Although tiny, Ecuador is a very diverse country. In this post, I’ll share 21 unusual and interesting facts about Ecuador.
While there are many common fact about Ecuador, I won’t bore you with those. We all know it’s in South America and that they speak Spanish. Here you can learn some things you probably didn’t already know. If you have any to add, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
21 Weird & Interesting Facts About Ecuador
1) On Top of the World: Mt. Chimborazo
The top of Mt. Chimborazo in Quito is as far as you can get from the center of the earth. This may sound crazy – there are many mountains higher than Chimborazo – however the earth bulges at the equator, making Mt. Chimborazo technically 1.5 miles higher than Mt. Everest.
How high is Mt Chimborazo? It has an elevation of 6,263 m (20,548 ft).
2) Shape Shifting Amazon Frog
The “Punk Rocker”, or mutable rainfrog was recently discovered in Ecuador’s rain-forest. It is the first known vertebrate to change the texture of its skin. Its skin changes from almost smooth, to spiky in a matter of minutes. Experts have yet to understand how this frog does it or what the spines are made of.
3) Go Bananas
Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas.
4) Ecuador Not Close With Brazil
Ecuador and Chile are the only two South American countries not to share a border with Brazil.
5) Ecuador’s Constitution Recognizes … Nature
In 2008, Ecuador declared that nature has constitutional rights, making it the first to do so. This means that they do not treat it as property but recognize its “right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.”
6) August 10th is an Important Day (10 de Agosto)
Independence day is August tenth, or diez de Agosto, which is a popular name for streets, parks and markets.
7) Soil, Sky and Blood
Ecuador’s flag is yellow, blue and red. Yellow for the country’s soil and crops, blue for the sky and ocean, and red for the blood of those who fought for independence. The flag also contains the crest with the endangered condor perched on top.
8) “It’s the truth, I swear”
Ecuador is home to the endangered Pinocchio Lizard which was recently rediscovered in Ecuador’s Andes in 2007. In line with its name, the male Pinocchio Lizard has a precarious proboscis; that appears to be longer than it’s head.
9) Measuring Error at the Middle of the World
Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City) in Quito was thought – until recently – to be directly on the equator. There is an attractive marble monument called Mitad del Mundo. Re-measurements show, however, that the equator actually lies 240 meters north of the monument. Rats! 🙂
10) Getting High in Quito
Quito has the highest elevation for any constitutional capital city, 2850m above sea level.
11) Guinea Pigs are Super Popular (and it’s not why you think)
Cuy, or guinea pig, is a delicacy in Ecuador. Many people find the idea repulsive, I find those people to be small minded and biased :). Cuy tastes much like rabbit or duck; which most of us in northern counties think nothing of eating. I would definitely recommend giving it a try. However, a word of caution: as with any other food, be cautious where you choose to eat. While some (probably most) restaurants have wonderful health standards, others have a lack of hygiene. But, it is definitely worth the effort to find a restaurant that suites you so you can try Cuy.
12) Ecuador is the smallest Andean country
Of the seven Andean States (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile) Ecuador is the smallest.
13) 4 Worlds in 1 Country
Ecuador has four unique geographical locations, the Amazon jungle – home to Yasuni national park, the Coastal region – with surfing and different typical foods, the Galapagos Islands – with its rare and amazing animal and plant life and the Andes (Sierra) – a popular vacation and retirement destination.
14) The Not-So-Panama Panama Hats
The so-called “Panama” Hat actually comes from Ecuador.
15) Ecuador is Super Multilingual
There are 24 languages spoken in Ecuador! These include Spanish, 9 varieties of Quechua, Shuar and many others.
16) Ecuador = Equator
Ecuador is the only country in the world named after a geographic feature. Republica del Ecuador translates to Republic of the Equator. The many misspellings of Ecuador (Equador, Ecuator, and Equator) probably come from this.
17) New Cloud Forest Carnivorous Mammal
The Olinguito lives in Ecuador’s Cloud forest and is the first carnivorous mammal discovered in the Western Hemisphere in the past 35 years.
18) Yes, the Galapagos Islands belong to Ecuador
19) More Here Than Anywhere
Ecuador is considered the most biodiverse country in the world!
20) Darwin’s Finches
Charles Darwin developed his well-known theory of evolution in the Galapagos Islands after observing the different habits of finches.
21) The Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington
Paddington Bear lives in Ecuador. Okay, not really :). But the Andean Bear – the bear on which Paddington was based – does!
I hope that you have found these facts about Ecuador entertaining and educational.
What’s your favorite? Do you have any unusual or interesting facts about Ecuador to share? Please share them in the comments!