I just learned a bunch of facts about Florida I want to share. Florida has so much more to it than beaches and Disney World – though I admit that all of my visits since becoming a parent involve beaches and Disney World. LOL
1. Florida is not the southernmost U.S. state in the United States. Hawaii is. However Key West Florida is the southernmost point in the continental US.
2. The first underwater photos were taken in the Florida Keys in 1927, and were published in National Geographic Magazine. Florida is a popular SCUBA diving destination, especially for wreck divers. Between them, Broward and Palm Beach Counties have created over 265 artificial reefs.
3. Florida has several state critters: the Florida Panther, Manatee, Mockingbird, Alligator, and Largemouth Bass. Alligators can be found in in EVERY body of water in Florida. Swamps, canals, ponds, ditches, creeks, rivers, swimming pools, stormwater drains, if there is water it can be a habitat for an alligator.
4. Florida produces more than 90 percent of America’s orange juice. The state boasts nearly 600,000 acres of citrus groves and more than 74 million citrus trees, but they are still second in production behind Brazil. Florida is the world’s number one producer of grapefruit though.
5. Florida has mermaids! At Weeki Wachi Springs you can see a live underwater mermaid show. The show has been running since 1947 after Navy veteran Newton Perry, who trained Navy Frogmen to swim underwater, bought the land surrounding the spring. He built a submerged theater and invented an air hose method for breathing underwater, then trained his mermaids to perform.
6. Florida is known as the Fishing Capitol of the World.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Staff explains WHY Florida is the fishing capital of the world: “Florida is the “Fishing Capital of the World” because of its great resources and responsible management. The diversity of sport fishes, habitats, great weather, year-round fishing and superb tourism and fishing industry-related infrastructure are unsurpassed. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and our partners encourage you to enjoy a relaxing day in the great outdoors with your family and friends. This website provides basic tips about how to have a fun, safe experience while helping us conserve our aquatic resources for tomorrow. It highlights quality fisheries throughout Florida that comprise more than 7,700 lakes, 10,550 miles of rivers and 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline. With all those areas teeming with fish, we can’t list them all, but you are always within reach of a place to “wet a line.”
I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida over the years. I’ve lived there in several cities along the east coast, Miami, West Palm Beach, Melbourne Beach. I competed in the Florida Skydiving League for a year, jumping in Sebastian, Deland and Pahokee. I played 8 hours of tennis a day for 6 months while the yacht I was working on was having a refit at Rybovich in West Palm Beach.
What’s your favorite fact about Florida?