Unless someone is an international traveler, most of the countries of the world are little more than names on a map. Wendover Productions, a YouTube channel devoted to “explaining how our world works,” is aiming to change that with a two-part video series called “Every Country In The World.” The first part, covering 98 nations, debuted this Tuesday. The second half is due on December 13. The video jumps around the map, leaping from one continent to another, as the narrator recites a bit of trivia for each country. The idea is that the viewer will know at least one fact about each of the nearly 200 countries on the globe by the time the series is done. Naturally, there is some dispute as to what constitutes a country. That’s a recurring theme here. Not everyone recognizes Palestine, for instance, but Wendover Productions does. Greenland, however, is not a country. “I’m not allowed to talk about it,” says the narrator.
The lesson starts with Afghanistan, which is first among nations alphabetically and shares a border with China, a “ginormous” country with only one time zone. Lots of the facts seem to revolve around wonky time zones and wonkier borders. There’s a small portion of the United States, Point Roberts, that’s isolated from the rest of the country by Canada, the second-largest country on Earth. And Uzbekistan has the rare fate of being “double land-locked,” meaning that not only is it land-locked, but all of its neighbors are, too.
The barrage of facts continues for 15 minutes, so viewers may want to take notes. Otherwise, they may forget that Mozambique is an absolute godsend to Scrabble players, as it’s worth 32 points in that game. Kyrgyzstan is no slouch in that department, earning 28 points. And then there’s Ecuador, whose location directly on the equator means that the country experiences both winter and summer simultaneously.