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Interested in Alaska? In Alaska, extremes are It. Here are some cool Alaska fun facts to know.

  1. Alaska Is Not that Funny Shaped Island off of Hawaii
  2. A State of Extremes …
    • About Half of the Alaskans Live in Anchorage
    • What Is the Highest Peak in Alaska?
    • The Last Frontier Holds the US Record for the Lowest Temperature
    • Alaska Experiences over 1000 Earthquakes Each Year
    • Alaska Fun Facts: The State with 130 Volcanoes
    • The Longest Day
  3. Obsessions with Extremes
    • Growing the Biggest Whatever
  4. What Is the Northern, Eastern and Western Most State of the US?
  5. Other Alaska Fun Facts Extremes …


Alaska Is not that Funny Shaped Island off of Hawaii

What is it with Alaskans and these extremes? Well it’s not because of being mistaken to live on that small funny shaped island close to Hawaii as many weather reports in newspapers may make people think. Actually, Alaska to scale would cover the US coast-to-coast.

Alaska shown at the same scale as the Lower 48s
Alaska shown at the same scale as the Lower 48s



A State of Extremes …

… and contradictions. The State of Alaska – called the Last Frontier – has quite a collection of extremes. It starts out being the largest state of the US with 663,268 sq mi (1,717,856 km2). At the same time, Alaska is the most sparsely populated state of the US with a population of 738,432 according to the 2015 US Census. This means when you distribute all Alaskans evenly over the state, there would be 1 Alaskan on every 0.898 sq mi (2.326 km2). Despite its sparse population, Alaska is the most populated area north of 60 N in America.


About half of the Alaskans live in Anchorage

This fact explains the sparse road network in the state, and the Alaskan humor in the photo below. Actually, there are many villages that are off the road network. Anything that can’t be produced in the village has to be flown in or be transported there by boat in summer or via a seasonal road in winter.


What Is the Highest Peak in Alaska?

Alaska has the highest peak in the US with Denali, which is also the highest point in North America. You can see Denali from Fairbanks on clear days.

Alaska humor
Alaska humor about the vastness of the state and the underdeveloped infra-structure


Despite  the low infrastructure regarding the roadnet work, Alaska has two space ports.


The Last Frontier Holds the US Record for the Lowest Temperature

The coldest temperature ever measured since onset of recording in the US was -80F (-62.2oC). It was observed at Prospect Creek Camp in the Endicott Mountains on January 23, 1971. In Barrow, the minimum average July temperature is 34F (1oC). Interestingly, Alaskans love to have their photo taken at 40 below in a bikini.


Alaska Experiences over 1000 Earthquakes each Year

Alaska is also the US state with the most earthquakes per year as well as with the highest mean annual magnitude of earthquakes (6.7). Being located at the border of two tectonic plates Alaska experiences a magnitude 8 or higher earthquake on average every 14 years. I have been in the Alaska 2002 7.9 earthquake that occurred at the Denali Fault. Believe me, I don’t even want to know what an earthquake with a magnitude higher than 7.9 would feel/look/sound like. On average, about 1,000 earthquakes occur in Alaska each month.


Alaska fun fact shown by the extreme amount of firewood to heat a restaurant
This stack of firewood is needed to heat the restaurant during winter.


posh chic midlife woman in gold leather trench coat
Burberry gold leather trench coat, graphic print Tee, statement belt, pendant necklace, Nine West color denim jeans, Esprit bag, and statement belt (all own)


Alaska Fun Facts: The State with 130 Volcanoes

Being located on the ring of fire, Alaska has 130 volcanoes that have been active within the last two million years. Note that in total, there are 169 volcanoes in the US that are considered to be active. You can find a active volcano catalog at the link. Pavlof is Alaska’s most active volcano.


The Longest Day

Due to its northern location, Alaska has the longest days and nights. At Barrow, the Sun stays below the horizon from November 19 until January 23. On the contrary, during summer, the Sun stays above the horizon from May 11 to August 2. Thus,
Alaskan parents would never say to their kids to come home when it gets dark. #Alaska #FunFacts Click To Tweet
They wouldn’t see them for summer.


Obsessions with Extremes

With all these extremes, no wonder that there are various competitions to have the _____st of whatever. Add an adjective of your choice at the blank line. For instance, there is a competition that seeks Alaska’a hairiest man. At regional fairs or the State Fair, there are competitions for having grown the largest cabbage, found the largest mushroom, sewn the most beautiful quilt, you get the idea.


blogger side-by-side with the largest cabbage grown at the Last Frontier
Me in the 2000s posing side-by-side with the cabbage that was the biggest at the Tanana Valley Fair. I am wearing a denim shirt dress with leather hat as it was a hot sunny, day in August. I am cooling my arm as I had an allergic reaction to the bite of one of Alaska’s “supersized” mosquitoes.


Growing the Biggest Whatever

I don’t participate in these growing competition. However, this year, I grew the biggest kohlrabi I ever have seen in my life. The photo shows one of 12 of this size! I think that the kohlrabies grew that big because this summer rain was relatively evenly distributed. There weren’t many dry days between wet days.


Alaska grown kohlrabi
Kohlrabi from our yard measuring 7 inch in height and 5.5 inch in diameter. I don’t have kitchen scale so I can’t list the weight.


giant radish grown in my yard in Alaska
These radishes were grown in our yard without fertilizer


In our yard, I also saw the biggest mushroom I have ever seen in my life. Why do vegetables grow that big in Interior Alaska? It’s due to the white nights of the midnight Sun. The plants grow 24-7 for more than 80 days. This means in Interior Alaska, you mow your lawn twice a week.


What is the northern, eastern and western most state of the US?

Alaska crosses the dateline sort off. This makes Alaska the northernmost, eastern most, and western most state of the US. Attu Island in the Aleutian chain is located at 52°54′09″N, 172°54′34″E. Point Barrow is the most northern point of the US at 71°23′20″N 156°28′45″W. The most western point of Alaska is Amatignak Island at 51°16′7″N 179°8′55″W.

Which state is the northern, western and eastern most state of the USA? #quiz #triva Check the solution at the link. Click To Tweet


Other Alaska Fun Facts Extremes …

… are the expensive electricity costs, or longest coast line,


and of course great facts about the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

Focus Alaska is a series here on High Latitude Style featuring Alaska curiosa, lifestyle, wildlife, street style, weather, and insider travel tips.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

Other photos if not stated otherwise: N. Mölders

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