Ten fun, fantastic and funky facts about Brazil

Brazil is the country to watch right now, with the World Cup in full swing and the 2016 Olympics only a few years away.

Brazil is the country to watch right now, with the World Cup in full swing and the 2016 Olympics only a few years away. We’ve gone crazy for all things Brazilian – cocktails, clothes, music, waxes (you know who you are) – but how much do you really know about the it country of the summer?

Here are ten fun and bizarre facts to get you in the know.

Brazil is one enormous country.

In fact, it’s so big that it covers three different time zones. Prepare yourself for extreme jet lag and lots of general phone-home style confusion.

There are more than 2,500 airports in Brazil.

Just to give you something to compare with, we have around 60 here in the UK. Measly, huh? I bet some of you just changed your mind about that new runway at Heathrow. Not that it’s a competition, or anything.

Brazil has more species of monkey than any other country in the world.

Whether it’s a chimpanzee or Curious George you’re looking for, Brazil has it.

Every single city in Brazil has at least one football stadium.

And I mean stadium, not a field with some goal posts and plastic seats behind them. That explains why soccer is the country’s national sport, and why the Brazilian team have won the World Cup more than any other country.

Brazil is home to the world’s widest road, the Monumental Axis.

Here, you can drive alongside 150 other cars, which is just insane if you think about it properly.

Sao Paulo is the city with the greatest population of Japanese people outside Japan itself.

Not really a fact about Brazil, but just think about how good hybrid Brazilian sushi would taste?

In the city of Laguna, the waters are too cloudy for fisherman to see below the surface.

But don’t fear, because the fishermen have bonded with the local dolphins (yes, that’s what I said) to create one killer fishing team. The dolphins signal to the humans when the fish are in one place and when to cast their net out. Move over, Shamu, there’s a new star in town.

At a prison near Rio de Janeiro, a local designer has set up a scheme that uses the inmates to knit items for her clothing brand.

And this is a pretty scary prison – murderers, rapists, money launderers – but apparently they all love to knit. Forget high security, this is high fashion at its best.

One Brazilian city has put its empty favelas (slums) to good use, and is now home to nothing but stray dogs and abandoned puppies.

The charity So Ama (Just Love) uses the houses to keep the dogs safe and fed, instead of turning them onto the streets.

In Brazilian Portuguese, saying ‘tenho um pepino’ can mean both ‘I have a problem’ and ‘I have a cucumber.’

Try not to mix those up in a provocative situation, if you refer to it as a cucumber that is.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.