There are some facts about Alaska that everyone knows. That it’s remote, cold and has more lakes (3 million) than people (less than a million). That it has its own natural light show. That it’s moose – and not chickens – that are often seen crossing the road.
Now here are some interesting facts about Alaska that we bet you didn’t know. Or did you?
Image Source: Alaska Guide
10. The government pays you to live in Alaska
Image Source: IFSWF
One of the most enviable Alaska facts is that you get paid to live there. And it’s not just in certain cities, but all permanent residents of the state get paid out of the Alaska Permanent Fund. Every year they are paid a sum drawn from earnings out of Alaska’s oil royalty fund. At one point, Alaska was supplying a fourth of the total US oil production. Those must have been luxurious times for locals. Even in 2014, eligible residents were paid out $1,884 (though in 2008 it was a whopping $2,069). So how do you get a piece of the royalty payout yourself? Simply convince the government that you intend to live and die in the state.
9. Getting a Moose Drunk in Fairbanks is Illegal
Image Source: Millennial Review
You’ve probably come across this little gem of all Alaska facts doing the rounds of trivia lists. But few such sources seem to know the story behind such a strange law. Stories of drunken moose are not new. Norway and Sweden have their fair share of tales of moose drunk on the fermented crab apples that go into making applejack. The Alaskan city of Anchorage had its own Buzzwinkle, the moose that got drunk and paraded the town entangled in holiday lights that his antlers dragged from the town square.
Anchorage continues to be tolerant of getting your moose drunk. But the town of Fairbanks has made it illegal to feed your moose alcohol. This is one of those bizarre facts about Alaska that you’re likely to shrug off as rumor or distorted fact. It’s one thing to have a moose addicted to fermented crabapples. It’s another to get a 1000 pound 7 feet tall animal drunk and dangerous!
8. No Road Leads to Juneau
Image Source: Alaska Tour Jobs
Given that Juneau is the Alaskan capital, you’d think it would be pretty well-connected to other parts of the country. But one of the most interesting facts about Alaska is that there are no roads to Juneau. You can only get there by air or using the Alaska Main Highway, which is a ferry system. Only the towns of Haines, Hyder and Skagway can be reached by road from the remaining forty eight states.
7. Alaskan Coffee Shops Now Serve Fungus Tea
Image Source: Munchies
In the wild, the mottled chaga fungus doesn’t look appetizing in the least. But it seems Siberian folk medicine recommends it for many illnesses. As you may know, there are many Russians in Alaska. And the locals love their hot brew – witness the coffee stands at every corner. These coffee stands are now serving chaga tea, or mixing the broth of the fungus with coffee. Such facts about Alaska are bound to add to the intriguing otherness and beauty of the state, isn’t it?
6. Alaska Has No Poison Ivy But….It Has Cow Parsnip
Image Source: Alaska.org
There’s a piece of trivia doing the rounds that people seem to be thrilled about. That you’ll find poison ivy or poison oak everywhere except in Alaska. So, does this mean you can roll around on the sunny hillsides of Anchorage in spring without fear of rubbing up against something vile? As long as you keep an eye out for cow parsnips, you can. The leaves of cow parsnips can cause blisters that aren’t pleasant. So, be careful where you roll in Alaska. Wear long sleeves and long bottoms when hiking. How’s that for interesting facts about alaska that could actually come in handy when you visit?
5. In Alaska, Moose Are More Likely To Injure You Than Bears
The moose may seem to be wearing a good-natured grin. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s docile and comical. These cute-seeming animals are getting to love human trash. And at times when the pickings are slim but they’re hungry, they can get hangry (hunger-induced angry) just like humans. If you’re unlucky enough to be near a hangry moose, though it’s not a naturally aggressive animal, it could lash out at you. There are many more moose than bears, so it’s natural that moose-related injuries are more common than bear-related ones.
4. Many Alaskans Use Happy Lights So They Don’t Feel Sad in winter
Image Source: Coast Guard Alaska
When you’re faced with very few hours of daylight in winters, you can end up getting affected by SAD. That’s Seasonal Affective Disorder. Scientists don’t know everything about it, but it seems that bright lights in the morning hours can help to make you feel better. And that’s why many people in Alaska use bright lightboxes which locals call Happy Lights. It’s almost as good as sunlight!
3. Summers in Alaska Produce Giant Veggies
Image Source: Amusing Planet
You thought the facts about Alaska couldn’t get more bizarre? These giant vegetables are not Photoshopped. They’re very much real. They’re the result of nearly 24 hours of sunlight in the Alaskan summers!
2. Alaskans Love Their Political Independence
More Alaska facts. Over half the voters in Alaska don’t have a party – Democrat or Republican – that they choose over the other when they vote. They are either “undeclared” or “non-partisan”. It’s easy to see
1. A 13-Year-Old Boy Designed The State Flag!
Of course the process was a lot less frivolous than it sounds when put like that. Since students are the foundation of the future, students across the state were asked to send in their ideas. The Big Dipper and the North Star by a boy called Benny Benson was finally chosen as the flag!
We hope these interesting facts about Alaska have opened your eyes to things you didn’t know about this remote state. Did they help you get your Alaska facts straight? Do you have any new things to add to this list?