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A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John shares some little known facts about popular cities!

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Hi, I'm John Green, welcome to my salon. This is Mental Floss Video.

1. And did you know that it's a misconception that Big Ben refers to the large clock in London? It's actually the bell inside the clock tower. 

That's the first of many facts about some of my favorite cities that I'm going to share with you today in this video brought to you by Geico.

(Intro)

2. In Bangkok, Thailand, if a police officer does something wrong, like being late for work or something, they may be asked to wear an embarrassing pink Hello Kitty arm band. I don't get it, I don't see anything embarrassing about Hello Kitty. She's awesome.

3. Johannesburg, South Africa, has been rebuilt four times and over the course of one century it went from predominantly tents, to shacks, to brick buildings, to skyscrapers. 

4. It's a misconception that Cape Town is the capital of South Africa. The legislative branch is located there, making it one of the country's three capitals. The judicial and executive branches are in Bloemfontein and Pretoria, respectively.

5. The subway in Budapest, Hungary, is called the Millennium Underground because it opened in 1896 when Hungary was 1000 years old.

6. There's an annual gathering of corgis on a beach in Toronto, Canada. In 2015 about 50 corgis and their owners showed up. One more reason why Toronto is the best place on Earth. I love corgis.

7. Speaking of dogs, in 1941 Nazi diplomats spent time questioning a man from Helsinki, Finland, because he owned a dog that raised it's paw in a manner similar to how Nazis heiled Hitler. Eventually they decided not to press charges against the man.

8. A slingshot bullet was excavated in Athens, Greece, from the 4th century BCE and it had the Greek word for "catch" inscribed upon it. Nice to know that war humor goes back, you know, like, millennia. 

9. The mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland, from 2010 through 2014 was a comedian who once announced that he would only work with politicians who agreed with him that The Wire was the best television show ever made. Which to be fair, it is. No, I'm jut kidding, it's 2 Broke Girls.

10. Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of India, with 212 software companies located there.

11. In February of 1913, before World War I began, Adolf Hitler, Emperor Franz Joseph, and Joseph Stalin were all coincidentally staying in Vienna, Austria. And it's very likely that they all crossed paths at Schönbrunn Palace or park. 

12. There have been multiple defenestrations of Prague, meaning that conflict has broken out more the once in the Czech city due to people being thrown out of windows. The two most notable ones were in 1419 and 1618.

13. There's barely any rainfall in Lima, Peru. In fact, in 2012, engineers put up a billboard in the city that actually turns the water vapor in air into water. 

14. Melbourne, Australia is a regular urban city, but because it is located in Australia, it is full of wildlife. Like there are up to 20 foxes per square kilometer. Also, there's gigantic spiders and snakes, radioactive kangaroos. I'm terrified of Australia.

15. Not that the people of Germany are organized or anything, but most of the trees in Berlin are numbered. There are about 440 thousand of them. 

16. At the top of Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois, you can see 4 states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Actually, I just thought of a fifth: the state of extreme fear. 

17. From colonial times until World War II, there was an official moving day in New York City. If you wanted to move apartments, you were required to do it on May 1st. 

18. Speaking of New York City, let's talk about their fiercest bagel competition, Montreal, Canada. Their bagels are smaller and boiled in honey water and some Montreal style bagel shops have even opened in New York City.

19. In 1976, there was a UFO sighting over Tehran, Iran. Two Iranian fighter jets lost and then regained instrumentation and communication. It's considered the most well documented military brush with an unknown object or force.

20. The celebration of Carnival is a 950 million real industry in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That's about 250 million US dollars. 

21. The Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt, was the first ever lighthouse. It was built around 280 BCE. 

22. St. Petersburg, Russia, took a lot of inspiration from Europe. They had lime trees imported from the Netherlands, their buildings were made to resemble Versailles, and they created Dutch inspired windmills.

23. Lucas Films has offices in the city state of Singapore. The building opened in 2013 and it was constructed to resemble the Sandcrawler from the original Star Wars.

24. Another city state on our list, the Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. At about 100 acres, it's just one eighth the size of Central Park in New York City.

25. There are more bikes than people in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, and bikes are used more than cars for transportation.

26. Speaking of cars, Seoul, South Korea, has parking spaces reserved only for women to use. They were implemented in 2009 in order to make the city more quote "lady friendly", as The Korea Times wrote. The parking spots are painted pink.

27. The city of Cairo, Egypt, on the other hand has minimal traffic signals in the city and barely any crosswalks, let alone parking for ladies.

28. More people live in Shanghai, China, than live in all of Australia, and Shanghai is physically about half the size of Sydney.

29. Speaking of Sydney, before he was Crocodile Dundee, actor Paul Hogan spent some time working as a painter on the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Which reminds me, I once walked on the Harbour Bridge in Sydney and I got to see the exact same state of extreme fear I visited when I was in Chicago at the Willis Tower.

30. But here's another amazing feat of painting: the Tokyo Tower which gets repainted every 5 years and it takes a whole year to finish, probably because they only work on it from sunrise to 9 am. They employ about 4,200 painters to do the job.

31. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was home of the United States' first hospital, zoo, medical school, and daily newspaper. And most importantly, Philadelphia has the first snow globe ever to appear on our wall of magic.

32. On May 10th 1945, Moscow, Russia, officially ran out of vodka because it was announced that Nazi Germany had surrendered the night before.

33. The only major city in the United States that was founded by a woman is Miami, Florida. Julia Tuttle founded it in the 19th century.

34. Marseille, France, was the first place to use UV light to disinfect drinking water. They implemented the system all the way back in 1910.

35. The Great Depression in the US didn't hit every city equally. In fact in San Francisco, California, it was a growth period. They constructed the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge during that time.

36. One of the most expensive residences on Earth is the Antilia in Mumbai, India. The building cost a billion dollars to build. It's 27 stories tall and 400,000 square feet. It houses a family of five. Actually the kids are, like, off in college now so it mostly houses a family of two.

37. In Tianjin, China, there's a part of the city known as the Five Avenue area and here you can visit tons of architecture inspired by the rest of the world. There are 230 buildings total including ones built in the architectural style of the English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Chinese.

38. People from Madrid are sometimes referred to as "gatos" which means cats. It's said that the nickname came from the medieval times when Christians took over the city and, according to legend, one man jumped right over the city's huge walls like a cat would, and the nickname was born.

39. OK, let's speed up. In 2010 one of the roads leading to Beijing, China, had a 9 day traffic jam.

40. Mexico City, Mexico, was built on top of a lake and as the city pulls more water from the aquifer beneath it, the ground above sinks about 10 centimeters a year.

41. The English translation of Hong Kong is "fragrant harbor".

42. The city of Copenhagen in Denmark means "merchant harbor".

43. And Lisbon from Portugal might have come from a Phoenician word meaning "safe harbor".

44. The Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California, used to read Hollywoodland.

45. And traffic is so bad in São Paulo, Brazil, that there is a helicopter taxi company.

46. Citizens of Monaco are not allowed to enter the Monte Carlo Casino.

47. The current pope, Pope Francis, used to work as a bouncer at a bar in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "You are welcome to come in, my brother. You as well, my sister. All are welcome at our bar!" That's my Pope Francis impression. I should be a professional impressioner.

48. Anyway, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. was made in China.

49. And up until 2010 there was no postal service in Dubai, just centralized mailboxes.

50. Stockholm, Sweden, is made up of 14 islands which are connected by almost 60 bridges.

51. And in Switzerland one out of every nine jobs is located in Zurich.

52. And finally I return to my salon to tell you that Istanbul is the only major city that's located on two continents: Europe and Asia, although some would argue that the distinction between Europe and Asia is completely arbitrary and it should just be one continent called Eurasia, but currently it isn't.

Thanks for watching Mental Floss Video which was brought to you by our friends at Geico and made with the help of all of these lovely people. Leave a fun comment about your town in comments, we might use it in a future video. And as we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome.