The countries as we know them today were created by a convention of the UN in 1950. Since then they have been a useful way for people to form a national identity, conduct international diplomacy and know who to have a war against.
A new facility for making countries was constructed in Antarctica in 1996, and since then new countries have been rolling out of the factory doors at the rate of five per year.

Here are some facts you may not have known about countries:

Holland is named after diminutive boogie fiend Jools Holland in gratitude for his contribution during the Holland-Wales war. It is sometimes called 'the Neverlands' because Peter Pan creator Barry Humphies was Dutch. Holland is entirely below sea level, and can only be reached via an escalator from Luxembourg.

There are two Congos, Democratic Republic of Congo and Congoland, which means that there is always a spare if something goes wrong. By a strange quirk of fate, all Congolese are allergic to Um Bongo.

China is entirely clockwork. It is the only country whose national anthem is one continuous note that never finishes.

Angola expands and contracts 4 times daily according to the relative position of the moon, the tides and former UK Prime Minister Baroness Darth Thatcher.

Thailand was constructed from an Airfix kit in 1984. Since then it has been redecorated twice, including one disastrous experiment with shocking lilac.

Brazil has a 3-dimensional flag, whose shape is a cross between a football and Bossa Nova pioneer Joao Gilberto (1931-2031).

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