It can be hard living next to history’s greatest cultural, military and economic superpower. But that doesn’t mean the United States is best at everything. As Canada celebrates its 146th birthday we dig into the numbers to find some of the many ways Canada is better off–from sports and sex to politics and entertainment.
Life & well-being
1. We live longer: Canadians born today will live an average of three years longer than Americans (81 years in Canada versus 78.7 south of the border). Not only that, the gap between life expectancy in the two countries is widening with each passing decade—it was less than a year in the late 1970s.
2. We’re more satisfied with our lives: According to the Better Life Index, an international quality of life comparison by the OECD each year, Canadians enjoy a higher level of life satisfaction than Americans, scoring 7.4 out of 10, versus 7.0 in the U.S.
3. Saying “Sorry” is good for you: Canadians are mocked for always apologizing, but it’s not a character flaw. Saying sorry has been found to boost happiness and strengthen relationships. Researchers at the University of Waterloo even found apologizing to a cop when pulled over for speeding can get fines reduced an average of $51. True, scientists did recently claim that refusing to apologize for your actions leads to a sense of empowerment, but such short-sighted thinking would only appeal to self-centred Americans. (Sorry, that was mean.)
4. Our kids are all right: Canada’s schools take heat from all sides, but they must be doing something right. Our 15-year-olds routinely score in the top 10 of 65 countries that participate in the OECD’s reading, math and science tests. Last time around, in 2009, we were sixth, just behind Singapore and ahead of New Zealand. American teens? A lukewarm 17th. Ouch.
There’s more: (5) We have a lower rate of suicide (11.1 per 100,000 people, versus 12 in the U.S.), (6) a lower rate of infant mortality (5.1 per 1,000 live births, versus 6.1 in the U.S.), (7) and our health care costs per person are much lower (US$4,445 per capita in Canada, versus $8,233 in the U.S.). (8) New parents who work are better off (maternity-parental leave in Canada is 50 weeks, versus just 12 unpaid weeks in the U.S.). (9) More of our marriages last: For every 1,000 population in the U.S., 3.6 marriages end in divorce annually, compared to 2.1 in Canada. (10) Poor kids are more likely to attend university or college here: By age 19 to 21 roughly 54 per cent of Canadian youth from low-income families are enrolled in post-secondary education, compared to just 30 per cent of the poorest youth in America. (11) We’re less prudish: An Angus Reid poll found 83 per cent of Canadians believe sex between an unmarried man and woman is acceptable, versus just 59 per cent of Americans.
12. We’re better educated: 48.3 per cent of Canadians have a post-secondary degree, compared to 40.3 per cent in the U.S.
13. We’re fitter: The percentage of American adults who are obese is 35.9. In Canada, it’s 24.2.
14. We have more sex: According to a survey by condom-maker Durex, 59 per cent of Canadians say they have sex weekly, versus 53 per cent of Americans.
15. We drink less: Our alcohol consumption is 8.2 litres a year, compared to 8.7 in the U.S.
16. We’re richer: Canada’s average household net worth of $363,000 is higher than America’s, at $320,000.
17. We accept homosexuality: 80 per cent of Canadians say society should accept gays and lesbians, versus 60 per cent in the U.S.
18. More of us give to charities: Roughly 64 per cent of Canadians donate money to charities, compared to 60 per cent in the U.S.
19. We have better work-life balance: More than 11 per cent of U.S. employees regularly clock 50-hour workweeks, compared to 3.9 per cent here.
20. We brave the cold better: Our climate is colder and our population smaller, but relatively fewer of us succumb to the cold. Where Canada has 5,644 excess winter deaths (relative to average non-winter deaths), the U.S. sees 108,500.
21. We live in bigger houses: We have 2.6 rooms per person in Canada, versus 2.3 in the U.S.
Money & work
22. Canada has greater economic freedom: So says the U.S.-based Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom. Canada scores 6th place, while America comes in 10th. Credit our sounder public finances.
23. We have less income disparity: While the gap between rich and poor has become more marked in both countries, it’s more like a canyon in the U.S. Between 1966 and 2011, the average inflation-adjusted income of the bottom 90 per cent of American workers grew by a negligible $59. Meanwhile, the income of the top 10 per cent of workers soared by $116,071. Among OECD countries ranked for worst income disparity, the U.S takes fourth place, behind only Chile, Mexico and Turkey. Canada comes in 12th out of 34 nations.
24. Our young workers are doing better: Yes, Canada has a lower unemployment rate than the U.S., but while the overall gap is narrowing, young workers here are more likely to find work. Canada’s youth unemployment rate is 13.5 per cent, compared to 16.8 per cent in the States.
25. Our banks are better: Earlier this year Bloomberg ranked the world’s strongest banks. Four of the top 10 were Canadian, and all scored higher than the top U.S. bank, Citigroup, which came in 9th.
26. We have more social mobility: If you want to live the American Dream, move to Canada. Social mobility, measured by intergenerational changes in income between sons and their fathers, is twice as high in Canada as in the U.S. In other words, a son born to a poor father in the U.S. is twice as likely to remain poor throughout his life than had he been born in Canada.
27. The money in your wallet is safer: Canadian currency once had a terrible reputation for being easy to counterfeit, but new polymer bills introduced by the Bank of Canada have hi-tech features that make them almost impossible to reproduce. Of the 500 million notes circulated since 2011, only 56 fakes have been seized. In the U.S., out of every one million bank notes in circulation, an estimated average of 6.5 are fakes.
There’s more: (28) Our corporate taxes are lower (PricewaterhouseCoopers ranks Canada 8th out of 185 countries for its advantageous corporate tax structure while the U.S. is 69th). (29) We embrace transit: Seven of the 10 North American cities with the most people taking transit to work are in Canada. (30) We get more paid holidays: America has no mandated paid holidays or vacation time, so 23 per cent of U.S. workers get no paid time off, compared to Canadian workers who get at least two weeks and nine paid public holidays. (31) More women work here: For most of the past 40 years more American women have been in the labour market than in Canada, but after 2000 that changed—62 per cent of Canadian women are in the labour market, compared to 57 per cent in the U.S. (32) More of our immigrants strike it rich: In both the U.S. and Canada the majority of millionaires are self-made, but a larger number in Canada are immigrants, according to a BMO study—in Canada nearly half of millionaires are immigrants or second-generation residents, compared to just one-third in America.
Arts & entertainment
33. The biggest summer movies of 2013 have Canadian DNA: Aside from the Canadian-packed comedy This is the End, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim was filmed in Toronto. The Wolverine features everyone’s favourite mutant Canuck. Kick-Ass 2 features the dark return of Jim Carrey of Newmarket, Ont. And really, Star Trek Into Darkness would be just a glimmer in J.J. Abrams’s eye if it weren’t for William Shatner, native of Côte Saint-Luc, Que.
34. Our opera house is tops: There’s no city in North America with an opera house to compare to the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. Jack Diamond, who built it, was promptly handpicked by Valery Gergiev to build the new Mariinsky II theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.
35. The best small-screen sci-fi is secretly Canadian: Revolution may be keeping on the lights at NBC and The Walking Dead may be an American creation, but the best small-screen science fiction—the series that thrill both critics and audiences—are secretly Canadian. Continuum, Lost Girl, Haven and Orphan Black are all capturing both record ratings and critics’ notoriously fickle hearts—and all are filmed here, funded by our networks and starring a host of talented Canadian actors (albeit some of whom are masked in layers of monster makeup).
36. Our broadcast TV doesn’t have to treat adults like children: Maybe it’s because Americans are such sensitive folk, or it’s our ill-defined role as cultural bridge between the U.S. and Europe, but Canadian TV regularly gets away with showing things broadcast networks south of the border can’t: nipples, F-bombs and the like. When The Sopranos aired unedited on CTV, executive producer David Chase said that could never happen on U.S. network TV: “It’s just not possible, we have rules against that.”
37. We’re funnier: Hollywood and American network television have known it for decades. Wayne and Shuster, Lorne Michaels, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey—all examples of our comedy supremacy. And a new generation of Canadian comics is keeping the tradition alive. Vancouver slacker Seth Rogen has become one of Hollywood’s most bankable comedians, along with Brampton, Ont.’s Michael Cera and Montreal’s Jay Baruchel (all three star in this summer’s apocalyptic comedy This is the End).
38. We’re better at special effects: While demand for blockbuster visual effects in movies skyrockets, California’s special effects industry is collapsing. Why? They can’t keep up with Canada (or Britain or Asia or New Zealand, but that’s beside the point). In Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Winnipeg, visual effects artists have been taking over the design of explosions, gore and CGI monsters as our technical schools pump out skilled graduates, and movie studios outsource to take advantage of Canada’s generous tax breaks.
39. Hollywood is taking advice from . . . Quebec? Not content with ripping off their own ideas, Hollywood is now so desperate for fresh-ish material that it’s turning to the biggest and brightest Quebec auteurs for help. Montrealer Ken Scott is currently remaking his 2011 Québécois hit Starbuck, this time called Delivery Man and starring Vince Vaughn. Scott is so in demand that he was originally hired to direct the English-language remake of Jean-François Pouliot’s comedy La grande séduction, now being filmed by fellow Canadian Don McKellar, and starring B.C. native Taylor Kitsch.
There’s more: (40) Canadian musicians rule the charts: Michael Bublé, Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen—and those are just the mildly tolerable pop stars Canada has produced recently. This year will also see releases from Arcade Fire, the Weakerthans and the reunited critical darlings, Death from Above 1979. (41) Our filmmakers are wilder: David Lynch, eat your heart out. Canadian movies are wilder and weirder–necrophilia in Kissed, David Cronenberg’s car-crash fetishism and twin gynecologists, and Atom Egoyan’s films about father-daughter incest, a schoolgirl stripper, and a wife who hires a young hooker to test her husband. (42) Our filmmakers are more worldly, too: Unlike Americans, who wait for the rest of the world to learn English, Canadians get Oscar nominations for foreign-language films, and not just ones in French—Deepa Mehta’s Hindi-language Water was nominated in 2007. (43) We know our art: When museums want to tour their blockbuster exhibits, they know to stop here first. From the Picasso show at the AGO to Sebastião Salgado’s work at the ROM, Canada is the stop for top-tier North American premieres. (44) Our festivals rule: TIFF is by far North America’s most important film festival, and the world’s second-biggest after Cannes. Hot Docs is North America’s biggest documentary festival. Contact is the continent’s biggest photography festival. Just For Laughs is the biggest comedy festival. Montreal’s Jazz Festival is still the largest, with the most free concerts, the largest purpose-built downtown outdoor concert space and the most audacious programming. And Toronto’s Caribana is the continent’s biggest Caribbean carnival.
Sports & leisure
45. We dominate hockey: Stanley Cups aside, hockey is still Canada’s game. While the percentage of Canadians playing in the NHL has declined since the 1980s, Canadians still make up more than 50 per cent of all players in the league, compared to Americans, who account for just one-quarter of players.
46. Better football: Since the late 1970s, the National Football League has been tweaking its rules to encourage more passing—that is, to make the U.S. game more exciting. Up here, we got it right the first time: a three-down game on a great, big field. So on second and 10, you can bet that ball will be in the air.
47. We’re actually better at tennis now: While most Canadians have been preoccupied with hockey, a young man from Thornhill, Ont., has quietly become one of the most successful men’s tennis players in Canadian history. As of June, Milos Raonic’s ranking was No. 15 among singles players and, statistically speaking, he has the strongest serve in the world, serving more aces per match than any other professional player in 2012. America’s current top male singles player is Sam Querrey, whose ranking, as of June, was No. 19.
48. We were first to the races: When it comes to sporting events, Canada got off to an early start. Established in 1816, the Royal St. John’s Regatta is North America’s oldest annual sporting event. Hamilton’s Around the Bay Race is North America’s longest distance road race, which began in 1894, beating Boston by three years. And this July Toronto plays host to the 154th running of the Queen’s Plate, the oldest continuously run stakes race on the continent.
49. We have better skiing: Canada’s most popular ski resort, Whistler, trumps America’s most-visited resort, Vail, with more trails (200 vs. 193), longer runs (a total of 36,960 feet vs. 15,840 feet) and more snow (469 inches vs. 348 inches)
50. We see more of the world: Last year Canadians took close to 10 million trips abroad to countries other than the U.S. Despite having a population nearly 10 times that of Canada, Americans made just 30 million trips overseas. The poor showing from U.S. travellers shouldn’t be a surprise. While 65 per cent of Canadians hold a valid passport, only 35 per cent of Americans do.
There’s more: (51) We’re more plugged into the Internet: In Canada, 83 out of every 100 people surf the web, compared to 77.9 per cent in America. (52) We invent more sports: Canadians invented lacrosse, ice hockey and basketball. Oh, and five-pin bowling. What did Americans invent? Baseball. (Football doesn’t count since it’s just a mutated form of rugby). (53) We get outdoors more: A survey by the Canadian Tourism Commission found that more Canadians (30 per cent) consider themselves outdoor adventure enthusiasts than Americans (26 per cent). (54) We spend less time on the couch: Americans watch 34 hours of TV each week, four more than Canadians.
Environment & geography
55. Canada has earned a poor reputation when it comes to fighting climate change, but if you believe the globe is about to undergo a catastrophic shift in weather patterns, Canada is the best place to ride it out. UCLA geographer Laurence Smith has argued that by 2050 warming will unlock vast new resources and transform Canada into an economic superpower.
56. Carp-eh diem: We do not yet have to contend with the dreaded Asian carp, a species of fish that has invaded U.S. waterways, killing off competing species wherever it goes. The fish are big—up to 40 kg—and they’re crazy, literally throwing themselves into passing boats. Natural resources officials believe we’ve so far avoided the onslaught, but really, if this mini-monster reaches the Great Lakes, our rivers are doomed.
57. Less spin: Americans mock our weather, but come late spring, we can only look south with pity. We average just 60 reports of actual tornadoes per year compared with the 1,200 confirmed tornado strikes in the U.S., the most of any country in the world. Only five per cent of our storms reach the EF-3 category of intensity, the level where winds of more than 220 km/h start tearing up buildings and trees. The U.S. gets about 37 such tornadoes annually, costing the country 80 lives.
58. We help them repopulate their endangered species: When the U.S. wants to help an animal species come back from the brink, they call on Canada. In 1995, dozens of grey wolves were captured in Alberta and shipped south to be let free in Yellowstone National Park, 72 years after the park’s last wolf den was destroyed under a federal extermination plan. Next year Alaska will reintroduce wood bison, North America’s largest living land mammals, into the wilderness. The animals come from a captive herd started with Canadian animals.
59. Niagara Falls: Canada’s horseshoe falls vs. the American side. Enough said.
60. Water, water everywhere: With less than half a per cent of the world’s population, we have seven per cent of its renewable water supply—the most per inhabitant of any developed country. The supply for an average American is just 11 per cent of what’s available to us.
There’s more: (61) We have more beautiful coast to enjoy: 243,000 km of shoreline compared to 153,000 km in the U.S. (62) According to the OECD Better Life Index our air is cleaner (16 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic metre here compared to 18 in the U.S.) and (63) . . . so too is our water (89 per cent of Canadians report being satisfied with the quality of local water, versus 87 per cent in the U.S.).
64. We’re more peaceful: This year, Canada was ranked the eighth most peaceful country in the world. The U.S is ranked 100th.
65. Our election turnout is more fair: While voter turnout may be higher in the United States, it’s much more equitable in Canada, with broad social inclusion of both high-income and low-income voters. In Canada, voter turnout for the richest 20 per cent of the population is roughly 63 per cent, whereas the participation rate of the bottom 20 per cent is only slightly less, at 60 per cent. In the States, roughly 79 per cent of the wealthiest voters turn out to cast ballots, compared to just slightly more than half of the poorest voters.
66. Federally, our politicians are (slightly) more representative of the gender divide: Federally, women make up 24.7 per cent of Parliament, compared to the U.S. Congress where women account for just 17.8 per cent of representatives.
67. Provincially, our leaders are (much) more representative of the gender divide: The governments of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nunavut are all led by females who are responsible for governing more than 87 per cent of Canada’s population. By comparison, America has just five female governors, and the vast majority of Americans live in male-governed states.
68. We have far fewer assassinations: Since Confederation, only three Canadian politicians have been assassinated, including two Fathers of Confederation: Thomas D’Arcy McGee was shot by a Fenian sympathizer in 1868; George Brown was shot in the leg by a former Globe employee in 1880 (the wound led to a fatal infection). Quebec minister of labour Pierre Laporte was kidnapped and assassinated by the FLQ in 1970. In the United States, a staggering 44 politicians have been assassinated, including four sitting presidents.
69. We’re fine with gay politicians: While former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey might be called the first (and only) “openly gay” governor in American history, it doesn’t really count if you resign as soon as you come out of the closet. In Canada, not only is Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne openly gay, but her sexual orientation barely factors into coverage of Ontario politics. With all the scandals to beset Queen’s Park, the premier’s personal life is the least shocking thing about Ontario’s government.
There’s more: (70) We attract more immigrants: Canada gets 5.65 per 1,000 people, compared to the U.S., with 3.64 per 1,000. (71) We have fewer lobbyists: We’ve seen an explosion in lobbying, but in Canada the ratio of lobbyists to senators and MPs is still 12 to 1, while in the U.S. the ratio of lobbyists to members of Congress is 23 to 1. Some estimate the U.S. ratio is as high as 65 to 1 since many lobbyists don’t register. (72) We mandate a time for holding the government’s feet to the fire: Sure, question period has degenerated in recent years, but nothing like it exists in the U.S. political system. (73) You don’t have to be rich to run for the highest office in the land: U.S. presidential elections cost an estimated $7 billion to mount, while Canada’s top five parties were allowed to spend a combined $90 million, thanks to Elections Canada spending limits.
Science & Technology
74. We have the “most social astronaut”: Eight North Americans have commanded the International Space Station over the last four years, but only Canada’s Chris Hadfield became a household name worldwide. His photos, duets from space and that cover of Space Oddity helped catapult @Cmdr_Hadfield to one million Twitter followers. @TheRealBuzz (Aldrin) has 806,000.
75. Holy crap, we’re discovering a miracle cure: Canada is a leader in fecal transplant therapy (it’s exactly what it sounds like). By transferring healthy bacteria from a donor’s stool into patients suffering from potentially fatal gut infections like C. difficile, doctors believe it could one day cure all sorts of ailments, maybe even obesity and allergies.
76. We lead in quantum computing: What’s that, you ask? Rather than calculating with ones or zeros as conventional computers do, quantum computers can theoretically harness subatomic particles to process more complex calculations in a fraction of the time. And scratch the word theoretical. In May, Burnaby, B.C.-based D-Wave said one of its quantum computers, the only such machines commercially available, will be installed at the new Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, a collaboration between Google, the Universities Space Research Association and NASA.
77. We’re wiring the oceans like no one else: Canada’s NEPTUNE and VENUS projects off the coast of B.C. have installed fibre-optic cables that transmit data from the bottom of the ocean. In 2011, Popular Science named NEPTUNE one of humankind’s “top 10 most ambitious science projects” alongside the Large Hadron Collider and the International Space Station.
78. Our dinosaur discoveries are cooler: Not only did archaeologists uncover the largest-ever bed of dinosaur bones near Medicine Hat, Alta., in 2010, since then scientists re-examining old fossils identified a new species of spiky-headed dinosaur called Xenoceratops foremostensis—or “alien horned-face from Foremost.” Wired recently listed the world’s 10 best new dinosaur discoveries. Four came from Canada, while just one was dug up in America.
There’s more: (79) We’re more rational: Most Canadians (61 per cent) accept evolution, compared to just 30 per cent of Americans. Incidentally, the same percentage believe Bigfoot is “definitely” or “probably” real. (80) We’re world leaders in space robotics: There’s the Canadarm, of course, but also Dextre, which lives on the International Space Station and is the most advanced space robot ever built–a “space handyman” that fixes up the station. In January, Dextre performed the first demonstration that a robot could refuel a satellite in orbit, which could give our satellites longer lives in space.
Crime & calamity
81. We don’t have out-of-control prison sentences: Last year 38,700 people were serving time in Canada, roughly 114 for every 100,000 citizens. That’s nothing. In the U.S. 2.24 million Americans are locked up—716 for every 100,000 citizens, the highest incarceration rate in the world. Canada ranks 136th.
82. Our government doesn’t kill people: Canada officially abolished capital punishment in 1976, but no Canadian inmate has been executed since 1962. By contrast, the U.S. put 43 prisoners to death last year alone, while 3,125 inmates continue to wait on death row.
83. Our judges are appointed, not elected: While some believe Canadian judges should be picked directly by citizens, as is common in American courts, the idea has largely been written off as inconsistent with the Constitution, which could be for the best. Studies show judges have difficulty being impartial on the bench, when, as candidates, they rely heavily on donors and special interest groups for support. As well, a study showed judges increase their sentences when facing re-election. In fact, electoral zealousness added six per cent to overall prison time for aggravated assault, rape and robbery sentences. That helps explain America’s crowded prisons.
84. We’re more relaxed about pot: In both countries, support for legalizing marijuana is at all-time highs. In 2012, 66 per cent of Canadians supported legalization or decriminalization, compared to half of Americans.
85. Mass shootings here are rare: Since 1982 in the U.S. there have been at least 45 shootings in which at least six people were killed. In total, 434 people were murdered in those incidents, and another 384 injured. During that time, there were two such events in Canada—the bodies of eight Bandidos gang members were discovered in a Ontario farmer’s field in 2006, while in 1989, 14 women were gunned down at the École Polytechnique.
There’s more: (86) We have far fewer murders: Our homicide rate is 1.73 per 100,000 people, compared to 4.7 in the U.S. (87) Our roads are safer: The number of fatalities from traffic accidents in Canada is 8.8 for every 100,000 people, compared to 13.9 in the U.S. (88) Our youth are safer: America has the highest mortality rate for young people ages 10 to 24 among developed countries, with a death rate of 60 per 100,000 of the population, compared to less than 40 in Canada. (89) We’re less likely to get robbed: Canada’s robbery rate is 86 per 100,000, far below America’s rate of 114.
General Canadian awesomeness
90. We’re more popular: Backpackers knew it for years, but studies confirm the Maple Leaf really is beloved around the world. In 2012, the Canada brand held top spot in the Reputation Institute’s ranking of countries based on people’s trust, admiration and affinity for them. America’s reputation rank: 23rd.
91. Our taste in chocolate is better: Everyone knows we have loads of chocolate candy varieties you can’t get in the U.S.—Coffee Crisp, Aero, Smarties—but earlier this year Hershey’s said it re-engineered its chocolate recipe to better appeal to Canadian palates. A Hershey’s spokesperson said Canadians prefer smoother and sweeter chocolate compared to the “grittier or even cheesier flavour” chocolate found in America.
92. Our national symbol is a worthier animal: Yes, eagles soar high, have incredible eyesight and razor-sharp talons. They’re also carrion-eating louts. As Ben Franklin once noted, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly . . . like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy . . . a rank Coward.” The beaver, on the other hand, is a rugged, humble and industrious little creature (okay, rodent).
93. Roadside wonderland: Canada has more than 1,200 roadside attractions. The U.S. may have more in sheer numbers, but nothing compares to our giant duck, perogy, sausage, Easter egg, hockey stick, moose, apple, dinosaur, nickel or lobster.
94. Our Canadian bacon is better than their Canadian bacon: This can get confusing, but try to follow along. When Americans buy “Canadian bacon,” they get a package of fully-cooked processed slices of ham, which Canadians don’t actually eat. Canadian bacon, on the other hand, isn’t called that by Canadians. Instead it’s peameal bacon, a Toronto creation of pickle-brine-cured pork loin rolled in cornmeal. It’s a travesty most Americans can’t tell the difference.
There’s more: (95) Giant American corporations associate with our unofficial mascot: Up to 80 per cent of the world’s polar bears are in Canada—Americans have to make do with polar bears in Coke commercials and on pop cans. (96) Our lobsters taste better: It’s an endless debate between fishermen and chefs in the Maritime provinces and Maine. We claim the cooler waters of Canada spawn tastier crustaceans. Americans disagree. But most Maine lobster is processed in Canada anyway, so we dominate both ways. (97) Better sea monsters: Both Ogopogo and the lesser-known monster in Lake Champlain have been captured on video in recent years. The U.S.’s most famous sea monster, Jaws, isn’t even real. (98) We’re record-setters: For our population size, no other country breaks more Guinness world records. (99) Our national anthem is better: Musicologists in Britain analyzed eight anthems to see which drew listeners to join in most—O Canada ranked 5th ahead of the Star-Spangled Banner (6th)