2 Amazing Alaskan Beaches You Can Have to Yourself



2 Amazing Alaskan Beaches You Can Have to Yourself

When we think of beaches in the U.S., our minds are often drawn towards sun-drenched spots in California, Hawaii and Florida. Thoughts of Alaska tend to conjure up images of a hostile wilderness made up of fjords, forests, mountains, and volcanoes. That said, Alaska’s coastline is longer than the combined total of the nation’s other 49 states. It covers 6,640 miles and extends to a mind-boggling 33,904 miles when including all of the islands. This is great news for beach lovers because there’s hundreds to explore. Best of all, many are often deserted.

2. Battery Point, Haines

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A short walk amid a flourishing pine forest brings you to the pebble beach of Battery Point, on the eastern shore of the Chilkat Peninsula. This is a great spot to watch seals and sea lions all year round. Drop by from May to June and you’ll have a high probability of seeing pods of humpback whales. Across the Chilkoot Inlet, mountains rise up on Alaska’s border with British Columbia. Besides soaking up the view, you might want to take a polar bear dip in the icy waters. An extension of the trail continues over Mount Riley to the Chilkat Inlet side of the peninsula.

1. Bishop’s Beach, Homer

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On the waterfront of the city of Homer is a huge sweep of sand dotted with rocks and debris blown ashore from the Cook Inlet. When the tide is low, locals of all ages come out to search for aquatic plants and sea creatures in the tidal pools. Chances are that you’ll be joined by shorebirds and eagles. Views reach over the inlet to the snow-capped mountains and tundra of Lake Clark National Park. Bring food and set up a picnic at the benches located in the parkland behind the beach. There’s walking trails in the area, too. Follow Diamond Creek Trail through a forest and wild meadows. Beluga Slough Trail leads around a salt marsh and freshwater lake and has exceptional views of Kachemak Bay.

6 of the Most Desolate Places on Earth



6 of the Most Desolate Places on Earth

From frozen tundras to alpine highlands, some of the most remote places in the world are also the most inhospitable. But from ancient cultures to scientific researchers, there are humans who live in these isolated and barren places. Between eating frozen horse blood and dodging snapping crocodiles, it takes a lot to survive in these harsh environments. Read on to discover six of the most desolate places on the planet.

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

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Greenland’s most isolated town has a mere 453 residents, thanks, in part, to its remote location and harsh winters. Located between Northeast Greenland National Park and the glaciers and fjords of Scoresby Sound, the town is covered in ice and snow for at least nine months out of the year. Although the terrain is often frozen, the small settlement’s red, green and blue houses brighten the otherwise bleak landscape. Outside of human residents, the area is home to walruses, polar bears, narwhals and reindeer. Planning a trip to Ittoqqortoormiit? Visiting in spring is advised, as the bitter winter conditions are severe. To arrive, one must take three flights on small planes starting from Reykjavik, Iceland, before boarding a helicopter towards the final destination.

Utqiagvik, Alaska

Utqiagvik, Alaska

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The northernmost town in the United States, Utqiagvik is not connected by a road to the rest of Alaska. Instead, this isolated settlement is only accessible by plane or boat. Transportation within the town is also unique — many locals prefer to use dog sleds over snowmobiles, according to Business Insider, due to the difficulty of running a vehicle in the extreme winter temperatures. Perhaps the most unsettling part of life is Utqiagvik is the darkness. The town is so close to the Arctic Circle that residents must endure two months of darkness during the winter. This past year, the sun set on November 18, 2018, and did not rise again until January 23, 2019. Despite the bleak landscape and dark days, Utqiagvik has 4,428 residents who call the seaside city home.

Changtang Plateau, Tibet

Changtang Plateau, Tibet

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Nicknamed the “Roof of the World,” Changtang is a high altitude plateau that stretches nearly 1,000 miles, from Ladakh, India, to northwestern Tibet. The only known residents of these vast and empty highlands are the Changpa, a semi-nomadic pastoral tribe who rely on their herds of goats, sheep and yaks to survive. Life on the Changtang Plateau is harsh, with unpredictable storms during the warmer months and Arctic-like temperatures during the winter. Much of the plateau is protected by The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary, an organization that endeavors to preserve the wild landscape and the species who call it home.

Kimberley Coast, Australia

Kimberley Coast, Australia

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The northernmost section of Western Australia is called Kimberley, a region known for its vast and rugged landscape. Largely uninhabited and treacherous to most humans, Kimberley’s coastline and the surrounding outback is as unforgiving as they come. In 1932, two German pilots crash landed on this barren landscape and would have perished had they not been discovered by the local Aboriginal people. In 2017, adventurer Mike Atkinson recreated the Germans’ plight, putting himself in harm’s way to follow to the same path as the stranded pilots. During his time in the Australian outback, Atkinson managed to survive the lack of food and water, in addition to navigating the dangerous, crocodile-ridden landscape. The last leg of the trip required hiking 40 miles through the bush, all while self-filming the harrowing trek. Luckily, Atkinson is a survival instructor and a wilderness expert — it’s clear that most humans would not be able to live in such a hostile landscape.

Oymyakon, Russia

Oymyakon, Russia

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Dubbed “the coldest village on Earth” by The Washington Post, Oymyakon, Russia, is a grim settlement in the Siberian tundra. With only 500 residents calling this frozen outpost home, wintertime in Oymyakon is bleak. The town’s average temperature in the colder months is -58 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1933, Oymyakon suffered from a cold snap that brought the temperature to a mind-numbing -89 degrees Fahrenheit, the coldest temperature recorded outside of Antarctica. For the locals, existing in this frigid land is no easy task. The ground is too cold for plumbing, so townspeople must brave the elements to use outhouses. An average meal likely consists of frozen fish, reindeer meat or cubes of iced horse blood, according to Wired. A mere 217 miles from the Arctic Circle, the darkest days of the year have three hours of sunlight, making this subzero landscape a very lonely place.

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

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The least populated continent on Earth, 98% of Antarctica is covered in ice. As a result, not many people are able to live in such an unforgiving climate. Antarctica’s human population belongs to scientists and researchers stationed throughout the continent. One such place is McMurdo Station, a U.S. Antarctic research facility located on Ross Island. While the station itself has a post office, a chapel, two bars and a golf course, the surrounding icy tundra is uninhabitable. And while the “White Continent” may have many visitors in the summer months, winter is cold, bleak and dark. Out of the 1,200 researchers who live at McMurdo Station in the summer, less than a quarter remain for the winter. With notable effects being depression and disorientation from the harsh and desolate landscape, wintering in Antarctica isn’t appealing in the least.

‘Unprecedented’ wildfires ravage the Arctic



‘Unprecedented’ wildfires ravage the Arctic

Wildfire smoke is spreading from Alaska across parts of Canada.

Story highlights

  • The wildfires come as the planet is on track to experience the hottest July on record
  • Wildfires contribute to global warming by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

(CNN)More than 100 intense wildfires have ravaged the Arctic since June, with scientists describing the blazes as “unprecedented.”

New satellite images show huge clouds of smoke billowing across uninhabited land in Greenland, Siberia and parts of Alaska.
The wildfires come after the planet experienced the hottest June on record and is on track to experience the hottest July on record, as heatwaves sweep across Europe and the United States.
Since the start of June, Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), which provides data about atmospheric composition and emissions, has tracked more than 100 intense wildfires in the Arctic Circle.
Pierre Markuse, a satellite photography expert, said the region has experienced fires in the past, but never this many.
Satellite images show smoke billowing across Greenland and Alaska as wildfires ravage the region.

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at a faster rate than the global average, providing the right conditions for wildfires to spread, according to Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at CAMS.
“The number and intensity of wildfires in the Arctic Circle is unusual and unprecedented,” Parrington told CNN.
“They are concerning as they are occurring in a very remote part of the world, and in an environment that many people would consider to be pristine,” he said.
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The average June temperature in Siberia, where the fires are raging, was almost 10 degrees higher than the long-term average between 1981–2010, Dr Claudia Volosciuk, a scientist with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) told CNN.
Parrington said there seemed to be more wildfires due to local heatwaves in Siberia, Canada and Alaska.
The fires themselves contribute to the climate crisis by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
They emitted an estimated 100 megatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere between 1 June and 21 July, almost the equivalent of Belgium’s carbon output in 2017, according to CAMS.
Volosciuk said wildfires are also exacerbating global warming by releasing pollutants into the atmosphere.
“When particles of smoke land on snow and ice, [they] cause the ice to absorb sunlight that it would otherwise reflect, and thereby accelerate the warming in the Arctic,” she said.

5 State Nicknames That No Longer Make Sense



5 State Nicknames That No Longer Make Sense

Coming from someone who grew up in the “Bluegrass State,” I will be the first to tell you some state nicknames don’t make sense — or are at least misleading. The state got this nickname from early settlers who named a certain type of grass “Bluegrass” because of the blooms on the top, which were slightly blue. But this grass isn’t as common as the state nickname would lead you to believe. Here is a look at five other state nicknames that no longer make sense.

Wisconsin — The Badger State

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Wisconsin’s state nickname no longer makes sense — and technically never did — because there are no more badgers in this state than there are anywhere else. The nickname “The Badger State” comes from the 1820s, when thousands of miners flocked to the Midwest. They made homes for themselves by digging caves in the rock under the ground, much like badgers do. For this reason, these miners became known as “badgers” or “badger boys.” There were so many of them (or maybe the nickname was just so funny) that the whole state became known as the Badger State.

Minnesota — The North Star State

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It is not clear why Minnesota was ever called the North Star State, unless it was just due to its position as one of several northern states in the contiguous United States. The name comes from the translation of the state’s French motto “L’Etoile de Nord,” but the state isn’t particularly well-known for its eoile (star) or being in the nord (north). This nickname has been especially misleading since Alaska joined the United States in 1959, making that state the northernmost in the country.

Utah — The Beehive State

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Like Wisconsin, this is another nickname that is more misleading than “wrong.” With a nickname like “The Beehive State,” you would expect Utah to be a leader in honey sales or production, but it is actually 24th in the nation when it comes to that industry. So why is it called the Beehive State? According to historians, Utah has used the beehive as its state symbol for hundreds of years, as it stands for “hard work and industry.” In fact, Utah values industry so much that its state motto is simply “Industry.” So the busy bees in the Utah beehives are not real bees, but hard-working people.

Alaska — The Last Frontier

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Space is the final frontier, according to Star Trek, but Alaska has long been known as “The Last Frontier,” due to its unsettled areas and its general wildness. Many people take this nickname to mean that it was the last territory to be settled in America, and this is no longer true. While both Alaska and Hawaii officially became states in 1959, Alaska achieved statehood in January, while Hawaii didn’t become a state until August. In this case, maybe Hawaii is the real last frontier.

New Jersey — The Garden State

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Anyone who has ever been to New Jersey, especially the northern part, can tell you there is not much garden to be found in this “Garden State.” A good portion of the state is bustling with businesses, people and traffic. The origin of the nickname actually comes from a speech given by Abraham Browning in 1876. He said that “our Garden State is an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other.” How that translates to a garden, I’m not sure, but it makes a great example of a state whose nickname no longer makes sense.

3 beautiful Alaskan islands you have to see



3 beautiful Alaskan islands you have to see

Island hopping in Alaska? Yes, you can! It might not be tropical, but it doesn’t make it any less beautiful. Alaskan islands are some of the most pristine places on the planet and they offer a brawny yet breathtaking playground for intrepid travelers.

Prince of Wales

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The southern Alaskan islands that make up the Alexander Archipelago are a kayaker’s delight. Featuring rugged coastlines jaunting in and out of countless bays, this group of protected islands is breathtaking. Making up a big part of this landscape is Prince of Wales, with nearly 1,000 miles of gorgeous seacoast. As the fourth largest island in the U.S., Prince of Wales packs in 2,230 square miles of adventurous fun for those who are up for it.

Paddle around the open ocean or take a more laid-back approach with a canoe excursion around the inland lakes. Hikers and wildlife spotters can spend days on hundreds of miles of trails and roads. Those who like to fish will be in their element with ample opportunity to catch the freshest salmon populating the ocean and streams in and around the island.

For one of the more unusual attractions, visitors can head to a viewing platform at Cable Creek Fish Pass or Dog Salmon Fish Pass. Here you can check out the Salmon climbing up foamy waterfalls, or fish ladders, while black bears linger nearby hoping to grab a snack.

With so much to do, it’s best to stay a few days on Prince of Wales. The lakeside cabins in the Tongass National Park – the nation’s largest forest – is the best way to absorb all the naturally-rich offerings of this prime Alaskan retreat.

Bottom line: Suited for the active and adventurous, Prince of Wales is one of the most convenient Alaskan islands to visit that also offers a wide range of nature-inspired activities.

Admiralty Island

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Animal and wildlife-lovers – Admiralty Island is calling you! Travel north from Prince of Wales Island via seaplane and you’ll find yourself in the Land of Bears. Admiralty Island boasts 1,600 brown bears (the highest density in North America), making it one of the best places for brown bear watching on the continent.

Admire the rugged mountainous scenery, lakes, rivers, and temperate rainforest as you head to the Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary for the best bear-watching opportunities. After a one-mile hike, you’ll have the opportunity to view brown bears catching their daily meals of salmon from the stream. Kayakers won’t want to miss paddling up and down 32 miles of trails linking 8 lakes within the famous Seymour Canal. Even if you’re not into brown bears or kayaking, the ample hunting, fishing, bird watching, and photography opportunities will draw you in.

Bottom line: Admiralty Island is a total nature lover’s paradise with the majority of the island protected with its National Monument status.

Akun Island

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Part of the Aleutian Islands chain that sweeps west from the mainland into the Bering Sea, Akun Island is an old-world, untamed land wrapped in natural bliss. The island is perhaps best known for its grassy and rocky landscape that now houses a population of wild cows. Except for the folks who herd these cattle, it is a mostly un-populated island.

Another interesting aspect of Akun Island is its composition. There are several naturally-formed basalt rock sea caves that can be explored from the water. If you’re thinking about taking your kayaking to the next level, Akun Island is the place to do it.

3 Experiences You can Only Have in Alaska



3 Experiences You can Only Have in Alaska

Due to its remoteness and harsh environment, Alaska has long been known as the “last frontier.” Braving tough conditions was worth it to the fishermen, frontiersmen, loggers and miners eager to profit from the state’s natural bounty. Long after those excursions, there remains plenty of room to explore: Alaska is the largest U.S. state, equal in land area to about one-fifth that of the entire 48 contiguous states combined. The former Territory of Alaska gained statehood in 1959, making it the 49th state. Amidst its natural grandeur of forests, tundra, mountains and glaciers, Alaska’s largest centers of population include the capital, Juneau, as well as Anchorage and Fairbanks.  Finding some of Alaska’s most unique wonders requires trekking to more remote climes.

See Alpenglow at Midnight

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Alaska’s extreme northern latitude means that the sun doesn’t fully set for months on end, which is where it picked up the nickname “Land of the Midnight Sun.” As such, the optical phenomenon known as “alpenglow” — which is perceived by the human eye as a soft, shimmering glow off of mountainsides around sunset or before sunrise — occurs during a sizable portion of the year. The condition can only truly happen after the sun is over the horizon, meaning no direct sunlight reaches the colored cliffs. Alpenglow is reflected sunlight bouncing off of precipitation, ice crystals and airborne particulates back up onto the mountains above the horizon. With the sun setting well after midnight throughout the summer in a land full of stunning mountain scenery, Alaska is prime territory to take in one of nature’s free light shows.

Picnic in the Shadow of Denali

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Denali National Park and Preserve is six million acres of wild land in northern Alaska accessible by a single road though one park entrance. The 92-mile Denali Park Road is open to the public mid-May through mid-September, but only on the first 15 miles to Savage River. Beyond that, park-goers board buses for narrated tours to explore further. There are hiking trails near the road, mostly close to the park entrance, as much of the massive park is an actual animal preserve and off limits to tourism. The highlight of the park is its namesake mountain, known to indigenous people as Denali. Renamed after an American president from 1917 to 2015 before reverting to its original moniker, the snow-draped is the tallest peak in North America at 20,310 feet. While the National Park Service offers only campground accommodations within the park, area lodges on privately owned land within or near the park offer a great base camp for those who don’t want to totally rough it. They include Camp Denali & North Face Lodge, Kantishna Roadhouse, Denali Backcountry Lodge and Skyline Lodge.

Follow in the Steps of Klondike Gold Miners

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Commemorating the gold strikes and hard times alike, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is operated by the National Park Service in Skagway, in southwest Alaska. A popular tourist spot for cruise travelers who dock in the historic town, more than 20 of its boomtown buildings are part of the park experience. The rustic structures give the feel of a time when miners and ladies of the night would have mingled at saloons in the late 1890s. Nearby, actually walk where miners and their mules trod the famous Chilkoot Trail. Hikes through the rugged terrain hint at what early explorers endured — and how the trail got its nickname of the “meanest 33 miles in history.” Another nearby attraction is rail excursions on the White Pass and Yukon Route, a Canadian and U.S. narrow-gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon, Canada. The line’s White Pass Summit Excursion provides a scenic, 40-mile round trip from Skagway up to the summit of White Pass at nearly 3,000 feet

3 Overlooked U.S National Parks



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3 Overlooked U.S National Parks

Perhaps it’s because we’re blessed with so much protected natural landscape that some national parks fly under the radar. They aren’t the first parks that come to mind — like Yosemite or Yellowstone — when planning an adventure. Lack of name-recognition, sometimes combined with remote locations or access issues, leave some of our national treasures out of the mix. One overlooked national park in the wilds of Alaska, one in the remote mountains of Washington State and another at the very southeast tip of Florida, are all trip-worthy destinations.

North Cascades National Park, Washington

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Trails switchbacking along steep, conifer-covered mountain flanks lead trekkers deeper and deeper into the forests of North Cascades National Park. Views of snow-and-ice-covered volcanic peaks, glaciers, and blue alpine lakes appear at one jaw-dropping viewpoint after another as you encounter this vast, protected wilderness area. The North Cascades Highway itself boasts incredible vistas as it passes viewpoints and leads to trailheads like the one for challenging Thunder Creek Trail. With access through the park, boaters spy Ross Lake, while the remote community of Stehekin sits along the north shore of deep Lake Chelan.

Resident grizzly bears and gray wolves call the park home, as well as some 200 bird species. Day hikes and overnights are certainly doable on your own with proper experience and planning. For carefree exploring further into the backcountry, you can book a guided, overnight trip. Even if you aren’t an experienced backpacker, an adventure with REI outfitters will let you enjoy deep-woods adventure in relative comfort. At one stop, a backcountry campsite on Baker Lake, the primary view is of 10,781-foot Mount Baker, draped in a cape of snow. At just four miles of walking per day and only slight elevation gain, the trip is designed for inexperienced hikers.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

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Made up of seven islands in the Gulf of Mexico, Dry Tortugas National Park sits 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. Protected coral reefs are within the park boundary, and the highlight is Garden Key, with its beaches and tours of 19th-century Fort Jefferson. The water’s-edge fortification is an  imposing stone structure, which was used as a prison during the Civil War. Interpretive guides break down the site’s history and lore, and there’s plenty more to explore.

The park’s 100-square-mile boundary comprises mostly water, and the islands are accessible only by boat and seaplane. Book your trip out of Key West, and choose what parts of the park to see. Loggerhead Key has a historic lighthouse and a thriving sea turtle population of its namesake shelled denizens. Nearby Loggerhead Reef is home to the wrecked remains of the ship Windjammer. The submerged skeleton of the 1875 ship today is a popular dive site. The Dry Tortugas are known for their diversity of marine and terrestrial wildlife, and Bush Key specifically is a favorite nesting site for seabirds, such as sooty terns.

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

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Located in southwest Alaska some 100 miles from Anchorage, Lake Clark National Park and Preservewas proclaimed a national monument in 1978. By 1980, it was established as a national park and preserve by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. If you really want to go deep in a place this remote, a float plane tour is the way to go. Simply combine that with your not roughing-it backcountry accommodations by booking your flight through Lake Clark Air and the Farm Lodge. With a float plane and guide at your disposal for the day trip, you’ll get up close and personal with wild Alaska via bear, caribou and wildlife viewing, flightseeing, photography workshops and catch-and-release fishing. As for your Alaska digs, the Farm Lodge is in Port Alsworth, the headquarters for the national park. With rustic-luxury style, the lodge’s standard and deluxe cabins all have heat, private restrooms with running water and covered porches. Your package also includes home-cooked meals in the main lodge.

Six Geography Facts That Will Change The Way You Look At The World



As an avid explorer and Travel Trivia reader, you probably know a lot about the world. Well, this planet hides a few surprises. Here are six geography facts that will change the way you see the world.

Around 90% of the Planet’s Population Lives in the Northern Hemisphere

Around 90% of the Planet's Population Lives in the Northern Hemisphere

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When we think about where people live, we assume each hemisphere has a good number of residents. In reality, most of the world’s population is located in the Northern Hemisphere, leaving the Southern Hemisphere nearly uninhabited by this study’s standards. Around 90% of the people on the planet live in the Northern part of the world in countries such as the U.S. and China, making the rest of the world look a bit sparse.

Continents Shift at the Same Speed That Your Fingernails Grow

Continents Shift at the Same Speed That Your Fingernails Grow

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If you were awake during social studies class, you will remember that the planet’s tectonic plates are in a state of near-constant movement. This is how the earth went from having basically one big continent to having seven. For around 40 million years, the continents were in a slow phase, moving away from each other at a rate of about one millimeter per year. Then, about 200 million years ago, things got kicked into high gear and the plates began to move at 20 millimeters per year, which, scientists say, is equivalent to the speed at which fingernails grow.

Reno, Nevada, Is Farther West Than Los Angeles

Reno, Nevada, Is Farther West Than Los Angeles

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Los Angeles is typically seen as the West Coast city. It is right next to the ocean and it has all those beaches, so it would make sense for it to be farther west than a desert city like Reno, Nevada, right? Wrong! Reno is actually around 86 miles farther west than Los Angeles, due to the curve of California and the placement of the states.

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Asia Is Bigger Than the Moon

Asia Is Bigger Than the Moon

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Continuing on this same shocking track, the moon isn’t as big as it looks either. Still, though, it is around 27 percent of the size of Earth and has 14.6 million square miles of surface area. Although this seems like a lot, it is significantly less than the total surface area of Asia, which is 17.2 million square miles, meaning that Earth’s biggest continent is actually bigger than the moon.

Mount Everest Is Not the World’s Tallest Mountain

Mount Everest Is Not the World's Tallest Mountain

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If someone asks you “What is the tallest mountain in the world?” you will surely answer, “Why, Mount Everest, of course! Everyone knows that!” But sadly, you would be wrong. Technically, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level, but it isn’t the tallest in the world. This honor goes to Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Mauna Kea rises up 13,796 feet above sea level (compared to Everest’s 29,035 feet), but it also extends down an additional 19,700 feet below sea level, into the Pacific Ocean. To make this mountain even cooler, it is actually a volcano, whose last eruption was 4,600 years ago.

Alaska Is the Westernmost, Easternmost and Northernmost State in the U.S.

Alaska Is the Westernmost, Easternmost and Northernmost State in the U.S.

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This sounds impossible, but I assure you it is true. From looking at a map, it is pretty obvious that Alaska is the northernmost state in the country. What’s surprising? The Aleutian Islands between Russia and Alaska boast the westernmost point of the United States, but in what seems like some sort of geographical oxymoron, they are also home to the easternmost point of the U.S. too. An island called Semisopochnoi (which just so happens to be a collapsed volcano) has a spot that sits so far to the west (around ten miles west of the Prime Meridian) that it actually becomes easternmost spot in the U.S.

3 Weird Facts About Alaska



3 Weird Facts About Alaska

The northernmost U.S. state certainly has a flair for quirkiness, but that’s what makes it all the more intriguing. From serious moose laws so bizarre you’ll think it’s a joke (it isn’t) to youth-inspired art that’s reached national fame, Alaska proudly preserves and protects its precious land.

Check out the three weirdest yet irresistibly endearing facts about Alaska.

You Must Let Sleeping Bears Lie – And It’s a Law That Moose Can’t Fly

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Literally. While Alaska takes great pains to protect their wildlife, especially their bears, bear hunting is legal in Alaska in both fall and spring. There are, however, some instances where disturbing a bear is not permitted. Like if you wake it up to take its picture. Yes, there is actually a law in Alaska that forbids anyone from waking up a snoozing bear for a photo op. While it may sound bizarre, we think this is rather considerate of Alaska to respect a bear’s need for sleep!

Along the same lines of odd wildlife protection laws, the ways in which people can interact with moose are also heavily scrutinized in Alaska. The weirdest moose laws prohibit pushing a moose out of an airplane, viewing a moose from a plane, and giving a moose alcohol. In case you were getting any ideas – don’t.

Alaska Produces Mutant Fruits & Vegetables

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You may not think of Alaska as a fertile place to plant a garden, but the prolonged sunlight hours in the summer result in some bizarrely large produce. In the Land of the Midnight Sun, fruits and veggies have been known to reach sizes of epic proportions thanks to roughly 20 hours of sun exposure in the summer months!

Growers show off their freakishly large spoils at the annual Alaska State Fair; a 138-pound cabbage, a 65-pound cantaloupe, a 35-pound broccoli, and pumpkins as tall as reindeer have all made appearances. This state fair has been known to boast some vegetables so big, they wind up in the Guinness Book of Records. Just ask Scott Robb, a local Alaskan grower who’s claimed five vegetable world records – one of which is that outlandishly-sized cabbage!

A 13-Year Old Designed the State Flag

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In the late 1920s, Alaska held a competition for children in 7th to 12th grade to design the state’s flag. Benny Benson, who was living in an orphanage at the time of the competition, entered his sketch in the contest along with 141 children. His design of a yellow Big Dipper and the North Star (representing Alaska as the northernmost state) against a navy-blue background (representing the sky and the locally-favored forget-me-not flower) clinched first place. He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and a gold watch engraved with his flag’s design for his efforts. The flag flew for the first time on July 9, 1927, and has been flying ever since.

More Than 1,000 Aftershocks Have Hit Alaska Since Fridays 7.0 Earthquake



More than 1,000 aftershocks of magnitude 1.5 or greater have shaken Alaska since Friday’s big quake knocked out power, ripped open roads and splintered buildings in Anchorage, US Geological Survey geophysicist Randy Baldwin said Sunday.

The majority were of a magnitude of 2.5 or weaker, meaning they weren’t likely felt. But more than 350 of the aftershocks were higher than 2.5, according to USGS data.
Still, local officials said life was returning to normal after Friday’s magnitude 7 earthquake, even as 4 to 8 inches of snow was expected Sunday.
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Scenes of chaos as 7.0 earthquake rocks Alaska
“This is the second-largest earthquake we’ve had since 1964, which was a very significant earthquake,” Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz told reporters Saturday, referring to the 9.2 quake that was the most powerful recorded in US history.
“In terms of a disaster, I think it says more about who we are than what we suffered,” Berkowitz said. “I would characterize this as a demonstration that Anchorage is prepared for these kind of emergencies.”

Alaskans resilient to damage

No fatalities or serious injuries were reported, officials said. In Alaska’s largest city — with a population of about 300,000 — airports, hospitals, emergency services and most businesses were operating.
“The power is up. The heat is on. The communication lines are opening,” said Anchorage Municipal Manager Bill Falsey.
Most of the aftershocks have not rattled Alaskans. But 12 as of Sunday morning more powerful than 4.5 struck near Anchorage and Big Lake, the USGS says.
Footage shows destruction in TV station

Footage shows destruction in TV station
A 5.2 aftershock about 11 p.m. Friday was the second-biggest since a 5.7 temblor hit minutes after the main quake, said Gavin Hayes, a research geophysicist with the USGS.
“That would have given people a shake and probably a bit of a scare given what they went through yesterday,” he told CNN.
The 7.0 earthquake sent residents scurrying for cover when it hit about 8:30 a.m. Friday. The quake was centered 10 miles northeast of Anchorage.
“The most striking thing about this event was that it was so close to Anchorage,” Hayes said. “That’s why it has caused the damage that we’re seeing.”
The earthquake was not unusual for the region and probably wouldn’t have received much attention had it not struck so close to town, he said.

‘This was a big one’

Roads buckled under passing cars and products tumbled from shelves. In court, panicked attorneys scurried under tables as a room rocked from side to side.
“It was very loud when it came,” Berkowitz said Friday. “It was very clear that this was something bigger than what we normally experience. We live in earthquake country … but this was a big one.”
Palmer resident Kristin Dossett described the initial jolt as “absolutely terrifying.”
It was the biggest quake she has felt in her 37 years in a region where temblors are common, Dossett said. One aftershock moved her piano a foot and half from the wall.
An employee walks past a damaged aisle in an Anchorage store after the earthquake.

“It just didn’t stop. It kept going and got louder and louder, and things just fell everywhere — everything off my dressers, off my bookcases, my kitchen cupboard. Just broken glass everywhere.”
Philip Peterson was in a multistory building in downtown Anchorage as the structure swayed and coffee mugs fell from tables and tiles from the ceiling.
“I just jumped under my desk and had to ride it out,” Peterson said.
Authorities don’t have firm figures on damage yet, though the Anchorage Police Department reported “major infrastructure damage” around the city. Helicopters and drones were assessing infrastructure across the region. There were no reports of missing people, authorities saidala.
People walk along a road in Wasilla after Friday's earthquake.

Alaska Regional Hospital and Providence Alaska Medical Center suffered damage but were able to keep emergency rooms open.
The Anchorage School District canceled classes Monday and Tuesday to assess damage.
Gov. Bill Walker has issued a disaster declaration.
The 7.0 earthquake was felt up to 400 miles away, said state seismologist Michael West. He called it the most significant earthquake in Anchorage since 1964.