By now, we understand that Russia is big, it is the biggest country on Earth, but it’s still hard to comprehend exactly how big. To illustrate this point, we have come up with an example that may help you understand the sheer size of the country.
Simply put, Russia is almost as big as an entire planet. It is 17 million square kilometers, while the planet of Pluto is 16.6 million square kilometers. Yes, they are basically the same size. Try and wrap your head around that…
Women, Women, Everywhere
Over the past century, there have been more women living in Russian than men, a lot more. According to a 2018 countrywide survey, 10.5 million more women live in Russia than men. That makes women 54% of the population to men’s 46%.
So how did this happen? Although pretty much the same number of boys and girls are born each year, the females end up living much longer. Men after the age of 30 begin to pass away for a variety of reasons, including war, car accidents, industrial trauma, and more. This has left more older women around than men.
These interlocking dolls have become a symbol of Russia, and not many tourists who visit the country leave without purchasing one, but their origin actually has a strong connection to Japan. The doll was created by Sergey Malyutin, a crafts painter who was trying to design a Russian doll that would last for generations.
Many believe that he was inspired by the Japanese Daruma doll and that when he examined it, he discovered that it held a doll within a doll and so on. This clearly gave him a great idea, and that was how the first Matryoshka doll was born in 1890.
Russia is home to many rivers, lakes, and seas, and therefore it is no surprise that Russians are crazy about fishing and that fish are an important part of their diet. Every fisherman believes he has the best method, but Russians are experts in ice fishing. When the temperatures drop below freezing, and the lakes freeze over, they can finally get to work.
They start by cutting a hole in the ice with an ice saw, or slightly less convenient, an auger or a chisel. The lures they use include fatheads, wax worms, and crappies. Fishing in most places is known as a manly pastime, but in Russia, the women are just as avid to catch some fish as the men, and maybe even more so. So, if while visiting you see some women on the ice, there’s no need to be surprised.
The Mystery of the Amber Room?
One of the most expensive and exquisite rooms in the world once existed in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near the city of Saint Petersburg. It was dubbed the Amber Room because of the beautiful amber panels on the walls, which were adorned with mirrors and gold leaf.
When the Nazis invaded Russia in World War II, they dismantled the Amber Room and moved the pieces to the German city of Königsberg. Since then, its whereabouts have never been confirmed, and the fate of the priceless artifacts remains a mystery.
The Trashtag challenge is getting people together to clean things up, and that is something that everyone can get behind. It’s nice to see people looking up from their phones and actually getting something done, but the Russians have been doing the same thing for a little over a century, and they didn’t need a clever hashtag to do it.
One day each year, which is known as Subbotnik, the residents of every city get together and just clean it up as a community. They pick up garbage, fix things that are broken and take care of recycling. The tradition started not long after the Russian Revolution and has been going on ever since
Fraud is Rampant
In the United States, dashboard cameras are mostly used by the authorities, and the footage taken by them can mostly be seen in court or on Cops. In Russia, however, almost every car on the road has its own personal dashcam, and the videos from these cameras have become an Internet phenomenon.
In a country that is extremely large and in which law enforcement is oftentimes corrupt, the dashcams protect regular citizens from insurance fraud, in which motorists or pedestrians fake car accidents in order to collect the insurance money.
Part of the Family
If you are single while visiting Russia and end up meeting someone, take into account that you are not just gaining a significant other, but a whole new family. Russian families are extremely close and if one of them has chosen you, expect to be welcomed into the fold.
Typically, Russians are very supportive of their loved ones and will do almost anything for them. So when you get ready to meet the parents, don’t be surprised if you are promptly adopted into the family and treated like their own son or daughter.
Russia’s Massive Pipelines
Russia is not only big in size, but it is also rich in natural resources. It has one of the biggest petroleum industries in the world, with the largest reserves. It is also the leading exporter of natural gas and has the world’s second-largest coal reserves. All those gases need to be transported somehow, and Russia has developed an extensive network of pipelines. There are so many pipelines that if you put them all together, they would make a pipeline that is 259,913 kilometers long. The circumference of the Earth is only 40,075, so traveling through all of Russia’s pipelines is like going around the world six and a half times.
A National Pastime
Chess has been one of the most beloved games in Russia for hundreds of years. Historians have even been known to claim that Czar Ivan IV died in 1854 in the midst of a chess match. In 1917, when the Bolsheviks came to power, the game’s popularity increased, and it became Russia’s favorite pastime.
Russians love chess because they feel that the game represents their ideals. It is not a game of chance but requires skill and a carefully thought-out strategy. The state-sponsored its first national chess tournament in Moscow in 1921, and to this day, many of the best players in the world are Russian natives, including the current number five Alexander Grischuk.
Secret Russian Cities
There are some cities in Russia that you will never get the chance to visit. According to the rumors, Russia is home to about 42 cities that the Russian government has classified as secret. Apparently, only a handful of people in the country are privy to the names and locations of these hidden cities.
These special cities don’t appear on any map, and don’t plan on visiting them any time soon because it is against the law to even enter one of them. They are places in which metallurgy, military, and chemical industry take place and are known by the name ZATO, which stands for closed administrative-territorial entities. We know they are intriguing, but there’s no point in adding them to your travel itinerary.
The Shamanistic Island
Although once hugely popular, Shamanism has declined in most places in the world, but it is still alive and kicking on one isolated island in Siberia. The remote island of Olkhon still practicesThe island of Olkhon is a remote place that has preserved its Shamanic religious traditions, making it a unique and intriguing destination. It is also the third-largest lake island globally and is characterized by its forested terrain and low precipitation. Although the island has a small population, it has gained popularity among tourists due to its natural beauty and distinct cultural heritage.
In Russia, it is a common practice for people to take icy swims in freezing winter temperatures, with some individuals participating in this activity regularly for its perceived health benefits. This bold tradition has earned them the affectionate nickname “walruses.”
In Russia, giving flowers in even numbers is associated with funerals, so it is customary to present bouquets with an odd number of flowers as a gesture of romantic interest. Failure to adhere to this custom may lead to unintended offense and potentially jeopardize a romantic encounter.
The Hermitage Museum in Russia is home to approximately 70 cats, which serve as guard cats to protect the priceless artwork from potential rodent damage. This tradition dates back to the 1700s when Empress Elizabeth suggested the idea to safeguard the museum’s exhibitions.