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Did You Know ONE country gave us the TV, the Phone, and Penicillin? (And it isn’t the US!)

Published by Afterschool.my on Mar 26, 2018, 09:08 am

Think about some of the greatest inventions the world has ever known — the television, the medium on which many of us binge watch one too many seasons of Game of Thrones; the phone, which evolved into the high-tech slab of metal that it is today, and let’s not forget a little invention called penicillin, the world’s very first antibiotic. Three of life’s most everlasting creations, and they all have one, thing in common: they were all discovered by people from Scotland. To get you a little better acquainted with the land of kilts and bagpipes that’s steeped in influence and culture, here are 10 things you never knew about Scotland.

1. Inventors Extraordinaire


The inventor of the telephone – Alexander Graham Bell. The inventor of penicillin – Sir Alexander Fleming. One of the inventors of the mechanical TV - John Logie Baird. All of them – Scottish. There’s a stone inscription marking Alexander Graham Bell’s birthplace at 16 South Charlotte Street in Edinburgh. Sir Alexander Fleming was voted 3rd greatest Scot of all time in a 2009 poll and John Logie Baird was born in Helensburgh, Scotland.

2. World’s First International Football Match

If you had one guess as to what the location of the world’s first international football match was, what would you say? England? Brazil? Egypt? Nope, wrong and still wrong. The answer is Scotland, who faced England in 1872. The landmark game in Glasgow ended in a goalless stalemate.

3. World’s Best National Animal

Before assuming Scotland is drab and dull, wait till you find out what the country’s national animal is: the mythical, beautiful, elusive and majestic unicorn. Not so dull anymore, eh?

4. Excuse Me, Dr. Watson


Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch, both of whom portrayed the legendary Sherlock Holmes on the silver and small screen respectively, have Scotsman Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to thank for creating the legendary titular character.

5. Stunningly Beautiful

Scotland is absolutely beautiful, period. It’s home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, the Bellrock Lighthouse, and Skara Brae - older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge -  which is literally an entire prehistoric city that has been preserved.

6. A 53-Second Flight

Image via dailymail.co.uk

If you’re the type who likes to travel and explore during your free time, we’ve got great news for you: Scotland is home to the world’s shortest scheduled passenger flight in the world, from Westray to Papa Westray. With an average flight time of just one minute, don’t expect any in-flight meals.

7. The 7-Hill Club

The 7-Hill Club is made up of cities built on 7 hills. Members of this exclusive unit include Rome, Madrid, Moscow and Edinburgh, Scotland. No wonder than that while Edinburgh may only have a population of 500,000, it received 3.85 million visitors in 2015 alone!

8. Best Place to Meet an Alien

That’s right, we are not alone! (Or are we?) Whatever you do believe in, you should know that Bonnybridge near the town of Falkirk was named one of the top two destinations for UFO spotting worldwide, with about 300 sightings tallied annually. Literally, an out of this world experience!

9. Scottish Whisky

Image via telegraph.co.uk

Everyone associates Scotland with whisky. Why haven’t we mentioned it then? Well, because whisky was actually invented in China! It was first distilled by monks in Ireland in circa 1500, before reaching Scotland 100 years later and then being perfected into the Scotch whisky that’s revered the world over.  

10. Three Languages

Scotland has, not one, not two, but three recognised languages. English, Scots and the ultra-rare Scottish Gaelic. Before you scurry off worried you’d not understand a thing if you were to visit, know that only 1% of the population use that last one.

Are you keen to study in Scotland? Click here to learn about courses, requirements and more at Edinburgh Napier University.  

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