25 Interesting Facts about Alaska – Part 2

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1Juneau

Juneau, Alaska is reachable only by ferry or airplane and is not connected to the North American highway system, despite being the state capital. Plans for connecting a highway go back to 1972, but state research funding was halted in 2016, citing budget concerns. Local opinions are mixed.


2. In 2012, in Bethel, Alaska (approx. population 6,200), pranksters papered the town with flyers and banners advertising the arrival of a Taco Bell restaurant which was false. After hearing of the residents' disappointment, Taco Bell helicoptered in a truck laden with 10,000 tacos which was then mobbed by thousands.


3. Dyea is a Gold Rush town in Alaska. A few people live on individual small homesteads in the valley; however, it is largely abandoned. Confidence man and crime boss Soapy Smith, famous for his underworld control of the neighboring town of Skagway in 1897–98 is believed to have had control of Dyea as well.


4. In Alaska, it's illegal to whisper in another person's ear if they are hunting moose.


5. A giant snowman named Snowzilla is created every year in Anchorage, Alaska. In 2008, the city attempted to stop the creation of Snowzilla, and on Christmas morning there were sign-carrying snowmen "protesting" that attempt in front of city hall.


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6Oil royalty check

Every resident of Alaska gets an annual “oil royalty check” - a payment representing their share of the revenue from Alaskan oil. In 2008 the payout reached a high of $2,069, or $8,276 for a family of four people.


7. In Anchorage, Alaska, many large animals, such as moose, are often hit by vehicles. While motorists get first rights to roadkill; Charity groups sign up to collect large roadkill and the meat is donated to the needy.


8. Alaska is not only the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States but is also technically the easternmost as well because it crosses the 180° meridian of longitude.


9. To be inducted into the ‘40 Below Club’ of Fairbanks, Alaska you have to stand in front of the University of Alaska Fairbanks sign which reads the current temperature (that has to be at least -40°F), all while posing half naked.


10. There is a town named Whittier in Alaska where almost everyone lives and/or works under one roof. A single 14-story high-rise is home “to most of the town’s residents as well as its post office, grocery store, health clinic, laundromat, and church.”


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11Snowplow trucks

In Alaska, some snowplow trucks use heads-up displays that show where the road is under the snow, allowing workers to continue plowing roads in zero visibility, white-out conditions.


12. In 1972, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation mandating that if "a [school is attended] by at least 15 pupils whose primary language is other than English, [then the school] shall have at least one teacher who is fluent in the native language."


13. Denali mountain in Alaska is both the tallest mountain in North America and taller than Mount Everest measuring from base to summit. Everest reaches a higher altitude however since it’s on an approximately 17,000 feet plateau.


14. In the 1880s, in Alaska, there were wolves larger than the Dire Wolf. The Kenai Peninsula Wolf measured 4.5 feet tall(shoulder),7feet long(excluding the tail), with an estimated max weight of 200-250 pounds.


15. The purchase of Alaska from Russia by the U.S. was originally mocked by U.S. citizens, who called it "Andrew Johnson's polar bear garden."


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16Mount Shishaldin

Mount Shishaldin, an active volcano in Alaska is in the shape of a perfect cone, with perfectly circular contours above 2000m.


17. In 1958, Alaska was hit with a Mega Tsunami that measured 1720 feet tall. It was taller than the Empire State Building.


18. In 1867, Alaska became the only place to have two Fridays in succession. This was due to the United States' purchase of Alaska from Russia, causing its timezone to change from GMT+14 to GMT-10.


19. Hyder, Alaska uses Canadian electricity, a Canadian area code, Canadian police, and most Canadian currency. You need a passport to travel from Hyder to the rest of the United States, but not to travel from Canada to Hyder.


20. Barrow in Alaska remains in daylight for 84 days in Summer and dark for 67 days in Winter. It even experiences a midnight Sun.


21Drinking law

In Alaska, it is illegal to be drunk in a bar. Per state laws, a person who is already drunk may not “knowingly” enter a bar to drink more, or remain in the bar that got them drunk in the first place.


22. In 2016, residents of Barrow, Alaska voted to change the name of the city back to its original Inupiaq name, Utqiaġvik.


23. The town Chicken, Alaska was supposed to be named ‘Ptarmigan’ but the locals couldn’t agree on the spelling so settled on ‘Chicken’ to save themselves the embarrassment if it was spelled wrong.


24. There is a city called North Pole in Alaska. The city is known for having year-round Christmas decorations.


25. In Alaska, plants can grow freakishly large due to the 20 hours of sunshine they receive per day - which gives them a photosynthesis bonus. Examples include 138 lb cabbage, 65 lb cantaloupe, and 35 lb broccoli. A noted side effect is that the produce is also much sweeter due to the extra sunlight.

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