10 Things you probably never knew about Nigeria
Happy birthday Nigeria! Our blessed country is 54 today and here is wishing everyone out there a happy and fulfilling independence day celebration. Nigeria is great nation with great people from diverse cultures and you probably didn’t have any idea that Nigeria has the following amazing facts about it:
- Nigeria is home to seven percent (7%) of the total languages spoken on earth. Taraba state alone has more languages than 30 African countries.
- The Walls of Benin (800-1400AD), in present day Edo State, are the longest ancient earthworks in the world, and probably the largest man-made structure on earth. They enclose 6500 square kilometers of community lands that connected about 500 communities. At over 16000km long, it was thought to be twice the length of the Great Wall of China, until it was announced in 2012 (after five years of meticulous measurement by Chinese surveyors) that the Great Wall is about 21,000km long.
- The Yoruba tribe has the highest rate of twin births in the world. Igbo-Ora, a little town in Oyo state, has been nicknamed Twin capital of the World because of its unusually high rate of twins that is put as high as 158 twins per 1000 births.
- Sarki Muhammad Kanta The Great of Kebbi, was the only ruler who resisted control by Songhai, West Africa’s greatest empire at that time. He founded and ruled the Hausa city-state of Kebbi around 1600 A.D and built Surame its capital, a planned city which was almost impossible to penetrate during war. In fact UNESCO describes Surame as “one of the wonders of human history, creativity and ingenuity”, and probably the most massive stone-walled constructions in West Africa. He is listed in Robin Walker’s 50 Greatest Africans.
- The Jos Plateau Indigobird, a small reddish-brown bird, is found nowhere else on the planet but Plateau state, Nigeria.
- The Niger Delta (which is the second largest delta on the planet), has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world, and is also home to sixty percent of Nigeria’s mangrove forests. You should know too that Nigeria’s mangrove forests are the largest in Africa and third largest on earth.
- According to the World Resources Institute, Nigeria is home to 4,715 different types of plant species, and over 550 species of breeding birds and mammals, making it one of the most ecologically vibrant places of the planet.
- Ile-Ife, in present day Osun State, was paved as early as 1000AD, with decorations that originated from Ancient America suggesting there might have been contact between the Yorubas and the Ancient Americans half a millenium before Columbus ‘discovered’ America.
- Sungbo’s Eredo, a 160 km rampart equipped with guard houses and moats, is reputed to be the largest single pre-colonial monument (or ancient fortification if you like) in Africa. It is located in present-day Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and when it was built a millennium ago, it required more earth to be moved during construction than that used for building the Great Pyramid of Giza (one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World). The most astonishing thing is that Sungbo’s Eredo was the biggest city in the world (bigger than Rome and Cairo) during the Middle Ages when it was built!
- The Anambra waxbill, a small bird of many beautiful colours, is found only in Southern Nigeria and nowhere else on earth