Fun Facts About Kansas
Fun Facts About Kansas

Ultimate List: 10 Wild & Wacky Fun Facts About Kansas You Never Knew [Tips & Trivia]

Kansas, the Sunflower State, has a rich history and culture that many people aren’t aware of. This article will uncover some of the most surprising, quirky, and downright wild facts about the 34th state that will make you see Kansas in a whole new light.

A Brief History of Kansas

Before it was a state, Kansas was home to Native American tribes including the Kansa, Osage, and Pawnee. The first European explorers, the Spanish, arrived in the 1500s but it wasn’t until 1803 when the U.S. acquired the land as part of the Louisiana Purchase that significant settlement began.

Kansas entered the union as a free state in 1861, which angered neighboring slave-owning Missouri. This led to violent clashes along the border between anti-slavery “Jayhawkers” and pro-slavery “Border Ruffians”. Kansas wasn’t admitted to the Union until the slavery question was resolved after the Civil War.

The Lay of the Land

Kansas sits right in the center of the continental United States. It covers over 82,000 square miles making it the 15th largest state. Eastern Kansas consists of gently rolling hills while the western portion is flat plains.

Kansas has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Tornadoes are a frequent threat especially in the spring. The state tree is the cottonwood and the state flower is the wild native sunflower.

Kansas Agriculture and Industry

Agriculture has always been the foundation of the Kansas economy. It leads the nation in wheat production and also grows significant amounts of sorghum, soybeans, and corn. Beef cattle ranching is another major industry.

Kansas is also home to large oil reserves and is a leading producer of helium, cement, and wind power. Aerospace companies build airplanes and parts in Wichita, “The Air Capital of the World”.

The Culture of Kansas

Famous Americans from Kansas include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. The state is obsessed with basketball and is home to the Kansas Jayhawks, a perennial powerhouse.

Kansas has developed its own unique cuisine like chicken fried steak, burnt ends BBQ, and strawberry pie. The most popular city, Wichita, calls itself the “Air Capital of the World”.

10 Wild & Wacky Kansas Facts

Now that you know a little about the history and culture of the state, here are the most outrageous Kansas facts that are sure to surprise and amuse:

1. Highest Point

At 4,039 feet, the highest point in Kansas is lower than the lowest point in Colorado. Mount Sunflower is nothing more than a small hill.

2. Pizza Capital

The most pizzerias per capita than any other place in the world can be found in Emporia, Kansas. With over 500 residents per pizza restaurant, that’s a lot of pizza!

3. The 8 Wonders

In 2008, the 8 Wonders of Kansas were designated, including the Konza Prairie, Monument Rocks, and the cosmosphere. The wonders represent the state’s unique nature, history, and quirkiness.

4. Little Jerusalem

This unusual geographic area features badlands and rock formations that resemble ruins of a mysterious city, earning it the nickname “Little Jerusalem”.

5. Big Well

At 109 feet wide and 32 feet deep, Greensburg’s Big Well ranks as the world’s largest hand-dug well. It required many men six years to dig.

6. State Insect

Kansas schoolchildren voted to make the honeybee the official state insect, but after entomologists intervened, the much less popular European honey bee was given the honor.

7. Hair-Raising Law

In Lawrence, Kansas it’s illegal for barbers to eat onions between 7am and 7pm. The law aims to prevent foul breath.

8. Superman’s Smallville

The fictional hometown of Superman, Smallville, is located in Kansas. The state has embraced the man of steel as their own.

9. Highest Flagpole

At 400 feet tall, the flagpole at the Kansas state capitol building in Topeka is the tallest in the U.S. and has an elevator inside.

10. Most Stolen Sign

Road signs for the small town of Beaver, Oklahoma are constantly stolen by pranksters from nearby Kansas. It’s an ongoing problem!

Conclusion

Who knew Kansas had so many wacky claims to fame? From pizza restaurants to Superman’s hometown, the Sunflower State is more than just flat fields of wheat. Whether you’re digging the Big Well or climbing Mount Sunflower, there’s plenty of quirky fun to discover in Kansas. With its rich history, unique culture, and array of wild superlatives, Kansas has something to interest any traveler.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest point in Kansas?

The highest point in Kansas is Mount Sunflower, which rises to 4,039 feet above sea level. This is lower than the lowest point in nearby Colorado.

Why is Emporia called the Pizza Capital?

Emporia has the most pizza restaurants per capita of any place in the world, with over 500 residents per pizza joint. This earns it the title of pizza capital.

What are the 8 Wonders of Kansas?

In 2008, the 8 Wonders of Kansas were designated to highlight the state’s unique nature, history, and quirks. They include the Konza Prairie, Monument Rocks, Big Well, and more.

Where is Smallville located?

Smallville, the fictional Kansas hometown of Superman, isn’t a real town. But Kansas has embraced Superman as their own.

About Kimberly J West

Kimberly J. West is a passionate fact aficionado and lead writer and curator for FactNight. As an experienced SEO content writer and researcher, Kimberly leverages her expertise to discover fascinating trivia and create engaging fact articles. You can reach Kimberly at kimberly@factnight.com.

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