Bella Vida by Letty

Wacky and Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Florida


Wacky Florida

Florida is a fun and wacky place to live.  Here are some wacky and interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Florida.

– The first color undersea photographs were taken in the Florida Keys and were used in the January 1927 National Geographic

– The first game of billiards played in the U.S. was in St. Augustine in 1565. The Spaniards were the first to bring the game to the US.

– Venice, Florida has the world’s only professional clown school. Clown College was the brainchild the owner of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  The wanted to teach a particular “Ringling Style” of clowning with an accent towards broad and slapstick type humor.

– Speaking of Venice, this town is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World. 

– The first cigar factory in the U.S. was established in Key West in 1831.  The cigar factory was established by an Englishman, Mr. William H. Wall, who boasted “the very best Tobacco from Havana.”

– Speaking of Key West, there is supposedly a crypt there inscribed “I told you I was sick.”

– Once a year thousands of Floridians stand at the state line and toss dead fish into Alabama. It’s called the annual Mullet Toss.

– Florida’s State song is called Old Folks at Home written by Stephen Collins Foster in 1851.  He never saw the Suwannee or visited Florida  but the popularity of the song initiated tourism to Florida to see the river and since 1935 it has been the official state song of Florida.  I bet you’ve heard it before.  But did you know the controversy around it.  The song was originally written for a New York black face troupe and the lyrics are considered so offensive and prejudiced they have been changed.

– Clearwater city of Florida has the highest rate of lightning strikes, per capita, in the whole of USA.

– The first bank ATM was installed in Miami for rollerbladers.

–  Here’s a big eye opener.  Florida is not the southernmost state in the United States, Hawaii is farther south.

– Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where it was first developed.

– A museum in Sanibel owns 2 million shells and claims to be the world’s only museum devoted solely to mollusks.

– Plant City, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, holds the Guinness record for the world’s largest strawberry shortcake. The 827 square-foot, 6,000 pound cake was made on Feb. 19, 1999 in McCall Park.

– Elvis Presley performed his first indoor concert at the historic Florida Theatre in 1957. Presley’s show was monitored by a judge to ensure his hip shaking didn’t get too racy.

– The phrase “cool as a cucumber” originates in Florida. On a hot Florida day, the pulp of a cucumber can be up to 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding air. 

– The Florida Everglades are the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist. 

– Miami was a popular place for pirates to visit and bury their treasure. Famous pirates such as Gasparilla, Blackbeard and Lafitte were regular visitors and caches of gold, silver and treasure have been uncovered on and off land in the Miami area.

Did you know any of these wacky Florida facts?  Do you have any to add to the list?


“Almost everything strange washes up near Miami. ” Rick Riordan

“I live in Florida, and when people ask how close to the beach I am, I say, “Twelve minutes or twelve hours. Depends on which beach you want to go to.” Jarod Kintz

 “I grew up in Florida, where if you weren’t comfortable dancing, you weren’t going to get any girls.” Channing Tatum


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