ArgentinaCopyright: Nicolas De Corte 123rf.com

Argentina

Capital: Buenos Aires.
Currency: Argentine peso.
Language: Spanish.
Listen to the national anthem

For most people in Britain, Argentina is known for the Falklands War in 1982 and for defeating England in various World Cups, a rivalry that is second to Germany. But, Argentina, hides many little known facts. The Tango, for instance was invented in Argentina. The first ever conviction as a result of a finger print occurred in Buenos Aires. Quirino Cristiani was the first person to produce an animated film called El ApĆ³stol on 9th November 1917. The first child in the world to have same sex parents as listed on the birth certificate, was born in July 2012, in Buenos Aires. The most southerly city in the world is Ushuaia an area that has been inhabited for over 7,000 years!

The Andean Condor is the national symbol for Argentina and can live for around 50 years! In some cultures they are hunted for their bones and internal organs as it is thought that they contain medicinal properties. Andean CondorCopyright: whitekrechet 123rf.com

The area known as Patagonia is shared between Chile and Argentina and is for the most part an area of steppe like plains. habitation in the region can be traced back some 20,000 years or so and continuously for the last 10,000. When Europeans discovered and explored the region they found the natives and were shocked by their sheer size. It was claimed that these natives were between 2.75m (9ft) and 3.6m (12ft) tall! This gave name to the region, Patagonia which means 'Big Feet'. This description was further enhanced when Sir Francis Drake supposedly backed this up. By 1773 further exploration and more accurate documentation revealed that the natives we indeed tall but were only 1.98m (6.5ft).

Pato, which means 'Duck' in Spanish, is the countries national sport and has been since 1953. Records dating back to 1610 shows that originally it was played with a duck inside a woven basket! Today the ball is made of leather with 6 inflated handles. The

PatoCopyright: Y1997xf11 Wikipedia Commons

idea of the game was to race back to their to their ranch with the duck in the basket and the first to get back would win. Today the game is more structured and played on a pitch of around 220m (720ft) by 90m (300ft). During the games history the game has been banned several times due to there being too many 'gauchos' or players being hurt!

The Argentine flag was created by Manuel Belgranc during the Argentine War of Independence. Belgrano noticed that both the Royalist and Patriotic sides used the same colours, that of Spain, yellow and red. Seeing this, he sat about making a Cockade (roundel) which once approved by the Government he went on to create the national flag in just over a week.

Argentina is what is called a Mega diverse country, that is, a country with a large variety of flora and fauna. Although Argentina is not ranked very highly in species it is still a very important region as it covers 15 different continental zones, 3 different sea zones as well as and Arctic region. Species in danger face the threat of de-forestation and invasive species as well as the clearing of land for urbanisation and farming.

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