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20 Cool Facts About Alaska

Last Reviewed and Updated on July 29, 2022

Alaska is a beautiful state, rich in natural beauty and abundant natural resources. Get to know this state a little bit more by reading through these interesting facts about Alaska, from it being both the easternmost and westernmost U.S. state to the gigantic vegetables that grow in this state.

1. Alaska is the least densely populated of all U.S. states

With roughly 1.3 persons per square mile, Alaska is the least densely populated state in the U.S. It’s less densely populated than most countries in the world, only being behind Greenland and Falkland Islands (self-governing territory of the United Kingdom).

2. The coastline of Alaska is longer than the coastline of all other states combined

Alaska’s mainland coastline is the longest of all U.S. states’ coastlines. The coastline is greater than all the other states’ coastlines combined.

The coastline of Alaska is about 6640 miles / 10690 km, while the coastline of other states combined is about 5839 miles / 9400 km.

3. Alaska is the most Northern, Eastern, and Western state in the U.S.

This is one of the more mind-boggling facts about Alaska, but it does make sense once you understand it. Alaska is the most Northern state, which makes perfect sense. But how exactly can it be the most western and most eastern state?

Most of Alaska’s territory can be found in the westernmost part of the United States. However, the Aleutian Islands cross the longitude 180°, which puts them in the eastern hemisphere – as this is the case, the islands are technically the easternmost part of the US. So Alaska can be considered both easternmost as well as the westernmost state.

4. Alaska is a land state but isn’t connected to any other US state by land

This state is separated from other land states by Canada. It has absolutely no land connection with other states. It is one of the two states without a land connection, the other being the island state of Hawaii.

5. It is the largest state and is larger than most countries

With a total area of 665,384.04 square miles / 1,723,337 square kilometers, Alaska is the largest of the U.S. states. It is more than twice the size of Texas, the second largest state.

If Alaska were a country, it would be larger than more than roughly 75% of countries in the world.

6. Alaska has the most volcanoes in the U.S.

It has roughly 80% of all volcanoes in the U.S. There are over 130 volcanoes in Alaska, with many of them active and dormant.

Mount Bona is the tallest volcano in Alaska; the Pavlof volcano is the most active one.

7. It also has the most rivers of all states

Alaska has over 12,000 rivers. In addition to that, there are thousands more streams and creeks.

The longest is the Yukon river.

8. And has more than 3 million lakes

Lakes are abundant in Alaska; only about 3000 out of 3 million are officially named.

The largest lake in Alaska is Iliamna Lake, which is also the second largest freshwater lake in the United States.

9. The only World War II battle on U.S. soil took place in Alaska

The Battle of Attu took place on 11 to 30 May 1943. It was fought between the U.S forces (aided by Canadian forces) and Japan on Attu Island off the coast of the Territory of Alaska. This was the only land battle on U.S. soil.

10. The U.S. bought Alaska from Russia

The Russian Empire was the first to colonize Alaska in the 18th century, but the expense and logistic difficulty of maintaining this area promoted the Russian Empire to sell Alaska to the U.S. in 1867. Alaska was sold for $7.2 million (equal to about $140 million in 2022).

11. The vegetables in Alaska can grow really big

Many states have giant crop competitions, but none can top Alaska. If you visit the Alaska state fair’s competition, you will see many gigantic vegetables and will even have a chance to spot the next Guinness World Record holder, as Alaska has quite a few of them when it comes to the largest fruit.

Why do the vegetables get so big? You would assume the colder temperatures wouldn’t exactly be ideal for growing vegetables. And you would be partially right. Alaska has a very short growing season because of it, but during the growing season, the sun shines for 20 hours a day.

12. There were many indigenous peoples inhabiting this area in the past

Numerous indigenous people inhabited the area now known as Alaska before the first Russian settlements and the arrival of European peoples in the area.

The population of Alaskan natives today is about 15%, the highest of any state. They can be divided into five major groups; Aleuts, Inupiat, Yuit, Athabascans, Athabascans, and Southeast costs (Tlingit and Haida).

13. You can see the northern lights almost every day in Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks is one of the most popular locations for observing aurora borealis. The aurora borealis is visible more than 200 times per year on average.

14. Alaska has the most pilots per capita in the US

Alaska has roughly 6 times more pilots per capita than an average U.S. state.

15. The highest mountain in the United States is in Alaska

Denali, previously known as Mount McKinley, is the highest mountain peak in North America, with an elevation of 20,310 feet / 6190 above sea level.

16. It is the home of the largest brown bear, the Kodiak bear

The largest brown bear, the Kodiak bear, can be found only on Kodiak island in Alaska. The Kodiak bear is the second largest of all bears, with the polar bear being the only one larger.

17. The state flag was designed by a 14-year old

John Ben “Benny” Benson Jr., an Alaska native, designed the state’s flag. A contest was held in 1927 to design the flag for the Territory of Alaska, and Benny won the competition with his design.

18. It’s the home of Santa Claus

The North Pole is a small Alaskan city. Despite the name, the city isn’t located at the North Pole but is about 1700 miles / 2700 km southern.

The biggest attraction of this city is the Santa Claus gift shop. And the world’s largest Santa Claus statue next to it.

19. Juneau, the state capital, is not accessible by road

This is one of the most interesting facts about Alaska. There are no roads connecting the city to the rest of the state. All goods coming in and out of Juneau must be delivered by boat or plane.

20. Dog mushing is the official state sport

Alaska is one of the states that has an official state sport, and its state sport is dog mushing.

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