Mexico is famous for many things. It is known as the land of extremes and home to rich natural resources, including its dense rainforests, deep canyons, and beautiful beaches. Mexico is also popular for its vibrant culture. You will find that the Mexican people and indigenous people are among the happiest people in the world.
30 Interesting Things About Mexico
You will notice how famous Mexico is with the number of tourist arrivals in the country despite the pandemic caused by Covid-19. According to a tourism statistics report, the total number of international visitors to Mexico from January to August 2021 is 35 million. And with the relaxation of restrictions, the airports are beginning to allow travel, and people are eager to get out of their homes. Therefore, you would expect the number of tourists taking a trip to Mexico to increase.
Mexico, found in the western hemisphere of the world is the world’s 13th largest country by size, covering almost a total area of 2 million square kilometers. It is also the 10th most populous country in the world with a population of over 129 million people. Mexico is also the most populous Spanish-speaking nation.
Mexico is located in the middle of the ring of fire. You will find the world’s smallest volcano in Mexico, which is the Cuexcomate volcano. Although the most active volcanoes of the country are Popocatepetl, Colima, and El Chichon. The highest volcano in North America, on the other hand, is the Pico de Orizaba in Mexico.
Another interesting thing about Mexico is Baja California, which is the 12th-largest state by area in Mexico. It has a landscape that spans mountains and beaches on the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. Mexico also has the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range and the Sierra Madre Occidental.
The reasons why Mexico is a populous country and is one of the top countries to visit from the United States and worldwide involve the following fun and interesting facts:
#1. Mexico’s Independence was in 1821
The first fun fact about Mexico is its independence, which the country gained after a long, bloody war against its colonial overlords to become the First Mexican Expire. You see, Mexico was formerly part of New Spain. It became the First Mexican Republic in 1824.
#2. Spanish is Mexico’s National Language
Since there is no official language in Mexico, its de facto national or main language is Spanish. Moreover, there existed a pre-Hispanic writing legacy when the Spanish friars taught Mexican Natives to write their indigenous languages. Then, an alphabetic tradition was developed. It was employed in official papers and other legal instruments for legal matters.
#3. Second Longest Border in the World is the US-Mexico Border
The US-Mexico border is the second-longest border in the world and entry point, after the vast line that splits Canada from the United States. The US-Mexico border is 1954 miles (3,145 kilometers) long.
#4. First Public Park in America was Established in Mexico
Around the early 1500s, Viceroy Luis de Velasco II decided that the residents of Mexico City needed a public green space. As such, he commissioned the Alameda Central, which was named after alamos or poplar trees planted in the area. Boston Common, the United States’ first park, was built in 1640.
#5. National Holiday in Mexico is The Day Of The Dead
Dia De Muertes or The Day Of The Dead is a traditional festival celebrated throughout Mexico. It starts on October 31 and ends on November 2. This event involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember those who have died. They also help support their spiritual journey. This public holiday came to be hundreds of years, with its origins coming from the Aztec civilization.
#6. Over 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mexico
Mexico is the home to over 30 UNESCO world heritage sites. You will find that among the most popular historic centers are Mexico City, Guanajuato, and Puebla. Mexico is also a world-class tourist destination.
#7. No One Knows What the Word Mexico Means
Nobody knows the true meaning of the word “Mexico.” Some people say that it means “Place Where the God of War Lives” since the war god’s name is Mexi. However, the others say that Mexico means “At the Navel of the Moon.”
#8. Mexico has More Than 1,121 Museums
Mexico is one of the countries in the world with the largest number of museums. It has about 1,121 museums in all. In fact, Mexico City alone has about 141 cultural buildings. Mexico houses museums like the National Museum of Cultures, Museum of Temple Mayor, National Museum of Anthropology, and Frida Kahlo Museum.
#9. Aztecs Considered Smallpox a Divine Retribution
The people of the Aztec Empire assumed that smallpox was a punishment from God since they had never seen anything like it before. In fact, the Aztec culture includes human sacrifice rituals. And because of that, they believed the Christian deity was more powerful. It drove them to adopt Catholicism or Roman Catholic religion.
#10. One of the Six Cradles of Civilization is in Mexico
It was thought that human civilization in Mexico dates back to at least 8,000 BC. This is where you will find the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Mayan, and Aztec empires. This interesting tidbit puts Mexico up there with the other cradles, such as Ancient India, Egypt, China, Peru, and Mesopotamia. Moreover, you can find some incredible ruins in Valladolid.
#11. Mexico Climate was Milder Than it is Now
The Valley of Mexico features several huge paleo-lakes surrounded by thick vegetation. Together, these lakes are known as Lake Texcoco. While the land area has deers, the majority of the wildlife on it were tiny terrestrial animals. These also include fish and other lacustrine creatures present in the lake region. They aided the early pursuit of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
#12. Land of The Jaguar
You will find the largest wildcat in North America roaming the jungles of southern Mexico. You can see one near the Mayan ruins near chichén itzá on the yucatán peninsula. Apart from being the land of the jaguar, Mexico is also the home to the world’s smallest dog breed, which is the Chihuahua. The fun fact is, the name of the dog breed is “Chihuahua” because it originated in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. The national bird of Mexico, on the other hand, is the golden eagle.
#13. Oldest Civilization in Mexico was the Olmec Culture
Mexico’s history reveals that the earliest complex civilization in Mexico was the Olmec culture. They settled in the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
#14. First Global Currency was the Mexican Silver Pesos
One of the interesting and fun facts about Mexico is the information that the silver Mexican peso is the first global currency. The colonial government minted a zillion silver coins, which uses the silver minted in Mexico. These silver coins were used in Spain, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
Moreover, these silver coins, which are known as Spanish dollars, are the well-known “Pieces of Eight” people usually hear in pirate stories. As to why they were called as the pieces of eight, it’s because they were worth eight reals. Reals are the currency of Mexico.
#15. The Official Name of Mexico is Estados Unidades Mexico
Another one of the fun Mexican facts is its official name. When Mexico became independent, it was called the First Mexican Republic. However, today, the name is Estados Unidos Mexicanos, often translated as the United Mexican States or “United States of Mexico.”
#16. Mexico is Vastly Different from Latin America
There are several differences between Mexico and Latin America. The most obvious one is the fact that Mexico is in North America and not in Latin America. Another is its language. You see, Mexican Spanish speakers, talk like their Spanish is slang or a unique variation of Spanish.
However, Latin America and Mexico are similar in terms of toilet paper. These two areas prefer that you throw toilet paper in the trash instead of flushing it down the toilet. And lying in between Mexico and South America is Central America.
#17. Mexican Flag is Symbolic
Here’s why the Mexican flag is symbolic. If you look closely in the middle of the flag, you will see an eagle with a snake in its mouth perching on the branch of a prickly pear. It is the national symbol of Mexico. According to legend, the Aztec people were told by the sun god, Huitzilopochtli, to look for a place where this scene was playing out. They found it in the lake that would become Tenochtitlan, which is now what people call Mexico City, the capital of Mexico.
#18. Rare Species of Rabbit in Mexico
There is a rare species of rabbit in Mexico called the Volcano Rabbit or teporingo or zacatuche. It is a super cute rabbit that you can find around Mexico’s volcanic mountains. It is indigenous to Mexico. Moreover, it is endangered and it is the second smallest rabbit in the world after the pygmy rabbit.
#19. Tenochtitlan is the Foundation of Mexico City
Tenochtitlan is a historic city on an island in the middle of a lake. It has a population of approximately 150,000 people, making it an appropriate location for the country’s capital city, Mexico City. The Spanish colonists began filling in the lake, recovering land, and constructing Ciudad de Mexico.
Mexico is also one of the great cities in North America apart from New York City. It is the oldest city and has the highest elevation as well. Mexico City also houses the federal district.
#20. Charreada is the National Sport of Mexico
Charreada is a competitive sport similar to a rodeo. It involves cowboys in costume showing off their lassoing while attempting to make their mounts dance to the music. In fact, Mexico City, one of the great cities in Mexico, is the home to the world’s largest bullring. However, despite being Mexico’s national sport, Charreada is not the most popular sport of the country. It is football/soccer.
#21. Mexican Food is composed of Native Delights
Every tourist in Mexico agrees that Mexican cuisine is filled with great-tasting dishes, including caesar salad and hot chocolate. Mexican food involves several ingredients and is grown freely throughout the country as an important crop. These include avocado, tomato, cacao beans, chili peppers, bell peppers, beans, zucchini, and guava.
#22. Nahua People Settle in Central Mexico
According to the rich history of Mexico, Nahua people began to settle in Central Mexico in the sixth century AD. They built their center of Azcapotzalco, the Tepanecs’ capital years before the 16th century.
#23. Yucatán Peninsula is the Home of the Ancient Maya People
The Yucatán Peninsula is an area in the southeastern part of Mexico that separates the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to the Mexican nations of Yucatan, Campeche. and Quintana Roo.
The Yucatan Peninsula has an important role in ancient Mayan culture. In fact, there are several different Mayan archaeological sites in the region. The most popular are chichén itzá and Uxmal. In fact, chichen itza is the second largest monument in Mexico.
#24. The largest Pyramid in the World is in Mexico
You will find the world’s largest pyramid in Mexico. It is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, which is also known as the Tlachihualtepetl. The Great Pyramid of Cholula is a huge complex in Cholula, Puebla that is also considered the largest archeological site in the New World. It is also one of the largest monuments built.
#25. No Presents on Christmas Day to Mexican Children
While that sounds sad, no need to fret. That is because Mexican children do get gifts on January 6 instead of December 25. That is because according to their tradition and Mexican culture, January 6th is when the Three Wise Men showed up to give baby Jesus his gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
#26. Mexico Hosts the World’s Oldest Animal Migrations
Every year, there are millions of monarch butterflies that migrate thousands of square miles from as far away as Canada to the Michoacan Mexico State.
#27. National Dog of Mexico is The Xoloitzcuintli
Despite naming the Chihuahua dog breed after the Mexican state Chihuahua, the country’s national dog is in fact the Xoloitzcuintli or the Mexican Hairless Dog. Its real name is a combination of the Xolotl – the Aztec god of lightning and death – and itzcuīntli, the Aztec word for dog.
#28. American Country’s First Printing Press was in Mexico City
In the early 1500s, King Charles V of Spain granted permission for Juan Zumárraga, Archbishop of Mexico City at the time, to import a printing press from Europe. You can still see it at the Casa de la Primer Imprenta de América, or the House of the First Printing Press of America, where it first arrived and where it’s been for all these years.
#29. Cinco De Mayo is a Day to Commemorate The Battle of Puebla
People in the United States usually celebrate Cinco De Mayo. Even some of the Mexican immigrants celebrate this day. However, what most people are not aware of is the fact that Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate the Battle of Puebla, which occurred in 1862. As such, people of the city of Puebla do celebrate this day.
#30. Oldest University in North America is in Mexico
Mexico is where you will find the oldest university in the American continent North America, which is the National University of Mexico. It was founded by Charles V of Spain in 1551. That time it was called Real y Pontificia Universidad de México. It was operated until 1865. While the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México traces its origins to the university, there is no real evidence of continuity.
So there you have it…Interesting Fun Facts About Mexico.
Do you have any Mexico facts that are interesting?