The northernmost U.S. state certainly has a flair for quirkiness, but that’s what makes it all the more intriguing. From serious moose laws so bizarre you’ll think it’s a joke (it isn’t) to youth-inspired art that’s reached national fame, Alaska proudly preserves and protects its precious land.
Check out the three weirdest yet irresistibly endearing facts about Alaska.
You Must Let Sleeping Bears Lie – And It’s a Law That Moose Can’t Fly
Literally. While Alaska takes great pains to protect their wildlife, especially their bears, bear hunting is legal in Alaska in both fall and spring. There are, however, some instances where disturbing a bear is not permitted. Like if you wake it up to take its picture. Yes, there is actually a law in Alaska that forbids anyone from waking up a snoozing bear for a photo op. While it may sound bizarre, we think this is rather considerate of Alaska to respect a bear’s need for sleep!
Along the same lines of odd wildlife protection laws, the ways in which people can interact with moose are also heavily scrutinized in Alaska. The weirdest moose laws prohibit pushing a moose out of an airplane, viewing a moose from a plane, and giving a moose alcohol. In case you were getting any ideas – don’t.
Alaska Produces Mutant Fruits & Vegetables
You may not think of Alaska as a fertile place to plant a garden, but the prolonged sunlight hours in the summer result in some bizarrely large produce. In the Land of the Midnight Sun, fruits and veggies have been known to reach sizes of epic proportions thanks to roughly 20 hours of sun exposure in the summer months!
Growers show off their freakishly large spoils at the annual Alaska State Fair; a 138-pound cabbage, a 65-pound cantaloupe, a 35-pound broccoli, and pumpkins as tall as reindeer have all made appearances. This state fair has been known to boast some vegetables so big, they wind up in the Guinness Book of Records. Just ask Scott Robb, a local Alaskan grower who’s claimed five vegetable world records – one of which is that outlandishly-sized cabbage!
A 13-Year Old Designed the State Flag
In the late 1920s, Alaska held a competition for children in 7th to 12th grade to design the state’s flag. Benny Benson, who was living in an orphanage at the time of the competition, entered his sketch in the contest along with 141 children. His design of a yellow Big Dipper and the North Star (representing Alaska as the northernmost state) against a navy-blue background (representing the sky and the locally-favored forget-me-not flower) clinched first place. He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and a gold watch engraved with his flag’s design for his efforts. The flag flew for the first time on July 9, 1927, and has been flying ever since.