The forty-ninth state of the USA is Alaska. If you are a nature enthusiast, you must at least go to Alaska once. With its picturesque landscapes, Alaska, without a doubt, is a beautiful state. But Alaska is not famous only for its natural beauty; there are several unbelievable things about it. Today in our Alaska facts, we will do just that. Without any further ado, let us begin.
Alaska Facts 1-5
1. The word ‘Alaska’ originated from the Aleut word ‘Alyeska’ meaning the great land.
2. The designer of the flag of Alaska was a 13-year-old boy named Benny Benson. He designed it in 1926. It became the official flag of Alaska in 1959 after Alaska’s adoption in the Union.
3. Willow Ptarmigan is the official bird of the state of Alaska.
4. Dog mushing is the state sport of Alaska. Earlier, it was a primary transportation mode for Alaskans. The largest sporting event in Alaska is Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
5. The lowest population density in the United States of America is present in Alaska.
Alaska Facts 6-10
6. You can see northern lights or aurora borealis 243 days in a year in Fairbanks. If you want to learn more about the aurora borealis, click here.
7. A third of Alaska’s land is present in the Arctic circle.
8. Barrow (in Alaska) experiences the longest and the shortest amount of daylight in Alaska. The sun rises on 10 May and doesn’t set till three months, and then the sun sets on 18 November and doesn’t rise for about two months!
9. Alaska is just 50 miles from Russia at its closest point to Russia. If you could drive over the ocean waters, then you could reach Russia in an hour!
10. There are around 20 native languages spoken and 224 federally recognized tribes in Alaska.
Alaska Facts 11-15
11. It may sound unbelievable, but it is real. The easternmost, westernmost, and northernmost points of the USA are present in Alaska. The northernmost point is in Barrow, and both easternmost and westernmost points are in Aleutian Chain.
12. To be specific, the easternmost point of the USA is Semisopochnoi Island’s Pochnoi Point. The westernmost point of the USA is Amatignak Island.
13. 52% of the population is men, the highest in the entire nation.
14. The two most extensive forests of the USA are present in Alaska. The Tongass forest is around 16.8 million acres, and the Chugach forest is approximately 4.8 million acres.
15. Alaska is one of the places where there is high seismic activity in the world. Alaska Earthquake Center has reported over 1,50,000 earthquakes in five years. 31 out of 1,50,000 earthquakes had a Richter magnitude scale reading of 6 or higher.
Alaska Facts 16-20
16. Not just that, 3 out of the eight strongest earthquakes of the world took place in Alaska. The strongest earthquake of North America hit Alaska on 27 March 1964 with a Richter magnitude scale reading of 9.2. It even changed the coastline of Alaska. The coast moved 50 feet towards the waters.
17. Glaciers make up 5% of Alaska’s land.
18. Most of the glaciers of the USA are present in Alaska. According to the 2011 survey, there are around 100,000 glaciers in Alaska. There are more active glaciers in Alaska than the rest of the world combined!
19. Seventeen out of the twenty highest peaks in the USA are present in Alaska. The highest peak in entire North America is Denali. It is also present in Alaska. Denali in native Indians language means the great one.
20. Alaska holds over 100 active volcanoes and volcanic fields. These volcanoes and volcanic fields are active within two million years. However, one or two volcanoes erupted since 1900. The century’s most violent volcanic eruption took place in 1912. Novarupta volcano erupted and created the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. It is now a part of Katmai National Park.
Alaska Facts 21-25
21. The coastline of Alaska is longer than the coast of all other states of the USA combined!
23. There are over three million lakes and 3,000 rivers in Alaska. Yukon River is the third-longest river in the United States of America. It is present in Alaska. The largest lake in Alaska is Lake Iliamna.
24. As per USGS, Alaska is 14% water.
25. Alaska has the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (of Russia) borders Alaska from the west, and Canada’s British Columbia borders it from the east.
Alaska Facts 26-30
26. It has a total geographical area of 663,268 square miles or 1,717,856 square kilometers.
27. The only state in the US not to levy any state tax or individual income tax is Alaska (some cities of Alaska charge income tax).
28. According to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute reports, 15% of the rural people draw employment from seafood.
29. Alaska produces over 60% of the commercial fisheries in the entire USA. Some of them are five species of salmon, shrimp, cod, crab, etc.
30. North America’s largest oil field is in Prudhoe Bay.
Alaska Facts 31-35
31. The most prominent mineral export from Alaska is zinc and not gold.
32. The busiest and largest seaplane base is present in Alaska’s Lake Hood. On a working summer day, the seaplane base sees 800 takeoffs.
33. The largest salmon caught weighed 97 pounds and five ounces. It was found at the River Kenai, Alaska.
34. In Alaska, moose can grow up to 1,600 pounds with its antlers spanning nearly 6 feet wide.
35. Kodiak bears of Alaska can grow up to 1,500 pounds, and they are 10 feet tall if they stand on their hind legs.
Alaska Facts 36-40
36. The most massive accumulation of fur seals is seen in Pribilof Islands, Alaska. Nearly 50% of the fur seals visit the island to either breed or haul-out.
37. During the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897, potatoes were traded with gold as they are loaded with vitamin C.
38. Battle of Attu was the only battle to take place on the soil of the United States of America during World War II. The battle took place in the Aleutian Islands from 11 May to 30 May 1943.
39. Danish explorer, Vitus Jonassen Bering, was the first outsider to discover Alaska in 1741. The first Russian colony was founded in 1784 in Kodiak Island.
40. Did you know that Russia sold off Alaska to the US? Yes, Russia sold Alaska for $7.2 million on 30 March 1867. It may sound huge, but it costed Americans just 2 cents for 1 acre!
Alaska Facts 41-45
41. Even after such a good deal, many people mocked and ridiculed the agreement and started calling it ‘Seward’s Folly.’ But gold rush in the 1890’s changed the scenario, and now Seward’s Day is celebrated every year on 30 March to celebrate the deal.
42. Alaska celebrates Alaska Day on 18 October each year. Alaska Day was the day when the official transfer of the territory took place on 18 October 1867.
43. Gravity Hill in Anchorage doesn’t follow physics. A car in neutral starts moving up instead of down on Upper Huffman Road (present on gravity hill).
44. The largest state of the US is Alaska.
45. Alaska’s capital, Juneau, is the only state capital that doesn’t have a roadway. The only two ways to reach Juneau is via plane or a boat.
Alaska Facts 46-50
46. There is one bear for 21 people in Alaska.
47. It may sound ridiculous, but in Alaska, it is illegal to whisper in a person’s ear while the person is moose hunting.
48. The lowest temperature recorded to date in Alaska was -80 degrees Fahrenheit. It was recorded at Prospect Creek Camp in the year 1971. It is the lowest recorded temperature in the entire nation.
49. Some of the weirdest legislations in Alaska are laws against giving a moose beer, seeing a moose from a plane, pushing a moose from a plane!
50. There is something called Hammer Museum in Alaska’s Haines. It is the first museum wholly dedicated to hammers. This museum has a collection of meat tenderizers, handle-making machinery, etc.
Alaska Facts 51-55
51. Balto, a husky, is a famous dog that delivered diphtheria medicine to a small town in Alaska. Balto’s preserved body is present on display at Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Museum, Wasilla, Alaska.
52. The highest temperature recorded in Alaska was in 1915. The temperature rose to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
53. As Alaska experiences long summer days (the sun shines for 20 hours a day), the yield produced is a little on the heavier side. There are instances where broccoli weighed 35 pounds; a cantaloupe weighed 65 pounds, and a cabbage weighed 138 pounds.
54. Alaska’s town Talkeetna held a moose dropping festival once a year. Here painted and numbered moose droppings were dropped from a crane, and whichever dropping was the closest to the center received a cash prize. This festival was discontinued in 2009.
55. The five major native groups of Alaska are Yuit, Inupiat, Haida, Tlingit, and Aleuts. Native people make up 14% of Alaska’s population, highest for any state in the USA.
Alaska Facts 56-60
56. Most of the hotels of Alaska offer wake up calls for northern lights upon request.
57. If Manhattan had the same proportion of people as Alaska has, then only 28 people would have called the island their home.
58. The Thing, a horror classic, was set in Antarctica, was filmed in Alaska.
59. Did you know Japanese forces not only attacked Pearl Harbour but also occupied the Aleutian Islands? They held it for over a year.
60. Moose, bear, and caribou killed by vehicles are treated as the property of the state. The carcass is divided and distributed to charity organizations.
Alaska Facts 61-65
61. Alaska was first inhabited around 13,000 years ago.
63. Pine, Sitka, cedar, hemlock, etc. are some of the flora seen in Alaska.
64. Have you ever heard of aqutak? It is an Eskimo ice cream made up of animal fat, wild Alaskan berries, ice, and seal oil.
65. There are a total of eight national parks in Alaska. Some of them are Denali, Glacier Bay, Gates of the Arctic, Lake Clark, etc. The biggest of the national park in Alaska is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This national park hosts one of the three largest active volcanoes in the world.
Alaska Facts 66-70
66. If Alaska were a country and not a state, it would be the 17th largest country in the world.
67. In 1976, the Alaskan Permanent Fund was established. It handles the extra money that the state gets from the oil industry. The fund then invests the money and gives the dividend to the Alaskan residents.
68. Nearly 2,250 people go missing in Alaska every year.
69. Talking of Talkeetna, the town elected a ginger cat called Stubbs as its mayor. He took birth on 12 April 1997; he became the mayor in 1998 and remained mayor all his life till he succumbed on 21 July 2017. He was the mayor of Talkeetna for 20 years.
70. Alaskans celebrate Dragonfly Day every year from 2008. There are 30 different species of dragonflies. Some of the dragonflies are as big as birds.
Alaska Facts 71-75
71. Alaska has eight species of whales – Humpback, Orca, Beluga, Right, Blue, Grey, Bowhead, and Minke.
72. Mendenhall Ice Caves are simply magical. The water running over rocks under the bright-blue ceiling made of ice mesmerizes everyone. It is just 20 kilometers from downtown Juneau.
73. The highest point of Alaska is 6,190 meters above the sea level.
74. In Alaska, you can fly an airplane from 16 years, but you can’t drive till you are 21!
75. Alaska is as close to New York as it is to Tokyo (almost)!