Of course it is the end of yet another year. The sun still shines in the sky, the Earth still circles it and life goes on, but would it not be nice to know some fun facts about this beautiful blue planet we live on? In any case, here are a bunch of number one's that you might not have known about.
The world's hottest place: Death Valley National Park
The highest air temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134 degrees Fahrenheit, at Death Valley National Park on July 10, 1913.
The world's coldest place: East Antarctic Plateau
On the high ridge of the East Antarctic Plateau, the temperature can drop to as low as -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in August, 2010.
World's most populated city: Shanghai
At a whopping 24,150,000 permanent inhabitants, Shanghai is the single city that is home to the most people in the world.
World's least populated city: Vatican City
With a paltry population of 842, the city-state of Vatican City is the smallest city and state in the world.
World's wealthiest city: Tokyo
That tower might as well be made of gold, since Tokyo tops the charts with a GDP of $1,520 billion (only beating New York by a mere $310 billion).
World's poorest city: Kinshasa
Kinshasa is probably the poorest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the poorest country in the world, at a GDP of $55 billion. Many of its residents live on less $1 a day.
Highest point in the world: Mount Everest
Towering 29,029 feet in the air, the top of Mount Everest is the closest you can get to touching space, while still standing on Earth.
Lowest point in the world: Challenger Deep
The lowest known natural point in the world is Challenger Deep, 35,797 ft below sea level at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Only three people have ever made it to the bottom, one of which was filmmaker James Cameron.
Most photographed place: The Guggenheim
Photos have always told stories, but in today's world of cell phone cameras and social media, that story is relayed as data to companies who monitor everything we do. Geotagged data was culled by Sightsmap using a Google-based image sharing software, and can now show us the most photographed places in the world, right down to the landmark. The Winner? The Guggenheim in New York.
The world's most popular country: Germany
The results of the annual BBC World Country Rating Poll are in, and Germany came out on top as the most positively viewed country in the world among people probably under the age of 85 (at a 59% positivity rating).
The wettest spot on Earth: Mawsynram, India
Rainwise, anyway. In Mawsynram, India, it rains an average of 467.35 inches per year, and with a record of 1000 inches in 1985.
The driest spot on Earth: The Atacama Desert
The 600 miles of South America's Atacama desert is the driest place on Earth, no contest. The Desert sees an average of 4 inches of rain every thousand years. Yes, you read that right.
Sunniest Place on Earth: Yuma, Arizona
In Yuma, Arizona, the sun shines for an average of 11 hours a day. Its forecast is sun for 90 percent of the year, averaging a total of 4015 daylight hours a year.
Most expensive city to live in: Singapore
The new champion of the world, Singapore has recently beat out Tokyo for the title of "most expensive city" for 2014. Cars can cost between 4-6 times in Singapore what they cost in the US or UK (for example, a Toyota Prius actually costs about $150,000.00 there).
Least expensive city to live in: Mumbai, India
At the other end of the spectrum, Mumbai, India, is the cheapest place to live in the world, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living Index 2014. For some perspective, a loaf of bread that would cost $3.36 in Singapore, would only cost $0.91 in Mumbai.
Country that consumes the most food: United States
I suppose there must be a reason why Americans have a food-related reputation when it comes to other countries: we eat an average of 3,770 calories a day each.
The world's oldest city: Damascus
There's quite a bit of controversy over which city gets to officially claim the title of "oldest continuously inhabited city." With evidence of civilization that extends back over 11,000 years, Damascus in Syria is probably the safest bet.
Youngest country in the world: South Sudan
The people of South Sudan were formally recognized as an independent country in 2011, making it the youngest country in the world to-date.
The world's most visited city: London
After a several-year bout with Bangkok, London has regained its place as the world's most visited city (according to MasterCard's 2014 Global Destinations City Index). The city sees about 18.69 million international visitors annually, generating $19.3 billion in revenue.
The world's least popular country: Iran
On that same rating scale, Iran has come in dead last (at a 59% negativity rating). Only 15% of people polled viewed Iran in a positive light.
The world's most dangerous city: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
In San Pedro Sula, Honduras, there are over 3 murders a day. The violence stems from the city's role as a major hub for illegal drug and arms trafficking.
Most caffeinated country in the world: Sweden
The coffee in Sweden will put a spring in your step, and hair on your tongue. The Swedes consume an average of 388 mg of caffeine in coffee per person, per day (that's almost 5 Red Bulls).
Most drunken country in the world: Belarus
In Belarus, each person above the age of 15 drinks an average of 4.62 gallons of alcohol every year.
The most bicycle friendly city in the world: Groningen, Netherlands
By comparing cities along the criterion of average number of bicycle trips made daily, one city reigns supreme: Groningen in the Netherlands. In Groningen about 50 percent of the population commute via bike daily, making it the city with the greatest proportion of cyclists on the planet.
World's most energy efficient city: Reykjavik, Iceland
All of the energy and heat used by the citizens of Reykjavik Iceland come from geothermal plants and renewable hydropower, making it the most sustainable and energy efficient city in the world. On their mission to be completely free of fossil fuels by 2050, the city has also been replacing traditional buses with hydrogen-fueled buses, from which the only emissions are water.
Most cat friendly country: United States
With a pet cat population of 76.43 million feline friends, the United States dominates the world stage for most cat friendly country in the world.
Most dog friendly country: United States
Similarly, America more than doubles the amount of pet dogs any other country has, with a dog population of 61.1 million.
Most sexually satisfied country: Switzerland
Switzerland might just be the most progressive and least sexually repressed country in the world. Between liberal views on pornography and prostitution, and sex ed that starts in Kindergarten, over a fifth of the population consider their sex-lives "excellent." They even recently opened up a very successful array of tax-funded drive-in sex boxes in Zurich. Bonus, in spite of all this, Switzerland also holds the title as one of the lowest teen birth rates in the world.
Least sexually satisfied country: Japan
With its extreme conservatism, Japan is the country with the least sexual satisfaction, as only 15% of individuals reported having a fulfilling sex life. Furthermore, over 45% of Japanese women report being either uninterested in, or actually despising, sexual contact.
Most emotional country in the world: Philippines
Polling citizens in 150 countries over the years of 2009-2011, researchers found that the people of the Philippines were the most likely to respond emotionally to simple questions about their day.
Least emotional country in the world: Singapore
That same study revealed that Singaporeans experience the least emotion on the day-to-day. Only 3 out of every 10 reported having any emotional reactions to basic scenarios or when describing their days.
Country with the longest life expectancy in the world: Monaco
According to the World Health Organization's study from 2013, Monaco tops the charts for longest living citizens, with an average life expectancy of 87.2 years. Men in Monaco live an average 85.3 years, and women live to an average of 89 years.
Country with the shortest life expectancy: Sierra Leone
On the other side of that coin, the population of Sierra Leone live to an average of 47 years. The men of Sierra Leone live to an average of 47 years old, whereas women live an average of 48 years.
Sexiest country in the world: Brazil and Australia
There will always be a debate about which countries are home to the most attractive people, in part because who's to say what is objectively attractive? Though the means are hardly scientific, a recent poll found quite a disparity between which countries men believe are the sexiest, and which countries women find the sexiest. For men, Brazil tops the charts for the most attractive people. For women, it's about the thunder down under in Australia.
Most stressed-out country in the world: Nigeria
By looking at the dimensions of Homicide Rate, GDP per capita, Income inequality, Corruption, and Unemployment, one thing is clear: Nigeria is hands-down the most stressed out country in the world.
Least stressed-out country in the world: Norway
Along the same dimensions, Norway was at the far-end of the other side of the spectrum, and is deemed the least stressed-out country in the world.
Country with the highest average IQ: Hong Kong*
There are a lot of factors that can affect an IQ score, ranging from national and personal wealth to simply who makes the test. As a result, these findings are highly controversial, but seem to suggest that Hong Kong is the country* with the highest IQ, at an average of 107 points.
*Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China meaning that it falls within the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China, yet does not form part of Mainland China, and has it's own government.
Country with the lowest average IQ: Equatorial Guinea
According to "IQ and the Wealth of Nations," Equatorial Guinea caps the low end of the global IQ range, with a national average of 59 points.
World's most well-connected city (for internet): Seoul, South Korea
Surprisingly, despite it's 618 million internet users spending an average of 18.7 hours a week surfing the net, China didn't even make the top 10. Along the dimensions of average connection speed, availability (weighted towards free access), openness to innovation, support of public data, and privacy/security, Seoul in South Korea is the champion of internet-connectedness. With 10,000 government supported free WiFi spots dotting the city, and an internet speed that goes unchallenged globally, Seoul is an internet junkie's paradise.