Fascinating facts that make you think twice

The world is a fascinating place, and it's full of weird and interesting facts that you might have never realized were true.
From a creature that can survive the harsh vacuum of space to the odd state sport of Maryland, you're bound to learn something that makes you think twice.


Cleopatra lived closer in time to the Moon landing than to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Cleopatra lived closer in time to the Moon landing than to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

A mantis shrimp can swing its claw so fast it boils the water around it and creates a flash of light.

A mantis shrimp can swing its claw so fast it boils the water around it and creates a flash of light.

The Spanish national anthem has no words.

The Spanish national anthem has no words.

Honey does not spoil. You could feasibly eat 3000 year old honey.

Honey does not spoil. You could feasibly eat 3000 year old honey.

Dead people can get goose bumps.

Dead people can get goose bumps.

A small percentage of the static you see on "dead" tv stations is left over radiation from the Big Bang. You're seeing residual effects of the Universe's creation.

A small percentage of the static you see on "dead" tv stations is left over radiation from the Big Bang. You're seeing residual effects of the Universe's creation.

The state sport of Maryland is jousting.

The state sport of Maryland is jousting.

When we breathe through our nose, we always inhale more air from one nostril than with the other one — and this changes every 15 minutes.

When we breathe through our nose, we always inhale more air from one nostril than with the other one — and this changes every 15 minutes.

If you were to remove all of the empty space from the atoms that make up every human on earth, the entire world population could fit into an apple.

If you were to remove all of the empty space from the atoms that make up every human on earth, the entire world population could fit into an apple.

The woolly mammoth was still around when the pyramids were being built.

The woolly mammoth was still around when the pyramids were being built.

There are more possible iterations of a game of chess than there are atoms in the known universe.

There are more possible iterations of a game of chess than there are atoms in the known universe.

If you somehow found a way to extract all of the gold from the bubbling core of our lovely little planet, you would be able to cover all of the land in a layer of gold up to your knees.

If you somehow found a way to extract all of the gold from the bubbling core of our lovely little planet, you would be able to cover all of the land in a layer of gold up to your knees.

It would take 1,200,000 mosquitoes, each sucking once, to completely drain the average human of blood.

It would take 1,200,000 mosquitoes, each sucking once, to completely drain the average human of blood.

Written language was invented independently by the Egyptians, Sumerians, Chinese, and Mayans.

Written language was invented independently by the Egyptians, Sumerians, Chinese, and Mayans.

To know when to mate, a male giraffe will continuously headbutt the female in the bladder until she urinates. The male then tastes the pee and that helps it determine whether the female is ovulating.

To know when to mate, a male giraffe will continuously headbutt the female in the bladder until she urinates. The male then tastes the pee and that helps it determine whether the female is ovulating.

It can take a photon 40,000 years to travel from the core of the sun to the surface, but only 8 minutes to travel the rest of the way to earth.

It can take a photon 40,000 years to travel from the core of the sun to the surface, but only 8 minutes to travel the rest of the way to earth.

Water bears, or Tardigrades, are typically 0.5 mm in length and can survive virtually anything. Even the vacuum of space.

Water bears, or Tardigrades, are typically 0.5 mm in length and can survive virtually anything. Even the vacuum of space.

Basically anything that melts can be made into glass. You just have to cool off a molten material before its molecules have time to realign into what they were before being melted.

Basically anything that melts can be made into glass. You just have to cool off a molten material before its molecules have time to realign into what they were before being melted.

The critically endangered Kakapo bird has a strong, pleasant, musty odour which allows predators to easily locate it. Hence, it is critically endangered.

The critically endangered Kakapo bird has a strong, pleasant, musty odour which allows predators to easily locate it. Hence, it is critically endangered.

In 1903 the Wright Brothers flew for the first time. 66 years later, man landed on the Moon in 1969.

In 1903 the Wright Brothers flew for the first time. 66 years later, man landed on the Moon in 1969.
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700. Its urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.7 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by centuries. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the nameOlissipo. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured by the Moors in the 8th century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since then it has been a major political, economic and cultural centre of Portugal. 
Lisbon enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Among all the metropoleis in Europe, it has the warmest winters, with average temperatures 15 °C (59 °F) during the day and 8 °C (46 °F) at night from December to February. The typical summer season lasts about six months, from May to October, although also in April temperatures sometimes reach around 25 °C (77.0 °F).


The name of Lisbon can be traced back to Phoenician times, according to one of several conjectures on the origin of Lisbon's toponymy, or alternatively, to the legend that Odysseus founded Lisbon.  Another conjecture suggests that the settlement took the name of the pre-Roman word for the Tagus (Lisso or Lucio). Lisbon's name was written Ulyssippo in Latin by the geographer Pomponius Mela, a native of Hispania. It was later referenced as "Olisippo" by Pliny the Elder and by the Greeks as Olissipo (λισσιπών) or Olissipona (λισσιπόνα).

HISTORY
Lusitanian raids and rebellions during Roman occupation necessitated the construction of a wall around the settlement. During Augustus' reign, the Romans also built a great theatre; the Cassian Baths (underneath Rua da Prata); temples to Jupiter, Diana, Cybele, Tethys and Idea Phrygiae (an uncommon cult from Asia Minor), in addition to temples to the Emperor; a large necropolis under Praça da Figueira; 

Following the disintegration of the Roman Empire there were barbarian invasions; between 409 and 429 the city was occupied successively by Sarmatians, Alans and Vandals. The Germanic Suebi, who established a kingdom in Gallaecia (modern Galicia and northern Portugal), with its capital in Bracara Augusta, also controlled the region of Lisbon until 585. In 585, the Suebi Kingdom was integrated into the Germanic Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo, which comprised all of the Iberian Peninsula: Lisbon was then calledUlishbona.


The Muslim influence is still visible present in the Alfama district, an old quarter of Lisbon that survived the 1755 Lisbon earthquake: many place-names are derived from Arabic and the Alfama (the oldest existing district of Lisbon) was derived from the Arabic "al-hamma".

After the 1755 earthquake, the city was rebuilt largely according to the plans of Prime Minister Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the1st Marquess of Pombal; the lower town began to be known as the Baixa Pombalina (Pombaline central district). Instead of rebuilding the medieval town, Pombal decided to demolish what remained after the earthquake and rebuild the city centre in accordance with principles of modern urban design. It was reconstructed in an open rectangular plan with two great squares: the Praça do Rossio and the Praça do Comércio. The first, the central commercial district, is the traditional gathering place of the city and the location of the older cafés, theatres and restaurants; the second became the city's main access to the River Tagus and point of departure and arrival for seagoing vessels, adorned by a triumphal arch (1873) and monument to King Joseph I.

In the first years of the 19th century, Portugal was invaded by the troops of Napoléon Bonaparte, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince-Regent John (future John VI) to flee temporarily to Brazil. By the time the new King returned to Lisbon, many of the buildings and properties were pillaged, sacked or destroyed by the invaders.

During World War II, Lisbon was one of the very few neutral, open European Atlantic ports, a major gateway for refugees to the U.S. and a haven for spies. More than 100,000 refugees were able to flee Nazi Germany via Lisbon.

Lisbon was the site of three revolutions in the 20th century. The first, the 5 October 1910 revolution, brought an end to the Portuguese monarchy and established the highly unstable and corrupt Portuguese First Republic. The 6 June 1926 revolution would see the end of that first republic and firmly establish the Estado Novo, or the Portuguese Second Republic, as the ruling regime. The final revolution, theCarnation Revolution, would take place on 25 April 1974 and would end the right-wing Estado Novo and reform the country as the current Portuguese Third Republic.

In the 1990s, many of the districts were renovated and projects in the historic quarters were established to modernise those areas; architectural and patrimonial buildings were recuperated; the northern margin of the Tagus was re-purposed for leisure and residential use; the Vasco da Gama Bridge was constructed; and the eastern part of the municipality was re-purposed for Expo '98, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's sea voyage to India, a voyage that would bring immense riches to Lisbon and cause many of Lisbon's landmarks to be built.


Alfama
The oldest district of Lisbon, it spreads down the southern slope from the Castle of São Jorge to the River Tagus. Its name, derived from the Arabic Al-hamma, means fountains or baths. During the Islamic invasion of Iberia, the Alfama constituted the largest part of the city, extending west to the Baixa neighbourhood. Increasingly, the Alfama became inhabited by fishermen and the poor: its fame as a poor neighbourhood continues to this day. 

 

Mouraria

The Mouraria, or Moorish quarter, is one of the most traditional neighborhoods of Lisbon,  although most of its old buildings were demolished by the Estado Novo between the 1930s and the 1970s.  It takes its name from the fact that after the reconquest of Lisbon, the Muslims who remained were confined to this part of the city.  In turn, the Jews were confined to three neighbourhoods called "Judiarias"

Bairro Alto (literally the upper quarter in Portuguese) is an area of central Lisbon that functions as a residential, shopping and entertainment district; it is the centre of the Portuguese capital's nightlife, attracting hipster youth and members of various music subcultures.

The heart of the city is the Baixa or city centre; the Pombaline Baixa is an elegant district, primarily constructed after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, taking its name from its benefactor, 1st Marquess of Pombal, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, who was the minister ofJoseph I of Portugal (1750–1777) and a key figure during the Portuguese Enlightenment.

Belém is famous as the place from which many of the great Portuguese explorers set off on their voyages of discovery. In particular, it is the place from which Vasco da Gama departed for India in 1497 and Pedro Álvares Cabral departed for Brazil in 1499. It is also a former royal residence and features the 17th–18th century Belém Palace, a former royal residence now occupied by the President of Portugal, and the Ajuda Palace, begun in 1802 but never completed.



Perhaps Belém's most famous feature is its tower, Torre de Belém, whose image is much used by Lisbon's tourist board. The tower was built as a fortified lighthouse late in the reign of Dom Manuel l (1515–1520) to guard the entrance to the port. It stood on a little island in right side of the Tagus, surrounded by water. Belém's other major historical building is the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery), which the Torre de Belém was built partly to defend. Belém's most notable modern feature is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) built for the Portuguese World Fair in 1940. In the heart of Belém is the Praça do Império: gardens centred upon a large fountain, laid out during World War II. To the west of the gardens lies the Centro Cultural de Belém. Belém is one of the most visited Lisbon districts.
What to see: click here
What to do: click here


Is it fair for Shakespeare to overshadow Cervantes?

 

Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare died days apart, 400 years ago, each of them a giant in his own language and literary tradition. But a difference in the scale of quatercentenary celebrations in their respective countries and around the world is leading some fans of the author of Don Quixote to cry foul.
While "all the world's a stage" for the British bard thanks to the rollout of the massive Shakespeare Lives programme of arts events around the globe, celebrations of the life of his Spanish contemporary are perhaps "more honoured in the breach than the observance".
Shakespeare Lives aims to reach half a billion people worldwide - the first screenings of The Complete Walk, 37 short films to represent the complete body of the bard's stage plays, took place at the weekend. The Spanish government's action plan for Cervantes, on the other hand, seems far less ambitious... and leans heavily on exhibitions and conferences in big city museums and libraries.

This has provoked some rather unchivalrous comments from bigwigs in the field of Spanish culture.
"We've had 400 years to prepare for this," said Dario Villanueva, director of the Spanish Royal Academy, shortly after a letter from UK Prime Minister David Cameron introducing Shakespeare Lives was published in major newspapers around the world.
"There are a few events lined up but the figure of Cervantes deserves a major gesture on the part of our top institutions."
The Spanish Culture Ministry has admitted that the programme remains a "work in progress" and that some events will not emerge from the pipeline until 2017.

Cervantes v Shakespeare

  • The Cervantes Institute says that Don Quixote has been translated into 140 languages. The British Council says that Shakespeare works have been translated into more than 100 languages
  • Shakespeare plays have formed the basis of more than 1,000 film scripts. About 50 feature-film versions of Don Quixote have been made in various languages
  • Critically acclaimed film adaptations of Shakespeare's works include Kenneth Branagh's and Laurence Olivier's versions of Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet directed by Baz Luhrmann
  • Internationally successful film adaptations of Cervantes' Don Quixote have been rare - Orson Welles and Terry Gilliam both failed to complete film shoots of their quixotic projects
  • Man of La Mancha (Don Quixote) and West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet) are the best-known musicals inspired by the two writers' works

But Spanish novelist and commentator Andres Trapiello, argues that the difference in the commemorations has a lot to do with the authors themselves, and how the public relates to them.
"Sure, the state could have done more to promote the Cervantes event, but the fact is that Shakespeare is a much more popular writer," he says.
"His works last two or three hours in the theatre and have been made into God knows how many films. Cervantes wrote a number of works but above all Don Quixote, a 1,100-page work which you need to read with thousands of footnotes."
Trapiello describes the difficulty of reading the early 17th Century classic - often described as Europe's first modern novel - as a kind of albatross hanging around the neck of contemporary Spaniards, many of whom have come to associate the name of Cervantes with a negative cultural experience.
"Everyone says they appreciate the importance of Don Quixote but there is this national frustration that they cannot read it. People get a complex about it," he says.
"Every couple of years they sit down and say I am going to do it this time, but they get as far as the windmill story on about page 50 and give up."
This story sees Don Quixote, a minor nobleman who imagines himself a knight errant, mistake windmills for hulking giants and charge them on his pathetic horse, Rocinante - it's the origin of the English phrase "tilting at windmills".
A survey in 2015 revealed that only two out of 10 Spanish adults claimed to have read Don Quixote in full, and of these only half recognised the main character's real name, Alonso Quijano.
The fact that Trapiello's translation of the book into modern Spanish sold 30,000 copies in its first year in print may indicate how much Spaniards long to get to grips with the book, and how difficult they find the original.
Meanwhile, English-language films of Shakespeare's works have done a lot to popularise the bard in Spain.
Jose Rivas, a 25-year-old IT engineer from Madrid, says the first thing that comes into his mind when he thinks of Shakespeare is "Kenneth Branagh". He reels off a list of plays he knows from the cinema, from Henry V to Much Ado About Nothing.
By contrast, he has never read Cervantes, and was unaware this was a special anniversary year for the giant of Spanish letters.
"I get the feeling that Shakespeare is truly admired in Britain, while Cervantes is almost being ignored here," says Lupe Estevez, a children's author.
When she read Don Quixote as a schoolgirl she was surprised to discover how funny the book was.
"I couldn't believe something like that could have been written in that era. But the way we treat Cervantes is so solemn and old-fashioned, in the TV and film versions there have been, for example. This generation has got it wrong in that sense. I hope to see a new approach for our children to enjoy."

Don Quixote in 100 words

An elderly fan of chivalric literature, Alonso Quijano, decides to become a knight-errant and sets off in search of adventure on his aged mount, Rocinante. He thinks of himself as Don Quixote of La Mancha, imagines a farm girl is his lady love, Dulcinea, and a villager, Sancho Panza, is his squire. Panza's earthiness contrasts with Quixote's feverish imagination, but he too is fooled into thinking he has become the governor of an island. The novel's second part sees Quixote wrestling with the fact that he is now a famous literary character, thanks to the success of the first book.

The man tasked with making 2016 in Britain the year of Cervantes, and not just Shakespeare, says much of the criticism is unfair.
"What is the aim of an anniversary like this? It is more to promote the works and reach the average citizens than to make a lot of noise," says Julio Crespo, director of the London branch of the Cervantes Institute, the Spanish equivalent of the British Council.
"You can spend a lot of money on celebrations that seem to be very impressive but don't really have a serious content."
He is at pains to underline how much the writers have in common. It was because both writers were traditionally thought to have died on 23 April that this became World Book Day, he points out. Both have been translated into more than 100 languages.
"They were different writers using different forms but both contributed to elevate the level of the language and culture to which they belonged in a similar way," he says.
Trapiello, the Cervantes devotee, also declares himself to be an enormous fan of Shakespeare, citing the poetic richness of the English bard's verse.
"Hamlet is my favourite play, but even in some of the weaker works, there are always amazing passages. For example, I don't rate Romeo and Juliet especially highly, but the leave-taking scene between the two lovers is of extraordinary quality," he says.
Ultimately, Trapiello feels that Shakespeare's obvious dramatic qualities give his work a modern edge, which lends it more easily to film adaptations.
"Quixote, on the other hand, is a series of small anecdotes. It does not translate at all into the language of cinema," he says. "All films about Quixote have tried to be funny and they have all failed."

 

WHY DO STILL CARE ABOUT SHAKESPEARE?

Four hundred years have passed since William Shakespeare penned his last play. Yet his prose, plots and characters are as alive today as they were when the plays were originally staged during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespearean works are required reading for high school English students and a course or two for college students who study writing or literature. The plays have been performed in almost every language, on stage and screen and at popular festivals around the world. Even in prisons, teachers find that Shakespeare offers contemporary connections that open pathways to learning for some of society’s most marginalized.

For two of UTSA’s eminent literary scholars, the bard of Avon’s enduring appeal is an enduring topic as well. Alan Craven and Mark Bayer are frequently asked to explain Shakespeare’s staying power in the lore of literature. What is it about a long-dead poet and playwright that makes him such an important element of contemporary culture?
The answer is simple for Craven, a professor emeritus at UTSA who taught his first Shakespeare course back in 1965.
“He is the greatest dramatist, the greatest poet and the greatest prose writer in the history of the language,” said Craven, who teaches undergraduate courses in Shakespeare and has seen all of his plays performed at least once. “He has a presence like Lincoln or Washington in American history.”
The language is rich, the characters are complex and many of his basic themes – love, treachery, honor, bravery and political intrigue – still resonate today, said Craven.
Mark Bayer, an associate professor and chair of the Department of English at UTSA, agreed.
“There are two poles of debate about Shakespeare’s longevity,” said Bayer. “One is intrinsic to the plays’ universal appeal. But also, one could plausibly argue Shakespeare has been manufactured into what he is today through popular culture.”
Academia has helped fuel Shakespeare’s mystique by thoroughly incorporating his works into the standard curriculum for high school and college students, Bayer noted. High school students typically read one play each year. At least one class in Shakespeare is required for college English majors, which is one of the most popular academic programs on the UTSA campus, said Bayer. Outside of the classroom, there are movies, ballets, live theater and Shakespearean festivals. Even popular music and television commercials have been built around notable Shakespearean characters like Romeo and Juliet, Bayer added.
“A certain amount of Shakespeare’s notoriety is predicated on hype,” Bayer said.
Nonetheless, Shakespeare manages to shape the experience of many who have never even seen one of his plays, Craven said. Pretty much everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet, and most people can recite at least a couple lines from Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy. “A lot of people are affected by Shakespeare even though they don’t think that they know a lot about him,” Craven said.
Even in prisons, inmates who pursue educational opportunities regularly find lessons about Shakespeare and his plays. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, a play about the conspiracy to assassinate the Roman emperor, is one of the works regularly used to introduce inmates to literature and learning, Craven said. The plot and themes involve murder, political treachery and justice. “These are all things that people in prisons would relate to and be interested in,” he added.

A Man of His Times

Still, Shakespeare most likely did not envision his works as fodder for high school English classes or inmates in distant centuries. He was a man of his times, writing for his contemporaries on topics that were the hot-button issues of his day.
Bayer teaches students to examine the historical context of the plays and the people they were written for. For example, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British audiences, and indeed, the author himself, did not study nor understand human psychology as it is understood today. Yet the psychologically complex character of Hamlet made for a successful play because of its connections with ideas and events that were relevant to the people of Shakespeare’s time, Bayer said.
“They (early modern audiences) would enjoy the ghosts, the political intrigue, the murder plots, the nations at war. These were things that were on people’s minds at that time,” he said.
Humans still experience love, loss, be-trayal, war, humor and tragedy, which gives Shakespeare a foothold in modern times, Craven said. Still, the playwright wrote for live audiences, and Craven encourages students and other Shakespeare lovers to get out of the books and go see the plays in a theater.
“His plays were written to be performed. He conceived in them what an audience needs to know,” Craven said. “If we come at his plays from books and classrooms, we are doing it the wrong way.”
He laughed, recalling a recent experience of seeing Romeo and Juliet live in a theater that seemed to be filled with teenage girls. They sighed, moaned, giggled and cried as one throughout the production, something the professor delighted in.
“That is exactly the way Shakespeare intended for his plays to be experienced,” Craven said. “Shakespeare wanted audiences to react. He wanted people to cheer and boo at his characters.” These physical connections to Shakespeare are not as strong in San Antonio as in other areas of the United States, where summer months bring Shakespearean festivals or where there may even be local theater groups that focus on Shakespeare, said Craven.
Of course, England is the real heart of Shakespearean love and lore. No vacation to that country can be considered complete without a visit to Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon. A tourist in London may be able to find three or four theaters simultaneously presenting different Shakespearean works, Craven noted.
Despite the limited opportunity to see performances in San Antonio, UTSA’s courses on Shakespeare remain popular with students, who gain appreciation for the lilting language and talent of an author from another era.
“The language is so dense, so rich, the first couple plays they read are difficult. Not because the language is archaic, but because it is semantically dense. You have to read the lines over and over,” said Bayer. But like anything else, time and effort bring an understanding, he said. “Students go into it because it is a requirement, but I do think they end up enjoying it.”
Perhaps some of those students will end up like Craven, who finds that Shakespeare forms a lens through which he sees life.
“I find myself quoting Shakespeare all the time,” he said. “There is almost always a quote for almost anything one wants to say.”
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.
Zanzibar's main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism.  In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice Islands (a term also associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia). Zanzibar is the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobu Monkey the Zanzibar Servaline Genet, and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar Leopard.


The name of Zanzibar comes from "zengi", the name for a local people (said to mean "black"), and the Arabic word "barr", which means coast or shore.

The presence of microlithic tools suggest that it has been home to humans for at least 20,000 years, which was the beginning of the Later Stone Age.

Persian traders used Zanzibar as a base for voyages between the Middle East, India, and Africa. Unguja, the larger island, offered a protected and defensible harbor, so although the archipelago offered few products of value, the Persians settled at what became Zanzibar City ("Stone Town").

Vasco da Gama's visit in 1498 marked the beginning of European influence. In 1503 or 1504, Zanzibar became part of the Portuguese Empire when Captain Ruy Lourenço Ravasco Marques landed and demanded and received tribute from the sultan in exchange for peace.  Zanzibar remained a possession of Portugal for almost two centuries.
Sultanate of Zanzibar
The older settlements are quite distinct from the later lordship of Oman and Maskat. When the Portuguese arrived in 1498 they found on the coast a series of independent towns, peopled by Arabs, but not united to Arabia by any political tie. Their relations with these Arabs were mostly hostile, but during the sixteenth century they firmly established their power, and ruled with the aid of tributary Arab sultans.
In 1698, Zanzibar fell under the control of the Sultanate of Oman.

In 1832 or 1840 (the date varies among sources), Said bin Sultan moved his capital from Muscat, Oman to Stone Town in Zanzibar City. After Said's death in June 1856, two of his sons struggled over the succession. Said's will divided his dominions into two separate principalities, with Thuwaini to become the Sultan of Oman and Majid to become the first Sultan of Zanzibar.
The sultans developed an economy of trade and cash crops in the Zanzibar Archipelago with a ruling Arab elite. Ivory was a major trade good.
During his 14-year reign as sultan, Majid bin Said consolidated his power around the local slave trade. Malindi in Zanzibar City was the Swahili Coast's main port for the slave trade with the Middle East. In the mid-19th century, as many as 50,000 slaves passed annually through the port.

British protectorate

Control of Zanzibar eventually came into the hands of the British Empire; part of the political impetus for this was the 19th century movement for the abolition of the slave trade. Zanzibar was the centre of the Arab slave trade, and in 1822, the British counsel in Muscat put pressure on Sultan Said to end the slave trade. The first of a series of anti-slavery treaties with Britain was signed by Said which prohibited slave transport south and east of the Moresby Line, from Cape Delgado in Africa to Diu Head on the coast of India.

British Protectorate ended, self-government, and subsequent merger with Tanganyika

On 10 December 1963, the Protectorate that had existed over Zanzibar since 1890 was terminated by the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom did not grant Zanzibar independence, as such, because the UK had never had sovereignty over Zanzibar. Rather, by the Zanzibar Act 1963 of the United Kingdom, the UK ended the Protectorate and made provision for full-self government in Zanzibar as an independent country within the Commonwealth. Upon the Protectorate being abolished, Zanzibar became a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan. However, just a month later, on 12 January 1964 Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah was deposed during the Zanzibar Revolution. The Sultan fled into exile, and the Sultanate was replaced by the People's Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. In April 1964, the republic merged with mainland Tanganyika. This United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar was soon renamed, blending the two names, as the United Republic of Tanzania, of which Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region.

Unguja

The main island of Zanzibar, Unguja, has a fauna reflecting its connection to the African mainland during the last Ice Age.
Endemic mammals with continental relatives include the Zanzibar red colobus, one of Africa's rarest primates, with perhaps only 1,500 existing. Isolated on this island for at least 1,000 years, the Zanzibar red colobus (Procolobus kirkii) is recognized as a distinct species, with different coat patterns, calls, and food habits than related colobus species on the mainland. The Zanzibar red colobus live in a wide variety of drier areas of coastal thickets and coral rag scrub, as well as mangrove swamps and agricultural areas. About one third of them live in and around Jozani Forest. The easiest place to see the colubus are on farm land adjacent to the reserve. They are accustomed to people and the low vegetation means they come close to the ground.
Rare native animals include the Zanzibar leopard, which is critically endangered and possibly extinct, and the recently described Zanzibar servaline genet. There are no large wild animals in Unguja. Forested areas such as Jozani are inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs, small antelopes, civets, and, rumor has it, the elusive leopard. Various species of mongoose can also be found on the island. There is a wide variety of birdlife and a large number of butterflies in rural areas.

Pemba


Pemba Island is separated from Unguja island and the African continent by deep channels and has a correspondingly restricted fauna, reflecting its comparative isolation from the mainland. The island is home to the Pemba Flying Fox.


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