Iowa June 22, 2015
13 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Iowa
Think you know everything about Iowa? Well think again. Even if you have lived here all of your life, at least one of these 13 facts about Iowa will probably surprise you.
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1. Iowa means "beautiful".
The state of Iowa got it's name from the Ioway people, one of the region's native tribes. Their chief, White Cloud, is shown above. According to an early pioneer, the state got its name when the Native Americans saw the land and started saying: “Iowa, Iowa, Iowa,” which meant “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.”
2. Hogs outnumber people 4 to 1.
With 3 million people in the state, that means Iowa is home to around 12 million hogs.
3. The Red Delicious apple originated in Peru, Iowa
The Red Delicious apple originated at an orchard in 1880 and was known as "a round, blushed yellow fruit of surpassing sweetness." The modern day Red Delicious apple is far different from the original apple.
4. Iowa has the highest literacy rate.
At 99%, Iowa boasts the highest literacy rate in the nation. Iowa also consistently scores among the highest in ACT and SAT scores.
5. Elk Horn in the largest Danish settlement in the United States.
Elk Horn is home to The Danish Immigrant Museum and is known as a center of Danish ethnicity. Elk Horn is also home to the only authentic, working Danish windmill in the United States.
6. Iowa is home to the National Hobo Convention.
The town of Britt is home to the National Hobo Convention as well as the Hobo Museum which is the only museum that dedicates itself to the hobo way of life.
7. Iowa has an island.
Despite being landlocked, Iowa has its own island - Sabula, which is located on the Mississippi River. It is home to about 560 people.
8. Iowa has the third highest motorcycle ownership in the nation.
Iowa ranks third in the nation for highest motorcycle ownership. That amounts to 18 people for every motorcycle.
9. Iowa has produced nearly 20 Olympic athletes.
From Shawn Johnson to Lolo Jones to Dan Gable, Iowa has produced nearly 20 Olympic athletes.
10. The first female lawyer was from Iowa.
Arabella Mansfield of Burlington became the first female lawyer in the United States in 1869. She is shown in the bottom center of the picture above.
11. Iowa is the largest producer of pork, corn and eggs in the nation.
It is not surprising that Iowa is the number one producer of pork and corn, but Iowa is also the largest producer of eggs and ethanol, as well as wind energy.
12. The first computer was created in Iowa.
The Atanasoff-Berry computer, created at Iowa State University in 1937, was the first automatic electronic digital computer.
13. Iowa used to have giant sloths.
About 10,000 years ago, there were giant sloths in Iowa. These giant sloths grew to be up to 17 feet tall and weighed a whopping five tons. They can now be found on exhibit at the Museum of Natural History at the University of Iowa.
What are some more surprising facts about Iowa? Share them with us in the comments section below!