- South Africa has the oldest meteor scar in the world, just across the Vaal River near Parys, called the Vredefort Dome. The meteor plummeted to Earth nearly two billion years ago (Earth is said to be 4,5 billion years old), predating the heady days of oxygen and multi-celled life.
- The rocks around Barberton in Mpumalanga are some of the most ancient in the world – over three billion years old. Because they are also the most accessible such formations, NASA scientists come here to gain an idea of how life might form on distant planets.
- South Africa and its neighbours are some of the most generously endowed geographic solar hotspots in the world, soaking up just over half of the world’s highest category of solar wattage per square metre of land.
- South Africa is home to the world’s smallest succulent plants (less than 10 mm) and the largest (the baobab).
- The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prize winners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
- Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States.
- South Africa has the longest wine route in the world, the R62 wine route
- South Africa is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts and the nuts and oils are exported to countries across the world.
- South Africa’s Dr Percy Amolis invented the Retinal Cryoprobe used successfully on former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to repair a detached retina. He also removed a cataract from Nelson Mandela’s eye that enabled the former president to, for the first time, read a speech without glasses.
- There are only 12 countries in the world that supply tap water that is fit to drink, and South Africa is one of them. Our tap water quality is third best overall in the world.
- South Africa is ranked number one in the world for its floral kingdom
- South Africans are natural inventors, giving the world those breakwater dolosse and the automatic pool cleaner.
- We also came up with the first, largest and most viable oil-from-coal refinery (which supplies 40% of our petrol). And did you know that a South African physicist co-developed the CAT-scan, that South Africa makes the seats for Concorde, and also designs and creates flight control technology for Britain’s fighter jets.
[Originally posted on the SA Rocks website, dedicated to celebrating the positives about South Africa!]