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A few things you might not know about Alaska

Contrary to what most people know, Alaska is one of the states of the USA. In fact, it is the largest US state. However, although Alaska is part of the continent, there are more presumptions than known facts about this American state. Apart from the fact that the North Pole Alaska post office receives thousand of letters addressed to Santa Claus or Saint Nick every December, there are other things you may not know about this awesome state.


Alaska as an American state


Less than 50 miles from Russia, Alaska produces 25 percent of all the oil in the United States. Most of the state, about 75 percent, can’t be reached by car and this includes the state capital Juneau, which can only be accessed via plane or boat. Alaska is the only state that doesn’t impose state sales taxes. Neither does it levy an individual income tax. However, some Alaskan cities do have sales taxes. The state also has more coastline than all the other American states combined. It is the only state that has coastlines on three different seas namely, the Bering Sea, The Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The willow ptarmigan is the state bird. The Alaskan flag was designed by Bennie Benson at age 13 in 1926. Upon the adoption of the state into the Union in 1959, the flag became the official state flag. In 1741, Alaska was first discovered by outsiders when Vitus Jonassen Bering, a Danish explorer, sighted it on a voyage from Siberia


Alaska is a rich paradise for the outdoor adventurer


Alaska’s largest private industry employer is the fishing and seafood industries. It was at the Kenai River where the largest salmon ever caught was recorded at a whopping 97.5 pounds. Most of the country’s halibut, crab, salmon and herring are sourced from Alaska. The state’s largest lake, Lake Iliamna, is approximately the size of Connecticut. It is only one of the 3 million lakes and 3,000 rivers in the state. Dog mushing is the state sport. It once served as the primary mode of transportation used in most of Alaska. The largest sporting event in the state is the Iditarod dog sledding race. The largest seal colony, which comprises more than one million seals, is Pribilof Island in Alaska. Alaskan Polar and Kodiak bears can grow huge to 1400 pounds and up to 11 feet tall. Growing to 1350 pounds, moose in Alaska can also grow antlers up to 6 feet wide. Whispering in a moose hunter’s ear while they are on the hunt is illegal in Alaska. While poison oak and poison ivy are found in the rest of the US states, Alaska has none of them. The Chugach in the Southcentral and the Tongass in the Southeast are the two largest forests in the country, and both are located in Alaska.


Alaska is home to many natural wonders


The Aurora Borealis or northern lights can be seen in Fairbanks an average of 243 days a year. It is prohibited to wake a sleeping bear just to take a photograph, although shooting bears is legal in Alaska. 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the nation are in Alaska. This includes Denali, the highest North American peak. More than 100 volcanoes and volcanic fields are in Alaska and they have been active within the last 2 million years. Alaska is home to more than half of the glaciers in the world, with around 5 percent of the state covered by 1000 plus glaciers.