Welcome to a captivating journey through France, a country that has not only graced the world with its exquisite cuisine and art but also harbours some lesser-known yet intriguing facts. Whether you’re a dedicated Worldle game player or simply a curious soul eager to explore the wonders of diverse countries, this article promises to unveil fascinating tidbits that may surprise you.

Kilts Originated In France, Not Scotland

Kilts Originated In France, Not Scotland
A group of man wearing kilts

While kilts are often associated with the rugged terrain of Scotland, their origins have more international roots. Early variations of similar garments were worn worldwide, including in France. These garments, unlike the modern tartan kilts we know, were longer, extending below the knee and reaching the ground. The tartan kilts that are now iconic in Scottish culture emerged in the early 18th century.

The Camera Phone Was Invented In France

The Camera Phone Was Invented In France
A person taking photo of the The Arc de Triomphe de l’Γ‰toile with phone camera

In a surprising twist of history, the camera phone, a ubiquitous device today, was first conceived in France by Philippe Kahn in 1997. This enterprising Parisian took the inaugural photo with his camera phone, capturing a precious moment with his newborn daughter, Sophie. This invention marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of photography, forever changing how we capture and share life’s memories.

The Shortest Reign In History

The Shortest Reign In History
Portrait by William Corden the Elder after the full length portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence

Louis-Antoine, known as Louis XIX, holds a unique historical record as the monarch with the shortest reign in history. Following his father Charles X’s abdication, he automatically ascended to the throne as the heir apparent, or Dauphin in French. Remarkably, just twenty minutes after assuming the throne, he too abdicated, etching his name in history with the briefest reign of any monarch.

The Oldest Person To Have Ever Lived

The Oldest Person To Have Ever Lived
Jeanne Calment at the age of 117.

The charming ProvenΓ§al city of Arles, nestled in France’s embrace, not only enchants its beauty but also holds the remarkable distinction of being the birthplace of the world’s oldest documented person.

Jeanne Louise Calment, born on 21 February 1875 and peacefully passing on 4 August 1997, achieved supercentenarian status, with her age verified at 122 years and 164 days. Her exceptional longevity not only captured the media’s fascination but also prompted extensive medical inquiries into her health and lifestyle. She stands as the sole verified individual to have graced the age of 120, a testament to her remarkable journey.

Astonishingly, she pedalled her bicycle until her 100th birthday, maintained her independence until 110, and even bid adieu to smoke at the impressive age of 117. Her daily ritual of savouring a glass of port until her final moments serves as an enduring testament to her indomitable spirit.

It’s Illegal To Waste Edible Food

It's Illegal To Waste Edible Food
Remains of edible food

France, renowned for its culinary prowess and appreciation of gastronomy, takes its food waste seriously. Since 2016, it has been illegal to discard or burn perfectly edible food. This law aims to combat food waste by making the destruction of edible items more challenging.

While a law that aligns with the nation’s love for food may not be surprising, it underscores France’s commitment to preserving its rich culinary heritage and reducing unnecessary waste.


France, a country celebrated for its art, culture, and cuisine, continues to enchant us with its intriguing history and surprising facts. From unexpected inventors to remarkable individuals and meaningful legislation, France’s story extends far beyond its world-famous landmarks.

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