#StrangePlanet: Travel Trivia

Truth is stranger than fiction.

Here are seven travel factoids to help prove it:

Wild eats: At the all-you-can-eat Carnivore Restaurant in Johannesburg, South Africa, diners feast on wild game such as ostrich and antelope served on converted Maasai spears.

Root for art: Since 1897, Mexico’s Night of the Radishes Festival (celebrated annually on December 23, notably in Oaxaca) has featured specimens up to 6.5 pounds each, carved into wildly imaginative sculptures of animals, religious figures, and royalty.

Space available: Touted as the world’s largest shopping center (seven million square feet), the New South China Mall, in Dongguan, China, has remained 99 percent unoccupied since opening in 2005.

Fit to be tied: Men’s neckties are thought to have evolved from the jaunty red scarves worn by Croatian mercenaries during the 17th century’s Thirty Years’ War.

Into the blue: André-Jacques Garnerin made the first successful parachute jump in 1797, 3,200 feet above Paris.

Hail yeah: The largest hailstone (as big as a cantaloupe) ever recorded fell in Bangladesh in 1986.

Crocodile tears: Scientists in Costa Rica have documented that bees and butterflies sip the tears of the spectacled caiman to obtain salt.

This piece, written by former National Geographic Traveler executive editor Paul Martin, first appeared in the magazine’s October 2014 issue.

> Related: