With all eyes turning to Brazil’s second-most populous city, Rio, we thought we would share some interesting titbits about the world’s unofficial knife capital of the world. From the swathes of tourists that flock there annually, to the giant Jesus statue, it’s a rather odd sort of city…

For starters, it’s named after something that doesn’t exist. No, seriously, according to history, the spot that is actually called Rio de Janeiro was founded in 1502, by Portuguese explorers who believed the bay was the mouth of a river. So really, the entire city is built on a lie. And we’re not talking about their politics.



The giant statue of Christ gets struck by lightning several times a year. I mean, it’s the tallest point in the city so it’s hardly surprising it acts as the city’s personal lightning rod. The statue stands at a huge 98 feet tall, and the Brazilian Institute of Space Research says the statue is directly hit by lighting at least four times a year. There are actually lightning rods in the structure to keep the power surges centralised; however Jesus has lost a thumb and part of his face in the last few years. Maybe someone isn’t happy with him.

Calm Down Thor

Calm Down, Thor

Street art is totally legal. You want to create something amazing on the streets? Do it. There are uncountable amounts of wonderful and weird art just on the streets. Everywhere you look, colour coats everything like a blanket of rainbows.


Say what you want: that. is. cool.

The colourful city hosts the world’s largest carnival, with up to two million people on the streets every day. The first of these carnivals was in 1723 and the people dress up in elaborate and extravagant costumes, and parade on floats with even more elaborate designs. Imagine the clean up afterwards.

Rio Carnival parade: Portela samba school

So many colours. It’s like a peacock had a baby with a rainbow.

Rio also, way back in 1950, hosted the world’s largest football match. 173,850 spectators crammed into the Maracanã pitch for the World Cup final. Uruguay took home the victory that year as almost 10% of Rio’s population watched. The term Maracanazo was given to the winners, and is now actually a term used when a visiting team wins.


Makes Wembley look like a sand pit.

So there you go, five facts about the world’s host to Olympics this year. If you’re going, be safe, and enjoy the games!