The following are several little-known facts about the Philippines:
- The Philippines is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. It contains two-thirds of the earth’s biodiversity and between 70% to 80% of the world’s plant and animal species. The country is home to around 1,100 land vertebrate species, 500 coral species, 2,400 marine species, and 13,500 plant species. It also has the highest rate of discovery of new animal species with 16 new species of mammals discovered in the last 10 years.
- The antibiotic erythromycin was discovered by Filipino scientist Dr. Abelardo Aguilar in 1949. Samples were sent to his employer, the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company, which patented it. It was commercially launched in 1952 under the brand name Ilosone after Iloilo where the samples were originally collected. Erythromycin is used to treat various bacterial infections including respiratory tract infections, skin infections, chlamydia infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and syphilis.
- The University of Santo Tomas in Manila is the world’s largest Catholic university in the world in terms of population. It was founded by the Dominican monks in 1611, years before Harvard University was founded in 1636.
- The third deepest spot in the world is found in the Philippines. The Galathea Depth in the Philippine Trench (also referred to as Philippine Deep, Mindanao Trench, and Mindanao Deep) is 10.54 km (34,580 ft) below sea level and spreads in a length of 1,320 km (820 m).
- The Philippines is the fourth biggest geothermal producer in the world. Makban Geothermal Complex, also known as Makiling-Banahaw Power Plants in the provinces of Laguna and Batangas, has an output capacity of 458 MW and covers an area of 700 ha. It has been in operation since 1979.
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