Alaska is located in the northwest corner of the United States. It is known for its breathtaking scenery, vast expanses of wilderness, and abundance of wildlife. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area, and is home to a variety of cultures and natural wonders. From the majestic mountains of the Denali National Park and Preserve to the beautiful glaciers of Glacier Bay National Park and the vibrant coastal cities of Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or simply a unique experience, Alaska is the perfect destination.
Here are 15 amazing facts about Alaska.
Facts about Alaska:
- Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas. Alaska is the largest state in the United States, with a total area of over 663,000 square miles. Texas, on the other hand, has an area of just over 268,000 square miles. In fact, Alaska is larger than the combined area of 22 U.S. states.
- Alaska is home to 17 of the United States’ 20 highest peaks. The highest peak in Alaska is Mount Denali, which stands at an elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. This makes it the highest peak in the United States, and the third highest peak in North America after Mount Logan and Mount Saint Elias.
- Alaska is the most seismically active state in the US, with more earthquakes than the rest of the US combined. Alaska is located in an area with high seismic activity, which makes it the most seismically active state in the United States. The state experiences a large number of earthquakes each year, many of which are strong enough to be felt by people. Some of the most notable earthquakes in Alaska’s history include the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake, which had a magnitude of 9.2, and the 2002 Denali earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.9.
- Alaska is the most northern, western and eastern state in the U.S. It is located in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Because of its unique location, Alaska is often referred to as the “Last Frontier” or the “Land of the Midnight Sun.”
- Alaska once had four time zones. The state is quite large, and at one point, it was divided into four different time zones to better reflect the differences in local time across the state. They were consolidated into two time zones in 1983 – Alaska Time and Hawaii-Aleutian Time. This was done to simplify the state’s timekeeping system and to promote consistency throughout the state.
- Alaska has the longest coastline of any state in the United States. Its coastline stretches over 6,600 miles. This is more than twice the length of the coastline of the next longest state, Florida, which has a coastline of around 2,000 miles. Alaska’s long coastline is due in part to its many islands and its location along the northwest coast of North America.
- Alaska is the only state in the United States that has coastlines on three different seas. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, and the Bering Sea and the Bering Strait to the west. This unique geography has made Alaska an important state for trade and transportation, as well as a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
- Alaska is home to the longest day of the year. This is because it is located in the northern hemisphere, which experiences longer days during the summer months due to its higher axial tilt relative to the sun. In particular, the city of Barrow, Alaska, located at the northernmost point of the state, experiences the longest day of the year, with the sun remaining above the horizon for about 84 consecutive hours. This is because it is located near the Arctic Circle, which is the line of latitude that marks the southernmost extent of the polar day (24-hour sunlit day) in the summer. In the summer, the sun does not set for several weeks in parts of Alaska north of the Arctic Circle, resulting in extremely long days.
- Alaska’s flag was designed by a thirteen-year-old boy named Benny Benson. The design was part of a contest held by the Alaska Department of the American Legion in 1926. The contest was open to all residents of Alaska, regardless of age, and the winning design was chosen by a panel of judges.
- Alaska is the only state to have been purchased from another country. In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, or approximately two cents per acre. This purchase, known as the Alaska Purchase, expanded the United States by nearly 600,000 square miles and added a wealth of natural resources to the country. The purchase was nicknamed ‘Seward’s Folly’. The name was a play on the name of William H. Seward, the United States Secretary of State at the time, who was instrumental in negotiating the purchase. Some people at the time considered the purchase to be a waste of money and a foolish decision, hence the nickname “Seward’s Folly.” However, the purchase turned out to be a good deal for the United States, as Alaska proved to be a valuable source of natural resources and played a strategic role in the country’s defense.
- Alaska is home to nearly half of the United States’ bald eagle population. The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States and it is known for its distinctive white head and brown body. It is estimated that there are around 70,000 bald eagles in the United States, and of those, more than 30,000 live in Alaska. This is due in part to the abundant supply of fish in Alaska’s waters, which provide a major food source for the eagles. Additionally, the state’s harsh winters and rugged terrain also provide the eagles with ample nesting opportunities.
- Alaska has more active volcanoes than any other U.S. state. Alaska is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” which is a region of intense seismic and volcanic activity. The state has over 100 active volcanoes, the most of any state in the country. These volcanoes are found mostly in the Aleutian Islands, a chain of islands that stretch westward from the Alaska mainland toward Russia. The most active volcano in Alaska is Mount Redoubt, which has erupted several times in recent years.
- Alaska is home to the largest national park in the United States. The park is called Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, and it covers an area of over 13 million acres. It is roughly the size of Switzerland, and it is larger than Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and the country of Belgium combined. The park is known for its rugged, mountainous terrain and its abundance of wildlife, including bears, moose, and caribou.
- Alaska has the lowest population density of any U.S. state, with 1.2 people per square mile. As of the 2010 Census, Alaska had a population of about 710,000 people spread out over an area of more than 600,000 square miles, giving it a population density of about 1.2 people per square mile. This is much lower than the population density of most other U.S. states, which tend to be more densely populated. The state with the second-lowest population density is Montana, which has a population density of about 7 people per square mile.
- The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, can be seen in Alaska more than 200 nights out of the year. It is possible to see the northern lights in Alaska on clear nights from September through April. The best time to see the northern lights in Alaska is during the peak of the aurora season, which typically occurs in the months of February and March. The frequency of auroral displays can vary greatly from year to year, but in general, the northern lights are visible in Alaska several times per week during the aurora season.
Now that you know a few fun facts about Alaska, try reading about these fun facts about Georgia.
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