The Middle East is an important part of the world known for its prolonged, rich history.
Many Arabs and those living in the region often forget, marginalize and neglect the fact that this part of the world doesn't lack surprise and novelty.
Here are some fun and fascinating facts about the Middle East to emphasize its ever-standing characteristics:
1. A True History
Roman-Syrians knew what the future had in store long before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon and Leif Eriksson "found" America.
Lucian of Samosata was a Syrian writer in the second century who knew Greek. He wrote this book as a parody, mocking all adventures and creatures that used to be featured in old tales.
The small, cute and lovable gerbils were firstly discovered in Syria in 1797.
After scientists bred them, they delivered them to multiple laboratories around the world.
The hamsters you see in pet shops today are most likely the descendants of the same furry animals which were bred in 1930.
3. Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed is an action-adventure video game revolving around a war between the "Assassins" - fighting for peace and freedom - and the "Templars" - those convinced that peace will reign only if humanity is controlled.
Little do players of this video game know that the Assassins depicted in it are based on actual assassins who existed between the 11th and 13th century in Syria and Persia (modern day Iran) and were known as "Hashishiyyin".
4. Suing NASA
According to the three Yemeni men, they "inherited the planet" from their ancestors 3,000 years prior to the incident.
They also had papers to prove it.
All claims of owning the planet were later dismissed.
6. An "alien-looking" place on Earth
The Socotra Island is a hot, dry island situated in the Indian Ocean.
It makes up an archipelago of four islands in the Arabian Sea and is part of Yemen.
Also called "The Socotra Island of strange plants," it is pretty isolated, yet inhabited by some 44,000 people.
Due to its diminutive population, this island contains 700 extremely rare species of animals and plants.
In total, 1/3 of its flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
7. Importing sand and camels?!
Even though Saudi Arabia is well-known for its wide deserts and camel-back riding, the country is importing sands and camels from Australia.
Mainly using camels to carry people and goods, Saudis don't find their "ships of the desert" tasty.
Apparently, Australian camels are fatter and more delicious. While the sand found in the kingdom is not fit for construction.
8. 20-foot mushrooms
9. Springs are drying up
The springs in Saudi Arabia are rapidly drying up because of the country's unbalanced farming techniques.
If this persists, the country may have to import all its food in the near future.
10. The name "Muhammad"
"Muhammad" is the most popular baby name in the world.
Around 150 million men and boys have the same name as the prophet of Islam.