What characteristics of a country define it as weird? There is nothing formal about the phrase itself; there is no agreed-upon way to quantify a country’s strangeness. And remember, strangeness is frequently subjective.
One culture’s peculiarities may look quite normal to another. In addition, every country has its peculiarities; chances are, even your own is unusual.
Having said that, it is hard to deny that some nations are stranger than others. Some countries truly stand out, whether it is because of their unusual history, geography, or the peculiar ways in which their people celebrate Christmas.
Despite the pejorative associations with the word strange, the authors of this paper take a neutral stance. When we say something is weird, we do not always infer it is evil.
Although certain national eccentricities are less than desirable (North Korea comes to mind), cultural diversity is often something to be embraced as contributing to humanity’s colourful tapestry.
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The weirdest country in the world: Vatican City / Holy See
Although every country has its unique quirks, the Holy See (Vatican City) may have more and more pronounced oddities than any other on the planet.
While weirdness cannot be measured with any precision, it is hard to think of a nation that might be seen as stranger than this one, which houses the Vatican.
- In terms of both area and population, it is the smallest nation in the world.
- Even though the Holy See and the Vatican City State are sometimes seen as a single entity, they are essentially two distinct political institutions with complementary functions.
- Only three countries in the world, including this one, are wholly contained inside another country (in this instance, Italy) (Rome).
- Males make up approximately 95% of the population, and most of them are clergy.
- A total of three security troops are at its disposal. Saint Peter’s Square is patrolled by the Roman police, the remainder of the grounds by the “Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State,” and the pope and his residence palace by the Swiss Guard, a select group of Swiss troops.
- It also lacks its jail system, therefore it sometimes uses those in Italy.
- The Vatican is headed by an elected monarchy, giving the Pope similar powers to those of a king.
- It is also unique among Christian nations in that God, not the pope, is the de facto head of state.
The second-weirdest country in the world: North Korea
North Korea is the world’s most secretive country, a totalitarian monarchy headed by Kim Jong-un, the only political party leader.
There is almost no access to the internet, all media outlets are state-controlled, outside travel is severely limited, and the government has a stranglehold over citizens’ everyday life.
- It is state policy to treat Kim Jong-un, the current leader of North Korea, as if he were divine, just as the country has treated his father and grandfather, who came before him.
- The government uses its control of the country’s broadcasting and print media to spread propaganda across the country. Among them are several outlandish tales praising Kim Jong-un, such as the claims that he bowled a perfect 300 on his first try, made 11 holes in one on his first try at golf, and was a possible Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2019.
- Those lucky enough to visit North Korea must follow their tour guide’s strict instructions on who and what they may interact with throughout their stay.
- To a significant extent, foreign trade with North Korea is restricted. Because of this, you will not find any McDonald’s or other Western fast food restaurants like KFC or Burger King, and it is also just one of two places in the globe where you will not find Coca-Cola. (Cuba is the other.)
- In recent years, rumours have circulated that North Koreans are only allowed to sport official haircuts. Photos purportedly showing the acceptable haircuts (about 15 per gender) were likely merely suggestion sheets like those seen at hair salons, it has been reported. Yet, the difficulty in verifying or refuting these stories is indicative of the country’s opacity.
A small list of the weirdest countries in the world
As was just said, there is nothing universal about the world’s nations. It just takes one peculiarity for the rest of the world to label a nation as odd. Sometimes the location has a role in this characteristic. On other occasions, the issue may be one of culture, ecology, or politics.
Weird geography countries:
- Russia — Despite the rarity of being one of the world’s transcontinental countries, this massive nation is the biggest country on both continents. Russia is the largest country in both Europe and Asia due to the size of its European territory. Not even another country on Earth can make that claim.
- Denmark — This small Scandinavian country has a land area of around 43,000 square kilometres (16,639 square miles), but it also has jurisdiction over Greenland, a vast foreign region with a land size of 266,000,000 square kilometres (836,330 square miles) bigger than its own.
- South Africa — South Africa is home to not just a separate nation (Lesotho), but also three different capitals: Pretoria (the seat of the president and the executive branch), Bloemfontein (the seat of the judiciary), and Cape Town (the seat of the legislature).
- Indonesia — In the same way, as Hawaii is made up of a collection of islands, so is this Oceanic nation. Strangely, and for good reason, no one can agree on the precise number of islands. It is estimated that there are at least 17,000 islands in Indonesia, however, estimates vary widely.
- Kiribati — Kiribati, like many other islands in the Pacific, spans all four hemispheres (North, South, East, and West) at once.
Countries having a weird culture or history:
- United Kingdom — The vestiges of the global empire that the British previously governed are what give modern England its unique character. The present monarch of England holds the position of monarch in 14 other nations as well. Several of them, notably Canada and Australia, are unlikely to have been on most people’s radar as having a queen. The Commonwealth of Nations, another peculiar relic, is an international organisation consisting solely of former British territory (54 of them, to be exact).
- United States — The United States has a population made up of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, earning it the moniker “Great American Melting Pot.” The initial colonists arrived from all across Europe in search of economic opportunity, religious freedom, or escape from oppression. There were already Native Americans living there. Slaves from Africa arrived, while people from Asia and Mexico came for the gold rush in 1849. Open immigration rules and the chance of a new life drew people from all over the globe.
- Romania — This Eastern European nation is weird in the best possible manner for Halloween since it contains the area of Transylvania, the birthplace author Bram Stoker picked for his fictional ruler of vampires, Dracula. The historical source for the name is Vlad III, a 15th-century conqueror also known as Vlad Dracula (“son of Dracul,” which was his father’s name and meaning “dragon”) and “Vlad the Impaler” for his preference for the use of the stake as a method of execution.
Also See: US Immigration by Country 2022
Weird ecological countries:
- Australia — 17 nations in the world are considered environmentally “megadiverse,” and one of them is the “land down under” in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition, Australia is home to more species that can be found anywhere else on Earth than any other nation. Australia is home to several fascinating and unique native animals, such as the koala, kangaroo, dingo, wombat, emu, and platypus.
- Madagascar — This island country off Africa’s eastern coast boasts a distinct environment with almost as many endemic species as Australia due to its remote location. More than a dozen types of lemurs and sifakas, as well as the cat-like fossa, panther chameleons, golden mantella frogs, and over a thousand kinds of orchids, are just a few of the unique animals and plants that can only be found in Madagascar.
- New Zealand — New Zealand is another country with a significant number of endemic species; its ecology developed without any apex predators. The kiwi is the most well-known of them; it is a plump, flightless bird with a large beak and shaggy brown feathers; the kakapo is a flightless parrot; and there are dozens of other species of birds, geckos, skinks, and shellfish.
- Brazil — The Amazon rainforest and river make up the bulk of this South American country’s area, making it a strong contender for the title of “best odd.” More than 2,500 kinds of insects, 16,000 types of trees (and 40,000+ plant species in total), and over 2,000 species of birds and mammals make the Amazon Basin the most biologically varied location on Earth. It is also believed that more uncontacted people live in the Amazon region of Brazil than anywhere else on Earth, with over a hundred distinct tribes of individuals who have never been exposed to the outside world.