Weird U.S. State Facts You Won’t Believe Are True
If you’ve traveled America, you may think you know a lot about the U.S. But we dug around to bring you the bizarre state facts even locals can’t believe. Whether it’s the state with the most PhDs or the one that tosses fish into the next state over for fun, we know you’ll learn something new.
1. Colorado said ‘no’ to hosting the Olympics
You’d think hosting the Olympics would be a great honor and way to bring money to a state. But that’s not how Colorado voters saw it when they were asked to host the 1976 Winter Olympics. They are the only state to ever turn down hosting the games. Coloradoans weren’t willing to deal with the cost, pollution, and unwanted growth.
Next: Cat-lovers united in this state.
2. Alaska has a town with a cat mayor
If you’re from Talkeetna, Alaska, you’re likely familiar with the mayor, Stubbs the Cat. The funny thing is Stubbs wasn’t happy with his mayoral seat; in 2014, Alaskans were urged to submit Stubbs as a candidate for Senator when they weren’t happy with other choices. Maybe the world would be a better place if cats ran it?
Next: You’ll be thankful for your local dry-cleaner.
3. California had a laundry crisis
In 1849, during the Gold Rush, a hot commodity was laundry services. It was actually cheaper for California miners to send clothes to Honolulu for laundering than pay to have them washed in California. And you thought your dry-cleaning bills were bad!
Next: This state throws serious shade on Alabama.
4. Floridians throw fish into Alabama
People will find any excuse for a party (Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Super Bowl, anyone?). But the weirdest reason in Florida? Flora-Bama Beach Bar hosts an annual “Mullet Toss,” where people stand on the state line and throw fish into Alabama. Sounds weird, but hey, it could be fun!
Next: This state’s residents are serious about a particular food.
5. It’s illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder in Massachusetts
If you’ve spent time in the Bay State, you know seafood is a source of pride. Tourists and locals alike love the fresh clam chowder. But don’t you dare mess with clam chowder by adding tomatoes. The people of Massachusetts are so serious about it that it’s even outlawed.
Next: How you know the internet is watching you
6. Virginia is the ‘Internet Capital of the World’
Most people don’t think about how the internet works. But chances are the state of Virginia has something to do with it. Ashburn, Virginia has over 5 million square feet of data space, meaning 70% of the world’s internet traffic travels through this state.
Next: Another popular food is a staple of this state.
7. New York is home to the first U.S. pizza joint
New York and pizza are like peanut butter and jelly. But did you know the first pizza restaurant in the U.S. was built in New York City by Italian immigrants in 1905? New Yorkers loved it so much that there are over 1,600 pizza joints in NYC alone … And now we’re hungry.
Next: This underestimated state has lots of smart people.
8. New Mexico has the highest number of PhDs per capita
You may expect Silicon Valley or New York City to have the most PhDs, but it’s actually New Mexico. The large population of PhDs is due to Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and many other research facilities. Plus, New Mexico is home to Intel, the National Forest Service, and National Park Service.
Next: The most amount of ghosts in the country
9. Wisconsin has the highest number of ghosts per capita
This may sound made-up, especially if you don’t believe in ghosts. But this came from folklorist Robert Gard. As it turns out, Wisconsin has quite a lot of haunted places. If you’re intrigued, you can pick up a copy of the book Haunted Wisconsin and get your ghost-story fix.
Next: This larger-than-life state even has its own language.
10. ‘Texas German’ is a real language only spoken in Texas
Did you know the influence of German immigrants in the mid-19th century was so great that “Texas German” still exists? You can still hear people speak it in Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Boerne, Schulenburg, and Weimar. Due to hostility toward Germany during both World Wars, Texas-German speakers started to prefer English. But some older Texans still keep the dialect alive.
Next: Bring your bug spray if you go to this state.
11. Minnesota has over 50 different species of mosquitoes
Minnesota is known for having the most brutal winters in the U.S. But this doesn’t mean summertime isn’t a hotbed for over 50 species of mosquitos who call Minnesota home. Minnesotans even joke that mosquitos are their unofficial state bird.
Next: This next state is home to many strange laws.
12. Georgia has the weirdest laws
Every state has bizarre laws that make you scratch your head. But Georgia’s laws are the strangest. For example, don’t carry ice cream in your back pocket on a Sunday — it’s illegal. You also shouldn’t plan to hook a giraffe to a lamppost. And don’t even think about starting a rumor.
Next: If you love llamas, you need to visit this state.
13. Oregon is home to 25% of the nation’s llamas
You know you want to snuggle them! Oregon is home to over one-quarter of the nation’s llama population. We’re not quite sure why llamas are such a big deal there, but Oregon is home to a lot of llama ranches and llama backpacking tours.
Next: This next bizarre fact will explain a lot about this state.
14. Public intoxication must be legal in Nevada
It’s illegal to be publicly drunk in most states. But Nevada forbids any city to make it illegal. Another law allows the sale of alcohol 24-7 in restaurants, bars, and stores. So, if you visit Vegas and see a drunk person stumbling around the street, now you know why!
Next: Football fans will be surprised to learn about what happened in this state.
15. Pennsylvania was home to the Steagles
The name itself is almost laughable, but this actually happened. During World War II, in 1943, neither the Philadelphia Eagles or Pittsburgh Steelers had enough men to fill both teams because so many people were fighting in the war. Thus, the two NFL teams joined forces to create the Steagles, combining not only their names but their logos. They didn’t do half bad either, completing the season with a 5-4-1 record.