Nevada is a haven for weird, wacky and wonderful phenomena, from strange sculptures to even stranger sightings (you saw that UFO too, right?). Beyond the offbeat, out-of-date laws and bizarre art installations, here are 13 of the strangest things have ever happened in Nevada.
1. Miss Atomic Bomb Pageants
During the atomic age of the 1950s, above-ground nuclear testing and showgirls were the two most explosive spectacles in Las Vegas. Atomic pageants became a thing in 1952, with attractive showgirls in atomic-themed costumes as the contestants.
2. Unintended Formation Of Fly Geyser
Someone was probably steaming after a well-drilling mistake led to the formation of a geothermal geyser in 1964. To top it off (or not top it off, as the case may be) Fly Geyser was never properly capped. , Located about 20 miles north of Gerlach, the red and green mound is colored by thermophilic algae. It regularly spews hot water up to five feet in the air.
3. Alien Conspiracy Theories At Area 51
Many people claiming to be former employees at Area 51 have said the facility houses aliens: Bob Lazar said he worked on an alien spacecraft; In the 1996 documentary “Dreamland,” a mechanical engineer claimed he worked with an extraterrestrial; and Dan Burish said he worked on cloning alien viruses.
4. The Extraterrestrial Highway
Due to many reported UFO sightings along State Route 375, Nevada officially christened the highway running between Alamo and Tonopah as The Extraterrestrial Highway. The strange 1996 naming ceremony featured actors and crew from the film “Independence Day.”
5. Alien Mailbox
A rancher living out near Area 51 and Groom Lake was so tired of receiving mail addressed to aliens that he installed a large mailbox on his property along The Extraterrestrial Highway for out-of-this-world correspondence.
6. Armpit Of America
Battle Mountain was labeled as the Armpit of America in a 2001 Washington Post article. Instead of sweating it, the town ran with the title, even hosting an annual Armpit Festival from 2002-2005. The festival was sponsored by Old Spice.
7. The "Bite" Fight
During the 1997 WBA Heavyweight Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, presumably hungry boxer Mike Tyson took a nice, big bite out of opponent Evander Holyfield’s ear. Tyson was fined millions of dollars and temporarily lost his boxing license. The two later made amends with the help of Oprah.
8. Las Vegas Strip Not Actually In Las Vegas
The 4.2-mile, world-famous Las Vegas Strip is technically located south of Las Vegas city limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester.
9. Prostitutes Give Presidential Endorsement
Workers at Nevada's Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel in Mound House went Pimpin’ for Paul in 2008 and 2012 when they endorsed Libertarian Ron Paul for president. Now they are Hookers for Hillary, endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
10. Two Places At Once
The Cal Neva Resort & Casino in Lake Tahoe is split across the California/Nevada border in Lake Tahoe. The state line runs through the main dining room and pool. When the resort was open, visitors could eat and swim in two places practically at once.
11. A Glowing Headstone
There have been many reports of a strange, glowing headstone in the Silver Terrace Cemetery in Virginia City. Some believe the glowing light is from a ghost who is roaming the cemetery rather than the headstone itself.
12. Former Mob attorney Elected Las Vegas Mayor
Known for having a martini in hand and two showgirls by his side, former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman got his career start as a criminal defense attorney defending notorious mobsters. As mayor from 1999-2011, Goodman revitalized downtown Las Vegas by reducing crime, among other things.
13. Peeing On The Berlin Wall
In the men’s restroom at Main Street Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, three urinals are mounted on an authentic, graffiti-covered slab of the Berlin Wall. It's the No. 1 way to stand up and take aim at Communism.