Mexico is an excellent country in North America that provides unique culture, extensive coastlines, world-class foods, drinks, and music, like tacos, tequila, mariachis, etc.
Many tourists wish to visit Mexico for its beautiful beaches and warm weather. However, this country’s cultural and natural diversity includes something more than that.
This country amazes numerous people with some of its amazing realities regarding its currency, history, holidays, and many more.
So, in this article, we will now discuss some surprising facts about this unique country called Mexico.
Interesting Mexico facts
The oldest university in North America
The oldest university in North America is located in Mexico, and it is called the National University of Mexico. This university was founded by Charles V of Spain in the year 1551.
It was known as Real y Pontificia Universidad de Mexico and operated properly until 1865. Established in 1910, this Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico traces its origins to the university, though there is no actual evidence regarding this belief.
The real name of this country
The real name of this country is the United States of Mexico or Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Mexico is divided into 31 states and also the Federal District.
Each of these states has its own rules, regulations, laws, and even police, just like the United States of America. So, while standing in a different state from the one you live in, your phone is actually always roaming.
Mexican Spanish is quite different from other kinds of Spanish
Mexican Spanish is quite unique. For instance, torta doesn’t mean cake in Mexico but a sandwich. Also, in Mexican Spanish, soup is not soup but a ‘Mexican pizza.’ Though it is not an actual pizza, however a lot similar to the concept of a pizza, like sauce, dough, and toppings.
Mexico is built in Tenochtitlan City.
Once an ancient city with a population of about 150,000 inhabitants set on an island in the middle of a lake, Tenochtitlan was considered a suitable place to be the capital of Mexico. Colonial folks set to fill in the lake, reclaim their land, and develop the buildings that eventually became Ciudad de Mexico.
Also, almost no one knows the actual meaning of Mexico. Some say it means “Place where the God of War lives”; others say it means “At the Navel of the Moon.”
In 1821, Mexico officially became a country.
Formerly, Mexico was a part of New Spain. Mexico gained independence after a long war against its colonial overlords to become the First Mexican Empire.
However it became the First Mexican Republic in 1824, but today, it turned out to be the United Mexican States.
Home to one of the six cradles of civilization
In Mexico, human civilization is believed to date back to a minimum of 8000 BC. This is where you will be able to find the Toltec, Olmec, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Mayan, and Aztec empires.
This places Mexico up there with the other cradles of civilization, such as Ancient India, China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Peru. Also, you may find some excellent ruins in Valladolid.
The first conquest in 1519 and smallpox
The Spanish warriors didn’t win the battle against the ancient inhabitants of Mexico due to their fighting ability but due to the smallpox epidemic, they brought with them.
This disease killed almost three million natives of Mexico. However, the actual number can be a lot more.
Being new to this disease, the people of the Aztec Empire thought that it was a punishment from god. They assumed the Christian god was more powerful, eventually leading them to accept Catholicism.
Children of Mexico don’t get presents on Christmas day
Children of Mexico don’t get presents on December 25. Instead, they receive gifts on January 6. The reason is, according to the tradition of Mexico, this is the day when the Three Wise Men rocked up to offer the baby Jesus his frankincense, gold, and myrrh.
The world’s largest pyramid
The pyramid of Cholula, located in the Mexican Federal State Puebla, is the largest pyramid on the planet.
With a height of about 66 meters, a base of 400 meters, and a total volume of about 4.5 million cubic meters, this pyramid is noticeably larger than the pyramid of Giza though it is not very popular.
Despite its impressive size, this pyramid is overlooked because this pyramid of Cholula is mainly hidden under a mountain.
The attractive construction of this pyramid is actually the church build on top of this pyramid by the Spaniard conquerors.
Mexico is a significant Cola Cola consumer.
Mexico is a significant consumer of Coca-Cola, with an amount of 163 liters per person annually. This huge consumption rate is unseen in any other country in the world.
There is no surprise that such abuse in consuming Coca-Cola can even be seen in the health of people with diabetes and overweight are above average in Mexico.
Some other factors are excessive consumption of junk food and lack of exercise.
So, as a countermeasure to these health problems, punitive taxes on foods with high sugar or fat contents were introduced in 2013.
Mexico is the nation with the largest number of taxi cabs
About 60,000 registered taxis ride the streets of Mexico, and most of them can be seen in the Capital City.
In addition, this country’s taxi fares are much cheaper than in almost any other country on the planet.
69 different languages are spoken here
Another important fact about Mexico is that it has the richest linguistic diversity on the planet. Along with Spanish, about 68 indigenous languages include mixteco, Nahuatl, and Otomi.
No other country on the American continent has this kind of diversity of indigenous languages. Just like Spanish, these indigenous languages are recognized as national languages.
The world’s smallest volcano
Mexico is in the middle of the “Ring of Fire,” also known as the circum-Pacific Belt. It is where around 90% of the world’s earthquakes and almost 81% of the world’s volcanic eruptions occur. It is the only part of the world where a rare rabbit known as the volcano rabbit can be seen.
Also, this country, Mexico, is home to the smallest volcano in the world called Cuexcomate. This volcano is located just outside Puebla city and is only 43 feet tall, which is barely a small hill.
Mexico City is sinking.
Mexico City is North America’s oldest city with the highest elevation. Moreover, it is also built over the ruins of an ancient Aztec city Tenochtitlan, and hence, is located on a lake.
However, unlike the Aztecs, who built intricate systems of canals and dikes for flood control, the Spanish insisted on draining the lakebed after they received a sample of the work required to maintain their watery existence.
Thus, Mexico City is sinking for almost 6 to 8 inches annually as pumps need to draw out water due to the growing population.
Mexico has women-only carriages.
Despite the belief that women in Mexico are continuously abused, Mexican women are actually quite privileged. In Mexico City, there are women-only carriages in the metro, buses, and special subway sections.
However, research done in Mexico City in 2013 showed that many women usually like to use the general section of the subway rather than the women-only segment, as men will kindly offer them a seat while most women won’t.
Mexico has 34 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There are 34 UNESCO sites within the borders of Mexico. This long list includes the historic centers of towns, such as Mexico City, Guanajuato, and Puebla, as well as many ancient ruins, the agave Tequila fields, and much more.
The largest immigration group in Mexico is the US citizens
The citizens of Mexico make up the largest proportion of the foreign-born population of the United States. However, on the other hand, US citizens constitute the largest immigrant group in Mexico.
According to the Census in 2010, more than 750,000 US citizens live in Mexico. So, you may say that more Americans are immigrating to Mexico than Mexican people immigrating to the US.
There are jaguars in Mexico.
The largest wildcat in North America is actually the jaguar. This animal can be seen in the southern jungles of Mexico. They can even be found hopping around Mayan ruins.
There are 59 kinds of corn.
Though, in general, corn is known as maiz, there are still different words for corn in different forms. Hence, corn in Mexico comes in 59 varieties because citizens of Mexico have cultivated this crop for centuries.
Despite being threatened by international trade agreements and genetically modified imports, farmers of this country continue to grow corn. They are even collecting the seeds of this crop and preserving different varieties for future generations.
Mexico’s economy is booming.
According to the IMF, Mexico is the 15th largest economy in the globe and also the 11th largest in terms of buying power parity.
In addition, some of the best-selling cars of Volkswagen are partly produced in Mexico. Also, this country has become a new hotspot for development and research.
All beaches in Mexico are public.
Another very interesting fact about this country is that all the beaches in Mexico are public. All Mexican beaches are under federal ownership and may be used by anybody.
Mexico is a biodiverse country.
This country is home to almost a tenth of the planet’s biodiversity. About 200,000 or more different species are roaming around in this country; hence, Mexico has become the fourth most biodiverse country on the planet.
So, Mexico is a fantastic country with its rich history and culture, delicious cuisine, beautiful public beaches, interesting biodiversity, and much more.
At the end of this article, we learned 22 really interesting facts about Mexico.
These facts offer us a clear picture of this fascinating and unique country. To get some additional amazing facts, you can see our website.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.