Tranquil Treasures: 35 Soothing Facts about National Parks & Sanctuaries

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1Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forest National Park has a "Conscience Pile" where returned petrified wood, stolen from the park over the years, are now stored. They can't be replaced to their original locations, even if the sender includes a detailed map, because it would spoil the park's research.

2. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve of Canada contains a village site of the Haida people. It features the largest collection of Haida totem poles in their original locations, and they are being allowed to succumb to natural decay in the lush temperate rainforest climate.

3. Tai National Park in Côte d'Ivoire contains one of the last areas of primary rainforest in West Africa and is a natural reservoir of the Ebola virus. The original tribes of the forest region, for totemic reasons, did not eat chimpanzees and thus preserved the chimpanzee populations.

4. Canada's Tuktut Nogait National Park received only 8 visitors in 2014. There are no facilities in the park, so everything must be brought in: food and drink, tents for sleeping, tents for cooking, and a tent for the toilet.

5. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park in Belarus contains parts of the last primeval forest fragment of the European woodlands that once stretched across the European Plain. Since 2015, there has been a visa-free regime within the forest for hikers and cyclists between Poland and Belarus.

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6Kibira National Park

Kibira National Park

Until 1933, Kibira National Park was a hunting reserve of the kings of Burundi. The local people respected the forest, investing it with magical power. The sacred character of the forest, even prior to the colonial era, helped to conserve it.

7. Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada is larger in area than the country of Switzerland and is the world's second-largest national park. It was created in 1922 as a sanctuary for the last bison population in the nation and aboriginal residents.

8. Zambia's Mweru Wantipa National Park has had no management and protection for several decades and lacks visitor facilities. Consequently, its wildlife population has been much reduced in recent years. Its black rhinoceros are extinct and it is also unlikely to have elephants and lions.

9. Yellowstone National Park is believed to not just be the first national park in America but is also the first national park in the world.

10. 375 goats were airlifted from Olympic National Park in Washington State after they trampled tourists because they had developed a taste for human urine.

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11Florida Manatee Sanctuary

Florida Manatee Sanctuary

The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act makes it illegal to molest, harass, or disturb manatees. A Florida father was arrested by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after posting photos of himself hugging a baby manatee out of the water, and letting his daughter sit on it.

12. About 4 Canadian wolves were air-dropped into Isle Royale National Park in Michigan to boost the park's wolf pack to 8. The extra wolves were brought in to help keep the moose population in check, thereby preventing mass starvation of the moose herd.

13. Lions still live in their natural habitat in India. There are an estimated 650 lions living in Gir National Park. This makes India the only country where lions and tigers could theoretically meet in the wild.

14. In 2004, tourists at the Yala National Park on Sri Lanka's south west coast (which fell victim to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami), were unable to spot any wildlife on safari because the animals had sensed the tremor vibrations 4 days earlier and fled to higher ground.

15. Nigeria's Okomu National Park holds a small fragment of the rich forest that once covered the region and is now less than one-third of its original size. It continues to shrink, threatened by encroaching villages and logging around the park.

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16Keibul Lamjao National Park

Keibul Lamjao National Park

Phumdis are a series of floating islands, exclusive to the Loktak Lake in Manipur, India. It has the world’s only floating national park, named Keibul Lamjao National Park.

17. Tucked in the middle of Los Angeles, is a small bird sanctuary called Serenity Park. It's a place where abused birds and combat vets bond and heal. The theory is that, through their shared trauma, they connect on an emotional and almost spiritual level. They have had much success in treating PTSD.

18. Hundred Islands National Park in Philippines has 124 islands at low tide but only three of them have been developed for tourism: Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children's Island. The peculiar “mushroom-like” shapes of some of the islands were caused by the eroding action of ocean waves.

19. At the Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park visitor’s center, there used to be a Cursed Lava Rocks display featuring lava rocks stolen by tourists, mailed back to the park rangers, along with stories of the string of bad luck these tourists received since the rocks were in their possession.

20. There is a national park in New Zealand named the Egmont National Park, which from above looks almost symmetric. The forest is surrounded on all sides by pasture, giving it a distinctly circular shape. It is spread over a radius of 6 miles, surrounding a dormant volcano.

21Ukkusiksalik National Park

Ukkusiksalik National Park

The Ukkusiksalik National Park in Canada lays uninhabited now, but the Inuit lived there from 11th century to the 1960s. Remains of fox traps, tent rings, and food caches have been discovered in the area. Usually, the park can only be visited during a few summer weeks.

22. Northeast Greenland National Park is bigger than Pakistan, Venezuela, or France, and only 30 countries are bigger. There are abundant polar bears, hares, foxes, caribou, and walruses, as well as almost half the world’s population of musk oxen, about 15,000 head.

23. Botum Sakor is the largest national park in Cambodia. Only very little on-location research has been done and published on the biodiversity of the area so far and no scientific investigation has ever been carried out for the remote interior of the park. The human population living inside it is unknown.

24. While accounting for merely 3% of Taiwan’s total land area, Yushan National Park has half of Taiwan’s native plant species growing within its boundaries. In surveys, there are 2,522 different kinds of plants found in the park.

25. Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve in Canada is named after the Shúhtagot’ine language description of a mountain and it refers to its unique shape, which is sharp and pointed on the top like a porcupine quill. The mountain from which the park takes its name is said to have been credited with great powers.

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