This is a very big country
Everybody's Russian to learn this fun fact.
Hi, I’m Joey! Welcome to Fun Fact Friyay, the newsletter for curious people. This fun fact is for both early birds and night owls.
Today’s fact: Russia has 11 different time zones.
Time zones are a funny thing. It’s cool to think you’re living your life, just relaxing, maybe getting ready for bed, perhaps unwinding with a John Oliver deep dive into the insane world of freight trains.
And then there’s someone allllll the way on the other side of the world who’s already enjoyed half their day. They’re just sitting down to lunch, perhaps something fancy like lobsters stuffed with tacos.
If you’re in Russia, you can experience this phenomenon without ever leaving the country.
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Russia was divided into 11 time zones after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1919 and has kept up that distinction ever since, though sometimes there are shifts within the time zones themselves.
Most of European Russia (more than 90 million people) is in Moscow Time, which is UTC+03:00. That’s currently nine hours ahead of Central Time, where this particular newsletter is written.
Yes, the time difference between several U.S. states and the capital of Russia — a distance that encompasses several countries and oceans — is still not as large as the difference from one side of Russia to the other (Kaliningrad Time to Kamchatka Time, if you’re scoring at home).
Side note, isn’t it strange that UTC stands for “Coordinated Universal Time?” Someone never won their second-grade spelling bee, which also includes acronyms, in this scenario.
You’d think 11 would be just half of the time zones in the world because we only have 24 hours in a day. But think again, my little mathematician. Several time zones have 30 or 45-minute offsets instead of an hour, so there are 38 time zones currently in use.
Russia has also done away with daylight saving time. It first avoided “falling back” in October 2011, then decided to move back one hour three years later in 2014. However, there was never another “spring forward,” so the clocks have remained at the same time since October 2014.
I personally think we could also get rid of daylight savings time in the U.S. We’re already tired enough as it is, we don’t need another week contributing to that.
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