Countries Facts

12 Amazing and Interesting Facts About California

interesting facts about california
Written by Alizay Khan

From pink snow to a tree older than the pyramids, California is a pretty amazing place to visit. Today, we look at interesting facts about California.

interesting facts about california

No ladies nights

If you’re looking to open a bar or club in California and want to bring in more women with a ladies night in hopes that this, in turn, will attract more customers. Sorry to break it to you but that’s not allowed due to two prominent cases of gender discrimination, interesting facts about California.

The California Supreme Court ruled that ladies nights are not fair to men. The law was first instituted in 1985, and in 2007, a group of men sued a nightclub called Century Supper Club for unethically, charging men a higher price for admission than women. They won the case, and the verdict only further enforced the court’s initial ruling. Sorry, ladies, you’ll have to look elsewhere for discount drinks.

interesting facts about california

Far west fortune

 Where was the fun philosophy filled after night? Fortune cookies created Beijing. Shanghai. How about right here in the United States? It turns out that these confections filled with ancient Chinese secrets are an American invention. Just like two other popular Chinese American restaurant cuisines, Chop suey and cashew chicken. The fortune cookie was invented in California sometime around the turn of the 20th century. And it was based on a Japanese dish. But which California city it was first created in is a topic of debate, interesting facts about California.

See, Chiquito from Los Angeles has claimed that he was the one who perfected them and sold them to Chinese restaurants throughout California. But most signs point to the real inventor being Makoto Hagiwara of San Francisco. In 1983, federal courts ruled that Hagiwara was likely the inventor. Though the people of Los Angeles still dispute the evidence, 

interesting facts about california

Grizzly state

 California goes by many names the land of milk and honey, the grapes state and the Eldorado state. But mainly it’s known as the Golden State. This hasn’t always been the case, though. When it originally became a state, it was known as the grizzly bear state because of it being the main habitat of the distinct California grizzly bear. Sadly, these bears became extinct from overhunting, deforestation and human encroachment on the Bears territory since the last one was seen alive in 1924.

There has not been a single sighting of any type of another grizzly bear in California, which is crazy because at one point there were over 10,000. So instead of being reminded of the majestic creature that no longer dwells in its forests, California changed its nickname to the Golden State as a tribute to the gold rush of 1849. The California grizzly is still is the state animal down and ordains the state flag, interesting facts about California.

Another fun fact about the flag is that it was partially designed by William Al Todd, who was the cousin of Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd. 

interesting facts about california

Hollywood land

 Most people know that the iconic Hollywood sign used to say Hollywood land, but the sign wasn’t originally meant to be a monument to the film capital of the world like most people believe. In actuality, the sign was first built as a marketing point. The design was commissioned in 1923 by Harry Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times and real estate developer, to draw attention to a segregated, upscale community called Hollywood Land.

The sign cost 21,000 dollars and originally blinked. Lighting up each of the three parts of the word in succession, it was only meant to last 18 months, but people in Los Angeles fell in love with it. So it was left up. In 1949, it was decided that land should be removed to represent all of Hollywood because of the temporary nature of the sign. It started to deteriorate.

Interesting facts about California, in 1979 contributions from the public, including a large sum donated by Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner. The sign was replaced with a replica better built for permanence. 

interesting facts about california

Identity crisis 

California has one of the richest histories of any state, though you might not have guessed it, due to its West Coast location. Throughout its history, the territory has been claimed or been part of five different countries. The first European who set foot in California was Ron Rodriguez Cambria in 1542, and he believed that California was an island separated from the American mainland, which was believed for over two hundred years. In 1579, the famed English explorer Sir Francis Drake landed nearby what would become San Francisco claiming the area for England.

Though some speculate whether he was ever in California at all, the Spanish went on to establish their claim to the land in 1769 by building a series of 21 monasteries along the coast of California and establishing the settlements that would become cities like San Jose and Los Angeles. In 1821, Mexico gained its independence from Spain and the New Mexico territory, which included California and became part of the new nation. Only twenty-five years later, in 1846, the American colonists in Northern California rebelled against Mexican rule and declared themselves the independent country of the Bear Flag Republic.

This independence wouldn’t last long as the Mexican-American War started the same year when the war was over, interesting facts about California. In 1848, Mexico was forced to hand over California to the United States, and in 1850, California became the thirty-first state 

interesting facts about california

Highs and lows

 California has some of the widest-ranging varieties of terrain in northern America from the sandy beaches of San Diego to the thick, temperate forests, to the redwood forest, to the desert region of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that both the highest elevation and lowest elevation in the contiguous United States are found in California, interesting facts about California.

The highest point is that of Mount Whitney, which has an elevation of fourteen thousand five hundred five feet. Remarkably, the lowest point in the United States is less than 85 miles away. At the Badwater Basin in Death Valley, Badwater Basin has an elevation of two hundred and eighty-two feet below sea level, which makes it the eighth-lowest point in the entire world. Death Valley is also known for recording the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet, interesting facts about california

At a sweltering one hundred and thirty-four degrees Fahrenheit, four fifty-six point seven degrees Celsius. 

interesting facts about california

Top trees

 The redwood forest of Northern California is home to some of the most breathtaking vegetation in the entire world. When you visit, it seems as if you’ve been transported back in time to prehistoric or another world where humans are the size of insects. The forest is home to the world’s tallest tree, known as the Hyperion. This towering coast redwood is three hundred and seventy-nine feet tall, which makes it almost seventy-five feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Though you won’t be able to visit this natural wonder easily as its location remains a secret for it to remain undisturbed, Yantai Period. In the right place, there is an area called the Avenue of Giants, which is home to 60 per cent of the world’s tallest trees. As far as the biggest tree, California has that, too. In central California at Sequoia National Park, there is a tree named General Sherman, which is the biggest tree by volume in the world. It is two hundred and seventy-five feet tall and close to 40 feet in diameter at its base.

If you want to go back in time. California is also home to the two oldest trees in the world. At the ancient bristlecone pine forest in the White Mountains of eastern California sits the runner up, aptly named Methuselah, a 4849 years old bristlecone pine. This means that the tree is older than the Egyptian pyramids and is only slightly younger than Stonehenge, interesting facts about California.

Methuselah was thought to be one of the oldest trees until a nearby tree has yet to be named, was found in 2012 and has an estimated age of a ridiculous 5,067 years. Over 200 years older.

interesting facts about california

Cali Cash 

California is known for being the most populated state in the United States, but the fact about its population and how much of an economic powerhouse the state is can be quite shocking. If you do the math, you will find that California’s current population of almost 40 million means that one out of every eight people in the United States lives in California.

Its population is also larger than all of Australia or Canada, interesting facts about California. If you compare the population of Los Angeles as if it were a state, it would be the fourth largest state in the country. If you take California’s 2.5 trillion dollars economic output and put it up against the output of every country in the world, it would be the sixth-largest. Just ahead of Brazil and France, 

interesting facts about california

Avoiding Edison

 Hollywood has been the home to the motion picture industry for over 100 years. But how did it become that way? What drove filmmakers to sunny Southern California? It wasn’t all about the beautiful beaches. Most of it was to avoid the clutches of one man, Thomas Edison. In the early days of movie technology, most films were made on the East Coast, in New York or New Jersey, where Edison lived.

Edison had invented several innovative devices for film and owned most of their patents to assure that he would receive compensation for his inventions. He banded together with the inventors who owned other filmmaking technologies and formed the MP PC or Motion Picture Patent Company. The company’s sole purpose was too strong-arm filmmakers into signing expensive licensing agreements for using their equipment, interesting facts about California.

So to avoid these fees, filmmakers sought refuge in California, where patent law was more relax and far away from the mob goons that the NPC ad hired to enforce their contracts. Thus, Hollywood was born 

interesting facts about california

Mayoral Milkbone

California has elected some interesting political candidates over the years from Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor to Clint Eastwood as mayor of Carmel. But none compares to what the town of Sunil did in 1981. They elected a dog as mayor. Basco Ramos’ was a black Labrador Rottweiler mix who liked to hang out at the town’s favourite bar. He was beloved as a mascot for the town, when a few friends jokingly entered him into the race for mayor and he became a legend. Bosco ended up beating two human candidates and went on to serve 13 years as town’s mayor until he passed away in 1994.

Throughout his time in office, he led parades, attended all special ceremonies and became world-famous. He was featured on the NBC Nightly News after an article on him was published in a Chinese newspaper called The People’s Daily. The article is written in order. To subvert the American idea of democracy by pointing out that if a dog could be elected, the system of free elections was flawed, this backfired.

However, as after the protest at Tiananmen Square, Bosco joined in on a protest in San Francisco’s Chinese embassy and became a symbol of democracy. After his passing, the citizens of soon all erected a statue of him to pay tribute to the best dog mayor in California’s history.

interesting facts about california

Strange snow above the tree line in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain

There is a strange phenomenon, reddish-pink snow that looks as if it was a watermelon snow cone. Researchers have been puzzled by the strange hue of the snow for hundreds of years. Some thought it was oxidation products leached from the rocks or meteoric iron deposits but using modern chemical analysis techniques, we were finally able to pinpoint the cause.

A species of snow algae called KEMET ammonia novelis that is common in cold climates. The combination of the red carotenoids pigment that the algae contain and the pollen of the whitebark pine soaks into the snow and gives it a unique colour. The snow also reportedly smells and tastes somewhat like watermelon, though consuming too much of it can give a person diarrhoea. If you step in the snow or rub it on your hands, it will leave a stain that is dark red and look similar to blood, which had to spoof the first settlers that trek to the mountains. 

interesting facts about california

Forced sterilization 

You think that widespread government eugenics programs would be something you’d only find in 1940s Germany, right? Well, it turns out that the Germans were inspired by the system of forced sterilization that was practised in California for years from 1909 to 1979. California forcibly sterilized over 19,000 people. These sterilizations were done to eliminate potentially dangerous or unfit traits from the gene pool.

They were performed sometimes unbeknownst to the patients on everyone from criminals and disabled people to people considered promiscuous or below-average intelligence. Thankfully, after a series of influential court cases, the government ended all forced sterilization programs.

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Alizay Khan

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