Here are 30 interesting facts about Utah.

1-5 Utah Facts

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1. On September 11, 1857, in Utah, between 120 and 140 men, women and children were killed, when southern Utah’s Mormon settlers attacked and slaughtered a wagon train with the help of local Indians, the bodies were stripped of belongings and sold off at local auctions for profit. – Source

2. Utah has been giving free homes to homeless people since 2005 which since then made it more cost-effective to help the homeless and cut the chronic homelessness in Utah by around 74%. – Source

3. A 106-mile portion of I-70 in Utah has no gasoline or exits. It is the longest portion of the US Interstate system without services. A station at one end sells about 30 gas containers a week to people who run out on the highway and walk to the station. – Source

4. In 1916, a man mailed a “building” to Utah. He needed to build a bank, but his construction materials were 126 miles away. He packaged 80,000 bricks into boxes and mailed them. They got there, but the US postal service was not amused. – Source

5. Pando is a grove of aspen trees in Utah that is actually a single organism with 40,000 stems (trunks). Some experts believe that Pando may be up to a million years old. – Source

6-10 Utah Facts

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6. In 1991, a 5.5 ft. tall “super-slasher” Raptor skeleton was discovered in Utah. – Source

7. A geneticist at Utah State University has created “spider-goats.” He took the gene that encodes dragline silk from an orb-weaver spider and placed it among the DNA that prompts milk production in a goat’s udders. The silk produced is stronger than Kevlar and is suitable for ligament repairs. – Source

8. Teddy Roosevelt’s son, Ted, was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading the first wave of US Soldiers attacking Utah Beach on D-Day. He volunteered for the assignment and had to walk with a cane due to WWI injuries and a heart condition. He was the oldest man in the first wave at age 56. – Source

9. Mormons love Jell-O so much that it is Utah’s official state snack food and the biggest region where Mormons live is called the “Jell-O Belt”. – Source

10. Iranians still use the ancient form of air conditioning called the badgir. It is a tower with vents on top and allows cool air to accelerate down into a building. Zion National Park in Utah has a modern example of this, where temps reach over 100 F, the visitors center stays cool at 73 F. – Source

11-15 Utah Facts

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11. There once was a flamingo who lived around the Great Salt Lake in Utah. His name was Pink Floyd, and he escaped an Aviary in 1987. He was last seen in 2005 in Idaho. – Source

12. Utah, despite being known as one of the most religious and wholesome states, ranks number one out of all fifty states in online p*rn subscriptions. – Source

13. Bartenders in Utah must prepare drinks behind a curtain called a “Zion Curtain” to combat excessive drinking. – Source

14. In 1996, a small town in Utah mistakenly booked rage against the Machine at a venue for tractor and monster truck shows. The locals panicked and businesses boarded up thinking the band’s followers would riot and vandalize everything. – Source

15. Utah brought back firing squad as an execution method in 2015 when they had a shortage of lethal injection drugs. – Source

16-20 Utah Facts

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16. In 1968, over 6,000 sheep suddenly died near the Skull Valley Indian Reservation in Utah. It was later revealed that this was due to nerve agent testing by the US Army. – Source

17. The first non-white player in the NBA was Wataru Misaka an Asian American from Utah. – Source

18. At least seven peaks in Utah are called ‘Mollies Nipple’ and at least some of those names are attributed to John Kitchen, a pioneer who named them to commemorate a nipple of his wife. – Source

19. Several schools in Utah banned students from wearing the phrases “Drug-Free” and “Stay sober” due to a violent straight edge subculture. – Source

20. There’s a “virtual reality theme park” being built in Utah where players wear sensors on their head, hands, torso, and feet which allow them to play a VR game in a physical space in real time. Players can interact with physical objects and other people as well as digital objects. – Source

21-25 Utah Facts

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21. In the town of Virgin, Utah a law was passed which required every homeowner to keep and maintain a firearm. – Source

22. More Utahns died in 2013 from prescription drug overdose than car wrecks, and that Utah has the 8th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the US. – Source

23. A single atomic nucleus appeared over Utah in 1991 with the kinetic energy equivalent to a baseball traveling at 60mph. It was such a shock to astrophysicists that they called it the Oh-My-God particle. – Source

24. Utah’s was ruled by Brigham Young as a theocracy and its application for statehood was denied for 50 years until 1890 when it was admitted as a state on the condition that its new state constitution contains a ban on polygamy. – Source

25. There is a small town named “Mexican Hat” in Utah because there is a rock formation that resembles a man wearing a sombrero. – Source

26-30 Utah Facts

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26. In every October from 1971-1997, The Utah State Mental Hospital would hold a “Haunted Castle” with real patients as actors. – Source

27. John Wayne and 90 other people involved in making the 1955 film “The Conqueror” on location in Utah are believed to have contracted cancer from A-bomb tests that were occurring in nearby Nevada. – Source

28. Beginning in 2011, silver and gold coins are able to be used as legal tender according to their weight and not the face value in Utah, the only state to do so. – Source

29. Nazi prisoners of war were sent to Salinas, Utah, where they worked on farms and in factories to help the allied forces and were fed and clothed very well. Around 8,000 Germans and 7,000 Italians were sent to Utah – Source

30. The tallest American freestanding structure west of the Mississippi isn’t a skyscraper; it’s a 1,200-foot smokestack built over a copper smelter in Utah. – Source

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Last Update: September 28, 2017