Denmark leads the world in many things. It has the world’s largest sperm bank and is almost certainly the world’s largest exporter of human sperm - a shortage of home-grown donors and laws that mean British donors cannot be anonymous means that Danish sperm accounts for a third of the total used by British fertility clinics.
Denmark is also the largest exporter of wind-turbines, of grass seed, and is home to the world’s largest producer of insulin.
Of course it is home to the world’s most popular toy - LEGO; and is where the sport of handball (Holger Nielsen, 1906), the loudspeaker (Peter L. Jensen, 1915) and the magnetic tape recorder (Valdemar Poulsen, 1898) were invented.
Denmark holds the world records for highest jump by a rabbit (99.5 cm), fastest time to peel and eat three lemons (28.5 seconds); largest collection of Iron Maiden memorabilia (4,168 items) and fastest 100m wearing high heels (female) (13.557 seconds).
The Danish for bookseller is boghandler.
Danish pastries were invented by Viennese chefs in Copenhagen in the 1840s.
The fourth World Happiness Report, released in 2016 by the UN, found that Denmark is the world’s happiest country. Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland were also in the top 5; the UK came 23rd just behind Mexico and Singapore.
There are more pigs than people in Denmark.
In Denmark it’s illegal to desecrate foreign flags but legal to burn the Danish one.
The Danish for ‘timetable’ is ‘fartplan’.
The Danish for a mullet is ‘Bundesligahår’ literally, the hairstyle of a German football player.
Protest pigs were popular in the late 19th century after Prussian forces had invaded southern Denmark and banned Danish symbols. The pigs were bred so that their white markings and ruddy colour imitated the Danish flag.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
One thing that Denmark surprisingly doesn’t lead the world in is bacon. According to the latest UN figures, it exported 102,000 tonnes of bacon and ham in 2011 (the last year for which they have records) versus 140,000 tonnes for the admittedly much, much larger United States.
Danish pig exports started to the UK in the mid-19th century have grown ever since despite attempts by UK producers and other importers to compete.
Denmark now concentrates on pig production and has moved bacon curing and packing to other countries. The bacon is still sold as Danish even in Denmark.
The Nares Strait passes between Danish-owned Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island. The border of the two countries passes down the centre of the strait and through a barren rock called Hans Island. The battle for Hans Island is the most civilised conflict in the world.
The media often claims that the issue is causing tension between Canada and Denmark, but each time the respective governments simply say that negotiations are ‘ongoing’. Both countries agree to inform the other before they visit, and according to Danish diplomat, Peter Taksøe-Jensen, when Denmark’s military go there, they leave a bottle of schnapps, and when Canadian military forces visit they leave a bottle of Canadian Club and a sign saying 'Welcome to Canada’.
Last year, arctic researchers from Canada and Denmark proposed a solution: that they declare the island a national park run by both countries.
Beer is the Danish national drink, and the Danish national weakness is another beer.
Fartkontrol Danish for speed control.
In Victorian Britain, it became fashionable for young women to limp in imitation of Alexandra of Denmark, wife of the Prince of Wales.