An island paradise, friendly people, elephants and a lovely climate. What more could you want? How about some facts about Thailand?
1. Fish appear to have evolved from swimming to moving, in an isolated cave in Thailand
The so-called waterfall climbing cave fish, also known as the cave angel fish, can latch onto surfaces and move itself as well as swim.
In fact, when looking closer at the cave angel fish, scientists found it walks in much the same ways as us vertebrates do.
2. Nestlé has used Thai slaves for producing cat food
Especially the seafood industry in Thailand is reported to be riddled with slave laborers.
Both unpaid and even abused workers have been found to aid Nestlé’s production of cat food.
3. The full name of the King of Thailand is 193 characters including spaces
Vajiralongkorn Barommachakkrayadisonsantatiwongse Deveshrathamrongsubariban Abhikhunuprakarnmahittaladuladej Bhumibholnaresvarangkura Kittisirisomburana Savangavadhana Barommakhattiyarajakumara.
While for English speakers, it might seem odd to have spaces in a first name, in Thailand, the thought is that words are considered fluid, and as such there are no spaces per sé in the Thai language.
4. Unruly police officers are made to wear pink Hello Kitty apparel
As the ultimate sign of shaming, the official police force in Thailand have taken to drastic measures.
An officer caught out of line will have to wear an armband in pink with Hello Kitty branding on it.
This will let civilians and other officers know the person in question have behaved out of order, and hopefully shame him or her into place.
5. The current President of Finland survived a Tsunami in Thailand in 2004
Sauli Niinistö, the twelfth President of Finland was on holiday with his family in Thailand when the 2004 tsunami struck.
He survived, alongside his son, by climbing up into a telephone pole and weathered the storm there.
6. Canada have recorded warmer temperatures than Thailand & Brazil
Usually, we think of Canada as the home of ice hockey, polar bears and snow. Loads and loads of snow.
In Saskatchewan in 1937, 45° C was recorded, compared to 44.6° Celsius in Mae Hae Song, Thailand, and 44.7° C in Bom Jesus, Piauí, Brazil.
7. The Queen of Thailand drowned in 1880 because people weren’t allowed to touch her
Due to the rule, none of the civilians present at the beach could help Sunanda Kumariratana, and stood by, watching their Queen struggle.
Her daughter drowned the same day as well, due to their boat having capsized on their way to the royal palace.
8. 40% of Thai tuna export to the US is illegal
As we reported in an earlier fact about Thailand, there are plenty of things astray with the Thai seafood industry.
This time, we’re turning the attention to the large amount of illegally imported tuna to the US and other western countries.
In fact, almost 40% of the United States total import of tuna from Thailand were later found to be illegally obtained.
9. Several IKEA products have a dirty meaning in the Thai language when directly translated
That’s why IKEA have had to hire people to specifically go through every word in both the manuals as well as product names.
A few examples include “Jättebra” which sounds similar to sex, and “Redalen” which roughly means getting to third base.
10. There’s a specific smile to use when you see someone you owe money, but you haven’t got them yet
In English, it’s translated to a “dry smile,” and it’s called Yim Haeng.
Westerners have a similar expression, although it’s not connected specifically to owing money.