I came across this article on The Telegraph online and decided I had to share it with our blog readers. There are some really interesting and great fact's about Scotland, some of which we didn't even know about! An excellent fact file about Scotland.
1. The official animal of Scotland is Unicorn.
2. The shortest scheduled flight in the world is one-and-a-half miles long from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The journey takes 1 minute 14 seconds to complete.
3. Scotland has approximately 790 islands, 130 of which are inhabited.
4. The Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae, on the island of Orkney, is the oldest building in Britain, dating from 3100 BC.
5. The Hamilton Mausoleum in South Lanarckshire has the longest echo of any man-made structure in the world; a whole 15 seconds.
6. Scotland has more than 600 square miles of freshwater lakes, including the famous Loch Ness.
7. The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, is only its second largest city, after Glasgow.
8. Edinburgh was the first city in the world which had its own fire brigade.
9. Like Rome, Edinburgh was built on seven hills and the capital has more listed buildings than anywhere in the world.
10. Scotland had its own monarch until 1603. After Elizabeth I died, James VI of Scotland also became James I of England, ruling both countries henceforth.
11. St Andrews Links is considered the "home of golf"; the sport has been played there since the 15th century.
12. Queen Victoria is reputed to have smoked cigarettes during her visits to the Highlands of Scotland to keep away midges.
13. Edinburgh was home to Skye terrier Grey Friar’s Bobby, who captured the hearts of the nation by sitting on the grave of his dead owner for 14 years.
14. Scotland is currently the second largest country in the UK, after England.
15. The highest point in Scotland is Ben Nevis, at 4,406ft (1343m).
16. The motto of Scotland is “Nemo me impune lacessit”, or: "No one provokes me with impunity". It is used by the Order of the Thistle and on later versions of the Royal coat of arms.
17. The country is a favourite with the Royal family, who holiday at Balmoral castle in Royal Deeside.
18. In the north east of the country, girls are called “quines” and boys “louns”.
19. The very first recorded appearance of the elusive Loch Ness Monster occurred in 565 AD, when a " water beast " attacked one of St. Columba's followers in the loch. '''
20. Scottish city Aberdeen is known as Europe’s oil capital, or the “Granite City”.
21. The deepest loch in Scotland, Loch Morar, reaches 1,077ft (328m) down and is ranked the seventeenth deepest lake in the world.
22. Scotland’s smallest distillery, Edradour in Pitlochry, has 100,000 visitors per year but produces just 90,000 litres of malt whisky.
23. It is home to the oldest tree in Europe, a twisted yew which has stood in Fortingall for 3,000 years. According to local legend, Pontius Pilate was born in its shade and played there as a child.
24. The raincoat was invented in1824 in Scotland by Charles Macintosh, a chemist born in Glasgow. In Great Britain, the garment is still called a “Mac”.
25. The official religion of Scotland is Presbyterian, with churches traditionally being called “kirks”.
26. Scotland gained independence in 1314, after Robert the Bruce defeated the English army at the Battle of Bannockburn.
27. The Kingdom of Scotland remained as an independent state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union joined it with England, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
28. Since July 1, 1999, Scotland has its own parliament, for the first time since 1707.
29. The country has an area of 30,414 square miles (78,772 km²)
30. The total population is around 5.2 million, around 8.5 per cent of the UK’s population.
31. The country has approximately 167.5 people living per square mile.
32. There are as many Scottish people living in North America as in Scotland, with censuses in the United States and Canada each identifying around five million people claiming Scottish ancestry.
33. The country still has its own legal system, separate from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Juries can return verdict of “guilty”, “not guilty” and “not proven.”
34. The Bank of Scotland, founded in 1695, is the oldest surviving bank in the UK. It was also the first bank in Europe to print its own bank notes.
35. Famous Scottish inventions include the television, developed by John Logie Baird in 1925, the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and penicillin, by Alexander Fleming in 1928.
36. The first teaching hospital in America, the Baltimore Infirmary was founded by a Glasgow surgeon, Granville Sharp Pattison, in 1816.
37. Scotland has three officially recognised languages: English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic, with just one per cent of the population using the latter.
38. It is home to 19 universities and institutes of higher education, including St Andrews, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met.
39. Scotland has about the same land area as the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Panama, the US state of Maine, or the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
40. The two first Prime Ministers of Canada, John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) and Alexander Mackenzie (1822-1892), were Scottish.
41. One of Scotland’s most famous products, whisky, was actually invented in China. It was first distilled by monks in Ireland in the early 15th century, before reaching Scotland 100 years later.
42. The most infamous Scottish dish is haggis, normally made with the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep, traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach. It is not known where it originated, but a similar dish was mentioned in Greece 2,500 years ago.
43. Scotland has spawned some of the greatest thinkers of the modern age, including Adam Smith, James Watt, David Hume and John Stuart Mill.
44. Notable Scottish inventions include the method of logarithms(1614), tarmac (1820) and the pneumatic tyre (1887).
45. Many of Scotland’s most famous inventions – kilts, tartans and bagpipes - were actually developed elsewhere. Kilts originated in Ireland, tartans have been found in Bronze Age central Europe and bagpipes are thought to have come from ancient central Asia.
46. Famous names from Scottish literature include: Sir Walter Scott,Lord Byron and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
47. The flag of Scotland is known as the saltire or St. Andrews Cross.
48. The flower of Scotland is the thistle.
49. Scotland has the highest proportion of redheads in the world. Around 13 per cent of the population has red hair, with 40 per cent carrying the recessive gene.
50. The first official international football match was played at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick in 1872, between Scotland and England.
Taken from The Telegraph Online, Hannah Furness, Scottish referendum 50 fascinating facts you should know about Scotland