There are over 190 countries around the world today and each one has its own fascinating history. Many people love to travel to far off lands to learn more about these places. But are they always getting the full picture, especially if that country has a sordid past?

Many of us know about the genocide that took place in Rwanda nearly 30 years ago just as we know about the way that Chile's leader, Pinochet, would disappear his opponents. But that's just scratching the surface.

People told us some creepy facts about their countries after Redditor Dantehasabig_ asked the online community,

"What are creepy facts about your country that most foreigners wouldn’t know?"


"Portugal basically started the transatlantic slave trade and sold and enslaved millions of African people. There were far more slaves in Portuguese Brazil than there ever were in the USA, but people only talk about the Americans being the slave monsters."


Portugal was also the first European country to attack Japan. It enslaved so many Japanese people that the Emperor of Japan threatened to declare war against Portugal.

History is wild.


"When Spain abolished slavery, instead of freeing the slaves they sold them to Morocco. It's disgusting."


The history of human beings being sold for profit is horrifying, as it should be.


"In Australia, we had a Prime Minister who went swimming and just never came back. To this day no one knows what happened to him."


Ah, yes, that would be Harold Holt. He is now remembered more for the circumstances of his death than for his political achievements.

United States

"Nearly 100 workers died during the construction of the Hoover Dam. This has caused some urban legends about people still being entombed in the concrete, which is false, but there were in fact cases where people got buried by concrete and they had to extract the bodies because human bodies would compromise the structural integrity."


I love that the reason wasn't humane, but structural.


"In my country we have a place where there are many creepy and authentic dolls everywhere you go. Up in the trees, down staring at you. Possibly one you are going to step on…."


Yes, this is a definitely a place I have no interest in visiting. I've seen enough movies about creepy dolls to last me a lifetime.

South Korea

"This isn't creepy, but in the most militarized border in the world, the DMZ, wildlife has actually been flourishing there. Untouched and unvisited by people for several decades."


I'd say the circumstances of life beyond that border (and everything that led up to the creation of that border) is definitely creepy.


"On top of subjugating and plundering the Congo, Belgium also sold the chains and shackles to slave traders in West Africa, shipped African people to America as slaves, and returned with butt loads of money back to Ostend. What one would call the original Devil's Triangle."


In case any of you were wondering, King Leopold II of Belgium was a horrible person.


"Ireland. We used to have “mother and baby homes” run by nuns where unmarried women were forced to go and work in commercial laundries to pay for their upkeep because having a baby out of wedlock was so unacceptable. This was done with the full support of the state. The last one only closed in 1998."


Anyone who reads about the Magdalene Laundries is in for some some depressing reading.


"Indigenous Canadian children were sent to residential schools to be abused and killed. This was approved and funded by the Canadian government and we still don’t know how many kids actually died."


The details to come out of Canada in the last year are horrifying, but learning about these things and acknowleding them is hopefully the first step to reparations.


"Remember the thing Pinochet did to political opponents? You know, throwing them out off helicopters into the ocean? Yeah, we did that too during our war in Algeria. When they noticed that bodies would resurface, they'd attach concrete blocks to the victims' feet."


Nooope. Talk about horrifying.

Every country out there has some skeletons in its closet, and some of those are more well known than others.

Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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