You know what they say, it's never a bad time to learn something new! And with a state so full of mystery and wonder, there is plenty of interesting facts to uncover. Whether you are looking for some trivia knowledge or are just genuinely curious about what makes the Sunshine State so charming, this list of interesting Florida facts will certainly help.
With over 21 million residents, Florida is the third most populous state in the United States after California and Texas--and the number has been climbing steadily over the past several years.
Florida has the longest coastline of any state in the contiguous U.S., with more than 1,000 miles. In other words, it would take over 300 hours for the average human to walk 1,000 miles of our coastline without any stops--going at the rate of 3.1 miles per hour.
3. Citrus fruit
The state is one of the largest producers of citrus fruits in the country. Some of the most popular citrus fruits grown on Florida soils include oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit and tangerines!
4. Space launches
The Kennedy Space Center, located on the east coast of Florida, is where many of NASA's space missions have launched from, including the Apollo missions to the moon. Watching a space launch continues to be one of the top to-dos in the state.
Florida is a popular destination for tourists, with attractions such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and the beaches of Miami and the Florida Keys. In fact, tourism is one of the state's largest industries, bringing in over 100 million visitors annually.
Florida has a rich history, with evidence of human habitation in the state dating back over 12,000 years and has been home to several Native American tribes, including the Seminole, Miccosukee, and Calusa.
Florida is known as the "Sunshine State" because it has an average of 230 days of sunshine per year, making it one of the sunniest states in the United States, however it is also home to "lightening alley"--a place that Weather.gov says is "the corridor from Tampa Bay, FL to Titusville, FL that receives the most lightning in the United States on an annual basis." Additionally, Florida is the only state in the contiguous U.S. that has a tropical climate, with areas like the Florida Keys and parts of Miami having an average temperature above 64°F (18°C) during the coldest months of the year.
Florida is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including alligators, panthers, manatees, and sea turtles. The state is also a popular destination for birdwatchers, with hundreds of species of birds recorded in Florida. There are even some free roaming monkeys that call the state home.
Florida is also home to the Everglades, which is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Everglades offer visitors a chance to uncover a unique and diverse ecosystem not anywhere else in the United States. Some of the rare wildlife in the Everglades include:
10. Dark sky parks
Several dark sky parks are located in Florida and make for some of the best areas to see stars from. A Dark Sky Park is a designated area, usually a park or nature reserve, that is recognized for its exceptional quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment. These parks are set aside for the purpose of protecting and preserving the natural nighttime environment and reducing the impact of artificial light pollution on the darkness of the night sky. Dark Sky Parks provide a unique opportunity for stargazing and appreciation of the natural environment.
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