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10 Cool Facts About Florida Not Even Locals Know

Florida is an enigma for many of us, especially since the state has three representative keywords: Florida Man, alligators, and theme parks. But there is more there than meets the eye, and Mind-bending Facts is here to tell you about some of the most shocking, baffling, amusing, and cool facts about Florida.

From different life-changing inventions to weird record-breaking stats, you will never believe what you read. Some of these facts might seem as if we made them up, but trust me; we didn’t. If you’re currently living in Florida, you might want to confirm some things below in the comment section. So let’s find out some super cool facts about Florida:

cool facts about Florida
Photo by Sean Pavone from Shutterstock

In 2020, there were 1,000 people moving to Florida every day.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that, back in 2020, 1,000 people were moving to Florida every day. It probably has a lot to do with its amazing beaches and infinite sun. Moreover, according to MSN, the virus that we shall not recall created an “unseen demand” for luxury home sales in the state, and speaking of cool facts about Florida, this is definitely one of them.

Panthers are indigenous to Florida.

Wildlife in Florida is incredibly diverse, as a wide variety of animals populate the state, one bigger than the other. Even so, the National Park Service provided a very interesting insight that left us immediately baffled. Speaking of cool facts about Florida, I think this might top them all: Did you know that panthers are indigenous to this state?

I could’ve bet that they have enough wild animals already, but apparently, there are more. At some point, it is believed that panthers were a very important staple of the Southeastern United States. However, now there are fewer than 100 panthers in South Florida, mostly due to a terrible bounty that was put on them back in 1832.

Florida is the flattest state in the United States.

On the same list of cool facts about Florida, would you ever think that Florida is the flattest state? I mean, when you think about it, you probably thought that Illinois might be the flattest one, not Florida. However, according to National Geographic, the truth is completely different. It seems that Florida sits on the throne of the flattest state in America.

Florida is the only place where crocodiles and alligators coexist.

This is my favorite one on the list of cool things about Florida. As we all know, Florida is well-known for its coasts and climate that borders on prehistoric. But according to the USGS, Science for a Changing World, and the National Park Service, the ecosystem in this state is simply spectacular.

In South Florida, you will witness something different, as this is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles live in the same region. I know it sounds all interesting and thrilling on paper, but for the average man living in Florida, I think it’s a bit… terrifying. It’s nice for tourists who come to visit and watch these animals for a couple of minutes from a safe distance, but it’s not that great for a citizen who wakes up with any of these two in his or her courtyard.

cool facts about Florida
Photo by Lynne Neuman from Shutterstock

Jacksonville is the biggest city in America.

I bet that when it comes to big cities, you instantly think of New York City and Los Angeles. But here’s the thing: Jacksonville, in Florida, can easily compete with these two. In the continental U.S., Jacksonville is definitely the biggest city.

It has 840 square miles, including Duval County and Baldwin, Florida. Even if the population size isn’t that impressive, the sheer area it covers makes Jacksonville the biggest city in America. On top of that, it also has the largest network of urban parks, with over 300. So even if we’re talking about a city somewhere in Florida, it sure is more than meets the eye, and quite literally so!

The first refrigerator was invented in Florida.

Florida is well known for its breezy and cool air, so it shouldn’t really surprise us that the first refrigerator was invented there. So yes, among the list of cool facts about Florida, this one is probably the coolest. In 1851, American doctor John Gorrie designed and patented a machine meant to produce ice, which he used to keep his patients cool. From this point forward, he earned a reputation for being “the father of refrigeration and AC.”

Saint Augustine, in Florida, is the oldest European settlement in North America.

When it comes to American history, many cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City have their own monopoly, especially for early history. But according to Visit Florida, the Sunshine State has more historical significance than most people would think. It was founded in 1565 by Don Bedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain; St. Augustine was the city where Europeans lived for the longest. In fact, it is commonly known as the nation’s oldest city. But that’s not all: many historians believe that the first-ever Thanksgiving took place in Saint Augustine.

Isn’t it interesting? I wonder what they had at Thanksgiving dinner. It is believed that the feast in question took place 50 years before the pilgrims shared their meal with Native American tribes, and it was held by Spanish colonialists. However, some say that their meal was slightly different: it had shellfish, alligator, tortoise, and wild turkey. Well, at least they still had turkey.

cool facts about Florida
Photo by Wesley West from Shutterstock

In the Sunshine State, there are more lightning strikes per capita than anywhere else in the United States.

Among other cool facts about Florida, this one’s also a bit frightening. It seems that Florida is also the lightning strike leader in America, and if you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. As ABC Action News explained, Florida is fourth when it comes to population, but it also registers plenty of lightning.

Also, Florida’s location and climate make the state a prime target. Given that it is surrounded by warm water, it explains why it is such a proper place to strike.

The first passenger-service airline that ever flew was scheduled to fly to Florida

When you think of Florida, I bet you don’t think about “aviation benchmarks.” But here’s the thing: Florida played a pivotal role in the development of aviation! In fact, on January 1st, 1914, the world’s first scheduled passenger airline service ever operated flew between Tampa and St. Petersburg.

The flight was the first to inaugurate a new era of travel. The airplane was piloted by Tony Jannus, with the first passenger being the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Abram C. Pheil.

The moonstone (Florida’s official state gem) isn’t found naturally in the state.

Every state in America has a particular story about its designated symbol, and the story of Florida’s official state gem is really no different. According to Florida’s Department of State, the moonstone was officially designated as a state gem in 1970, even if the stone isn’t naturally found in Florida.

However, here’s the backstory: on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin landed on the moon, as we all know, on the first Apollo 11 mission, a flight that was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County. By making the moonstone the official state gem, the state wanted to commemorate its role in the whole “giant step for mankind” event.

If you’re eager to read other interesting things about America, here’s what we recommend: Nobody Can Explain These 6 US Natural Phenomena – Can You?

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