No matter how many times you go to London, there’s always something new to visit or learn about. Whether it’s the invention of renown technology, a crazy stat or random event, you can’t know it all. Here are 11 facts you probably didn’t know about the British capital..
1) Burger King sells a $200 burger in London. It’s only sold once a week, and the profit goes to a London-based charity. It contains white truffles, Pata Negra ham and cristal champagne onions straws. Sounds amazing!
2) Great Ormond Street Hospital, off Russell Square, owns the copyright to Peter Pan. It receives royalties from all works and performances. The Author J.M. Barrie granted rights to the hospital in 1929.
3) It is illegal to die in the Palace of Westminster. Not sure what the punishment is for that one – presumably, not the death penalty.
4) Harrods used to sell cocaine in 1916: in a kit described as “A Welcome Present for Friends at the Front“. It contained cocaine, morphine, syringes and needles. In fairness, I’m sure the friends from WWI trenches needed as much.
5) The GDP of London is significantly larger than that of several European countries. This includes Belgium and Sweden. Take that, Ikea.
6) In the early 1950s, anyone could give Winston Churchill a ring. That is because the PM’s phone number was in the local phone book. Probably a good thing that’s no longer the case..
7) The first ever traffic light was used in London. It was located outside the House of Commons back in 1868, more precisely. It blew up only a year later, injuring a policeman in charge of operating it. We’ve clearly got better at this.
8) The reading room at the British Museum is where Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital. The father of Marxism lived in England for a little while, spending most of his time getting pissed and asking his mate Friedrich Engels to lend him money. History will remember that he also wrote, occasionally.
9) Covent Garden tube station is said to be haunted by the ghost of William Terriss, an English actor who died in 1897. There was even a documentary about it on the History Channel, back in 2008. You know, the ‘Hitler’s Secret Alien Illuminati weapons’ channel? Alright, fact might be a bit of a stretch for this one.
10) London’s the first city to ever reach a population of 1 million. It was back in 1811, and was only overtaken as the biggest city in the world in 1957, by Tokyo. Today, it’s the 23rd most populated place on Earth.
11) It is against the law to impersonate a Chelsea pensioner. Not only that, it’s also still officially punishable by death penalty to do so. This is ridiculous and really needs to be changed, at least by the time Jose Mourinho retires..