There are literally hundreds of fun facts about Alaska, America’s 49th state, but we’ve whittled down that list of Alaska trivia to our top 25:
#1: On October 18, 1867 Alaska officially became the property of the United States. Many Americans called the purchase of the land from Russia at 2 cents an acre “Seward’s Folly.”
#2: Alaska’s Constitution was adopted in 1956 and became effective in 1959 making it the 49th state.
#3: Alaska is the United States’ largest state, over twice the size of Texas, at 1400 miles north to south and 2,700 miles east to west.
#4: Alaska officially boasts the lowest population density in the nation.
#5: 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are located in Alaska. But can you name all 17?
#6: In 1943, during World War II, Japan invaded the Aleutian Islands, which started the One Thousand Mile War, the first battle fought on American soil since the Civil War.
#7: The Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on its 800 mile journey through Alaska to Valdez.
#8: Alaska’s fishing and seafood industry is the state’s largest private-industry employer.
#9: Alaska has five species of salmon; King, Coho, Sockeye, Chum, and Pink.
#10: The Alaskan moose is the largest member of the deer family.
#11: A Reindeer is a domesticated Caribou.
#12: Unlike other members of the deer family, both male and female caribou grow antlers.
#13: In 1926, a youngster, 13-year-old Bennie Benson from Cognac, Alaska designed the state’s flag.
#14: Nearly one-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle.
#15: The Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the United States.
#16: Alaska Polar Bears are considered a marine mammal and are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
#17: Great White Sharks have been found in Southeast Alaskan waters.
#18: The wood frog, Rana sylvatica, can be found living in Alaska north of the Arctic Circle.
#19: The spread of a bull moose’s antlers can exceed six feet in breadth.
#20: Moose can trot as fast as 35 miles per hour (56 km per hour).
#21: The Lynx is the only cat native to Alaska.
#22: Despite the name, Musk Ox are not a type of ox, but are more closely related to sheep and goats.
#23: Alaskan musk-ox were hunted to extinction by hunters in 1865. They have since been reintroduced and their numbers are increasing.
#24: The Arctic Tern is known to travel as far away as Antarctica each year.
#25: Fireweed is unusual that it blooms from the bottom up. When the top blooms, it signals the end of summer.