South Dakota July 04, 2019
8 Insane Things That Happened In South Dakota You Won’t Find in History Books
There is no arguing that South Dakota is an incredible state with a fascinating history, but did you know that part of our history is – dare we say – downright insane? From unbelievable laws to questionable practices, there are several aspects of SoDak history you may have never learned about or read in state history books, including the following weird facts:
1. Starting with one of the silliest laws that you won't find in history books: it is illegal to fall asleep in a cheese factory...
But, sleep in your car (when you aren't driving, of course)? Yes, that's fine. Up in a tree? No prob. In a cheese factory? No thank you, you are going to JAIL.
2. ...Or to allow your horse into Fountain Inn without pants.
It is a dignified place, after all.
3. You know that Mount Rushmore took 14 years and more than one million dollars to build, but do you know what that would amount to today?
In this day and age, a million dollars doesn't seem like a whole lot (especially when you are building a monument or structure of any sort), but when you factor in inflation (from 1941 to 2019), it comes to a whopping $17,421,224.49.
4. With a record-breaking 244,000 acres, the Badlands contains one of the richest fossil beds in the world!
5. Images from space are processed right here in South Dakota!
All of the pictures taken from the Landsat satellites are processed at the US Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center, near Sioux Falls. Do you want to get an even better look at this data center? You're in luck, as guided tours are offered Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m!
6. If you watched Chernobyl, you may feel a little uneasy by the fact that the Flaming Fountain on South Dakota State Capitol Lake is fed by a natural gas-infused artesian well.
No need to worry, folks, as the natural gas only makes it glow (and will not wipe out the entire area, as it did in the factory accident)!
7. South Dakota is home to the country's largest music festival.
Don't worry; this event isn't nearly as rowdy as Coachella. It is the Christian music LifeLight Festival, which welcomes nearly 350,000 attendees every year.
8. Finally, the Homestake Mine in Lead was so rich in gold that it was, at one time, the largest mine in the country.
Even crazier is that Homestake originally opened in the late 1800s and didn't close until 2002!
Did any of these tidbits come as a surprise to you? Do you know of any other weird facts about South Dakota? Let us know in the comments! For even more weird South Dakota history, read up on
These 8 Crazy Laws in South Dakota Will Leave You Scratching Your Head In Wonder.