Are you currently planning a trip to Chile and would like to know really interesting information about that country you won’t find in any travel guide?
We collected the 15 most amazing and interesting facts about Chile you could think of so make sure to check them out. Do you know why NASA really likes the Atacama Desert in Chile for testing its Mars rovers or where the largest earthquake ever recorded took place? We tell you all the facts!
1. Due to its extreme dryness, the Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the best environments on Earth for testing the conditions of Mars. Even NASA Mars rovers are tested there as the Atacama Desert mimics the conditions of Mars as best as possible.
2. Chile is home to the Easter Island. It is most famous for its nearly 1,000 monolithic human figures called „moai“. They have been carved by the Rapa Nui people between the years 1250 and 1500.
3. Chile is the world’s longest country from north to south measuring at 2,653 miles (4,270 kilometers).
4. The origin of the word Chile is still unclear. Some people think it derives from the Native American word “chilli” which may mean “where the land ends” but others think it may come from a valley in Peru close to Chile named “Chili”.
5. The Atacama Giant in Chile is the largest prehistoric anthropomorphic figure in the world. The anthropomorphic geoglyph is located in the Atacama Desert, Chile and has a length of 390 feet (119 meters).
6. Chile has the largest permanent civilian settlement on the continent of Antarctica. It is called Villa Las Estrellas and it has a summer population of 150 and a winter population of 80.
7. The city of Ushuaia in Argentina claims to be the southernmost inhabited city in the world. Only Puerto Williams and Puerto Toro in Chile are more southern but do not have enough inhabitants to be considered as city.
8. In Chile wives and husbands do not share the same last name. Instead wives keep their maiden names.
9. At 3,324 feet (1,013 meters) in length the swimming pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile was the largest swimming pool by area in the world at the time of completion in 2006.
10. Pudús are the world’s smallest deer and can only be found in Chile and Argentina. They range in size only from 13 to 17 inches (32 to 44 centimeter).
11. The world’s largest earthquake ever recorded took place in Chile on May 22nd, 1960. It was assigned a magnitude of 9.5 and is known as the “Great Chilean Earthquake”.
12. The Atacama Desert in Chile is receiving less precipitation than any other desert in the world including the polar deserts. The average rainfall in some locations there is only about 0.04 inches (1 millimeter) in a year.
13. Of Chiles 5,100 species of flora and fauna more than 2,500 can be found nowhere else on Earth.
14. Found in Chile the “Chinchorro mummies” are the oldest artificially mummified human remains ever discovered. The oldest Chinchorro mummy found dates from around 5050 BC.
15. The Gran Torre Santiago tower in Santiago de Chile is the tallest building in South America. It measures 984 feet (300 meters) in height making it also the fourth-tallest building in the southern hemisphere.