How many countries in the world begin with the letter O?
The answer is just one - the gulf state of Oman. Oman (full title the Sultanate of Oman) was referred to in ancient times in the writings of Pliny, and its name derives from the Arabic word for "settled people" as opposed to Bedouins. It was ruled by various dynasties before becoming a Portuguese colony from 1507-1650. Later, in the 19th century, it came under the strong influence of the British Empire, though it was never an official satellite state.
In the 1960s it underwent turbulent times and long periods of civil unrest, and now, though relatively liberal in comparison to states such as Saudi Arabia is still an absolute monarchy. It is a very wealthy state, but suffers environmental problems, especially with regard to water.
Animal lovers may be interested to know that the country's animal symbol is the beautiful and endangered white Arabian Oryx, and Arabian horses continue to be bred there