Bizarre Edinburgh: Strange Facts you might not know

A Few Strange Edinburgh Facts 

We all know there are plenty of interesting facts about Auld Reekie, but there are a fair few strange Edinburgh facts too. Here are some of our favourites …

Home of the World’s Only Knighted Penguin

One of Edinburgh Zoo’s resident king penguins also happens to be the official mascot of the Norwegian Royal Guard. In celebration of the long history between Edinburgh Zoo, penguins and Norway, Nils Olav was given a prominent honorary position in the Norwegian Guard. And over the years, this loveable little flapper has moved steadily up the ranks. In 2008, he received a knighthood – a position so important, it had to be approved by the King of Norway. And in 2016, he was promoted to Brigadier. But it’s not all fun and games for the highly decorated penguin. Sir Olav takes his job very seriously, and inspects the Norwegian Guardsmen whenever they are in the city.

Statues in Edinburgh: It’s A Man’s World

Statue of Adam Smith in Edinburgh with cathedral in background

Perhaps one of the really strange facts about Edinburgh, is the question surrounding Edinburgh’s female statues. Edinburgh’s main streets and bustling thoroughfares are lined with statues of men (both real and fictional) and animals. From Greyfriars Bobby and Walter Scott, to tributes and monuments of historical icons and fictional greats, there is a decided lack of female representation in the statued legacy of our city. In fact, there are more statues of animals than women in Edinburgh! So where are all the women? Currently, there are only five named women, and 4 of them are Queens! 

We’re Unicorn Crazy

Golden Unicorn on Holyrood Palace entrance

Ok, we know the unicorn isn’t actually real,  but it’s still our national animal. That’s right! The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland, and now you know about it, you’ll see them all over Edinburgh. Seriously, those mythical creatures are everywhere. Read our Chasing Unicorns blog for tips on where to spot them. 

Meet the Loony Dookers

You’d have to be completely loony to dook under the freezing cold waters of the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh on New Year’s Day, right? Well, that’s how the Loony Dook got it’s name! But doesn’t stop hundreds of people from doing just this, every January 1st.

In South Queensferry, in the shadows of the iconic Forth Bridge, they celebrate the start of a new year by splashing around in icy water wearing their weirdest outfits. This annual tradition not only celebrates our weird and wacky sense of fun and adventure, but it raises lots of money for charity too.

Ready, Steady, Quack!

In the summer, there’s another equally weird Edinburgh event to attend. The annual Stockbridge Duck Race! This year, taking place on 30th June. 

The idea is very simple. We fling thousands of rubber ducks off a bridge and race them down the river. You can buy a duck from one of the local shops and enter it into the race. There are lots of great prizes to be won.

Another great charity fundraiser, which is crazy fun!

Visit Edinburgh and Discover More Strange Facts

To find out more strange Edinburgh facts, visit this this weird and wonderful city for yourself! See our special offers and book a break today!