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Colombians Drink Hot Chocolate With Cheese Inside! Discover More Strange Facts About Colombia

Colombia is a country in the northwest of South America that borders Venezuela and Brazil to the east and southeast. In the south of the country, it shares its borders with both Ecuador and Peru. The capital city of Bogota is also the largest city in the country. While it’s helpful to be informed, most of this information can be gleaned from a simple map.

Other than where it’s located, what else is there to know about it? Here’s a good list of strange Colombia facts you didn’t know you needed:

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1. Starbucks Doesn’t Exist for Most of The Country

While we know that Starbucks is an international coffee giant, some might find it surprising that the locations for the coffeehouse chain in Colombia are few in number. That’s right, there are a couple of locations here but they are all located in Bogota, and are within minutes of each other.

2. It’s Normal for Children to Drink Coffee

Anyone who’s lived in the United States for more a year or more can tell you the emphasis given to keeping children away from coffee. We’re often told it ‘screws with their system’ or will stunt them growth, dooming them to never growing past a certain height.

But in the South American country of Colombia, it is quite common to have coffee and milk as an after-meal treat. Adults will also have coffee after a meal, minus the dairy.

3. Colombia is One of Only 17 ‘Mega-Diverse’ Countries in the World

Mega-diverse refers to the multitude of native species a country may have within its borders. Of the 17 on the list, there are five in South America, Colombia being one on that particular list.

Colombia is considered the “most densely biodiverse per square kilometer.” The country is first on the list for its variety of birds, and within its borders there exist anywhere between 40,000 to 45,000 plant species. That means nearly a quarter of all plant species on Earth exist within the country’s borders.

In addition to the multitude of plants, there are about 7,000 of beetle species, more than a thousand mollusk species, and an estimated 300,000 invertebrate creatures living in the South American country.

4. 1/3 of Colombia is Covered with the Amazon

With all the de-foresting that’s been happening across the globe, the Amazon Rainforest has gained notoriety for being the largest rainforest in the world. Also known as the “lungs of the world,” at least one-third of the Amazon Rainforest exists inside Colombia.

The area of the rainforest within the country is referred to as the Amazon Natural Region, centered on four separate rivers.

5. Colombia Has the Most Endemic Species in The World

Encyclopedia.com defines ‘endemic species’ as plants and animals that exist only in one geographic region. There are many species completely unique to the country of Colombia:

  • The 89’98 Butterfly – Scientifically known as the Diaethria phlogea, this native species is known for the seemingly printed numbers on its wings.
  • The Orinoco Crocodile – Hunted throughout the 19th and 20th centuries for their skin, the endangered species is the largest predator in the Americas, in addition to being the largest crocodile species in the world.
  • Giant Anteater – That’s right, Anteaters can be found only in Colombia. These unique creatures can reach a weight of nearly 100lbs and reach a length of 7 feet when fully matured.
  • Spectacled Bear – Said to be the only native South American bear species now in existence, it is also the only remaining species of short-faced bear.

6. The Local Colombian Governments Impose Dry-law to Avoid Violence and Conflicts

We all know that drinking too much alcohol can cause trouble during sporting events. Colombia is so familiar with the social conflicts catalyzed by alcohol, that they impose what is essentially temporary prohibition.

These laws are only enacted during national events or elections.

7. Colombia Has Special Cheese for Chocolate

I’ve honestly never heard of anyone doing this before today. But it is true that Colombia does something with cheese and chocolate. Colombians are known to add queso fresco to a mug of hot chocolate and sip away.

While I have not had the pleasure of having hot chocolate and goat cheese together, I understand adding two drastically different food for a flavor that is impossible otherwise.

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