Sometimes the phrase ‘there is no such thing as a stupid question’ can be really tested on the internet.
We looked through popular question and answer site Quora; Reddit and Yahoo Answers to find some of the most common and strangest questions about Scotland asked on the internet.
“What would be the language of Scotland if they got independence?”
We’re going to put our necks on the line and say English.
“What would Scotland be called if it became independent?”
“Does Nessie exist?”
The Loch Ness Monster - or Nessie - has inspired generations of marine hunters to explore the loch’s deep waters in search of the mythological creature. Unfortunately, Nessie remains elusive and has yet to be found but there have been some close calls.
READ MORE: The history of Scotland in 9 maps
“Are wild haggis real?”
In an online poll of 1,000 US visitors to Scotland in 2003, 33 per cent thought haggis was an animal and 23 cent said they came to Scotland believing they could catch one.
The reality is that Scotland’s national dish is sheep’s offal mixed with suet, oatmeal, and seasoning.
“Would it be possible to join a clan by just offering allegiance?”
Identifying with the clans of Scotland, is often much more important outside of the country. Not all Scots are from Highland families and thus do not identify with people who have the same name unless they’re closely related.
While most in Scotland are aware if they have a family Tartan and wear it to formal events, it is rarely something that defines the individual.
In America, Canada and Australia, descendants of Scottish emigrants tend to be a lot more passionate about their links to Highland clans.
Generally speaking, you become a member of a clan if you are born, or marry into it. But who knows, perhaps there are some who would accept pledges of allegiance.
“Is it Scotch or Scottish?”
Scottish - unless you’re talking about whisky (note: not whiskey) or other food and drink products such as Scotch Broth. The archaic term ‘Scotch’ is not used within the UK. Scots or Scottish will do just fine.
“Does Scotland have nude beaches?”
If baring all on the beach is your thing, it’s worth remembering this is Scotland where the average summertime temperatures are around 15-17C.
There are a number of unofficial nudist beaches around the country but for official naturist spots the best bets are: Cleat’s Shore, Isle of Arran, Ardeer, North Ayrshire and Kinshaldy Beach in Fife.
“Is Scotland in Europe?”
Yes, but out of the European Union along with the rest of the UK.
“Is there sun in Scotland?”
There is but not nearly enough! Average annual sunshine hours over the whole of Scotland are approximately 1160 per year, meaning that the sun shines just over 25 per cent of the time during daylight hours.
“Are Scots a distrustful lot?”
Depends, who wants to know?!
“Is Scotland safe for tourists?”
In 2015 nearly 15 million overnight tourism trips were taken in Scotland, and visitor expenditure totalled more than £5 billion. It’s a stable and very safe country, but if you’re a tourist maybe avoid the independence debate.
“Is Scotland ruled by England?”
No. Scotland has had its own Parliament in Edinburgh since 1999. A significant number of powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament including taxation.
However, the UK’s capital is located in London, which is in England. The UK Parliament contains representatives from throughout the UK, including 59 MPs from Scotland, which is slightly higher than the Scottish proportion of the population (9 per cent versus 8 per cent).
“How do I get Scottish citizenship?”
You can’t. Scots are UK citizens and use British passports to travel. You can buy novelty Scottish passports online but good luck getting through the airport with one.
Do men in Scotland wear kilts on an everyday, regular basis?
A very common question that it seems non-Scots would dearly love to be true. For better or for worse, no, Scots usually only wear kilts for special occasions.
“Are there snakes in Scotland?”
The only snakes in Scotland are Adders. They are very hard to find and while poisonous are not deadly.