Many of our most loyal readers have almost reached expert level in Swiss trivia thanks to these 13 interesting facts. In order to get you all the way there, allow us to present a fresh batch of facts you (probably) didn't know about Switzerland!
All garments and fabrics on Air Force One are exclusively supplied by a Swiss company.
As the leader in fashion for public transportation, Lantal has one very prominent customer: The President of the United States of America!
For the third time, this Swiss company has furnished Air Force One with seat covers, curtains and carpets. Apparently, the interior changes with each new president!
Switzerland is ranked 5th among most networked countries.
There was only ever one Swiss astronaut - Claude Nicollier!
As the first ever Swiss astronaut, Claude Nicollier has flown on four Space Shuttle missions during his career. All flights took place between 1992 and 1999, and Nicollier became the first astronaut of the European Space Agency to do a spacewalk!
And thanks to Claude Nicollier, a library of fascinating Space Shuttle pictures has been made public! During a "back flip" maneuver in 2005, the "Discovery" happened to be located right above Switzerland:
On July 20, 1969, Frisco launched the still popular Rakete ("rocket") popsicle in Rorschach, Switzerland. I, for one, have many childhood memories of this delicious pineapple/orange popsicle...
Switzerland is launching a satellite to clean up space junk.
A recycling program is now being expanded into outer space! Switzerland is launching CleanSpaceOne, a satellite capable of grabbing space junk and returning it to earth.
75% of global coffee trade happens in Switzerland.
I bet you never knew that there is a strong tie between your daily Starbucks and Switzerland. Over half of the worldwide coffee trade activity for wholesale coffee happens in Switzerland - namely in places like Zug or Winterthur! (Global trading for Starbucks beans takes place in Lausanne.)
Like with most commodity trading, the coffee never physically passes through Switzerland. Instead, companies like Starbucks, Nestlé or Kraft Foods have their global purchasing centers for coffee strategically located in this tiny country!
Geneva has a pretty amazing river confluence.
The Rhône river and Arve rivers collide in Geneva, as seen in this incredible photograph. The river on the left is the Rhône, which is leaving Lac Leman. The river on the right is the Arve, which receives water from the many glaciers of the Chamonix valley before flowing north-west into the Rhône on the west side of Geneva.
The much higher levels of silt bring forth a striking contrast between the two rivers.
50'000 Swiss can challenge legislative acts by the parliament via a facultative referendum.
Any Swiss citizen may challenge a law that has been passed by parliament. If they are able to gather 50'000 signatures against a particular law within 100 days, a national vote has to be scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law.
A pedestrian crossing in Bern is lined with Swarovski diamonds.
In order to increase visibility during the night, Bern officials are blending the yellow color of pedestrian crossings with tiny Swarovski diamond glass beads. Up to 500 g/1 lb of Swarovski diamond dust is being used per square meter!
According to one engineer, optimal visibility occurs if two thirds of diamonds are blended on, and one third is sticking out.