What do you know about the Central African Republic? If you read this post and the following one, you will probably know more than most of your family and friends! (The next post will tell about Christians and followers of other religions in the CAR.)
1. A megalith is a very large, prehistoric stone or group of stones used as a monument or forming a structure. Stonehenge in England is an example. Hundreds of megaliths are found in the CAR and other African countries. Their purpose remains a mystery, and scientists are not sure how ancient people moved the enormous stones into place without modern machinery.
2. The CAR has been named one of three countries (along with Chad and Madagascar) with the least “light pollution,” making it easier to see heavenly bodies at night.
3. Some unique animals make their home in the CAR, though conditions in the country are reducing their numbers. Some of the interesting animals include slit-nosed bats, blind snakes, and spot-nosed monkeys.
4. The CAR is landlocked, meaning it is not next to a sea or ocean.
5. The country has roads and airports, but fewer than 10 percent of the roads are paved, and only two airports have paved runways.
6. The CAR is rich in gold, diamonds, and other natural resources. But because of conditions in the country, many people are very poor.
Children in the CAR
7. About 800,000 people in the CAR have become homeless, because a civil war has forced them from their homes.
8. A U.S. State Department travel advisory says, “Do not travel to CAR due to crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping.” For those who plan to travel to the CAR anyway, the State Department advises, “Draft a will…and leave DNA samples with your medical provider.”
9. The capital of the CAR is Bangui, which is the center of the Bangui Magnetic Anomaly. In an area where there is a magnetic anomaly, magnetic compasses don’t work accurately. Scientists aren’t yet sure what caused the anomaly.
10. Due to poor living conditions, the CAR is the world’s unhealthiest country, and the worst country in which to be young, according to researchers.