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18 Surprising Facts About The Netherlands

Dutch much?

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1. Dutch men are the tallest in the world. / Via

*googles "flights from NYC to Amsterdam"*


5. Most of Amsterdam is built on wooden poles 12 meters deep.

Flickr/Fons Heijnsbroek / Via Flickr: city-amsterdam

Because the city was founded on swampy land, most of its buildings rest on wooden piles entrenched in the first layer of sandy river floor. Altogether, there are nearly a million piles supporting Amsterdam, many of which have been replaced with concrete and steel piles over the years for better stability.


13. An emergency alarm goes off around the whole country on the first Monday of every month.

This monthly warning siren is actually a test alarm, and is run at noon sharp and lasts for 1 minute, 26 seconds without interruption.

14. The Schiphol Airport — the main international airport of the Netherlands — is actually located more than four meters below sea level. / Via

The airport was constructed at the bottom of the Haarlemmer Lake, which was drained in 1852.


17. On December 5 and 6, the Dutch celebrate a winter holiday known as Sinterklaas that is centered around St. Nicholas.

Afp / AFP / Getty Images / Via

And as we all know, St. Nicholas is also the figure around whom the holiday of Christmas is based.


Oops! Dutch men are the tallest in the world. An earlier version of this post said they were the second tallest.


The Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas on Dec. 5. An earlier version of this post misidentified Sinterklaas as Christmas.