Open Your Eyes, America! 10 Facts From Around the World That Often Puzzle US Citizens

In an increasingly interconnected world, it’s important to broaden our perspectives and understand the diverse cultures and practices that exist beyond our own borders. Here are ten intriguing facts from around the world that may surprise and puzzle many US citizens.

Spiders as a Delicacy in Cambodia

In Cambodia, deep-fried tarantulas are a popular snack, enjoyed for their crispy texture and nutty flavor. This might raise eyebrows for many Americans, but it’s a common street food in this Southeast Asian nation.

Japan’s Square Watermelons

To save space in small Japanese refrigerators, farmers have developed a method to grow watermelons in a square shape. These novelty fruits are both a puzzling and practical solution to a common urban issue.

The Siesta Culture in Spain

While Americans are accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle, in Spain, it’s common to take a midday siesta, a short nap, to recharge before continuing with the day’s activities. This tradition may seem puzzling to those unfamiliar with it.

India’s Holy Cow

In India, cows are considered sacred and are often seen freely roaming the streets. They are not only protected but revered as a symbol of non-violence and motherhood. This cultural practice can be quite puzzling to outsiders.

No Tipping in Japan

Unlike the US, where tipping is customary, it’s considered impolite to tip in Japan. Exceptional service is already included in the bill, and offering additional money can be seen as disrespectful.

Sweden’s Right to Roam

In Sweden, citizens have the right to access and roam freely on any land, including private property, as long as they do not disturb or damage anything. This “allemansrätt” or “everyman’s right” is a unique legal concept that may seem unusual to many Americans.

Thailand’s Songkran Water Festival

The Songkran Festival, celebrated in Thailand, involves a country-wide water fight where locals and tourists alike drench each other in a spirited celebration of the Thai New Year. This joyful event may puzzle those unfamiliar with the tradition.

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Norwegian Slow TV

In Norway, “Slow TV” is a phenomenon where events like train journeys, knitting, or fishing are broadcast in real-time for hours on end. This minimalist form of entertainment may seem strange to those accustomed to fast-paced shows.

French Cheese Classification

France takes its cheese seriously, and there are over a thousand different types to choose from. Each cheese has its own classification and specific regulations. This level of detail may puzzle Americans more accustomed to a simpler cheese selection.

No Shoes in Homes, Japan

It’s customary in Japan to remove shoes before entering someone’s home. This practice helps maintain cleanliness and shows respect for the space. For Americans, who often keep their shoes on indoors, this can be a surprising cultural difference.


In a rapidly globalizing world, understanding and appreciating cultural diversity is more important than ever. The intriguing facts we’ve explored shed light on the rich tapestry of human experiences across the globe. By learning about these practices, we not only expand our knowledge but also cultivate empathy and respect for others.


Why is it important to learn about these cultural differences?

Understanding cultural diversity promotes empathy, tolerance, and a broader perspective. It fosters better global relations and enriches our own lives.

How can I incorporate some of these practices into my own life?

Start by being open-minded and respectful of different customs. Educate yourself about other cultures and be willing to learn from them.

What can we gain from embracing these differences?

Embracing cultural diversity leads to a more inclusive and harmonious society. It allows for deeper connections and a broader understanding of the world.

Are there cultural practices in the US that may puzzle people from other countries?

Absolutely. For instance, the concept of tipping may be puzzling for some, as it’s not a universal practice.

How can I learn more about different cultures?

You can read books, watch documentaries, travel, attend cultural events, or engage with people from diverse backgrounds.

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