In recent centuries the U.S. has been considered the land of opportunity, with a huge potential for prosperity. After writing the U.S. Declaration of Independence and winning the Revolutionary War, Americans started being optimistic about their future, focusing on the rights to liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness. From a cultural point of view, the nation is characterized by a sense of freedom that includes “freedom of speech, expression, and press” and also by a blending of cultural backgrounds and ethnicities, known as the “melting pot”. At the same time, from a natural point of view, it has sensational biodiversity and features extraordinary landmarks such as hot deserts, cool beaches, rolling grasslands, a tropical rainforest, polar tundra, and active volcanic areas. Even if the U.S. can be considered a “young nation”, it surely has plenty of treasures!
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1. The USA 50-star flag was designed by a 17-year-old boy
Back in 1958, a young boy called Robert G. Heft participated in a school project where students were asked to design the U.S. national flag. What is surprising is that, at first, his teacher gave him a B for the project, but one day Heft decided to submit his flag drawing to the White House and, eventually, former President Eisenhower called him to announce that his flag had been selected to be the official U.S. flag! Of course, after this happened, Heft’s teacher decided to update his grade to an A.
2. A piece of the African continent is located in the United States
250 million years ago a supercontinent called Pangaea broke apart and formed the 7 continents that we know today. Recently, a group of geologists discovered that a piece of land that now is part of North America belonged to Africa at that time. Nowadays, this chunk of land is located near Alabama.
3. Over half of all Americans plan their trips exclusively through mobile apps
48% of U.S. smartphone owners use their mobile phones to easily do research, book, and plan their entire trip just by using mobile applications. This happens because the web market has a lot to offer, it is user-friendly and makes you feel comfortable and free to look for the best options for you. And yet, the most convenient thing is that this online booking process offers you the possibility to compare hundreds of prices from hundreds of different websites.
4. Hawaii can be called the Rainbow State
Yes, this is definitely true. Rainbows are pretty common in Hawaii and regardless of which Hawaiian Island you are visiting, your breath will be stolen by its amazing tropical climate and its rainbows landscapes. You don’t have to look for a place where you can see a rainbow because everywhere you turn you will find them. The large quantity of pollen, air pollution, and cresting waves also contribute to the creation of this amazing phenomenon.
5. The highest mountain in the world is in the United States
It might sound crazy since everyone knows that the highest mountain is Mount Everest. Yet, this is not 100% accurate. Mount Everest is 29,028 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level, while the Hawaiian mountain Mauna Kea is 32 thousand (9,760 meters) feet from the seafloor. Yet, it is not generally considered the tallest mountain since it only reaches 13,800 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level.
6. In Oregon there exists a city named Boring
When we think about the word “boring” nothing really funny comes to our minds. So you are probably wondering how boring it would be to live in a city named Boring? Well, you should probably ask the 7 thousand people that reside in this city! Believe it or not, it exists and is located in the state of Oregon, 20 miles away from Portland. Moreover, the name of the city was chosen on purpose. It comes from the name of its founder William H. Boring, who founded the city in the 1870s. Boring is not as boring as you may think! Every year on the 9th of August they celebrate “Boring Day” and this celebration attracts a lot of tourists.
7. Mustang horses were imported into the US
No creature gives us the image of the American West more than a wild mustang. Nonetheless, the truth is that these horses are not native to the United States. They are descended from domestic Spanish horses and were brought to the US by Spanish explorers back in the 16th century.
8. The Four Corners Monument is the only place where you can be standing in four states at the same time
The Four Corners Monument is located in the Four Corners area, a point where the southeastern corners of Utah and Colorado meet the northeastern corners of New Mexico and Arizona. This is the only point in the States where the borders of four different states meet. In this area, you can find a lot of archeological sites and amazing scenic byways. This incredible spot was marked with a concrete pad in 1912.
9. The letter Q is the only letter that doesn’t appear in any of the U.S. states’ names
Out of all 50 states of the United States of America, the letter Q doesn’t appear in any of their names, making it the only letter not to, as all of the other 25 letters of the alphabet appear at least once.
10. The United States capital city has not always been Washington DC
Contrary to what you may think, Washington DC was only declared as the US capital city in 1790. From 1785 until 1790 New York City served as the nation’s capital.
Even though nowadays NYC is not the U.S. capital, it remains the most populated city in the nation, with over 8 million citizens.
11. Only two U.S. states grow coffee
You should know that coffee plants grow in high-altitude mountain areas, particularly in Africa and Latin America. The U.S. is one of the biggest consumers of coffee in all the world, but not a great producer. Indeed, the only two States in the States that grow coffee are Hawaii and California.
12. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France
The U.S. received the Statue of Liberty as a gift for their 100-year Franco-American friendship. While the sculptor was Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the framework was designed by a famous French engineer named Gustavo Eiffel, the same man that designed the Eiffel Tower. The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in New York City and it represents a person that enlightens our way to freedom as well as the path to liberty.
Another fun fact is that the Statue of Liberty wasn’t always green. In fact, when the statue was first assembled it was reddish-brown, but due to oxidation over the years it gradually changed to the green we see today.
13. Kentucky has more bourbon than people
Kentucky is the largest producer of bourbon, with a total production of 95% of the world’s bourbon. Considering the high demand for this product, Kentucky stores almost 4.8 million bourbon barrels. This can be incredibly shocking when compared with the total number of citizens that live in the state (4.5 million), as we can see Kentucky has more barrels of bourbon than it does people.
Some say that the popularity of this whiskey comes from all the movies and tv series where the main characters drink these cool and sexy cocktails. For example, we can see a large consumption of this beverage in some American drama series, such as Mad Men or The Vampire Diaries.
14. The 4th longest river system in the world is in the US
The Missouri River is one of the longest river systems in the world. It goes from the Rocky Mountains, specifically from Montana, and flows into the Mississippi River in Missouri. This river flows for more than 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers). The Mississippi River and the Missouri River combine to become the 4th largest river in the world.
The Missouri River has always played a key role in society. It has always been used for irrigation, drinking, food control, and also hydroelectric power. This river is an asset for the US.
15. Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States as a country
When in 1777, Morocco’s Sultana Mahommed III opened its port to America when they recognized them as a newly independent nation. In 1786, Morocco formally recognized the U.S. with the treaty of friendship and peace.
Travel to the USA
The United States is a beautiful and incredibly diverse nation. Its special charm comes from the thousands of different cultures that populate it. In the US, each individual has a unique background, and this makes the US one of the most visited places in the world. Anyway, if you are planning to or your dream is to visit the States, you should know that, even if just for tourism, you will be requested to submit a USA Visa. Make sure you are well-informed about all the official requirements your visa photo has to meet. It may be quite confusing, hence we strongly recommend you use this US Visa Photo Tool, where Artificial Intelligence will transform your photo into a professional US Visa Photo!
Michal Jonca is an experienced author of articles concerning biometric photography. He is a travel, food, and trail running passionate who visited 40+ countries on four continents. He is a Travel Leader for the adventurous travel company Solisci and the Community Manager at Passport-Photo.Online. Only this year, he enjoyed his workation in Thailand, Turkey, and the Caucasus mountains.