51 Things About New Mexico You Probably Didn’t KnowThings can get a little crazy in the The Land of Enchantment.
1. The enchilada crafted at the “Whole Enchilada Fiesta” in Las Cruces holds the world record for largest enchilada.
3. Dancing while wearing your sombrero is illegal in New Mexico.
4. According to Washington Times, New Mexico has more Ph.D.s per capita than any other state, mostly due to the many government and private research facilities that call the state home.
5. Smokey Bear was invented in New Mexico after the Capitan Gap fire of 1950, which burned 17,000 acres of land.
6. Carrizozo has a vendetta against body hair, as it’s illegal for any woman to appear unshaven in public.
7. Even though Pluto is no longer a planet, its discoverer was New Mexican Clyde Tombaugh.
8. More chili peppers are born in New Mexico than all other states combined.
9. The World Shovel Race Championship is held every year in Angel Fire, N.M.
10. Modern day New Mexico wine can be traced back to the early 1600s, making it the oldest known wine production in North America.
11. The Santa Fe staple, Tia Sophia’s, claims to be the first to invent a breakfast burrito, dating their menu item back to 1975.
12. Due to its explicit nature, roughly 400 words were ordered to be removed from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” by New Mexico Officials.
13. Albuquerque has more than 300 local hot air balloons, making it the hot air balloon capital of America with more than any other city.
14. Averaging roughly 12 people per square mile, New Mexicans are greatly outnumbered by the livestock in their state.
15. Carlsbad Caverns are truly massive, with one chamber alone stretching over 3,000 feet with a height at some places of 22 stories.
16. The first town in New Mexico was Elizabethtown, which has since become a ghost town in Colfax County.
17. While attempting the world’s longest skydive over New Mexican airspace, Felix Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier without engine powered assistance.
18. One of the reasons the Yucca is New Mexico’s state flower is due to its high level of utility, functioning as a material for baskets, ropes, and footwear.
19. The Mile High City, Denver, has nothing on New Mexico, as Santa Fe is 7,000 feet above sea level, making it the nation’s highest capital. The highest point in New Mexico is Wheeler Peak at 13,000.
20. The self-guided bullet, capable of hitting laser-designated targets more than a mile away, is a product of New Mexico’s Sandia Labs.
21. Next time you stay at a Hilton, remember that Conrad Hilton, the founder of the hotel chain, was born in San Antonio, N.M.
22. And the next time you snap an instant photo, remember it’s not a good thing to shake your Polaroid. Just ask New Mexican Edwin H. Land, the inventor of this product.
23. Around 75 percent of the roads in New Mexico aren’t paved. It’s not a necessity, as roads aren’t travelled very frequently and there’s not enough moisture to cause them to disappear.
24. With more than 30 pounds of green chili, Gallup, N.M. holds the world record for the world’s largest Navajo taco.
25. Claims have been made that the pillow of goodness, the Sopapilla was first devoured in the Albuquerque area 200 years ago.
26. In 1607, roughly 13 years before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, Santa Fe was founded, making it the second oldest town in current day America. It was originally founded as La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis, but its name was changed in 1610.
27. Bandera Ice Cave is believed to be over 3,000 years old, dating back to 1100 B.C.
28. A third of New Mexicans speak Spanish while at home.
29. At over 8,000 feet, the Capulin Volcano is so tall that five states can be seen from the top: New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
30. According to New Mexican law, “idiots” are not allowed to vote. They don’t really give a clear definition of who gets included in that definition.
31. The first atomic bomb ever detonated was set off near Alamogordo in 1945. The site is now known as the Trinity Site.
32. Though the total area of the state is relatively large at 121,665 square miles, it only has 250 square miles of surface water.
33. Santa Fe’s Governors Palace is the oldest government building in the country.
34. Though you rarely hear about it, one of the only attacks on American soil within the last 100 years occurred when Pancho Villa of Mexico crossed the border and attacked Columbus, N.M. in 1916.
35. Despite being one of the longest inhabited areas in the United States, New Mexico was only the 47th state to join the country.
36. More uranium was produced in Grants, N.M. than anywhere else in America during the wars of 20th century, leading it to be dubbed the “uranium capital of the world.”
37. Before achieving his fame at Tombstone, Doc Holliday ran a dentist office in Las Vegas, N.M.
38. New Mexico really is part of the Wild West, with outlaws like the murderer Billy the Kid once calling it home.
39. The lowest temperature ever recorded in New Mexico was -50 degrees, while the highest was 122, making it one of the largest ranges in any state.
40. The actor who plays the womanizing Barney Stinson, Neil Patrick Harris, is an Albuquerqueian.
41. While New Mexico ranks first in alcohol related automobile crashes, it ranks 25th in crash fatalities.
42. Around 1,000 official reports of UFOs are made each year in New Mexico.
43. The White Sands National Monument isn’t actually sand at all, its white gypsum crystals.
44. The Great Gold Rush may not have happened, had it not been for Jose Ortiz striking gold in Delores, N.M., an event that was a key factor in spreading American populations out west.
45. Some of the livable buildings in Taos Pueblo, N.M. are over 900 years old, one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas of America.
46. The Gila National Forest is the largest in the country.
47. Colfax County’s NRA Whittington Center is the most comprehensive shooting range in the country.
48. Famous for the exploits of his “Entourage,” Adrian Grenier is a famous New Mexican.
49. The ski lift on the slopes of the Sandia Mountains is 7,500 feet long, making it one of the longest in the world.
50. There’s a Las Vegas, N.M. and it was the largest city in the state 100 years ago. It’s quite different than Sin City and also home to the country’s oldest functioning well, Hay Springs Well.
51. Philmont Scout Ranch is home to the world’s largest camping facility accommodating 18,000 scouts every year. One of the oldest states in the country, New Mexico has plenty of history to go around. However, there are also new awesome things happening there every day. Once you visit, you’ll never want to leave.
What’s your favorite fun fact about New Mexico? Tell us in the comments below!