When it comes to our states, It seems like there is a little bit of a popularity contest going on. California, New York, Texas – they are all heavy hitters when it comes to boasting and bragging about being the best state in the Union. But then there is our buddy, Alaska. A gentle giant of sorts, hanging out way up there by himself. I’m here to tell you: Alaska has a lot to offer.
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Here are 10 interesting things you might not know about Alaska:
1. Alaska is the largest state
So this is one fact that you may have known, but don’t tell any Texan that. Texas is widely thought to be the biggest state, but actually, Alaska is more than twice its size. It is the largest state in the United States by far and would actually stretch coast-to-coast.
2. Parts of Alaska experience sun for 24 hours
The northern-most city in Alaska experiences sunlight all day long for about 3 months over the summer. The sun circles above the horizon during this time. You can imagine how much the vegetation likes that. However, during parts of the winter, the same city will experience endless darkness, which has an adverse effect on the vegetation and the overall mental health of the people living there. Many people experience depression during this time, which is somewhat understandable.
3. Alaska is a major oil producer
Many people don’t really know what Alaska is known for. A little research will show you that Alaska accounts for about 20% of the oil production in the United States. With the low population density, there is plenty of room to drill for oil, making it a very valuable state.
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4. Alaska has the lowest population density
Speaking of population, Alaska has the lowest population density of any state, and it’s really not even close. Other states may have a lower population, but the density in those states is still much greater. One statistic has shown that if New York had the same population density, then about 30 people would live in the city of Manhattan. That’s quite a bit difference from the over one million people that live there today!
5. Alaska has some of the highest peaks in the United States
Out of the twenty highest peaks in the United States, Alaska has seventeen of them. You may know that Mt. McKinley is the highest peak in Alaska, and the United States, but you may not have known about the other sixteen.
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6. There is a lot of water in and around Alaska
This fact is a no-brainer considering most of Alaska is surrounded by water. However, you may not have known that Alaska has about 3 million lakes and another 3,000 rivers, which gives it the most inland water of any other state. The largest lake is about the size of Connecticut.
7. Natural vegetation is safe in Alaska
Unlike every other state, Alaska doesn’t have any plants that are poisonous (like poison ivy). This is a good thing because Alaska also has the two largest forests in the United States. No need to worry about what you are touching when you go hiking in one of the Alaskan forests!
8. Pilots reside in Alaska
This may be one of the most random facts about Alaska, but about one out of every fifty people that reside in Alaska are pilots. This is by far the highest number of pilots per capita of any other state. Many of those pilots own their own airplanes, so you may get lucky and bump into someone that can give you a flight if you visit there.
9. You can save money in Alaska
Alaska doesn’t collect sales tax or personal income tax. Items like liquor and tobacco have a sales tax in some areas, but most of the other items are tax-free. Of course, this makes Alaska the state with the lowest tax burden of any other state. If you can deal with the other elements in Alaska, it may be worth living here to save up some money.
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10. There aren’t many roads in Alaska
If you think you are going to go sightseeing in Alaska by driving everywhere, you may want to reconsider. Considering that only about 20% of Alaska can be traveled by road, you may want to find other ways to tour the state. There are only about a dozen highways that you can travel on.