
Today, the town lives on only in the name of the Singapore Yacht Club which is located at the end of the town. Don’t get confused though, the yacht club back here’s called The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club!
So how well do you know Singapore?
If you already knew all the facts above then congratulations! You’re one super patriotic Singaporean! But if not then now you’ve got new facts to share with your friends!
If you know other cool, mind-blowing facts about Singapore that you’d like to share, feel free to comment below!