Put your thinking caps on, globe-savvy readers. Can you name a country that starts with every letter in the English alphabet? Some might come to you right away, like Australia, Brazil, and Canada. Others could be trickier, like Kenya or Luxembourg.
While you could go on like this for all 195 countries, you won’t solve it for all 26 letters in the alphabet. In fact, no matter how long you muse and mull over this puzzling problem, there are two letters that no countries in the world start with. See if you can guess which ones they are.
Ready for the answer? Drum roll, please: Turns out, no countries in the world start with the letters W or X. (By the way, almost every country in the world is named after these four things.)
Some might be quick to point out that Wales, which is considered a country, starts with the letter W. But Wales is actually part of a larger “sovereign state,” the UK, and is not a member of the United Nations (UN). As a result, it is often not included in official totals of countries.
If you guessed Y, you were close—but you probably forgot about Yemen, which is the only country in the world that starts with the letter Y. Meanwhile, Oman is the only country that starts with the letter O. Other rare letters include Q and Z; no countries but Zambia and Zimbabwe begin with the letter Z, while Qatar is the lone country that starts with Q.
But before you mention this fascinating factoid at the next cocktail hour, beware: You’ve probably been pronouncing these places wrong your entire life.