Amazing Facts: Surprising facts about Alaska

Apr 24 2019 07:00 PM
Amazing Facts: Surprising facts about Alaska

Located 500 miles away from the nearest state, there’s likely a lot you haven’t heard about Alaska. Here are 25 facts about the last frontier.

  • Outsiders first discovered Alaska in 1741 when Danish explorer Vitus Jonassen Bering sighted it on a voyage from Siberia.
  • Russian whalers and fur traders on Kodiak Island established the first settlement in Alaska in 1784.
  • In 1867 United States Secretary of State William H. Seward offered Russia $7,200,000, or two cents per acre, for Alaska.
  • On October 18, 1867 Alaska officially became the property of the United States. Many Americans called the purchase "Seward's Folly."
  • Joe Juneau's 1880 discovery of gold ushered in the gold rush era.
  • Some of Alaska’s bizarre moose-specific legislation has included laws against pushing a moose from a plane, viewing a moose from a plane, and giving a moose beer.
  • Haines, Alaska is home to America’s first museum solely dedicated to hammers. Visitors to the Hammer

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  • Museum can view their fascinating collections of hammer sculptures, handle-making machinery, and spring-loaded meat tenderizers.
  • Alaska officially became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.
  • Alaska's most important revenue source is the oil and natural gas industry.
  • Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States.
  • The state of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
  • Prudhoe Bay, on the northern Alaskan coast, is North America's largest oil field.
  • The Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on its 800 mile journey to Valdez.
  • The fishing and seafood industry is the state's largest private industry employer.
  • Most of America's salmon, crab, halibut, and herring come from Alaska.
  • The term Alaska native refers to Alaska's original inhabitants including Aleut, Eskimo and Indian groups.
  • The wild forget-me-not is the official state flower. The Territorial Legislature adopted it in 1917.
  • The willow ptarmigan is the official state bird. The Territorial Legislature adopted it in 1955.
  • The Sitka spruce is the official state tree. The Territorial Legislature adopted it in 1962.
  • Dog mushing is the official state sport. The Alaska Legislature adopted it in 1972.
  • An unnamed draftsman created the state seal in 1910. It consists of a rising sun shining on forests, lake, fishing and shipping boats, and agricultural and mining activities.
  • Alaska has more coastline than the other 49 states combined.
  • Because of their long summer days, Alaska is capable of producing some unusually oversized produce.
  • Some notable specimens that have been harvested in recent years include a 35-pound broccoli, a 65-pound cantaloupe, and a 138-pound cabbage.
  • In Barrow, Alaska, the longest night lasts for 67 days. In the summer they make up for it with 82 days of uninterrupted sunlight.
  • If Manhattan had the same population density as Alaska, only 28 people would inhabit the island.
  • There are 107 men for every 100 women in Alaska, the highest male-to-female ratio in the United States.

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