17 Incredible Facts That Make Russia Like No Other Place in the World

Written by Alanna Davis
Published: March 26, 2024
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Russia is undeniably one of the most unique and interesting places in the world. Throughout history, this country has been the birthplace of many geniuses and revolutionaries. Great thinkers from all walks of life have emerged from here, and Russia has produced some of the most prolific artists, writers, philosophers, and mathematicians the world has ever seen. However, this country is also well known for its rich cultural heritage, delicious food, and sprawling landscapes. Let’s explore 17 incredible facts about Russia that you may not have heard of before!

1. One of the Most Radioactive Places in the World Is Located in Russia

"Walk in and drive in forbidden", Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant warning sign, Chelyabinsk area

Some people believe spending as little as one hour here can be deadly.

©Kiselev Alexey/Shutterstock.com

When you think of radioactive locations, your mind likely drifts to places like Chernobyl and Fukushima. However, Lake Karachay in Russia is a top contender as well. This lake, located in the Ural mountains, was used as a dumping ground for radioactive waste during the 1950s.

2. Women Far Outnumber Men

Snow covered city street during a heavy snowfall. Lots of snow on the sidewalk, cars and tree branches. Women walk around the winter city. Cold snowy weather. Magadan, Siberia, Russian Far East.

Factors such as the overconsumption of alcohol, war, and disease have contributed to the decreasing male population.

©Andrei Stepanov/Shutterstock.com

Females outnumber males in Russia by nearly 87 to 100. This fact has contributed to the low fertility rates in this country which have been steadily dropping for about three decades now.

3. Russia Is the Vodka Capital of the World

Ice-cold bottle of vodka with shot glasses on dark blue background with copy space.

Although Russia is the number one consumer of vodka, Belarus is the number one consumer of alcohol in the world.

©Miguel Tamayo Fotografia/Shutterstock.com

Russia is the number one vodka-consuming country in the world. According to the World Population Review, “It has been estimated that Russia consumes approximately 17 shots per person per month, which is significantly higher than other countries on the list”

4. Russia Is the Homeland of Tetris

Different colorful shapes wooden blocks on black background, flat lay. Geometric shapes in different colors, top view. Concept of creative, logical thinking or problem solving. Copy space.

The game “Tetris” got its name from the Greek word “tetra” meaning “four,” and the word “tennis.”


While some people are utterly obsessed with Tetris, others don’t understand the appeal of this block-stacking game at all. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that this game made history upon its release in 1985. Its creator, Alexey Pajitnov, was born in Moscow in 1955.

5. Russia Is the Largest Country in the World

Earth planet

Siberia makes up about 5 million square miles within Russia.

©Dima Zel/Shutterstock.com

Believe it or not, Russia is the largest country on planet Earth by area. This country comprises an incredible 6.6 million square miles, which is nearly 3 million square miles larger than the country that holds the second place spot.

6. Red Square Is Actually a Rectangle

Moscow,Russia,Red square,view of St. Basil's Cathedral

Although many people prefer to visit Russia during the warmer months, taking a trip during the winter can be amazing as well.


Although Red Square is called a square, the layout of this 800,000-square-foot landmark more closely resembles that of a rectangle. People from across the globe flock to this iconic destination each year.

7. Russia Was Once Among the World’s Top 10 Most Visited Countries

flag of Russia

Tourism in Russia has slowed since the early 2010s.


Before 2020, countless tourists would visit this amazing country to immerse themselves in its rich culture and history each year. In 2013, roughly 30 million tourists made the trip to Russia, which put this country in the top ten most visited countries in the world that year.

8. Soccer Is the Most Popular Sport in Russia

Soccer (Football) Russia

In Russia, soccer is referred to as football.

©Pixfly/ via Getty Images

While some people might think that Russia is most well-known for its ice hockey or figure skating, the truth is that soccer is the most popular sport in this country.

9. Russia Has Their Own Version of the Loch Ness Monster

Some people claim to have seen the Brosno Dragon with their own two eyes.


The Brosno Dragon, also sometimes called Brosnya, is a serpent-like monster that was supposedly spotted in the Brosno Lake. Although some people believe this monster to be real, it is widely accepted that this story is nothing but a myth.

10. Russia Is Home To Over 200 Volcanoes

Active Bezymianny Volcano (Bezymiannaya Sopka) on Kamchatka Peninsula

There are roughly 60 volcanoes in Russia that are still considered active.

©Alexandr Piragis/iStock via Getty Images

While Russia is home to roughly 200 volcanoes, only a handful of them are presently active. Klyuchevskaya Sopka is the largest among them with a height of nearly 5,000 meters.

11. The Russian Language Has Roots That Trace Back Thousands of Years

Globe map focused on China. Globe map focused on Russia. Close up map China. Close up map Russia. Globus with Asia and Russian Federation.

There are roughly 250 million people who speak Russian fluently throughout the world.

©Artem Kontratiev/Shutterstock.com

According to the New World Encyclopedia, “An East Slavic Old Novgorod dialect, although vanished during the fifteenth or sixteenth century, is sometimes considered to have played a significant role in the formation of the modern Russian language.”

12. Cats Have Taken up Residence at the Hermitage Museum

horse-drawn carriages on the Palace Square in St. Petersburg

Cats have inhabited this museum for almost 300 years.


If you’re a cat-lover, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to the famous Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Roughly 50 cats call this museum home and the staff there care for them in exchange for their rat and mouse-catching abilities.

13. Most of the Population Lives in One Part of the Country

flag of russia

About 140 million people live in Russia.


Although nearly every part of Russia is inhabited on some level, the most densely populated area of this country is the Western portion where nearly 75% of the population resides.

14. The Longest Railway Line in the World Is Located in Russia

This railway opened to the public in 1904.


The Trans-Siberian Railway currently holds the world record for the longest railway line in the world at roughly 5,770 miles long. It begins in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok and the entire trip will take riders about a week to complete.

15. America and Russia Are Closer Than You Think

Flag of Alaska The state flag of Alaska displays eight gold stars

Big Diomede and Little Diomede are two islands in the Bering Strait that are separated between Russia and the United States.

©Svet foto/Shutterstock.com

Although the mainland of the United States might be a great distance from Russia, Alaska is not far at all. In fact, these two countries are only separated by a distance of about two and a half miles. Despite this, each country is 21 hours apart!

16. The First Person in Space Hailed From Russia

The Space Race began in 1955 and concluded in 1975.

©NicoElNino/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

According to NASA, “Yuri Gagarin from the Soviet Union was the first human in space. His vehicle, Vostok 1 circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour with the flight lasting 108 minutes.” This trip took place in April of 1961.

17. Pickling Is Popular for a Reason

Pickling Canning Marinating. Preserving vegetables for the winter. Organic sliced courgettes, zucchini pickled in brine

Russians pickle a variety of vegetables, such as cucumbers, cabbage, onions, garlic, and mushrooms.

©Taras Grebinets/ via Getty Images

Many people across the globe know Russia as a country that loves their pickles. However, this practice was borne from necessity. Summers are short and winters can be long and harsh, so Russians throughout history took up pickling as a way to help preserve their vegetables well into the colder months.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © pudiq/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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