50 Brilliant Facts about Florida, The Sunshine State

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1No Mosquitoes in Disney World

There are almost no mosquitoes in Disney World (Florida) even though it is in a swampy territory abundant with bugs. They have a sophisticated mosquito surveillance program to try and eliminate them quickly.


2. Fireworks are totally illegal in Florida but are sold to ordinary people in huge quantities via hundreds of stores across the state to anyone who signs a waiver saying they are for agricultural use to scare birds away from crops.


3. A black cemetery in Florida disappeared 100 years ago. The local newspaper started looking for it and through old documents learned that maybe a public housing complex had been built over it. An archaeologist used ground-penetrating radar to see what was in the ground. He found 120 coffins.


4. The Florida fairy shrimp was discovered in 1952 to be a unique species of fairy shrimp specific to a single pond in Gainesville, Florida. When researchers returned to that pond in 2011, they realized it had been filled in for development, thereby causing the species to go extinct.


5. Self-made millionaire Harris Rosen adopted a Florida neighborhood called Tangelo Park, cut the crime rate in half, and increased the high school graduation rate from 25% to 100% by giving everyone free daycare and all high school graduates scholarships.


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6Nub City, Florida

The Florida panhandle once accounted for 2/3 of lost limb claims in the U.S. due to the common practice of taking out multiple insurance policies and then maiming oneself.


7. The city of Hampton in Florida annexed 1,260 feet of US Route 301 and used it to raise $211,328, earning it the reputation as a speed trap on a national level.


8. During the Great Depression, banker Mark Welch Munroe convinced struggling families in Quincy, Florida to buy Coca-Cola shares that traded at $19. Later, the town became the single richest town per capita in the US with at least 67 millionaires.


9. When it snowed for the first recorded time in Miami in 1977, a meteorologist initially thought it was a coke-drop that had gone wrong, until realizing that the flakes were snow.


10. There exists a space station of the sea, a permanent underwater laboratory (Aquarius) 3.5 miles off of the Florida Keys.


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11The Villages, Florida

“The Villages” is an over-55 community in Florida which has recorded the highest consumption of draft beer as well as highest STD rate in the state.


12. Florida Road Rangers will bring you gas if you run out. They also carry jumper cables, oil, radiator fluid, etc.


13. There is a bigfoot trap located in Jacksonville, USA. It was built in 1974 and was monitored and refilled daily for 6 years. No longer active, now it serves as a reminder that “there is still a mystery in the world.”


14. Jacksonville, Florida was the winter filming capital of the early US movie industry but conservative residents objected, a mayor was elected on an anti-movie platform, and so the industry moved on to Southern California.


15. There are so many water-filled caves under Florida that divers can swim between sinkhole-created lakes, under highways, businesses, schools, and houses.


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16Florida's Door Law

Building codes in South Florida require exterior doors to swing outwards because it offers better protection against hurricanes. It was enacted after Hurricane Andrew.


17. The Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower was built in the Florida Keys in 1929 and it was filled with bats to control the mosquito problem. The bats flew away, never to return, and the tower toppled after Hurricane Irma.


18. The Florida Department of Citrus, through a partnership with Marvel, created Captain Citrus in an effort to spread the nutritional message of orange juice in Florida classrooms.


19. The “Florida man” phenomenon exists because freedom of information laws in Florida make it easier for journalists to obtain information about arrests from the police than in other states.


20. The 1111 Lincoln Road Parking Garage in Miami Beach is described as having a “stunning” design and it has hosted weddings, wine tastings, and even dinner parties.


21Florida School For Boys

The Florida School for Boys was a reform school that was shut down in 2011 after it gained a reputation for abuse, beatings, rapes, torture, and even murder of students by staff. 50 unmarked and undocumented graves have been located on the property using radar.


22. The town of Lauderhill, Florida was supposed to present actor James Earl Jones with a plaque for their annual Martin Luther King celebration. The company in charge of making it printed the name "James Earl Ray" on it. James Earl Ray was the man who killed Martin Luther King.


23. The longest continuous sidewalk in the world is along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Florida. It is 4.5 miles long.


24. The Osborne Reef in Florida is a 36-acre artificial reef which was constructed entirely out of tires. The “reef” failed as no marine life was able to inhabit it. The site is currently an environmental disaster.


25. Lake Okeechobee, despite being Florida's largest freshwater lake and covering an area of 730 square miles, has an average depth of just 9 feet.

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