1. Argentina is home to both the highest and lowest points in South America

The highest, Aconcagua, is a mountain that soars a staggering 6,962 metres high above the clouds in the Andes, while the Laguna del Carbón salt lake plummets to 105 metres below sea level.

Mount Aconcagua

2. The tango, the iconic Argentinian dance of love, was originally danced in all-male couples

The tango dates back to the late 19th century, in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where it was danced between pairs of men – often in lower-class neighbourhoods and brothels. It wasn't accepted by the Argentinian middle classes until well into the 20th century, when it was popularised by musicians such as the legendary Carlos Gardel.

Tango danced by pairs of men

3. Argentina is home to two astonishing places that seem more European than Latin American

The German-inspired cathedral of San Carlos de Bariloche

Designed and built by German immigrants, Bariloche's architecture might make you think you were in the Bavarian Alps. 
Meanwhile, in the Chubut province, around 5000 descendants of Welsh immigrants speak their ancestors' language to this day.

4. Football star Maradona has his own religious following and church in Argentina

Soccer legend Diego Maradona

The so-called Iglesia Maradoniana was founded in 1998 and has over 80,000 members around the world. The followers of the Iglesia Maradoniana meet regularly to remember their idol and relive his greatest successes, and they even have their own Ten Commandments!

5. Argentina has more psychologists than any other country in the world!

Father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud

With an extraordinary 198 psychologists per 100,000 people, Argentinian society has become especially synonymous with the practice of Freudian psychoanalysis.

6. Argentina was the first country to use fingerprint identification to solve a crime

A caricature of Juan Vucetich in the magazine Caras y Caretas from 1903

In 1892, in Necochea, close to Buenos Aires, police were able to identify Francisca Rojas as the murderer of two children after finding her fingerprints on a door. The method for identifying the prints was developed by Juan  Vucetich, a Croatian immigrant who had arrived in in the country in 1884.

7. The Buenos Aires underworld has its own dialect: Lunfardo

Hundreds of words that were originally used among criminals have made there way into regular Argentinian speech. Some of the more common ones that many speakers don't even realise have their origins in Lunfardo include pibe (kid), mina (woman), guita (money), laburo (job), morfar (to eat), malandra (delincuent), quía (person) and many, many more. There are even poems and tango lyrics composed in Lunfardo.

8. Argentina was the first country to have broadcast radio

The Sociedad Radio Argentina first broadcast a program in 1920. While there had been a number of experiments with the new technology of radio around the world, this is considered the first programmed broadcast, directed to the public. What did they play? A recording of Richard Wagner's 1882 opera 'Parsifal'.

Early radio technology in Argentina

9. Argentina is home to one of Latin America's largest film industries and rock music scenes

Argentinians watch some of the highest numbers of movies per capita, while rock music has been extremely popular in the country since the 1970s. Above, pop rock pioneers Soda Stereo, fronted by the late, great Gustavo Cerati.

10. The pope used to work as a nightclub bouncer in Buenos Aires!

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, also known as Pope Francis, is not only the first Argentinian pope but the first from outside Europe since Gregory III - back in the 8th century. Aside from his time as a bouncer, Bergoglio also worked in a chemical laboratory as a teenager, and is an avid supporter of San Lorenzo in the Argentinian Primera División - his image has even adorned their playing shirts since 2013.

Pope Francis

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