51 Interesting Facts About Chile

Last updated on October 7th, 2020

31. At 6435 km in length, the Chilean coastline is one of the world’s longest. And it is also one of the worlds narrowest – with a width of just over 200 km.[25]

32. Chile is home to the oldest ever known mummy. It was a ‘Chinchorro mummy’ found in the Camarones Valley in 5050 BC. To date, 282 such mummies have been found in the country. And you thought Egypt was the home to the world’s oldest mummies! An interesting fact?[26]

Chinchorro mummies found in Chile.
Chinchorro mummies found in Chile. Image credit – La Rusa Loca

33. Chile has six UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Churches of Chiloé, the Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, Rapa Nui National Park and the Sewell Mining Town.[27]

34. The region between the city of Calama and San Pedro de Atacama is called the ‘Moon Valley.’ It is so called because it resembles the ‘lunar landscape’ to a large extent.[28]

The Moon Valley
The Moon Valley.

35. Chile is almost devoid of poisonous snakes. There are only 2 species of snakes in Chile and both are small and relatively harmless.[29]

36. After Norway, Chile is the world’s second largest producer of salmon. Nearly 60 Norwegian companies are established in Chile.[30]

37. Reportedly, numerous UFOs have been sighted in Chile. The government also sponsors research on UFOs.[31]

38. Chile has one of the highest rates of working hours in the world.[32]

39. It is mandatory for employers and employees both to sign a working contract in the first 15 days of employment; otherwise, a fine is levied.[33]

40. Employers in Chile also have the authority to dismiss their employees without any prior indication and/or justification. However, if the employee is employed by the company for more than 12 months, some compensation is to be made before the employee is fired.[33]

41. Employees in Chile are entitled to a rest period between 9 pm on Saturdays to 6 am on Mondays. Employees cannot be made to work on Sundays, as per the Chilean law, unless exceptionally required.[33]

42. Michael Jackson visited Chile On October 18, 1993, for the first and only time in his lifetime.[34]

Chuquicamata, world’s biggest open pit copper mine, Calama, Chile.

43. It is one of the world’s largest producers of copper.[35]

44. Santiago is one of the safest large cities in Latin America.

45. Chile has the second lowest homicide rate in the Americas after Canada.[43]

46. Protective clothing and heavy sun block is required to avoid cancer causing UV radiations, particularly in the Patagonia region in Chile and Argentina. The region is located at the southern tip of South America. The area occasionally comes under the influence of ozone-depleted air masses from the Antarctic polar vortex which causes enhanced exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

47. In 2003, an extraordinary discovery of a hidden whale nursery in Chile was made by scientists. There was a particular place where whales go in large numbers to rear their young and to feed. The blue whale is the largest mammal on earth and is nearing extinction due to global commercial whaling activities.[38]

48. In 2008, Chile declared permanent ban on whaling in its waters.[37]

49. Vicuna, the smallest member of the camelid family is found in Chile. It has a slender body; a long neck; thin legs; and long, silky fur. It is a reddish-brown on its uppersides and white on its undersides.[40]

50. The Chilean flamingo is a tall, large bodied bird with a long neck and small head. All flamingos feed with their bills upside-down. Their beautiful pink plumage comes from the carotenoid pigments they consume as a part of their diet. Their upper bill is shorter than their lower bill. It is interesting to note here that their fossil records date back to 10,000 years ago.[42]

51. The Pudu, which is the world’s smallest deer, is found in Chile.[36]

Chilean pudu. The world’s smallest dear. Image credit – LaggedOnUser

Chile – country at a glance

Independence18 September 1810 (from Spain)
Capital CitySantiago
(33°26′S 70°40′W)
Largest CitySantiago
(33°26′S 70°40′W)
Total area756,102 sq km
Population18,186,770 (July 2020 est.)
Population growth rate0.71% (2020 est.)
Literacy rate96.4%
Official LanguageSpanish
BordersPeru, Bolivia, Argentina,
CurrencyPeso (CLP)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Life expectancy at birth79.4 years (2020)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
National anthem"Himno Nacional de Chile" (National Anthem of Chile)
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentSebastián Piñera
Senate PresidentJaime Quintana Leal
Climatetemperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south
Terrainlow coastal mountains, fertile central valley, rugged Andes in east
Mean elevation1,871 m
Lowest pointPacific Ocean 0 m
Highest pointNevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m
Natural resourcescopper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower
Agricultural land21.1%
Birth rate13.1 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio0.967 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
National symbolshuemul (mountain deer), Andean condor
National colorsred, white, blue
Industriescopper, lithium, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles
Exports$69.23 billion (2017 est.)
copper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine
Imports$61.31 billion (2017 est.)
petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, electrical and telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles, natural gas
GDP - per capita (PPP)$24,600 (2017 est.)
Time ZoneCLT and EAST (UTC−3 and −5)
Internet country code.cl
Calling Code+56
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedMarch 24, 2020