12 Things You Might Not Know About Venezuela

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1. Venezuela’s name comes from the Italian word “Veneziola” that literally means “piccola Venezia” (little Venice). It was named so by the explorer Amerigo Vespucci who saw native stilt houses built in Lake Maracaibo, reminding him of Venice.

Castro water front houses on stilts

2. Lake Maracaibo which is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela at the northern end is the largest lake in South America and one of the oldest on earth (20-40 million years old).

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3. In Venezuela summer is every day of the year because the country only has two weather seasons: the hot and dry season and the hot and wet season. Regions of Venezuela also experience a meteorological phenomena called Catatumbo lightning, it only occurs at the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it meets Lake Maracabio. Lightining repeadedly strikes the lake for 10 hours at a time, for upto 160 days a year.

venezuela lightning

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Lightning of Catatumbo Venezuela

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4. Venezuela is blessed by Mother Nature; it has oceans, mountains, rivers, deserts, grasslands, canyons and forests. The country is considered one of the seventeen megadiverse countries that contain most of earth’s species.

venezuelan beach

5. The world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall, Angel Falls, is located in Venezuela. With a height of 3,212 feet it’s about 15 times taller than the Niagara Falls.

angel falls1

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6. The Monument to the Virgen de la Paz en Trujillo, Venezuela is the world’s highest statue of the Virgin Mary and the highest habitable sculpture in the American continent, being just inches taller than the Statue of Liberty and Christ the Redeemer.

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7. Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves (almost 300 billion barrels) and the world’s eighth largest proven natural gas reserves (almost 21,000 quadrillion cubic feet).

oil field

8. Because the government subsidizes the oil industry, Venezuelans enjoy the cheapest petrol in the world (about $0.01 per litter). Of course, nobody has it on budget; people just pay with the loose change they find in their cars.

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9. Baseball is Venezuela’s most popular sport and there has been a professional league since 1945. Besides that, many Venezuelan players have moved to the United States to play in the U.S. Major Leagues.

venezuela baseball

10. Venezuela is a multicultural and multiethnic country made up by immigrants that came from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, the Middle East, Africa and descendants of various indigenous groups.

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11. Maybe it’s because of its multiracialism that they say Venezuelan women are the most beautiful in the world. These beauty queens have won the Miss Universe title 7 times, Miss World 6 times, Miss International 6 times, and Miss Earth 2 times till date. With 21 major beauty pageant titles, Venezuela has won more than any other country in the world.

miss universe venezuela

12. Venezuelans eat Arepas at least once a week. In 2014, Thrillist.com ranked the Venezuelan arepas the world’s best breakfast; the truth is people in Venezuela eat arepas not only for breakfast, but for lunch, dinner and snack as well. Filled with super-savory white cheese, gouda cheese, fish, chicken, avocados, ham, eggs, pork or beef, this flatbread is truly the world’s best meal.

arepas

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