Since January 1959, Alaska has been the 49th state of the United States of America. Alaska is situated at the great northwest of the North American continent, and the Alaska Peninsula, the largest peninsula in the Western Hemisphere. Take a look below for 30 awesome and incredible facts about Alaska.
1. Alaska’s name means the Great Land which comes from the Aleut word Alyeska.
2. The main native groups of Alaska are the Aleuts, Inupiat, Yuit, Athabascans, Tlingit, and Haida. Alaska has a higher indigenous population than any other state.
3. Alaska’s flag was designed by Benny Benson, a 13-year-old boy living in an orphanage, whose design displays eight gold stars, forming the Big Dipper and Polaris, on a dark blue field.
4. Alaska’s state bird is the willow ptarmigan.
5. Alaska is situated 500 miles away from the nearest state.
6. Juneau the capital of Alaska is the only U.S state’s capital that isn’t accessible by road – the only way is is via boat or plane!
7. Juneau is also the biggest capital covering 3,108 square miles.
8. The world’s biggest and busiest seaplane base is in Anchorage’s Lake Hood with more than 800 takeoffs and landings happening on a busy summer day.
9. When we said Alaska was close to Russia, we weren’t joking. It’s only around 50 miles away from the Russian mainland!
10. Alaska is a massive oil producer. Around a quarter of the oil the US produces comes out of this state.
11. Alaska is home to some record-breaking salmon! The largest salmon on record was caught on the Kenai River, weighing around 97.5lbs! That’s heavier than a small child!
12. The city that has the longest and shortest day is Barrow, Alaska. On the 10th of May when the sun rises it doesn’t set for nearly 3 months. Starting from the 18th of November, the residents don’t see the sun for nearly 2 months.
13. Alaska’s waterways are colossal: there are more than 3,000 rivers and 3,000,000 lakes!
14. The largest lake in Alaska is Lake Iliamna which is 1,000 square miles.
15. There are about 100,000 glaciers, covering 5% of the state of Alaska.
16. The state is also home to plenty of earthquakes. In fact, you’re likely to feel around 1,000 of them each year as they often measure above 3.5 on the Richter scale. There are 5,000 that take place here on average, though these tend to be a lot smaller!
17. The majority of people in Alaska are male, with a 52% / 48% balance with women.
18. Alaska is home to 17 of the 20 highest peaks you will find in the whole of the USA.
19. The highest peak at 20,320 feet above sea level is Denali or “The Great One”.
20. Alaska has the biggest coastline in the whole of the US. So much so, that it actually has more coast going for it than all of the other states put together.
21. There are all kinds of odd moose laws in Alaska. It’s illegal for you to give a moose beer to drink, and you can’t whisper to someone while they’re hunting a moose.
22. Another strange moose concerning law in Alaska legislates against pushing a moose from a plane or watching a moose from a plane.
23. In Alaska, if a moose, caribou, or bear is killed by a car it’s regarded as a property of the state. When roadkill is reported, the remains are butchered by volunteers and dispersed as food to charity organizations.
24. Thankfully, there are absolutely no plants in Alaska which can kill you by touching alone.
25. Alaska’s high-temperature record was 100° F in 1915. Alaska’s lowest temperature of -80° F was recorded in the Endicott Mountains.
26. Alaska is capable of producing some unusually oversized products because of their long summer days.
27. Alaska had some remarkable fruit and vegetables harvested in recent years that included a 35-pound broccoli, a 65-pound cantaloupe, and a 138-pound cabbage!
28. Each state has its own specific sport that’s unique to the region or is at least culturally important. Alaska’s is dog sledding, or dog mushing, which was once the main sort of transportation!
29. The state’s largest sporting event is the Iditarod dog sledding race.
30. The famous sled dog Balto is credited with delivering medicine to a distant Alaskan village, but some believe that Togo was the true hero. Before Balto finished the last 55 miles of the journey, Togo pulled the medicine through 200 miles of wind and snow.