Chile may derive its name from the indigenous Mapuche word chilli, which may mean “where the land ends.” Another meaning attributed to Chile’s name is the onomatopoeic “cheele-cheele”—the Mapuche imitation of a bird call. The Spanish heard about “Chilli” from the Incas in Peru, who had failed to conquer the land inhabited by the Araucanians, of which the Mapuche were the most warlike group. The survivors of Diego de Almagro’s first Spanish expedition south from Peru in 1535-1537 called themselves “Men of Chilli.”
Chile’s national flag is similar to the state flag of Texas. It was designed by Minister Jose Ignacio Centeno after a suggestion by U.S. Envoy Joel Roberts Poinsett and came into use in 1817.
Chile has the largest annual fireworks show in all of South America in the city of Valparaiso during its famed New Year’s Pyrotechnic Festival. In 2007, Valparaiso shot for the Guinness Book of World Records with the largest amount of fireworks exploded in one evening: 16,000.
With over 100 wineries in the country, Chile is now the 5th largest exporter of wine in the world.
The official and unusual name for the Chilean soccer team is the “O’Higgins a Patriot of Chilean Rule.”
Chile is the longest country in the world from north to south
Chile is the longest country in the world from north to south at 2,647 miles (4,620 km) long and extends across 38 degrees of latitude. The Andes Mountain Range extends the entire length of the country north to south.
Chile is one of the few countries on earth that has a government-supported UFO research organization.
Chile’s Central District has had so many reported UFO sightings over the past 20 years that in 2008, the town of San Clemente opened a 19-mile UFO trail that winds through the Andes Mountains, whose plateaus apparently make great landing pads for the UFOs.
Chilean husbands and wives have different last names because women keep their maiden names. If they have the same last names, they are often considered brother and sister.
Divorce in Chile was legalized only in 2005, and the country has one of the lowest divorce rates globally.
Chilean teatime is the third meal of the day and is called once, or 11, which takes place at 5 p.m. There are three versions of how once got its name. The first version claims that it is named after the time the British take their tea, 11 a.m. The second version claims that it is named after a British variety of biscuits called elevenses that the British serve with their tea. The third version says that at teatime, the men went to the kitchen or back room to have a sip of aguardiente, a grape spirit, instead of tea. Since the word has 11 letters, they called it once.
Chile’s national drink, Pisco, is a clear liquid similar to brandy. It is grown in Chile in the Elqui Valley and is commonly mixed with soft drinks like Coca-Cola (Piscola) or ginger ale or vermouth. But the most common version is the Pisco sour where it is blended with lemon juice, sugar, ice, and beaten egg whites. The Peruvians made the Pisco sour famous, but the Chilean version tastes slightly different.
Chile is home to four species of penguin, including the Southern Rockhopper Penguins
Penguins can be found in several areas of southern Chile, including the Seno Otway Penguin Colony near Punta Arenas. Humboldt penguins can also be found in the north coast of Chile.
Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world. Parts of the Atacama have not seen a drop of rain since recordkeeping began. The Atacama is also home to geoglyphs, or large drawings made from stones, arranged on the side of the mountains. The Gigante de Atacama (Atacama Giant), located at Cerro Unitas, is the largest prehistoric anthropomorphic figure in the world at 390 feet (119 m) high and supposedly represents a deity for the indigenous people, from A.D. 1000 to 1400.
In 2000, the Casa de Vidrio, a transparent glass house, was placed in the center of Santiago. A young actress lived in it for t