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6 Unusual Facts about Russia

You probably has heard many facts about Russia and the Russian language, but what about some facts that are not so obvious? Let's talk about 6 of them.

1. The word "dacha" has no direct translation into foreign languages and is transmitted by the transcription "dacha". This is a unique Russian concept that means a country land. The history of the word began with the time of Peter the Great, who gave land to his subordinates (dacha) for the development of uninhabited territories and the construction of dwellings on them, called "mansions"

2. The metro of St. Petersburg is considered the deepest in Russia. The city stands on marshy ground, so construction at a shallow depth could be accompanied by great difficulties. Today, the Admiralteyskaya station is the deepest station, its depth is more than 100 meters (328 feet). The descent by escalator takes about 5 minutes.

3. Few people know that Russia is separated from the United States by only 4 kilometers (2.4 miles). This distance is between Ratmanov Island (Russia) and Kruzenshtern Island (USA). These islands are located in the Bering Strait. Even though the distance between the islands is only 4 kilometers, which, it would seem, can be sailed in a very short time, they are separated by a time zone difference of 21 hours. Simply put, on one of the islands it’s still "yesterday", and on the other island it’s already "tomorrow".

4. The coldest air temperature was recorded in the Russian city of Oymyakon. The cold record was set in 1924 and was -71°C (-95.8 degrees Fahrenheit)

5. In the city of St. Petersburg, about 50 cats live in the Hermitage Museum. They live in a "cat cellar", which is about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) long. Cats appeared in the museum during the reign of Catherine II. The Empress put their cats in the museum so that they would protect the works of art from mice and rats. To date, cats are officially kept in the Hermitage, each cat has its own passport, and every year the museum hosts the Hermitage Cat Day holiday.

6. The Siberian taiga is the largest forest in the world, it is vital for the oxygen balance on the whole planet. The taiga occupies 1/3 of the whole of Russia, its area is 15 million square kilometers, which is about the same as one and a half of Europe. Many people call the taiga the lungs of our planet.

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