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Strange Florida Facts

Florida is often in the news for stupid criminals and weird happenings, but there are many unique facts that are unique to The Sunshine State. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

  • The names of some of the approach procedures that all aircraft follow upon arrival at Orlando International Airport are called CWRLD ONE, COSTR ONE, PIGLT ONE, MINEE TWO, and GOOFY FIVE. Any pilot who flies there can confirm this.
  • Gatorade was named after the University of Florida Gators, where it was first developed.
  • Flamingos get their pink color from the shrimp they eat. The more shrimp they eat, the more pink they turn.
  • There are 13,983,816 ways to combine six of those Florida lottery balls.
  • More than 100 episodes of Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges were filmed in Silver Springs between 1958 and 1961.
  • Do you think mermaids are a myth? If so, you are wrong. They really exist! See them perform in a unique underwater theater at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
  • A crypt in Key West is inscribed “I told you I was sick.”
  • The Tamiami Trail is named after the two cities located at each end of the road: Tampa and Miami.
  • Everglades National Park spans 2,100 square miles and contains the largest mangrove forest and the slowest moving river in the world.
  • Florida is not the southernmost state in the United States. Hawaii is further south. Key West is the southernmost point of the “continental” United States.
  • Florida is the only state that has two rivers with the same name. There is a Withlacoochee in north central Florida (Madison County) and a Withlacoochee in central Florida. They have nothing in common except name.
  • The actress, Delta Burke, represented Orlando and became Miss Florida in 1974.
  • Dick Pope, the founder of Cypress Gardens, is known as the “Father of Florida Tourism.”
  • Stephen Foster, who wrote “Old Folks at Home,” the Florida state song, never saw the Suwannee River, nor did he set foot in Florida. You can learn more about Stephen Foster at the museum named after him at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.
  • An average annual commercial harvest of Apalachicola Bay oysters produces enough meat to cover a three-deep soccer field. That makes Apalachicola the perfect location for the Florida Seafood Festival held every November.
  • Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard is touted as the longest continuous sidewalk in the world. It is a popular beachfront hangout for runners and inline skate enthusiasts.
  • Once a year, thousands of Floridians stand on the state line and dump dead fish at Alabama. It’s the annual mullet release hosted by Flora-Bama Beach Bar in Pensacola. It’s just “a silly excuse for a big beach party.”
  • The Seven Mile Bridge, part of the Overseas Highway, which crosses between Marathon and the Lower Keys, was built in 1982, in pieces, and then shipped to the Keys to be assembled.
  • There’s a bed & breakfast, WildLife on Easy Street outside Tampa, that allows you to snuggle up with an endangered cat of your choice for just a $ 100 donation to the shelter. You can choose wildcats, cougars and leopards.
  • The 321 area code has been in service since November 1, 1999, in Brevard County, Florida. The code refers to the 3-2-1 countdown sequence at Kennedy Space Center that launched many spacecraft and is a nod to Brevard County’s important role in space travel.

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