Argentina is famous as the land of tango and the place where the best beef in the world comes from. However, what about the other facts about this country you didn’t already know?
The World’s Most Southerly City
The most southerly city in the world is the difficult to pronounce Ushuaia. Probably. Actually, the neighbours in Chile claim that their own Puerto Williams is the holder of this title but it only has a population of less than 3,000. Ushuaia, on the other hand, has a relatively mighty population of 64,000. If you are expecting a frozen wasteland next to the Antarctic then you are in for a surprise; it isn’t really all the far south after all. It lies around the 54o line, while the world’s most northerly cities pass the 70o line. Ushuaia has relatively mild temperatures and a host of tourist attractions including glaciers, a scenic train route and, err, a prison.
Che Guevara was Argentine
Ernesto Che Guevara was a Cuban hero, wasn’t he? Well, maybe he was but he wasn’t born in the land of rum and cigars. Instead, he was born in the Argentine city of Rosario in 1928, where he later studied medicine. Che wasn’t his name at all, but rather a generic Argentine greeting. His Motorcycle Diairies memoirs tell of how he set out from Rosario to explore South America on a motorbike before joining various revolutionary causes in Central America. Rosario is also the birthplace of soccer star Lionel Messi.
The Widest Avenue in the World
If you are ever in Buenos Aires and plan to cross the 9 de Julio Avenue I have a tip for you; take a pillow for a quick nap in the middle. This is a monstrous road that has 7 lanes in each direction at its widest point. It also has streets on either side and wide islands for pedestrians in the middle. The iconic Obelisco statue stands here and visitors to the city are likely to cross this mammoth avenue several times while they are here. You’ll probably need to wait on the traffic lights turning green 2 or 3 times during your epic trek to the other side of the road.
A Country of Extremes
The highest point on Earth outside of the Himalayas is to be found in – you guessed it- Argentina. Mount Aconcagua stands at a towering 6.962 metres, meaning that you might want to change out of your slippers and pyjamas if you plan on climbing it. Yet, you will also find the salt lake Laguna del Carbon here. At 105 metres below sea level this is one of Earth’s lowest points and possibly an ideal place for wearing slippers and pyjamas. The extreme temperatures in this vast land mean that it also holds the records for highest and lowest temperatures in South America.
Land of Dinosaurs
The film Jurassic Park wasn’t set here but it seems as though it could have been. The remains of many giant dinosaurs have been discovered here in recent years. For a start there is the slightly scary Dreadnoughtus Schrani, which is one of the biggest complete dinosaurs fossils ever found. This Argentine beauty weighed 65 tonnes and measured 26 metres (85 ft), making it the size of about 7 T Rex, 12 African elephants or millions of paper clips. Giganotosaurus is another type of huge dinosaur that lived here in the past and was similar to the T Rex in form. Perhaps the biggest of all was the stunning Argentinosaurus, which could have been as big as 38 metres (125 ft). The small Eoraptor, meanwhile, is the oldest predator dinosaur to have been discovered anywhere.