• Josiah Coe

10 Things You Didn't Know About Alaska

Think you know the 49th State? Here are 10 things you didn't know about Alaska:

1. Alaska is 40% water. The total number of lakes in a Alaska is estimated to be around 3 million. The number of rivers is somewhere around 12 thousand.

2. More earthquakes than California. While Alaska doesn’t have any movies about its earthquakes starring Dwayne Johnson flying a helicopter, it sees more earthquakes than any other state in the union. In fact, while the whole of the contiguous US saw about 70 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4 or above in 2017, the eastern half of the Aleutian Arc and Alaska saw 192 of the same size. In 1964, Alaska was struck by the infamous “Good Friday Earthquake” - a 9.2 megathrust earthquake that was the largest recorded in North America and the second largest ever recorded in the world.

3. There are 20 Native Languages spoken in Alaska

4. The Japanese attacked Alaska in World War II. What, you thought Pearl Harbor was the only major attack on U.S. soil during World War II? On June 6-7, 1942, the Japanese took over Attu and Kiska, two of the Aleutian Islands, and held them for months, enslaving the small number of residents. Finally, American troops arrived to take back the islands, but they had been trained in desert warfare and were woefully unprepared for the Alaskan climate. The ensuing battle lasted 15 days and resulted in 549 American deaths. More than 2,650 Japanese soldiers were killed, and the U.S. did prevail. Interesting note: The Kiska battlefield, nearly 1400 miles west of Anchorage, remains nearly fully intact.. But the National Park Service discourages visitors, pointing out that there are likely bombs and ammunition that never detonated still buried in the tundra.

5. 67 days is how long night can last in the town of Barrow Alaska.

6. Alaska is home to the most diverse neighborhood in the US Mountain View, the compact northeast Anchorage neighborhood, with a population of roughly 7,000, is extraordinary in its cultural mix. According to sociologist and demographer Chad Farrell of the University of Alaska Anchorage, it is the most diverse census tract in the United States—more so than any neighborhood in New York City or Los Angeles Perhaps not a huge surprise: Six of the 10 most-diverse neighborhoods are in Queens, New York. The top three, however, were right in Farrell’s backyard.

7. 1 of every 58 Alaskans is a registered pilot.

8. Alaska is home to the country’s best real estate bargain Despite the number of shows on HGTV showing people hunting for deals on beachfront property, Alaska is home to the country’s best real estate bargain. In fact, it is the country’s best real estate bargain. It was purchased for $7.2 million - which today will get you a five-bedroom condo on Wilshire Blvd in LA. On October 18, 1867 Alaska was transferred from Russia to the US in a deal brokered by US Secretary of State William Seward. The deal was barely ratified in Congress and was often mocked with people calling it “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox,” because they viewed Alaska as a worthless frozen wasteland. 23 years later gold was discovered and 90 years later oil was discovered, and now it produces over $5 billion in federal tax revenue per year.

9. Alaska is home to 7 of the 9 largest National Parks in North America.

10. Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the US combined. Alaska is big. Really big. One metric is that Alaska has 34,000 miles of coastline, more than the rest of the US combined.

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