Lesser-Known Facts About Alaska That Will Surely Surprise You

It is the 49th state of America is well-known throughout the world for being a spectacular place. People come here to get away from the crowds and buzz of the city for a few weeks while others come here to work and live a quiet life. But, there are certain facts about Alaska that most people did not know. It is known for its oil industry, gold industry and fishing.

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We have gathered some incredible facts about the country that you did not know about. For example, did you know that Alaska was originally owned by Russia? And do you know how much it was bought for?

1North, East, and West

If you look at the map of the United States, Alaska is clearly the northernmost and the westernmost state. But it is also the easternmost state due to a technicality. A small part of Alaska (the Aleutian Islands) crosses the 180° meridian of longitude. Here, east and west meet. One begins and the other ends.

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2The Alaskan flag

The Alaskan flag was determined in 1921. Children belonging to grades 7 to 12 were asked to submit designs for the flag. From over 700 submissions, the one that was selected belonged to a seventh-grader called Benny Benson. He was passionate about the project and found the perfect design. He integrated what every Alaskan saw as they looked up at the sky – the guiding star and the seven stars.

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3The significance

The simple gold and blue flag has more to it than meets the eye. The blue represents the “forget-me-not” flower found in Alaska. The gold stars represent the stars Alaskans see in the sky. The stars are designed to form the big dipper constellation (symbolizing strength) and the pole star (symbolizing the bright future of Alaska).

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4There’s a place where the sun don’t shine

Alaska is located north of the Arctic Circle and is a part of the Arctic region. As such, it experiences typical polar activities and phenomena such as polar nights. The town of Barrow (a.k.a. “Atgiakvic”) experiences polar nights every year. What this means is that the sun doesn’t rise and night lasts for days. Several researchers have studied the psychological effects of this darkness.

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5Winter is here

The sunsets in November and doesn’t rise till mid-January. This means that for almost two months, life continues in total darkness. There are about 4000 residents in the little town who experience intense depression and fear during this time. Suicide rates are higher too. The town is only accessible by plane and food is stored during the sunny days or the long winter.

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