Which is the world's shortest flight?

You might have heard about the longest flight. But what about the shortest flight? It could very well take you longer to read this story than to complete a ride on the world's shortest passenger flight.

Scottish regional airline - Loganair flight LM711 - holds the title of being the world's shortest regular commercial flight connecting two of the Orkney Islands of Scotland. Covering a distance of 1.7 miles in less than two minutes, it is a regular commercial flight connecting two of the Orkney Islands of Scotland.

 According to Guinness World Records, the little aircraft covers a total distance of 1.7 miles, which is almost the same length as the runway at Edinburgh Airport, in about 90 seconds. However, it can take less than 53 seconds on a good day. It is flown by a single pilot and has seating for eight passengers. There are no in-flight facilities so if you need the toilet you have to control the urge.

The flight has been operating since 1967. In 2016, it honoured its millionth flier - Anne Randall, a Royal Bank of Scotland banker.

Every day, the flight makes two to three trips from Westray, an island on the edge of the Orkney archipelago, to a smaller remote island of Papa Westray.

The two-minute flight is the lifeline for residents of the four-square-mile island. Besides, it is also popular with travellers as every year during summer tourists throng the island to discover Papa Westray and experience the plane ride.

For the two-minute ride, you need to reach Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney, and take about a quarter-hour-long flight to Westray. The cost of a one-way ticket is around $22. The alternative to the shortest flight is a rocky boat ride that can take around 20 minutes. There are no in-flight facilities in this 90-second flight for eight passengers flown by a single pilot.

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The Great Sphinx at Giza is the world's largest monolithic statue. 

Egypt, the land of pharaohs and pyramids never fails to amaze its visitors with its rich culture, mysteries and monolithic pieces from the medieval times. One such mighty monument that has hundreds and thousands of spectators completely in awe is the Great Sphinx Of Giza, an imposing statue body of a lion and head of a human. Carved out of a single block of the surrounding limestone bedrock, this colossal Egyptian antiquity is claimed to be the oldest and the largest known sculpture in the world.

The prime reason to why the Sphinx was constructed is still unknown, but some historian buff and archaeological experts believe that the statues were sculpted to guard important areas. Likewise, the Great Sphinx Of Giza was constructed to guard the large three pyramids of Giza i.e., pyramids of Khufu (Cheops), Khafre (Chephren) and Menkaura (Mycerinus).

Archaeological also believe that this gigantic sphinx was once colorful with the face painted red and the body painted with blue and yellow color. They also claim that the Sphinx once has a long beard and a nose, which are now missing.

Built-in 2500 BC during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, the Great Sphinx Of Giza in Egypt sits on the Giza plateau right in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Facing east, this stunning monument shimmers with the rising sun each morning and the Great Sphinx of Giza height is 73 meters long and 20.21 meters. The Sphinx was submerged beneath the desert and the first documented attempt to clear the sand was undertaken in 1400 BCE with the pharaoh Tuthmosis IV.

After a series of the restoration process, the giant structure once again found itself buried under the sand up to its neck when Napoleon came to Egypt in 1798. Later, there were many excavation projects conducted to clear the sand from 1816 to 1858 by some of the well-known antiquarians including Giovanni Caviglia, Auguste Mariette, and Gaston Maspero, but were forced to abandon the process due the sand.

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Pheasant Island changes countries every six months! An uninhabited river island in the Bidasoa River between France and Spain, Pheasant Island's administration alternates between both countries every six months. The island is also the smallest and oldest-surviving condominium. A condominium is a territory over which multiple nations exercise equal dominion and sovereignty, without dividing it into different national zones.

Pheasant Island is around 660 feet long and 130 feet wide. Despite its name, it doesn’t house any pheasants or human civilization for that matter. The only permanent resident of Pheasant Island is a historic monument to commemorate the Treaty of the Pyrenees. France and Spain signed a peace treaty on this island called the Treaty of the Pyrenees. A series of 24 conferences were held between Cardinal Mazarin, Chief Minister of France and Luis de Haro, a Grandee of Spain, in 1659 after the end of the Thirty Years’ War. The climax of the conferences led to the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in Pheasant Island. Under the terms of the treaty, Pheasant Island is a possession of Spain from February 1 to July 31 each year. From August 1 till January 31, it becomes part of the nation of France. Thus, Pheasant Island has a unique bi-national dependency.

Spain and France have joint sovereignty of Pheasant Island. This arrangement is called a condominium. Faisans Island or Pheasant Island is one of the oldest condominiums in existence. A condominium is a territory over which multiple countries exercise equal sovereignty and dominion over without dividing it into different national zones. This is the world’s only destination where sovereignty is not shared simultaneously, but alternately. For six months in a year, Pheasant Island is Spanish and for the next six, it’s French. It took the Spanish and French three long months of negotiation on the neutral territory of Pheasant Island, to come to this arrangement.  The peace agreement, the Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed. And the borders were clearly demarcated and the territory was exchanged. To seal the deal, a royal wedding took place on the island, between the French King Louis XIV and the daughter of the Spanish King Philip IV.

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Where are most meteorites found?

Researchers from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands have used artificial intelligence to create a treasure map of zones in which to find meteorites hidden in Antarctic ice.

Sixty-two per cent of all meteorites recovered on Earth were found in Antarctica, making this cold continent a hotbed for space research. These meteorites provide a unique view into the origin and evolution of the solar system.

Meteorites have been accumulating in Antarctica for millennia, falling from space and becoming embedded in ice sheets within the continent's interior. As the glaciers slowly flow, the meteorites are carried with them. If a glacier comes up against a large obstacle, in areas like the Transantarctic Mountains, the ice rises and meteorites are brought to the surface. Dry Antarctic winds gradually erode the ice, exposing the meteorites. As more ice rises to the surface, the process repeats. Given enough time, a significant accumulation of meteorites builds up.

Researchers say that satellite observations of temperature, ice flow rate, surface cover and geometry are good predictors of the location of meteorite rich areas, and expect the "treasure map' to be 80 per cent accurate. Based on the study, scientists calculate that as many as 300,000 meteorites are out there on the Antarctic landscape.

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Which is world's longest trail?

At 24,000 km long, the Great Trail in Canada is the world's longest recreational trail network of roadways, greenways and waterways. It has individual sections for walking, cycling, paddling. horseback riding and cross-country skiing.

Twenty-five years ago, Great Trail founders Pierre Camu, Bill Pratt and Paul LaBarge came up with the idea of linking Canada’s various trail networks into one mega-trail to celebrate the nation’s 125th birthday. Since then, tens of millions of dollars have been spent on trail building, signage and negotiations with landowners and local governments. Four hundred and seventy-seven groups helped to create the trail’s 432 sections, which pass through 15,000 communities.

In September of 2016, the trail was only 85 to 90 percent connected,  Over the last year, however, organizers made a monumental push to work with counties and municipalities to negotiate interim solutions for the missing bits of trail.  Not everyone is impressed by the Great Trail, former known as the Trans-Canada Trail, however, according to Jason Markusoff at MacLean’s. Reportedly, the route falls significantly short of its original goal of being an off-road trail, with only around 4,900 miles of the route, or 32 percent, composed of off-road trails. About 5,340 miles of the trail are along roads or the shoulders of highways, while 3,770 miles are water trails and 1,110 miles share the trail with ATVs.

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