Bournemouth EchoWorld Cup 2014: 10 things you never knew about Costa Rica (From Bournemouth Echo)

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World Cup 2014: 10 things you never knew about Costa Rica

Bournemouth Echo: World Cup 2014: 10 things you never knew about Costa Rica World Cup 2014: 10 things you never knew about Costa Rica

England take on Costa Rica later today before they head home after a disasterous performance at the 2014 World Cup.

But how many things do you know about this afternoon's opposition?

Impress your friends and family with these facts around the TV...

Bournemouth Echo:

1. Costa Rica is sometimes referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America” on account of its stability and comfortable lifestyle.

Bournemouth Echo:

Monteverde Cloud Forest, image by Barbora Nemcova, licensed under Creative Commons

2. The country is home to magical-looking ‘cloud forests’ characterised by 100 per cent humidity and low level clouds which linger at canopy level or even lower.

Bournemouth Echo:

The National Museum of Costa Rica where President José Figueres Ferrer accounced he was abolishing the country's military in 1949. Image by Trevor Huxhamlicensed under Creative Commons.

3. Costa Rica has no permanent standing army or military at all.

Bournemouth Echo:

Arenal Volcano, which is Costa Rica's most active volcano. Image by Ardyiii, licensed under Creative Commons

4. A land born of volcanoes and part of the pacific ring of fire it has 112 volcanoes – although only six are active.

Bournemouth Echo:

5. Its primary traditional exports include bananas, coffee, sugar and beef.

Bournemouth Echo:

The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica, image by Rodtico21 via Wikimedia Commons

6. Ancient inhabitants left their mark on the country in the form of perfect stone spheres, more than 300 of which have been found, ranging from 20cm to 2m in diameter. Crafted over 1,000 year period from 400 AD, and often aligned in shapes or lines, their meaning remains a mystery.

Bournemouth Echo:

Houses in San José, image by Kyle May, licensed under Creative Commons

7. The population of Costa Rica is 4.8 million (2012 figure). The capital and largest city is San José

Bournemouth Echo:

A red eyed tree frog, image by Frontierofficial, licensed under Creative Commons

8. The country is among the richest in plant and animal life in the world, with half a million species, representing 4 per cent of the earth’s biodiversity - across just 0.03 per cent of the planet’s surface.

Bournemouth Echo:

Image by Kansas Sebastian, licensed under Creative Commons

9. The Central American country is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific to the west and Caribbean Sea to the east.

Bournemouth Echo: Adam C. Smith Photography, licensed under Creative Commons

10. It is known to be a top surfing location and the third most popular destination for the sport after Hawaii and Indonesia.

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