Before you read another sentence, make sure you're sitting down.

In the next few minutes, I’m going to show you some unbelievable things about real estate that will make you question the nature of reality.


1. Larger Than Life

Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom was constructed using a set-trick known as forced perspective, which makes the castle appear much larger than it really is.

magic kingdom

Fact: Wikipedia via Reddit | Image: Thomas Kelley

2. … As All Things Should Be

The domed top of the Seattle Space Needle was built to be perfectly balanced, so the restaurant could be rotated with the help of a tiny 1.5-horsepower motor.

seattle space needle

Fact: Wikipedia

3. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

When the Leaning Tower of Pisa was built, it started shifting on its foundation before construction was completed because of the unusually soft soil it was built on. This same soil is the reason the tower has survived at least four earthquakes since 1280 A.D.

leaning tower of pisa

Fact: Wikipedia | Image: Davide Ragusa

4. The IKEA Labyrinth

If you've ever felt lost in an IKEA store, there's a reason for that. IKEA stores are built like mazes so they function like a walk-through catalog (and generate a lot more impulse purchases along the way).

5. South of the Border

If you travel in any cardinal direction from the town of Los Algodones, Mexico (north, south, east, or west), you will end up in the United States.

Los Algodones real estate fact

Fact: Google Maps | Image: Grafomap

6. A Paper Trail

Even though Sweden is the second largest paper exporter in the world, the country's forest biomass is growing, because for every one tree they cut down, they plant three in its place.

7. The Bunker Clan

A man named Karl Bernd Esser, who was the chief designer of Saddam Hussein's bunker, was also a grandson of the woman who helped design Hitler's bunker.

real estate facts hitler bunker

Fact: Rediff | Image: llagam

8. The Original Pyramid Scheme

When the Great Pyramids of Giza were originally built, they were white. Unlike how they look today, they were plated with a highly-polished white limestone that reflected the sun’s rays and gold caps on top.

9. Talk of the Town

There is a township in Minnesota that has a population of less than 1,000, but more than 20 zip codes.

Minnesota 20 zip codes

Fact: Wikipedia

10. Canada's Just Down the Road

If you're in downtown Detroit and you head directly south, you'll actually travel into Canada.

11. Rock the House

Termites eat wood twice as fast when they listen to rock music. Apparently, termites are attracted to the harder vibrations from the sound of rock music.

termites rock music

Fact: SnappleFact | Image: Paul Green

12. What's Inyo County?

The highest and lowest points of the continental United States are in the same county. Mount Whitney in California stands at 14,494 feet, while the Badwater Basin, a little under 85 miles away, is 282 feet below sea level. Both are in Inyo County.

13. Nature Down the Drain

In Hong Kong, most toilets are flushed with seawater to conserve the city's scarce freshwater resources.

Hong Kong Toilets Seawater

Fact: WSD | Image: Team

14. Scotland's Yard

Scotland and Alaska both fall on the same circle of latitude, 57 degrees north of the Earth's equator.

Scotland and Alaska latitude

Fact: Wikipedia | Image: Aaron Burden

15. That's a Lot of Cement!

China uses a lot of cement. In fact, China used more cement between 2011 to 2013 than the United States did in all of the 20th century.

China Cement

Fact: GatesNotes | Image: Mitch Harris

16. The Last Frontier

Are you sick and tired of your next-door neighbors? You might consider moving to the Siberian Sakha Republic. This territory covers about 20% of Russia's land mass and has a population of less than one million (less than one person per square mile). Most of the area is still largely unexplored by humans.

17. Turning the Tide

Did you know that the Chicago River flows backward? In 1900, engineers successfully reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that it emptied into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan. The system was named a Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Chicago River flow reversal

Fact: Wikipedia | Image: Adrien Casanova

18. Egypt's New Capital

Egypt is building a new capital city to replace Cairo. It will feature a “smart traffic system,” a huge green space bigger than New York’s Central Park, a mega-mall, and housing for 6.5 million people. An official name for the city hasn't been picked yet.

Egypt's new capital city

Fact: NBC News | Image: Sophia Valkova

19. The Rock—The Early Years

Prior to 1933, the infamous Alcatraz island was owned by the U.S. military and used as a minimum-security prison. Some of the inmates were even employed as babysitters for the children of officers who lived on the island.

Alcatraz Island

Fact: ThoughtCo | Image: Nadine Shaabana

20. Where on Earth is Earth?

There's a town in Texas called Earth. It's the only place on Earth named “Earth.”

Earth, Texas

Fact: Wikipedia via Reddit| Image: NASA

21. Hot Property

30 years ago, you had about 17 minutes to escape a house fire. Today it's down to 3 to 4 minutes because newer homes and furniture burn faster, giving you less time to escape.

22. A Bear-y Effective Moat

A castle in the Czech Republic has had a “bear moat” filled with actual bears for the past 300 years.

23. Hidden in Plane Sight

Iranian officials were outraged to learn that the Star of David had been built and displayed on the roof of Iran's largest airport for over 30 years before a Google Earth satellite image revealed it.

Star of David on Iranian airport

Fact: ABC News | Image: Google Earth

24. Ye Olde Castle

Edinburgh Castle is so old that by the time of the first known mention of it in ancient literature, its founding was already shrouded in myth and legend.

Edinburgh Castle ancient

Fact: Wikipedia via Reddit | Image: Roan Lavery

25. Underground Housing

A million people in China live in underground nuclear bunkers constructed in the Cold War era.

26. No Longer the Tall Timbers

Since being discovered by the timber industry in the 1850s, 96% of the 2,000,000 acres of old-growth coast redwood trees in California have been logged.

Redwood trees

Fact: Wikipedia via Reddit | Image: Bruno Wolff

27. The House of Bounce

The first inflatable “bouncy house” was invented in 1959 by John Scurlock, the same man who invented the safety air cushions used to catch people jumping from tall buildings.

bouncy house

Fact: Wikipedia | Image: MIH83

Do you know of any other crazy real estate facts? Let us know about them in the comments below!

About the author

Seth Williams is the Founder of - an online community that offers real-world guidance for real estate investors.

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