8 Unusual Things You Probably Didn’t Know Happened In Arizona
Enjoy learning new things about Arizona? That’s actually one of the things I love about writing these articles: I learn something new every day, whether it’s finding a new restaurant to try out for dinner or something unique that makes our state stand out from the 49 others. If you enjoy that as well, I think you might like today’s article in which we’ll learn 8 strange occurrences that make living here incredible.
1. In 1927, MGM’s mascot “Leo the MGM Flying Lion” survived a crash landing in Arizona during a publicity tour.
Originally named Jackie, this was the studio’s second lion and the roar you recognize at the beginning of many classic films. On a flight from San Diego to New York, the customized plane carrying the lion crashed near the Bear Flat campground in Rim Country. Both the pilot and Leo survived the crash and initially survived on a diet of milk, sandwiches, and water. The dazed pilot spent nearly a week trying to find his way to a telephone to report the crash, leaving the lion locked in his cage. Once the pilot contacted the studio, locals helped him rescue Leo from the wilderness and deliver him to Payson to be transported back to California.
2. In 2009, Bullhead City came under fire after turning off the eternal flame memorial to veterans after receiving a $900 bill for the gas use.
Ouch! That bill was $961 and was turned back on after a myriad of complaints from veterans groups who helped pay to install the memorial.
3. The last known wild jaguar to live in the United States has been spotted here in Arizona and has been called El Jefe.
The huge cat once roamed significant portions of the Americas, including up into California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, until American settlers began hunting the animals down to non-existence. In 1963, the last known female jaguar was killed in the White Mountains by a hunter, and a male jaguar named Macho B. was killed in 2009 by a former Game and Fish subcontractor. El Jefe was caught on video in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson and revived hope into the possibility of revitalizing this population in Arizona.
4. The biological father of Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, was tracked down to a Glendale bicycle shop in 2013.
Ted Jorgenson had no idea that his son grew up to be one of the richest people in the world, at first asking the journalist if his son was still alive.
5. The Cardinals are the oldest, continuously run pro football team in the country.
Other fun facts about the Cardinals: The Cardinals came to Arizona from Saint Louis in the 1980s but were originally founded in 1898 as the Chicago Cardinals. The team was named after the color "cardinal red" rather than the bird.
6. In 2005, four students from Phoenix’s Carl Hayden Community High School won the national underwater robot championship, beating prestigious institutions like MIT.
7. Interstate 19 between Nogales and Tucson is the only U.S. highway that uses metric distance on all of its mileage signs (except for the speed limit signs, which read as miles per hour).
In fact, as the transportation department replaces out-dated signs, community members prefer the oddball signs.
8. Montezuma Well near Camp Verde is known for its naturally high levels of arsenic as well as its hidden water source.
The sinkhole/well continuously flows with water and despite scientific methods of trying to find the starting source, it still has yet to be found.
Want to read some other interesting facts about Arizona? Check out
Here Are 10 Things They Don’t Teach You About Arizona In School!
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