59 interesting and quirky things about Singapore you might not know
Even true blue Singaporeans may not know of these facts!
When it comes to knowing our own country, how many of us can be certain about what we actually know? Singapore might occupy only a speck in the map, but our country is full of surprises and quirks — many that even true blue Singaporeans might not know. Here’s presenting you with 59 interesting facts about Singapore that will definitely give you an edge in that next trivia quiz with your friends!
Well, without further ado in Singlish style…
59 Interesting Facts About Singapore You Might Not Know
Like that also can ah?
#1. Singapore has changed time zones 6 times since 1905! It should be at GMT +7.5 instead of our current time zone at GMT +8, which is still incorrect. Just so that we can be in sync with our neighbour, Malaysia.
#2. The Singapore flyer used to rotate in an anti-clockwise direction due to advice by Feng Shui masters. The direction was reversed.
#3. Singapore once experienced an all-time low temperature of 19.4°C on 31 January 1934. Shocking but true.
#4. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore unless you have a medical prescription.
#5. There’s a limit to tall buildings in Singapore and 280 to be exact!
Ya, this is the Singlish we’re talking about. And it’s not easy hor.
#6. Singaporeans speak Singlish (a local lingo) apart from the four official languages spoken in Singapore: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. But rather than it being a broken language, Singlish is a highly complicated English creole; it is not something you can instantly pick up. Especially for foreigners, it is extremely befuddling.
#7. That said, do you know that in a foreign country, you can pick out who is Singaporean based on how they speak — rather than how they look? Because Singlish is just so distinct.
It’s not a matter of being kiasu okay
#8. Singapore has the biggest Yakult bottles in Southeast Asia, which are the most expensive. Apparently, the size of the bottles has to do with the risk of contamination. In some countries like Malaysia and Australia, they come in smaller bottles to avoid contamination.
#9. When we think about the fastest sprinter in the world, we think of Usain Bolt. But what about the fastest pedestrians on the planet? We take the cake. Singapore ranks top with a walking speed of 10.55 seconds/ 60ft…which is approximately 6.15km per hour!
#10. In spite of its small size, the city has six digit zip codes!
Eh, never say earlier?
#11. Hands up if you know that there’s another Singapore in the World? The other Singapore is home to one of Michigan, USA’s famous ghost towns, buried deep under the shifting sands of Lake Michigan.
#12. Two new restaurants open in Singapore every day. Foodies unite!
#13. More Singaporeans are born in the month of October than any other month of the year. Now, that’s interesting.
#14. The shade of red on Singapore’s national flag is officially Pantone 032 for the red portion, and Pantone white for the white portion. Well, now you know.
#15. For most Singaporean properties, Airbnb rentals are illegal, especially to tourists.
Win liao lor.
#16. The biggest carpark award goes to SUNTEC CITY!
#17. The land of acronyms, hands down. From highways, government agencies, transportation modes to even our Ministers, we’ve got ’em all!
#18. An original sign beside Cavenagh Bridge (1869) — Singapore’s oldest bridge — warns that horses and cattle are not allowed to cross.
#19. One out of only five official Tintin shops in the world resides in Singapore’s Chinatown! The remaining four are in Japan and Europe.
#20. Singapore became the 117th member of the United Nations on 21 September 1965.
#21. Singapore’s national flower, The Vanda Miss Joaquim (an orchid) was chosen particularly for its vibrant colours, hardiness and resilience – qualities which reflect the Singapore spirit.
#22. Chinatown Complex Food Centre is by far the largest hawker centre in Singapore with over 260 food stalls! Mouth-watering much?
#23. Singapore pioneered the first F1 night race.
#24. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Singaporean kids are the smartest out of all, topping in the math and science global ranking.
#25. Singapore ranks topped the ease of doing business list according to the World Bank. After New Zealand, Singapore is the easiest place globally to do business, according to the World Bank.
Wah, you sure a not?
#26. Do you believe us when we say that you can find the National Anthem on the back of a S$1000 note in microtext? To uncover that mystery, all you need is a magnifying glass!
#27. Yes, Singapore is a garden city but do you know that there is a whopping two million trees planted along our roadsides, in parks and state land?
#29. Singapore’s Night Safari is the world’s very first night zoo.
#30. Our favourite Old Chang Kee curry puffs are not made by anyone by that name, but by Hainanese immigrant Chang Chuan Boo.
#31. Did you know that you can sit in for movies at Changi Airport that screen films 24/7? And for FREE? Check out Terminals 2 and 3 for some 2D goodness! If that’s not up your alley, check out the 4D cinema in Terminal 4.
#32. Know your five C’s of Singapore? Car, cash, credit card, condominium and country club — what Singaporeans define as the ultimate success.
#33. The world’s youngest person that passed the GCE ‘O’ Level Chemistry paper goes to a Singaporean child. He’s none other than 7-year-old Ainan Celeste Cawley, and Physics at 9.
#34. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site if you didn’t already know!
#35. The World Toilet Organisation (WTO) was founded by a Singaporean called Jack Sim.
#36. Toa Payoh was the first MRT station in Singapore. The station was completed on 5 August 1985.
Really ah! Ya really.
#37. Singapore takes its toilets very seriously; there is an actual law against it. You can be fined $150 if you get caught not flushing the toilet and then leaving. What a fine country.
#38. Some lifts are fitted with urine detectors in Singapore so don’t do any funny business!
#39. In the 1970s, a ban on long hair in males once existed in Singapore. It was a response to the growing popularity of the hippie subculture worldwide.
#40. Singapore is the 6th-least corrupt country in the world!
#41. Singaporeans are amongst the most sleep deprived, worldwide. We are the 3rd most sleep-deprived of the 43 cities profiled in a report from Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
#42. Wonder why the distance between Yio Chu Kang and Khatib is so long? Turns out, there could have been a Disneyland in Singapore!
#43. In Singapore, parking attendants are lurking everywhere even if you don’t see them.
#44. The longest human tooth ever extracted was from a patient in Singapore, in 2009. It measured 3.2 centimetres in length.
#45. Singapore is one of the three city-states in the world that are still surviving! Gasp. Monaco and Vatican City round up that list.
#46. The towers in Suntec City are built in the shape of a palm of a hand that symbolises good “Feng Shui”.
#47. Remember Singapore’s mascot, Singa the Lion that promotes kindness among Singaporeans? Unfortunately, he had to resign with a heavy heart. He also wrote and signed a heartwarming resignation letter.
#48. Bukit Timah hill consists of more varieties of trees than you can find in the entire of the North American continent.
#49. Singapore decides what topics are “Out of Bounds” for public discussion and debate. If you want to give a speech here, you’ve got to learn these OB markers first.
#50. Despite our lush greenery, Singapore is known to many as a concrete jungle.
#51. 80-90% of Singaporeans reside in public housing. An unprecedented proportion anywhere in the world.
Got good stuff must share
#52. Singapore is home to many hipster neighbourhood hangouts such as Tiong Bahru, Haji Lane, Jalan Besar and more!
#53. There’s a museum in Singapore called the Singapore Philatelic Museum that’s dedicated to all things Stamps! Coolios!
#54. The world’s tallest indoor waterfall is found at Gardens By The Bay, in Singapore. A towering 35 metres high in fact!
#55. Islands like Pulau Biola (Violin Island) or Pulau Jong (Junk Island) exists in Singapore.
#56. Singapore and Brunei have fixed interchangeable rates! In essence, one Brunei dollar is equals to one Singapore dollar.
#57. In March 2015, 50 items representative of Singapore were sealed in a SG50 time capsule and will only be opened in year 2065!
#59 Our Singlish words have made it to the Oxford dictionary! And there are a total of 27 words officially in it.
We hope these interesting facts about Singapore have shed more light about this sunny island.
Know more interesting facts about Singapore that we don’t? Share them in the comments below!