15 Fun Facts About Arizona That Will Surprise You

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. The state’s name comes from an obsolete Spanish word meaning “little spring”, which was applied in reference to a large silver-mining camp located close to the southern border. Historically, Arizona was one of three states that were part of an area called the Borderlands along with parts of California, New Mexico and Texas. Moreover, Arizona’s diverse landscape is full of natural beauty, from the red-rock canyons and winding slot canyons in the deserts, to the alpine forests in high mountain ranges. Furthermore, Arizona’s varied topography has also attracted many people from other states and countries over the years, especially from migrant workers who came during the Great Depression to retirees that enjoy its warm weather. 

The state has two distinct growing seasons: summer and winter. Summer temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but with low humidity, while winters are mild with cool days. Besides, Arizona is also famous as the desert state of the United States. If you are planning to visit this state, it would be great to add some general knowledge with fun facts about Arizona. Here are fun facts about Arizona that will make you fall in love with this state! Let’s jump to the list!

1. The Grand Canyon, The One and Only Natural Seven Wonder In The US

The Grand Canyon, The One and Only Natural Seven Wonder In The US

The Grand Canyon State is Arizona’s nickname. It is because the Grand Canyon National Park contains the majority of the canyon in Arizona. As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon National Park is the only one that is located in the United States.

The Grand Canyon has some of the world’s oldest exposed rock. The mile-high walls show a cross section of the Earth’s crust that dates back approximately two billion years. Geologists have been able to examine evolution over time because of these rock layers.

2. The Unpredictable Haboobs In Arizona

The Unpredictable Haboobs In Arizona

Dust storms or also known as “haboobs” are unpredictable and can occur at any time across Arizona’s desert environment. Dust storms can be thousands of feet high and miles long. Haboobs are dust storms, but not all dust storms are haboobs. Surface winds can generate dust storms, which keep material much closer to the ground, whereas thunderstorm cells can cause haboobs, which raise debris high enough in the air to earn the name.

FUrthermore, early thunderstorms create rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground due to the dry air. When such storms begin to dissipate, winds can sweep across the arid, underdeveloped desert between Phoenix and Tucson, kicking up large clouds of dust. Haboobs or dust storms result from this.

3. The Only Place Where Saguaro Cactus Grow

3. The Only Place Where Saguaro Cactus Grow

The renowned saguaro cactus can only be found in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. The saguaro cactus’ distribution is limited to southern Arizona as a desert indicator species. Saguaro cacti can reach elevations of roughly 4000 feet from sea level. The saguaro cactus will restrict its growth to the warmer, south facing slopes as you travel further north and higher in elevation.

In addition, water and temperature are the most crucial variables for growth. Cold temperatures and frost can destroy the saguaro if the height is too high.

4. More Than 70 Licensed Beer Styles Made By Arizona Breweries

 Styles Made By Arizona Breweries

Brewing beer has aided the development of Arizona’s economy and identity. Since the 1980s, when the craft brewing business bloomed, Arizona has established its own trademark beers and cherished breweries that are quickly gaining recognition across the country. After thousands of migrants seeking a new start and a better life flocked to western states as miners in the mid-nineteenth century, an entrepreneur was needed to supply the demand for beer and gathering places where miners could mingle after a hard day’s work.

In 1864, Alex Levin spotted an opportunity and opened Arizona’s first commercial brewery. Alkaline water and insecure supply routes for brewing supplies over the untamed Western environment were key obstacles for Levin and other early Arizona brewers. Today, there are more than 75 licensed craft brewers in Arizona. The city of Chandler produces the most beer in the entire state. And it all boils down to one person. SanTan Brewing Co. will generate 97.6% of all beer produced in Chandler in 2020.

5. Ringtail Cat Image In The Driver License

 Ringtail Cat Image In The Driver License

As one of several new security elements, the ringtail was incorporated into the license backdrop image. In addition to its crucial role, the ringtail is Arizona’s official state animal. Ringtail cats, also known as ringtail cats, miner’s cats, and cacomistles, are cat-sized carnivores that resemble a small fox with a long raccoon-like tail. They are related to raccoons and coatimundi.

The ringtail became the state mammal of Arizona in August 1986. Ringtails can be found in most environments in Arizona, with the exception of particularly flat, open desert areas and the highest mountains. Ringtails are omnivores who eat small birds, rodents, lizards, snakes, insects, and fruit at night.

6. Lemonade Is Arizona’s Official Drink After A Heap Controversy

 Ringtail Cat Image In The Driver License

After a high school student in Gilbert discovered that Arizona lacked an official state drink, lemonade was chosen as the official state drink. It all began when a Gilbert high school student lobbied Republican State Representative Warren Petersen for an official state beverage.

Petersen eventually introduced the bill, which passed easily in the House but took two tries to pass in the Senate. Despite its prominence as a quintessential summertime drink, lemonade proved to be a difficult sell. Margaritas or Jamaica, according to several politicians, would be better choices for Arizona’s official drink. Meanwhile, one senator objected to the “glorification” of a sugary beverage. The governor, finally, signed it without difficulty, stating that he enjoys lemonade.

7. Cactus Wren was The Only Official Wildlife Representative until 1985 

Cactus Wren was The Only Official Wildlife Representative until 1985 

Because of its native status and distinctive song, Arizona’s state bird was named. Therefore, Arizona chose the cactus wren so that the state could have its own bird. In 1931, the Arizona Legislature designated the Cactus Wren as the state bird. Until 1985, it was Arizona’s only official wildlife representative.

In fact, the cactus wren is the biggest wren in the United States and the official bird of Arizona. Its plumage is brown, with black and white spots as markings. It is not currently threatened or endangered. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects it, as it does all songbirds. The cactus wren is a wren species found only in the southwestern United States and northern and central Mexico. 

8. Second Leading Producer of Cantaloupes In The US

 of Cantaloupes In The US

Arizona is the country’s second-largest producer of cantaloupes. Cantaloupes are grown in Arizona in the spring, summer, and fall. Cantaloupe and honeydew melons can be harvested in the spring and fall because of Arizona’s 300 days of sunshine. Cantaloupes thrive in warm, sunny locations. Most cantaloupe plants thrive in nutrient-rich soil. Mulch can help vines grow more freely by suppressing weeds around them.

Since 1992, harvested Arizona cantaloupe area has ranged from 13,200 to 23,300 acres, with a production value ranging from $38.2 million to $119 million, according to the USDA NASS. Today, there are around 14 main melon growers in Arizona producing for the market. The 14 growers are largely huge commercial producers, yet they are still run by families.

9. Five C’s of Arizona

Five C’s of Arizona

Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus, and Climate have been taught to Arizona schoolchildren for decades. These 5 C’s have formed the backbone of Arizona’s economy for years, providing economic security and optimism to future generations. Furthermore, Arizona’s economy is shifting from mining and agriculture to high-tech and service-based industries. This is altering Arizonans’ living and working patterns.

However, the Census of Agriculture in 2012 identified that three of Arizona’s Cs: cattle, cotton, and citrus are still economically important. In 2012, the value of cattle, cotton, and citrus production sold was about $940 million, excluding milk sales of more than $760 million. All agricultural products sold had a total market value of $3.7 billion.

10. Arizona Has Two Officials State Songs

Arizona Has Two Officials State Songs

Arizona has two official state songs, albeit neither is named after the state. “The Arizona March Song” is the official state anthem, while “Arizona” is the alternate state anthem. The Fourth State Legislature established the Arizona State Anthem on February 28, 1919. Margaret Rowe Clifford wrote the anthem, which was titled “Arizona March Song,” and Maurice Blumenthal composed the music.

Furthermore, “I Love You Arizona”, a song composed and sung by Rex Allen, Jr., was designated as an alternate state anthem by the Arizona Legislature more than 60 years later. Willcox locals Rex Allen Jr. and Rex Allen are well-known for their legendary renditions of cowboy music. Rex Allen Jr. has been singing the state song at Centennial ceremonies and performed it at the State Capitol on February 14, 2012.

11. Dinosaurs Once Lived In Arizona

11. Dinosaurs Once Lived In Arizona

Arizona has a long and illustrious fossil history that predates the Cambrian epoch. However, during the Triassic period, 250 to 200 million years ago, this state came into its own, harboring a vast range of early dinosaurs as well as some later Jurassic and Cretaceous taxa, as well as the regular collection of Pleistocene megafauna mammals. Moreover, Dinosaur traces in the form of bones and footprints have been discovered in Arizona. Near Tuba City, on the Navajo Reservation north of Flagstaff, there are fossilized three-toed dinosaur footprints that are around 200 million years old. Ammosaurus, Anchisaurus, Anomoepus, Chindesaurus, Coelophysis, Massospondylus, Navahopus, Revueltosaurus, Rioarribasaurus, Scutellosaurus, Segisaurus, Sonorasaurus, and Syntarsus are among the dinosaurs discovered in Arizona.

12. The Largest Producer of Copper

The Largest Producer of Copper

Arizona produced 60% of the total copper produced in the United States. Copper mining has been a prominent industry in Arizona since the nineteenth century. Arizona was the top copper-producing state in the United States in 2007, generating 750 thousand metric tons of copper worth $5.54 billion. 

In 2015, Morenci in Greenlee, Arizona, had the largest copper mine in the United States. That year, Morenci had a capacity of 480,000 metric tons of copper. Byproducts of copper mining include gold and silver. Arizona is the country’s second-largest producer of molybdenum, a byproduct of copper mining.

13. Arizona Moved Its Capital Four Times

Arizona Moved Its Capital Four Times

The Arizona Territory served as a strategic location for the United States as it expanded. However, you may not be aware that Phoenix, Arizona’s current city, was not the territory’s capital. In reality, the title was passed about a few times before landing on Phoenix.

Fort Whipple in Chino Valley, Arizona, was the first capitol in 1863. Later, the territorial capital was relocated to Prescott in May 1864. Then, the territory’s capital was relocated to Tucson for ten years in 1867. After 10 years, the capital was moved back to Prescott in 1877. On February 4, 1889, Phoenix was finally designated as the permanent capital.

Rodeo Is A Popular Celebration In Arizona

The cowboy culture of Arizona makes it an ideal location for high-octane rodeos. Throughout the year, there are numerous professionally sanctioned events. Each August, the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo is hosted in Payson, near the state’s center, during a festive weekend that includes a parade and family entertainment. The roughly three dozen rodeos in Arizona’s cowboy country, though, are not all the same.

In addition, rodeo has been alive and well in the Sonoran Desert for more than 45 years. The Cave Creek Rodeo Days include a parade, mutton bustin’, rodeo dances, a golf tournament, three PRCA rodeo performances, and more to complete a weeklong celebration of an Arizona town’s Western heritage.

15. Winter Haven Festival of Lights

Winter Haven Festival of Lights

Christmas is usually a memorable occasion in Arizona. The most prestigious holiday festival, however, takes place in Tucson’s Fort Lowell Road. The Winterhaven Festival of Lights is a spectacular light display put on by about 40 homes along this classic Americana avenue. The festival starts in the middle of December and ends just before New Year’s Eve.

Since the 1960s, the Winterhaven Festival of Lights has been a local tradition. In addition to spreading holiday cheer, the festival collects charitable donations for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. At the festival’s entrance, there are donation kiosks. A team of judges selects the best-decorated Winterhaven house on the second night of the event.

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