Skip To Content

    18 Facts About America That Are Probably Surprising To Non-Americans

    ♬ Don't wanna be an American idiot! ♬

    To me, the United States is home. It's loud, dramatic, and utterly bizarre at times, but it's home.

    To people who haven't been here, the United States is a random mixture of pretty much every stereotype they've seen in TV and movies.

    Showtime

    Reddit user Luke831123 recently asked Americans to share something about their country that would surprise non-Americans. Here are some of the best responses:

    1. "My European coworkers were shocked when I told them I used to drive four hours to see my girlfriend on the weekends."

    Disney

    2. "Many restaurants will refill your coffee or iced tea for free."

    Universal

    3. "In the Midwest, the weather is crazy. For example, last year in Iowa, the temperate one day was -50 F°. Normal, right? Well in about three days, the temperature was POSITIVE 50 F°. Don't ask how, just accept it."

    Capitol Records

    4. "Texas is, in fact, not a giant desert. We have cities, suburbs, and grass like anywhere else. Not to say that it doesn’t exist at all here, it’s just way more varied than a lot of people might think."

    Nickelodeon

    ZeroXTML1

    5. "New York is a state AND a city. I've seen way too many people mess this up."

    6. "It takes me, at most, 10 minutes to drive my car to work, but if I used public mass transport it would take a couple of hours."

    E!

    7. "As someone who grew up on the Great Lakes, they literally look like oceans. They have tides, you can surf during the winter, and when you fly over them, there are parts where — in every direction — all you will see is water."

    Eric Baradat / Getty Images

    prailock

    8. "I’m not American, but I went there a couple years ago and the thing that stood out to me the most is just how huge everything was. Then I got used to it a little...And that’s when we went to Vegas, which is huge and extra, even for American standards."

    National Geographic

    9. "The phrase, 'How are you?' is used as a greeting and not as an indication of a desire to know how the other person (usually a mild acquaintance) is doing."

    NBC

    eccome

    10. "Wyoming only has two escalators in the entire state."

    Happydancing / Getty Images

    VXRex

    11. "In my state (Ohio), you'll see a random log cabin every so often that is on the National Register of Historic Places. They have a sign explaining their history, and they are no longer used for anything, unless they are a museum."

    New Line Cinema

    r491

    12. "Smoking is considered a 'gross habit' and is not allowed indoors in most states."

    13. "I am South African, but I have an English neutral accent. When I went to America for the first time, I could not believe how heavily pronounced the R's were, compared to my 'dropped' R's."

    New Line Cinema

    14. "Total strangers will start conversations with you if there's something they find interesting. This can be anything from your accent to your jewelry or clothes."

    Paramount Pictures

    Kilen13

    15. "As friendly and as open as the world thinks we are, DO NOT GET INTO OUR PERSONAL SPACE! We do not like to be on top of each other. We don't like to be crowded."

    Disney

    16. "Southerners' directions are a nightmare. 'So you're gonna want to go about a mile down that direction until you get to the Wallaces' place, then take a left and go a ways down till you see the old farmhouse that burnt down. If you see the field where all them old tractors used to be, you've gone too far...'"

    @partydownsouth

    17. "Our postal service delivers within the week and on Saturdays. My girlfriend lives in New Zealand and apparently the post only operates for three days at a time there."

    Fox

    18. "The next town over from here has a high school football stadium that cost $15 million to build."

    NBC

    daHob

    Some submissions have been edited for grammar and clarity.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form