9 Quirky Facts About Southern California That Sound Made Up, But Are 100% Accurate
So, you think you know Southern California? Well, we love nothing more than to surprise you with interesting things and
fun facts that you never knew. Speaking of the latter, here are some quirky facts about Southern California that even locals might think we made up, but trust us, it is all true.
1. Dinosaurs liked Southern California best
Well, we can’t really say what they liked or didn’t like as far as location, but California is number one in the country, the state with the most dinosaur fossils, and many of them have been discovered in Southern California. In fact, collections at
La Brea Tar Pits
- one of the most famous locations for fossils in the entire world - are estimated to contain at least 3.5 million items and digging hasn’t stopped! Could it be that the sun, sand, and sea of SoCal were as much of a draw in prehistoric times as it is now?
2. The biggest California State park is a desert in SoCal
When hearing the words "Southern California" and "park," almost no one would imagine a desert. But as it turns out, the largest state park is indeed the 60,000-square-acre Anza-Borrego Desert.
3. You can go from the desert floor to a snow-covered mountain peak in just 10 minutes
Believe it or not, there is a cable car - the
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
- that will whisk you up 6000 feet from the desert to the Mount San Jacinto State Park. The ride takes just 10 short minutes and comes with spectacular 360-degree views as you ascend the canyon.
4. Los Angeles’ iconic palm trees were imported from Mexico
This is something even many native L.A. residents don’t know. Those tall, slender palms lining the streets that have come to symbolize the city were essentially part of an enormous marketing plan. Over 40,000 of these
were brought from Mexico and planted along streets to help sell Los Angeles as an exotic, Mediterranean-type vacation destination.
5. Beverly Hills was originally a lima bean ranch
That’s right, the most prestigious community in Southern California, home to the rich and famous, used to be a humble farm called Hammel and Denker Ranch, with vast fields of lima beans.
6. There is a beach in the desert made up of fish bones.
In the Southern California desert lies a strange saline lake known as the
. The salt levels are so high that fish die in droves and at least part of the shoreline is a beach that resembles sand but is actually crushed fish bones. This is definitely Southern California’s most bizarre beach.
7. A Columbian Mammoth skeleton was “accidentally” discovered in Southern California
In 2006, a project began to build a new underground parking garage at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. While digging for the garage, an almost-complete skeleton of a male Columbian Mammoth was unearthed, along with hundreds of other fossils. The Mammoth was nicknamed Zed and is now at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.
8. The fortune cookie originated in Los Angeles
Actually, both Los Angeles and San Francisco take credit for the invention, but it was definitely started in California. This unique crescent-shaped cookie that is served with - and as far as we know, only with - Chinese food, was not invented in China. The Los Angeles claim is that the cookie was invented in 1918 by the founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company, David Jung.
9. Los Angeles once produced 25 percent of the world’s oil supply
In the late 1800s, oil was discovered beneath the city of L.A. and in the 1920s, the city became one of the world’s major suppliers of crude oil.
Some of these facts seem too strange to believe, don’t they? Did you know all of these things about Southern California? What are your favorite fun facts about SoCal? Share with us in the comments. Maybe you will surprise us this time!
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