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    The Land of the Longest Railway: 10 Cool Facts About Russia

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    The biggest country on the map, it is also home to world’s longest railway and largest McDonald’s – Sputnik has compiled the most interesting facts and observations about Russia.

    The Largest Country on the Map

    Russia is the largest country in the world by area. Its total area is 17,098,242 square kilometers and it covers more than a ninth of the Earth’s land area. Russia is 1.8 times larger than the United States.

    Graffiti artists paint a map of Russia in front of the building of Moscow State Mapping and Geodesy University
    © Sputnik/ Vitaliy Belousov
    Graffiti artists paint a map of Russia in front of the building of Moscow State Mapping and Geodesy University

    The World’s Longest Railway

    The Trans-Siberian Railway spans almost all the way across the county, making it the single longest railway in the world. The 9,289 kilometer (or 5,772 mile) railway begins in Moscow (located in European Russia) and crosses all the way into Asia.

    The Trans-Siberian Railway: history, route and economic parameters
    © Sputnik/ Diana Gibadulina
    The Trans-Siberian Railway: history, route and economic parameters

    It then makes its way to the Pacific Ocean port of Vladivostok where it reaches the end of its incredible journey. The entire journey non-stop will take you 152 hours and 27 minutes to complete.

    The network has been working since 1916 and is still being expanded. There are connecting branch lines into Mongolia, China and North Korea.

    Trans-Siberian Railway
    Trans-Siberian Railway

    More Forest Than Anyone Else

    Russia is not only the largest country in the world, but also the country with the largest forest area.

    Russia has 7,762,602 km2 (2,997,157 mi2) of its land covered by forest, which totals 45.40% of the country’s land area.

    North-Eastern Siberia
    © Wikipedia/ Bartosh Dmytro
    North-Eastern Siberia

    The forest area of Russia alone is the size of the entire continent of Australia!

    Home to the World’s Deepest Lake

    Lake Baikal in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, is the world's oldest (25 million years) and deepest lake.

    It is 5,314 feet deep (1,637 meters) and it's bottom is at 4,215 feet (1,285 meters) below sea level.

    Ship sailing on Lake Baikal near Olkhon island.
    © Sputnik/ Iliya Pitalev
    Ship sailing on Lake Baikal near Olkhon island.

    Lake Baikal is also the world's largest freshwater lake in terms of volume. It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve.

    The Largest McDonald’s in the World

    If you’re a fan of the famous golden arches, Russia is the place to go. The country is home to the largest McDonalds restaurant in the world, with 700 seats. A larger building, seating 1,500, was constructed for the 2012 Olympics in London, England but it was a temporary location and was dissembled six weeks after the doors opened (once the Olympics had come to an end).

    McDonald's in Pushkin Square, Moscow
    © Sputnik/ Vladimir Fedorenko
    McDonald's in Pushkin Square, Moscow

    At dawn on 31 January 1990 more than 5,000 joined the line for its opening. Over the course of the day, the Moscow McDonald's set a world record by serving more than 30 thousand visitors. People stood in line for over 6 hours, willing to get a taste of this "novel" food.

    World’s Largest Oil Producing Country in 2015

    According to a study conducted by the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2015 Russia topped the list of the world’s largest oil producing countries. These numbers, however, change each year.

    Russian Arctic oil drilling platform.
    © AP Photo/ Rosneft press service
    Russian Arctic oil drilling platform.

    In 2015, Russia’s production reached 10,590,000 barrels of oil per day which helped in delivering 14.05% of the world's total oil supply.

    Even though Russia faced its biggest financial crisis in over a decade, it still is at the number 1 spot in the list of top 10 biggest oil producing countries in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia and US.

    World’s Third Largest UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites Host

    Russia is the world’s third largest home to Natural Sites put on UNESCO World Heritage Sites list considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

    Geothermal generation station on Kamchatka
    © Sputnik/ Mikhail Nikitin
    Geothermal generation station on Kamchatka

    It has 10 of its natural sites on the list, the third after the US (13) and Australia (12).

    Russia’s Capital Moscow is the World’s Second Largest City by the Number of Billionaires

    Despite Asia’s rise, in 2015 Moscow kept second place as it remained the hot spot in Russia, with the majority of the country’s 82 billionaires residing in the capital.

    Russia’s Capital Moscow is the World’s Second Largest City by the Number of Billionaires
    © Sputnik/ Michail Kutuzov
    Russia’s Capital Moscow is the World’s Second Largest City by the Number of Billionaires

    With 78 billionaire residents, New York City gained the first place.

    It is believed Russia has at least 15 secret cities with their names, and locations unknown.

    There are approximately 10 million more women in Russia than there are men
    © Sputnik/ Georgiy Kurolesin
    There are approximately 10 million more women in Russia than there are men

    There are approximately 10 million more women in Russia than there are men.

    The imbalance was initially believed to the result of so many men dying during World War II.

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