Costa Rica Is The Home To 52 Hummingbird Species – Discover More Cool Facts About Costa Rica Inside
Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a Central American country that rests between Nicaragua and Panama. The country was once under control by Spain and at one point was a member of the Federal Republic of Central America before finally gaining true independence in 1850, with Spain recognizing them as a sovereign state.
That being said, the Central American country which sits between the Atlantic and the Pacific, has many more interesting facts besides its birthdate:
1. Backstab Bridge (Taiwan Friendship Bridge)
The Taiwan Friendship Bridge is an integral part of maintaining the economic infrastructure surrounding the capital city of San Jose. The structure spans a total of 2,559 feet and the building was completed sometime in 2003.
Contracted by Costa Rica, the bridge was designed by MAA, a Taiwanese company that recruited citizens of Costa Rica to build the bridge. It was when former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias severed the relationship to Taiwan and opened up talks with China to be their main trading partner instead.
2. Territorio De Zaguates (Land of the Strays)
As an animal lover, this is probably my favorite one on the list. Have you ever wanted to open up a no-kill shelter or sanctuary for dogs and/or cats to have a good life? In an area where there is sunshine the entire calendar year exists a sanctuary populated by more than 700 adoptable dogs.
“Land of the Strays,” as the name translates, much like shelters in the United States, is run by volunteer staff and funded by a private donor. It took a single episode of a television show to draw the public to the ‘shelter’s’ unique breeds.
In an effort to draw more attention to the not-so-purebloods, they come up with funny names like “Fire-tailed Border Cocker” or “Chubby-tailed German Dobernauzer.”
3. Costa Rica Has No Standing Military
While many larger countries set aside much of their budget for defense spending, Costa Rica does no such thing. In 1949, an article to the Constitution was introduced forbidding a standing military.
Since then, the Central American country’s funds have gone to things like environmental protection, education, and healthcare, resulting in all citizens gaining universal healthcare. We can learn a lot from what this country prioritizes.
4. Mystery Stones
No matter what part of the world you are in, there tend to be ancient ruins from a long-dead culture or group of people. The only thing more interesting than the ruins themselves is the possibility of what’s within.
The United Fruit Company spent time clearing parts of the Diquis Valley in the 1930s and found giant stones that were perfectly spherical. No one knows how they got there or why they were placed.
Archaeologist John Hoopes believes the orbs were created through “controlled fracture, pecking, and grinding.” He also believes the civilization responsible for the stones may have existed between 700 CE and 1530 CE.
5. High Concentration of Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are some of the oddest creatures in the avian world. Despite their size, their heart rate hits a staggering 1,200 beats per minute (or more). In addition to their crazy rapid pulse, they maintain the energy needed by eating half their weight in food each day. To put that into perspective, a human heart rate is physiologically limited to 200-240 beats per minute.
Costa Rica, thanks to its large protected areas, is home to at least 52 of the world’s 338 known species of hummingbirds.
6. The Reason They Severed Ties with Taiwan
It is indeed true that Taiwan helped facilitate the building of a bridge that greatly aided in economic infrastructure. But when it came to China’s gift, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias severed trading ties with Taiwan because the People’s Republic donated to help build Costa Rica’s national soccer stadium in 2007.
7. Home of the Zombie Wasp
In the horror genre, few things are more terrifying than creatures that can infect with an undead virus that forces zombie-like behavior on the victim. Costa Rica is home to Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga, or Zombie Wasp.
Using its special mix of toxic chemicals, the parasite wasp injects an orb weaver spider, making it a mindless slave that serves to build it cocoons and live as food for future offspring.
8. At Least 25% of Costa Rica is Protected
Because it holds many of the world’s variety of plant and animal species, at least a quarter of the country is for national parks and wildlife refuges. Take a trip down to Central America and enjoy the colorful scenery and creatures within.
9. Winter is Not Coming
One of Costa Rica’s best traits is probably the lack of winter. It sits so close to the equator, what they have is a “dry season” between the months of December and April.