150+ Creepy Facts About Michigan


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150+ Interesting Facts About Michigan

  • Michigan has 36,350 miles of rivers.
  • With over 150, Michigan has the most lighthouses of any U.S. state.
  • Detroit is known as the car capital of the world.
  • Alpena is the home of the world’s largest cement plant.
  • Rogers City boasts the world’s largest limestone quarry.
  • Elsie is the home of the world’s largest registered Holstein dairy herd.
  • Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world.
  • The painted turtle is Michigan’s state reptile.
  • Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska.
  • The Ambassador Bridge was named by Joseph Bower, the person credited with making the bridge a reality, who thought the name “Detroit-Windsor International Bridge” as too long and lacked emotional appeal. Bower wanted to “symbolize the visible expression of friendship of two peoples with like ideas and ideals.”
  • Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.
  • Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights.
  • Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore.
  • Colon is home to the world’s largest manufacture of magic supplies.
  • The state Capitol with its majestic dome was built in Lansing in l879.
  • Although Michigan is often called the “Wolverine State” there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan.
  • Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations.
  • The Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit manufactured the first air-conditioned car in 1939.
  • The oldest county (based on date of incorporation) is Wayne in 1815.
  • Sault Ste. Marie was founded by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668. It is the third oldest remaining settlement in the United States.
  • Michigan produces more than 300 commodities on a commercial basis.
  • California, Michigan and Washington are among the top three states in the U.S. for asparagus production. Asparagus has numerous health benefits including weight loss and improved digestion.
  • In 2018, Michigan was among the seven states that produced over 10 billion pounds of milk.
  • Michigan and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that offer 10 cents back for recycling a can.
  • Traverse City, a city in Michigan, is known as “the cherry capital of the world.”
  • The Ambassador Bridge, which is a suspension bridge, connects Detroit, Michigan, U.S. and Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The bridge is economically important as it is the busiest international border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume. The bridge is the only privately-owned US-Canada crossing.
  • Michigan also has the world’s largest limestone quarry located near Rogers City. It is operated by Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company.
  • In 1846, Michigan became the first English speaking government to abolish the death penalty for all ordinary crimes.
  • Michigan is the 16th largest chemical producing state in the U.S., generating $2.5 billion in annual payroll. Every light car produced in the U.S. contains more than $3,500 of chemical products.
  • Apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop in Michigan. The state has 11.3 million apple trees. Michigan is the third largest apple producing state in the U.S.
  • The Detroit Zoo in Detroit, Michigan hosts more than 1.5 million visitors annually. This makes it Michigan’s largest paid family attraction. It is home to more than 2,000 animals of 230 species. Moreover, it was the first zoo in the United States to use barless exhibits extensively.
  • he world’s largest specimen of float copper was discovered in 1997 on the Quincy Mine claims near Hancock, Northern Michigan by the two landholders when they were searching their property with a metal detector. The specimen was approximately 14 feet long and 12 feet wide, with thickness up to 17 inches. The specimen is estimated to be worth at least $100,000.
  • The first auto traffic tunnel built between two nations was the mile-long Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River.
  • The world’s first international submarine railway tunnel was opened between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada in 1891.
  • The nation’s first regularly scheduled air passage service began operation between Grand Rapids and Detroit in 1926.
  • In 1879 Detroit telephone customers were first in the nation to be assigned phone numbers to facilitate handling calls.
  • In 1929, the Michigan State Police established the first state police radio system in the world.
  • Grand Rapids is home to the 24-foot Leonardo da Vinci horse, called Il Gavallo, it is the largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Michigan has the world’s largest weather vane. It is 48 feet tall with an arrow 26 feet long.
  • Harriet Quimby, born in Arcadia, Michigan was the first woman to gain a pilot’s license in the United States. In 1912, she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
  • Michigan is home to the National Museum of the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen consisted of African-American and Caribbean- born pilots who fought against the Axis powers in World War II. The pilots were known for their aerial combat bravery and helped turn the tide of the war in favor of the Allies. The Tuskegee Airmen formed the 477th Bombardment Group and 332nd Fighter Group of the USMA. The museum is located in Warren — part of the outskirts of Detroit.
  • Interestingly, the state is also credited with building the world’s largest snowball measuring 10.04 m in circumference. It was built by the students from ASME Michigan Technical University in Houghton, Michigan on March 29, 2013.
  • Did you know that the largest sandwich ever made in the world was prepared by Wild Woody’s Chill and Grill, Roseville, Michigan, on 17 March 2005? Now, are you interested in knowing how big it was? Here are its other dimensions: it was 0.44 m thick, 3.6 m long and 3.6 m wide. And it weighed 2467.5 kg.
  • Comparatively, Michigan has more surface area than Illinois (one of its bordering states) but has less population.
  • Michigan is also known as “Motor City” because it is a hub for car manufacturing since the early 1900s.
  • Mount Arvon, the state’s highest point lies in the Upper Peninsula. More than 40% of the state is covered in water, which is more than any other state.
  • The state is also home to 360 bird species including the rare Kirtland’s warbler.
  • Dearborn, Michigan, boasts the largest Arab-American community in the nation. The city features the first Arab-American museum in the country with plenty of exhibits, cultural displays, and literary, artistic, and sculptural works of art. The area also showcases a full variety of Arab and Arab-American owned grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, entertainment venues, and mosques.
  • Michigan also has a mail delivery boat—J.W. Westcott II–which delivers mails to ships while they are waterborne. It is the only floating ZIP code in the United States. It is addressed “Vessel Name, Marine Post Office, Detroit, Michigan, 48222.”
  • Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan is one of the top 30 public universities in the United States. It was founded in 1855 and today it is one of the largest universities in the United States. It is the top most university in the nation for an undergraduate program in the supply chain.
  • In addition to being the state capital of Michigan, Lansing is home to 25-foot tall pencils along the Lansing Community College Sculpture Walk. Students, faculty, and alumni made these giant pencils around the college in appreciation of art and learning. These pencils are iconic, aesthetically-pleasing, and reinforce the fact that Lansing is an excellent center for schools, colleges, and higher learning institutions.
  • Did you know that Michigan is the most expensive state for buying car insurance? According to Insure.com, a Michigan car insurance policy averages $2,611. And Maine ($845) is the cheapest in this regards.
  • Westland, Michigan, is truly an ice skating paradise for tourists and locals. In fact, the city boasts an incredible ten outdoor skating rinks — among the most in the nation. Westland features several cafes, stores, and ice sculpture exhibitions in the area. The best time to visit this city is, of course, during the winter season but you have to bundle up!
  • Did you know that it took 6 years to complete the Michigan Capitol Building? The building has more than nine acres of hand-painted surfaces.
  • Standing anywhere in the state a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.
  • Michigan includes 56,954 square miles of land area; 1,194 square miles of inland waters; and 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water area.
  • Sault Ste. Marie was established in 1668 making it the oldest town between the Alleghenies and the Rockies.
  • Michigan was the first state to provide in its Constitution for the establishment of public libraries.
  • Michigan was the first state to guarantee every child the right to tax-paid high school education.
  • Four flags have flown over Michigan – French, English, Spanish and United States.
  • Isle Royal Park shelters one of the largest moose herds remaining in the United States.
  • Some of the longest bulk freight carriers in the world operate on the Great Lakes. Ore carriers 1,000 feet long sail Michigan’s inland seas.
  • Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in Michigan after Detroit, was rated as one of the 20 best livable cities in the U.S. The city takes its name from Grand River, which happens to be Michigan’s largest inland river.
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan, was once a significant hub for furniture manufacturing with over 40 reputable companies. Still known as “Furniture City,” Grand Rapids does manufacture all types of residential and commercial furniture year-round. This includes hand-crafted wood furniture and accessories for homes, offices, and other establishments. However, this industry has taken a backseat to beer and spirits manufacturing.
  • In 1945, Grand Rapids became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water. The move was made to help fight tooth decay.
  • The state is also the birthplace of “Motown Records”, which is one of the most successful soul music companies.
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is regarded as among the top six museums in the United States. The museum has over 100 galleries. It is also amongst the most visited art museums in the world.
  • Sterling Heights, Michigan, was once the Rhubarb capital of the world. In fact, the city — before it was a city — had one of the largest rhubarb farms in the state. Today, wild rhubarb still grows around the city but not as much as it once did. This is due to all the development in the area as the city continues to grow and expand. Still, the love for the popular fruit- vegetable remains in Sterling Heights and surrounding areas.
  • Livonia, Michigan, is considered one of the worst speed trap cities in North America. In fact, the town was listed #2 in this category by the National Motorists Association (NMA) in 2012. While this might not fare well with out-of-towners and tourists, this distinction has put Livonia on the map as one of the safest cities for automotive transportation in the nation.
  • The state is also home to the headquarters of three major automobile manufacturing companies (General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC, and Ford Motor Co.) in the world.
  • Michigan has one of the world’s longest suspension bridges – the Mackinac Bridge. It is five miles long and connects the Upper Peninsula to the other parts of the state.
  • The first factory to assemble cars on a moving assembly line – the Highland Park Ford plant – is in Michigan. In 1978, it became a National Historic Landmark. This place was the second production facility for Henry Ford’s famous Model T. The famous Henry Ford Museum is also situated in the state.
  • Michigan also has the nation’s longest freshwater coastline (3,288 miles), and second-longest coastline of any U.S. state, after Alaska.
  • The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cageless, open-exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom to roam.
  • Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office. The J.W. Westcott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while they are still underway. They have been operating for 125 years.
  • Indian River is the home of the largest crucifix in the world. It is called the Cross in the Woods.
  • Seul Choix Point Lighthouse in Gulliver has been guiding ships since 1895. The working light also functions as a museum, which houses early 1900s furnishings and maritime artifacts.
  • Forty of the state’s 83 counties adjoin at least one of the Great Lakes. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes.
  • The Upper Michigan Copper Country is the largest commercial deposit of native copper in the world.
  • The 19 chandeliers in the Capitol in Lansing are one of a kind and designed especially for the building by Tiffany’s of New York. Weighing between 800-900 pounds apiece they are composed of copper, iron and pewter.
  • Michigan has an estimated 65,000 inland lakes and ponds. This puts any person in the state within a distance of six miles from a natural water source.
  • According to the Guinness World Records, Michigan is also home to the world’s tallest identical twins Michael and James Lanier (USA) (b. 27 November 1969) from Troy, Michigan, both stand 2.235m (7ft 3in). Their sister Jennifer is 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in) tall.
  • The name of the state is derived from the word michi–gama (a Chippewa word), meaning “large lake.”
  • Michigan has its border with four (Superior, Huron, Michigan, and Erie) of the five Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario).
  • Michigan is the only state in the U.S which consists of two peninsulas – the Lower (mainly an industrial area) and Upper Peninsulas (sparsely populated but mineral-rich).Ann Arbor, Michigan, is home to the iconic chewing gum wall. This wall on East Liberty Street was painted in 1999 by artist Katherine Cost as a form of free expression. Also known as “Graffiti Alley,” one of the walls is entirely layered by used chewing gum. Sticking chewing gum on the wall is a tradition that has grown in popularity since 1999 and is enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.
  • The state is also home to Kellogg Company, the world’s leading ready-to-eat cereal producer. Battle Creek is one of the leading producers of cereal in the U.S. The city is nicknamed “Cereal Bowl of America”.
  • Agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism are the major revenue generating industries of the state.
  • The completion of the first railroad in Michigan took place in 1836 and the first air passenger service was flagged off in the state in 1926.
  • The state is also home to the world’s largest cement manufacturing plant. The Huron Portland Cement Company started producing cement in Alpena in 1908.
  • Flint, Michigan, is home to the Flint Institute of the Arts. The Institute is the second-largest art museum in Michigan and one of the largest art instruction schools in the nation. With courses in graphic design, illustration, web design development, literature, music, and liberal arts, the Institute continues to attract students from across the country and the world.
  • It is also an interesting fact to note here that the architect of the capitol – Elijah E. Meyers – is the only architect to design the capitol buildings of three U.S. states, Michigan, Texas and Colorado.
  • Michigan State Capitol is one of only 13 capitol buildings across the country that is officially designated as a national historical landmark.
  • The Michigan State Football team has won 6 national championships (1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965, and 1966).
  • In 1817 the University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states. Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.
  • The city of Novi was named from its designation as Stagecoach Stop # 6 or No.VI.
  • Michigan State University has the largest single campus student body of any Michigan university. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the state and one of the largest universities in the country.
  • Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first land-grant university and served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.
  • The largest village in Michigan is Caro.
  • Michigan’s state stone, The Petoskey is the official state stone. It is found along the shores of Lake Michigan.
  • The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, it spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinac, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took 3 years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.
  • Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and became the 38th president of the United States He attended the University of Michigan where he was a football star. He served on a World War II aircraft carrier and afterward represented Michigan in Congress for 24 years. He was also was an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.
  • The Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry.
  • The western shore of Michigan has many sand dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes rise 460 feet above Lake Michigan. Living among the dunes is the dwarf lake iris the official state wildflower.
  • Vernors ginger ale was created in Detroit and became the first soda pop made in the United States. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to serve our country in the Civil War. When he returned, 4 years later, the drink he had stored in an oak case had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.
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