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Ten interesting facts about Romania

1. The archetypical vampire Count Dracula, created by Bram Stoker, was inspired by the pitiless Romanian general Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler because one of his favorite ways of punishing people was by impaling them.

2. Europe’s second largest underground glacier, the Scarisoara glacier, is found underneath the Bihor Mountains in Romania. It has a volume of 75,000 cubic meters and has existed for more than 3,500 years.

3. The scientist who discovered insulin was Nicolae Paulescu, a Romanian, who originally called it pancreine. Although two Canadian scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923 for their study of insulin, Paulescu’s pioneering work in the field of diabetic medicine was duly accredited.

4. Romanian streets are known for being home to thousands of stray dogs. Annually, there is an estimated number of 9,000 people being bitten by these abandoned dogs.

5. The actor who first played the role of Tarzan in a Hollywood movie was a Romanian. Johnny Weissmuller, who starred in Tarzan the Ape Man in 1932, was born in Freidorf, Timisoara in Romania.

6. The city of Timisoara in Romania is the birth place of the horse tram and the electric street light. These inventions were first introduced in 1869 and 1889 respectively.

7. The first ever perfect score of 10 in gymnastics was given to Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci. She bagged the score after her performance in a competition held in Montreal, Canada in 1976.

8. The Voronet Monastery in Moldavia is dubbed as the Romanian counterpart of the Sistine Chapel.

9. The Romanian Palace of Parliament in Bucharest is the second largest administrative center in the world, next only to the Pentagon in the United States.

10. In 2005, the Romanian currency, the leu, dropped four of its zeroes, such that what used to be 10,000 lei became printed as just 1 lei – so, of course, all of a sudden, what you used to need 10,000 old lei to buy, you could then buy with just 1 new lei!