Being America’s largest and most northern state, Alaska is arguably also the most extraordinary, stunning, wild, and interesting state for travelers. It has been said that when visiting Alaska, you feel as if you have come to a special place quite far away from the world you’ve known. It’s no surprise that Alaska is referred to as “The Last Great Place“ and “America’s Last Frontier” by many.
Interesting Facts about Alaska
If you’re planning to stop by or get settled in this must-visit place or if you’re simply longing to know more; here we have some amazing facts about Alaska.
1. The Name Explains itself
The name of this state was derived from Aleyska, which is an Aleut word. The meaning can be translated as “great land” or “mainland” which quite fits in if you look at Alaska.
2. A Little History
In 1867, Alaska was bought by the United States from Russia. To celebrate this occasion, ‘Alaska Day’ is a public holiday that occurs on 18 October. This transfer of the territory in 1867 from Russia to the USA is remembered on Alaska day.
3. The Largest State
Around twice as big as Texas, Alaska is the largest state of the US and it is also four times the size of California. To elaborate further, the size of Alaska can roughly be the combination of the five European nations; Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France!
4. An Equally Unique Capital
Juneau is Alaska’s capital. This state capital is only reachable by air or by water. Even though the location of Juneau is on the Alaskan mainland, rough terrain and no roads are connecting any city to the capital. Juneau is the only US capital located at an international border as Canada is bordered in the east of the city’s borders.
5. Unique Nationality
Alaska has the moose as its official state animal. While its official state flower is the blue-colored Alpine Forget-me-not. All of which only adds to the state’s uniqueness.
6. A Blend of all People
Even though natives resided and shifted through Alaska for at least ten thousand years. At present, only around 15% of the total population there are Alaska Natives. In 1741, Danish explorer Bering became the first European to discover the Alaskan mainland.
Today, not only are the residents of different nativeness but there are also people from several ethnic groups, and distinct religions.
7. Gold pulled in more People
In 1896, there was the discovery of gold in Alaska. During the 1890s, many more new settlers then arrived at this region as the gold rush was tempting enough of a reason.
8. Running Industries
The oil and gas sectors are the most prominent industries of Alaska. Around 90% of the state’s revenue is gained from the gas and oil industries.
Northern Alaska has some of the largest oil fields in entire North America such as the Prudhoe Bay Oil field. The oil reserves however have been almost exhausted.
9. Holidays and Celebrations
Alaskans have an array of their holidays, such as Seward’s Day that is celebrated every last Monday in March to honor the purchase of Alaska Territory in 1867 from the Russians and as we mentioned in our fact #2, there’s Alaska Day that’s celebrated on October 18, the day Alaska got transferred officially from Russia to the US.
10. Alaska has some Furry Athletes
The dogs in Alaska are quite impressive athletes. The dog sleds were historically used in transport freight and mail over an expanse of Alaska. At present, this state has dog mushing as its official state sport.
11. Not just Snow, There are Beaches too!
There is plenty of beachfront property in Alaska. This state consists of over 47,300 miles of shoreline. There might not be many white sand beaches but you won’t fall short of places to paddle your kayak.
12. Daylight Oddity of Barrow
In the entire state, the longest and shortest amount of daylight is faced by Barrow. On May 10, when the sun rises in this city, it doesn’t set for almost three months. And on November 18, when it sets, the residents of Barrow do not get to see the sun again for about two months. You will know why Alaska has its identity as the Land of the Midnight Sun if you take a summer trip to Barrow.
13. The longest Coastline
The Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean are bordered by Alaska. Alaska has the longest coastline among the US states with 55,000 km/ 34,000 miles.
17 of the 20 highest peaks in the US are present in Alaska. The highest peak in North America, known as Denali, is 20,320 ft. above sea level. The name of the peak; Denali, has Indian origins with the meaning “The Great One.”
15. Water Bodies
Roughly 2,000 miles long, the Yukon River is the third-longest river in the United States. Over 3,000 rivers and more than 3 million lakes are present in Alaska. Lake Iliamna is the largest and it surrounds over 1,000 square miles.
An estimated 100,000 glaciers are present in Alaska which range from small cirque glaciers to giant valley glaciers. Compared to the rest of the inhabited world, you’ll find a greater number of glaciers and ice fields in Alaska. Malaspina with 850 square miles is the largest glacier. 29,000 square miles of the state of which five percent of it is covered by glaciers.
Over 70 possibly active volcanoes can be found in Alaska. In recent times, many of them have erupted. In 1912, Novarupta Volcano erupted which was considered the most violent volcanic eruption of the century, it formed the Valley of Ten Thousand clouds of smoke which is at present, a part of Katmai National Park.
North America’s strongest recorded earthquake happened on March 27, 1964. It occurred with a short time magnitude of 9.2, and it shook central Alaska. Alaska has around five thousand earthquakes every year, the list includes a thousand earthquakes measuring above 3.5 on the Richter scale. Alaska has faced three of the ten strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the world.