Anyone who has ever travelled to another continent will know that you have to readjust your clocks – and your body clock – to the destination’s time zones.
There are 24 time zones in the world. Even a single country can have several different time zones, such as the US, which has four on its mainland alone, plus a fifth stretching to the far western state of Alaska.
Depending on where you are in the US mainland, you could be under anything from Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is five hours behind Central European Time (CET), to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is eight hours behind.
It’s not surprising when you think about how large the country is. But which country in the world has the most time zones? A lot of people tend to guess that Russia has the most, owing to its vast expanse across two continents, Europe and Asia.
But the real answer is much more surprising: France. Erm, what? France itself lies entirely in the CET time zone, like the rest of central Europe.
But France cements its status as the country with the most time zones thanks to the large number of former French colonies that are officially still French territory. These include Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, La Reunion in the Indian Ocean and French Polynesia in the Pacific.
The next two nations with the most time zones are the US and Russia, each with 11 different time zones.
In the US, this high number is also due to some small territories off the mainland, such as Hawaii in the Pacific. In Russia, it is simply down to the enormous expanse of the mainland from Cape Dezhnev in the east to Pskov Oblast, which borders Estonia in the west. – dpa