11 Random Facts About Malta You Never Knew You Needed

It's time to elevate your small talk game

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Featured Photo by Petter Gerhard

We've all been through the struggle of trying to come up an interesting topic to discuss at a social event; particularly at gatherings flooded with friends of friends. So if you're not particularly great at thinking on the spot, Tumblr blog Useless facts about Malta has got you covered. Here are some highlights.

1. You need 2 billion computers laid down next to each other to cover the area of Malta

And that same amount of computers stacked on top of each other would apparently cover the distance to the moon two and a half times over. How have you lived your whole life without knowing this?

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2. In Malta, it's illegal to play an instrument while driving

While we can completely understand why this would be illegal, that still doesn't change the fact that it's perhaps the most random law we've heard of.

3. The first car in the Maltese Islands was brought to Gozo in 1907

...which means Malta will be celebrating 110 years of cars this year (although in retrospect, maybe "celebrating" isn't the best word to use here). Speaking of which, do you reckon they could play instruments while driving in the 1900s?

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4. It took around 8,000 to 9,000 people to build Valletta

We've always wondered just how they constructed one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, and now, we seem to be a little bit wiser about the whole thing. It must've been a pretty proud moment when those people got to finally walk down the streets of the city they had literally built themselves from the ground up.

5. There are 54 cities and villages in Malta, and 14 in Gozo

If you take all these and divide them by the space we have available, Malta has a town or village for every 2 square miles!

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Photo by Berit Watkin

6. In the past, rich families used to have a tortoise for good luck

Oh, and that's not even the strangest part. On special feasts, they used to apply oil to its back till it shone and put it in their yard to delight visitors. Ok then...


7. There is a valley in the south of Malta called Wied il-Bassasa, which literally translates to Valley of the Farters 

It's a nature preserve in Żurrieq, to be precise. But to us, it will now forever be known as the best place to go if you want to discreetly break wind.

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8. Around 6,000 tonnes of potatoes are exported annually

Even though many of the fruits and vegetables in Malta are imported, we more than make up for it with our potato exportation. And with such a huge annual figure, it's probably safe to say that indirectly or not, all our lives are potato.

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9. The numbers from 1 to 10 in Maltese all have five letters, except the number 8

Go on, we'll wait while you quickly confirm that. Remember; "ie" and "għ" in Maltese are considered as single letters. We're just wondering why of all numbers, the number eight randomly got the short end of the stick. 

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10. The letters ċ, g and v are the least used letters in Maltese

It's perhaps to be expected that "ċ" doesn't feature that often since it would only appear in a small number of only Maltese words, but with such a vast vocabulary of naturalised words form other languages, it's quite interesting to note that "g" and "v" are the least used letters in our language.

So don't forget to feel extra special next time you call someone a ċuċ, because you'd be making maximum use of some of the rarest Maltese letters!

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11. "Jien naf" (which means "I know") almost always means "I don't know" 

Think about it. This one is perhaps the best example of how the tone of your voice is one of the most important things to master in Malta, especially seeing as we're an extremely sarcastic bunch of people.

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Share your random fact about Malta or Gozo in the comments section!

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Written By

David Grech Urpani

Sarcastically ironic, Dave is a recovering hipster musician with a penchant for chicken, women's clothes and Kanye.