Argentina, or the Argentine Republic, is a country located in South America. Known most popularly for football, tango, and wine, Argentina also happens to be the eighth-largest country globally, right after India, with an area of 2.7 million kilometers, and the second-largest country in South America, after Brazil. With a population of nearly 46 million people, Argentina acquired independence from Spain in 1816 and is now a democratic republic.
Rich in rainforests, nature, plains, and wildlife, Argentina shares its borders with the Atlantic Ocean, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Uruguay. The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires, which is now an urban and metropolitan city. With Spain as its official language, Argentina is a Spanish-speaking country, but populations are well-versed in Italian, English, and French.
Argentina has a fascinating history and culture, and an aspect few people are aware of. Here are:
20 Fun Facts About Argentina:
1. Argentina Owns Parts Of Antarctica
One of the most fun facts about Argentina is that it owns approximately 965,000 square kilometers of land in Antarctica as of 1904. This area is known as Argentine Antarctica and is considered part of Argentina’s national territory. This is part of the Antarctic Treaty System, created to control Antarctica’s foreign relations, which is the only continent unhabituated by humans. According to the latest census of 2010, 230 natives are living in Argentine Antarctica.
Interestingly, the flag adopted for this area in 1999 is called “The Albatross.”
2. Therapy Is Common
According to statistics, more psychologists per head in Argentina than in any other country in the world. And around 50% of these can be found in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Apparently, there is a much lesser stigma in Argentina about seeking mental help than anywhere else.
A lot of experts cite the reason as Argentinians’ sense of introspection. Things are done more personally here, and people give more importance to individualism. In fact, even psychoanalysis, an almost obsolete practice in many countries, is common in Argentina.
3. An Unexpected National Sport
As it is home to Messi, Maradona, and an amazing soccer team that has won the World Cup twice, most people assume that Argentina’s national game would be soccer since it’s also the most popular sport in Argentina.
However, another one of Argentina’s fun facts is that its national game is actually Pato, as of 1953. Pato played on horseback is an amalgamation of the features of polo and basketball. Pato literally translates to duck, and that’s because, in earlier times, the game involved a living duck instead of a ball!
4. One Of The First To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
Argentina is the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in Latin America. This momentous day occurred on July 22, 2010. In doing so, Argentina was much faster than most developed countries to legalize same-sex marriage. According to a survey in 2017, around 65% of the Argentine population supported same-sex marriage.
5. World Famous For Wine…Now
It is a known fact that Argentina is synonymous with outstanding quality wine. In fact, Argentina is the world’s 5th largest producer of wine. One of the fun facts about Argentina is that its national liquor, too, is wine.
However, this wasn’t always the case. Back before the 1990s, the quality of the wine was compromised over quantity. This made the wine taste bad, and it needed to be served with soda or sparkling water to cover its bad taste. But manufacturing methods soon improved, and now people travel to Argentina to sip its world-famous wine and visit its scenic vineyards.
6. The Word Argentina Literally Translates To The Land Of Silver
Argentina is believed to be a Latin word, though it has Spanish, French, and Italian roots. However, in all translations, it means “the land of silver.” Early travelers believed that there was a mountain full of silver in Argentina. This myth was called the “silver mountains legend.”
The first time the word the Argentine Republic was listed in the constitution and made the legal name for the land was in 1826. During the 1900s, the word Argentina was used less and was later replaced by Argentina.
7. An Economic Crisis in 2001 in Argentina Resulted in 5 Presidents in 2 Weeks
Between December 20, 2001, and January 2, 2002, Argentina had five presidents, owing to a massive economic crisis that resulted in 13.2 billion dollars’ worth of debt. After financial prosperity in the 1990s, a series of unfortunate incidents involving a banking crisis and foreign loans aggravated its economic situation.
Protests and riots, which caused deaths of many lives, political mishaps, and an inability to diffuse the situation, resulted in presidents resigning one after the other in a period of just two weeks.
8. Residents Of Rosario Can’t Legally Name Their Kids After Messi
It’s not an unknown fact that football legend, Lionel Messi, hails from Argentina. However, what is lesser-known, and one of the most fun facts about Argentina, is that parents belonging to his hometown, Rosario, are forbidden by the law to name their child after Messi. This resulted from too many people using the name Messi, making officials worry that the town would be filled with too many Messis and cause confusion.
9. Tango Was Once Outlawed
One of the fun facts about Argentina, the popular country for Tango, is that the dance form was once forbidden. Tango was earlier viewed as inappropriate and seductive and performed only in low-lying streets and brothels. However, since the 1980s, tango has gained appreciation and recognition. Now, people come from all over the world to watch tango performances in Argentina.
10. Argentinians are Radio Lovers
Did you know that radio is top-rated in Argentina, even now? In fact, in August 1920, Argentina had its first-ever radio broadcast, which also happened to be one of the world’s first. It is estimated that people spend two hours a week listening to the radio on average, which is the highest among countries.
11. Political Parties Have Their Own Brands Of Beer
One of the most interesting fun facts about Argentina is that many political parties and leaders have beers named after them. This trend was started when a bar released a beer named Evita, after Evita Paron, former first lady, major political figure, and advocate for the suffragette movement. Following this, many parties got inspired and took out different beers named after themselves.
12. Most Plastic Cosmetic Surgeries In The World
Argentina is also known to be incredibly conscious of appearances and beauty. Thus, it is estimated that 1 in every 30 women in Argentina gets some cosmetic surgery done. Sadly, there is a flip side to this as well; more than 30% of the population of Argentina is estimated to have an eating disorder.
13. Argentina Is The Country Of Extreme Temperatures
The highest and lowest temperature in South America was measured in Argentina. The highest temperature of approximately 49 degrees Celsius was recorded in Rivadavia in 1905. The lowest temperature of approximately minus 32 degrees Celsius was recorded in Sarmiento in 1907.
14. Highest And Lowest Point In South America
The highest point, or highest mountain, in South America lying in the Western Hemisphere is Mt. Aconcagua, present among the Andes Mountain Range, at approximately 22,000 feet high. The lowest point in South America is The Valdés Peninsula, at 131 feet under sea level.
15. Home To A Unique Glacier
The Perito Moreno Glacier, which can be found in Patagonia, Argentina, is one of the biggest reserves where freshwater is naturally stored globally. Not only that, but it is also one of only three glaciers in the world that is growing bigger instead of shrinking down. Hopefully, it will keep on going this way!
16. First Country To Use Fingerprints As Evidence
One of Argentina’s unique, fun facts is that it was the first country in the world to identify fingerprints in a criminal case. In 1892, Necochea in Buenos Aires became the first town to identify a culprit through fingerprints. This happened after the murder of two young children. Upon investigation, the police came across a fingerprint on the door handle. They could use it to identify the killer, who happened to be the children’s mother.
17. Home To The First Cartoon In The World
One of the fun facts about Argentina is that it was the first country to create a full-length animated film in 1917. The man behind it was called Quirino Cristiani, and he became an inspiration to the master of cartoons himself, Walt Disney when he visited Argentina.
18. Argentina Had Two Women Presidents
Most modern and developed countries still have an abysmally low number of women in office, and even lesser have had a president. However, one of the lesser-known fun facts about Argentina is that it appointed its first female president in 1974. Isabel Peron, earlier vice president when her husband was in power, took over his position when he died suddenly.
In 2007, Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner was the first woman to be officially elected president. She served till 2015, before being reappointed as vice president until 2019. She was the second female president and third female vice president in Argentina.
19. More Than One-Third Population Is Italian.
Around 37% population of Argentina is believed to be of Italian origin. That percentage comprises almost 13 million people. This is said to be the second-largest population of Italians outside of Italy. This massive population is second only to Brazil.
20. The Earliest Plants Were Found In Argentina
A research team from the Argentine Institute of Snow, Ice, and Environmental Research, discovered that the earliest plants to have lived on land were in Argentina. These plants are called liverworts. They grew from green algae and were highly primitive with no roots. The researchers ascertained that these plants existed around 470 million years ago.
All in all, Argentina is a hub of culture, soccer, salsa, delicious steaks, great wine, and the perfect spot for a vacation or a football match! It also has a rich history and beautiful landscapes. If you’re looking for more interesting facts, click here to read more fun facts about Argentina. If you’re planning to visit Argentina, watch this video to get a detailed travel guide and prospective itinerary: