Looking to boost your knowledge about the countries of Africa and increase your chances of winning the next pub quiz? Start by learning these 25 interesting facts about Libya!
Libya is a highly cultural country in the Maghreb region of North Africa.
It is bordered by Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south and Algeria and Tunisia to the west; it also has a coastline along the Mediterranean Sea to the north.
Fancy trekking through the desert or sampling the local cuisine by the sea? Head for the coordinates of 27.0000° N, 17.0000° E for your very own Libyan adventure!
Flag of Libya
The terrain here is dominated by barren, flat to undulating plains.
The total land area of Libya is 679,358 square miles (1,759,540 square kilometres)…
…that’s more than 7 times the size of the UK.
That makes it the 17th largest nation in the world!
Much of Libya lies within the Sahara desert* – in fact, almost 90% of the country is desert, so the majority of people live in coastal cities such as Tripoli and Benghazi.
*The Libyan Desert forms the north-east section of the Sahara Desert. As well as Libya, it extends through to Sudan and Egypt and covers an area of approximately 424,712 square miles (1,100,000 square kilometres).
Libya’s population was 6.679 million in 2018…
…that’s around 1/10th of the population of the UK!
Residents here are known as Libyans.
The capital is Tripoli; it covers an area of 154.4 square miles (400 square kilometres) and had a population of 2.358 million in 2018.
Libyans enjoy a mediterranean climate along the coastline, changing to a desert climate further inland.
The official language of Libya is Arabic.
Libya has a rich and varied history that dates back to the 7th Century BC when the Phoenicians settled in Tripolitania (Western Libya); before this, the area was populated by Berbers.
Libyan Dinar is the official currency here.
The Romans conquered Libya in 74BC and even today some of the ruins of the ancient port and city Leptis Magna, including an amphitheatre and forum, still exist, as do other ruins, including a Greek temple.
The average life span here is 71.93 years (2016).
Libya’s national dish is couscous – typically prepared with stewed beef and vegetables in a spicy tomato sauce.
Alcohol consumption is prohibited by law in Libya!
Almost one third of the Libyan population does not have access to any safe drinking water, partly due to the dry landscape of the desert which can go decades without rain!
Libya grows wheat, barley, dates and olives; they also rear cattle.
Its industry consists of petroleum, food processing, handicrafts, textiles and cement.
The main exports include crude oil and refined petroleum products.
Do you know any interesting facts about Libya you’d like to share here? Let us know in the comments section below!