Scary travel facts

2013-08-29 09:48
While travelling may be one of the most fun things you could ever invest in, there are some pretty strange things to know before hitting the road.

We've rounded up a collection of facts that freaked us out - ranging from haunted destinations to weight prescriptions for cabin crew in the early years of air travel. 

1. So haunted, no visitors allowed - Poveglia is a small Italian island located somewhere between Venice and Lido in the Venetian Lagoon.

It is off-limits to visitors, because it is so severely haunted.

The history of the Haunted island is sinister and disturbing, to say the least - it was used as a place of isolation for victims of various plagues throughout history and also home to a mental institution with a reputation for being particularly cruel to patients.

The Ghost Adventures crew recently captured evidence of paranormal activity on the island - Numerous Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) known as ghost voices, were recorded on the audios of cameras and recorders. 3 of these were speaking, and were able to be understood.


2. Dwindling numbers of Great Whites - South Africa was the first country to declare the white shark a protected species It's alarming to note that unpublished research estimated there were 2 000 to 3 000 sharks in the bay alone but five years of dorsal fin research conducted by the Dyer Island trust indicates the figures to be less than half of that. Find out more about getting up close to these legendary creatures of the sea in competition where you can win an all-expenses paid dive with Great White Sharks.

3. Time flies in Vegas - There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos, which means days melt into nights melt back into days and most people who are so totally absorbed in gambling wouldn't even notice. However, it's not only Vegas that uses this strategy, next time you hit Montecasino or Grand West take a good look around - spot anything telling the time? Probably not. 

4. Son of a convict - Australia is well known as being as the country where criminals were deported to for many years and therefore it's no real surprise to learn that in 2007, around a quarter of the population had an ancestor that was a convict. During the 18th and 19th centuries more than 165 000 convicts were transported 'down under' with the last shipment arriving in Western Australia in 1868. The number of convicts was, however, soon outshone by the crowds descending upon the continent to take part in the gold rush. In 1852 alone, 370 000 immigrants arrived in Australia and by 1871 the total population had nearly quadrupled to 1.7 million people. 

5. United States' crazy air traffic - On an average day 8 082 191 people travel by plane, of which 323 287 claim lost luggage and 1 616 438 will be on a delayed flight. Check out this video format infographic for more crazy air travel facts.


6. Air hostess or super model? - In 1930 female flight attendants had to weigh less than 52kg. These days cabin crew job specs are not as prescriptive, however, it's still a tough industry to get into with both women and men expected to be particularly well groomed, well spoken and physically fit. Both Qatar and Emirates require a minimum arm reach of 212 cm, which means being tall is also always an asset.

7. Dead bodies everywhere - Around 225 climbers have died on Everest since 1953 with about 3 700 individuals standing on the summit. The vast majority of the dead are still there. According to climber and blogger Alan Arnette, all climbers have to sign a 'body disposal form' before taking on the 8 000-er challenge. There are three possible choices in most cases: leave on mountain, return to Kathmandu or return home, of which the latter is by far the most expensive. Therefore most opt for the first choice.  

8. Africa's electricity - South Africa supplies two-thirds of Africa's electricity and is one of the four cheapest electricity producers in the world. Which makes us wonder - what do other countries' electricity bills look like?!


9. The sinking city - Mexico City meanwhile is sinking at an average rate of 10cm a year, 10 times faster than Venice. According to Wise Geek, Mexico City was originally founded in the 1300s on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco. As it outgrew the small island, artificial islands were built, as well as a network of canals. The city’s main water supply comes from pumping water from aquifers below the city that were part of the original lake. The water is being siphoned faster than it is replaced by natural sources, and this is why the city is sinking.

10. Straightening tower - While one of its cities may be sinking (though not as much as Mexico's capital), another Italian landmark is making a famous return to its former, straighter self. According to reports the Tower of Pisa recovered roughly 2.5cm of its vertical incline between 2001 and 2013. A number of engineering interventions have been put in place to aid the process since 1992, including encircling the first floor with 18 steel cables as a temporary structural reinforcement measure as well as excavating and removing earth beneath the tower's foundation in 1999.

Have any scary travel facts of your own to share - email us at
Read more on:    travel international

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