1. There exists in Seattle a mystery coke machine that, according to legend, never runs out of pop. But no one knows who—or what—refills the machine. It also has a mystery button that spits out a surprise soda. The machine even has a Facebook fan page
2. Eastern Washington is one of the few states included in American Redoubt, a movement created by best-selling author James Wesley Rawles. He designated the multi-state region in the northwest as safe haven territory in a post-apocalyptic and or martial law situation.
Source: Funny Zombie Apocalypse Memes via Facebook
3. Gary Larson of The Far Side was born in Tacoma. He got his start drawing cartoons for Seattle-based publications and supplemented his early income by working as a cruelty investigator for the Humane Society.
4. In “Bridges of Madison County,” Meryl Streep’s character has an affair with a National Geographic photographer who hails from Bellingham, Wash.
5. The State of Washington is the second in the United States to legalize recreational use of marijuana.
6. Washington exports 70 percent of the nation’s hops, helping happy hours everywhere.
Source: 12 String Brewing Co. via Facebook
7. The first UFO was purportedly photographed in Lake City, just north of Seattle.
8. Father’s Day was the result of one pioneering woman’s efforts, Senora Smart Dodd, from Spokane. She wanted to honor her father who was a Civil War veteran. Despite her efforts and the backing of two presidents, Father’s Day didn’t become a federal holiday until 1972.
9. Seattle’s Pike Place Market is rumored to be the most haunted place in Washington. But those claims see a bit fishy... boom! Yeah, I went there.
10. It’s also home of what surely must be the biggest collection of human DNA in the U.S. The Gum Wall is literally covered with chewed up and discarded bubblegum.
Source: Flickr user Joe Ruiz
11. Would you like sugar in your sexpresso
? If so, Washington has just the barista for you. The concept of a bikini-clad or lingerie-clad barista originated in Seattle in 2000 and has developed quite a popular following.
12. Washington has a storied past with serial killers, many of whom either hailed from the state or spent time living there. Kenneth Bianchi (the “Hillside Strangler”) spent time in Bellingham working as a security alarm installer. Ted Bundy was from Tacoma and spent time as a UW law student. And those are just two.
13. And speaking of murder, the university student Amanda Knox—who was accused, convicted, acquitted, and then convicted again by an Italian court—hails from Seattle. Yay?
14. With 43,000 acres of vineyards, Washington is the second largest premium wine producer in the U.S.
15. Clallam County is home to Dungeness Spit, the world’s longest natural sand spit, which stretches 5.5 miles along the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula.
Source: Flickr user Anupam_ts
16. Dungeness crabs, those succulent crustaceans that are prized by Washingtonians, have a gastric mill inside their stomach—a tooth-like grinding apparatus—that helps them to digest their food.
17. The San Juan Islands are known for having the largest concentration of Bald Eagles in the continental U.S.
18. Killer whales also call Washington home. In fact, researchers have logged more than 300 killer whales in the Washington and British Columbia waters. These “wolves of the sea” have no natural predators themselves and hunt in packs. But the wild ones aren’t really killers. In fact, there have been very few wild killer whale attacks, and none of those reported were fatal.
Source: Flickr user NOAA Photo Library
19. Two of the 23 players for the U.S. team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup call Washington home. DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey (captain) both play for the Seattle Sounders FC.
20. Beloved TV show host Bob Barker, who hails from Darrington, Wash., spent most of his childhood on a Native American reservation in South Dakota and he is listed as an official member of the Sioux tribe.
21. The Ginkgo Petrified Wood Forest has an astounding 50-plus species of petrified wood, including Douglas fir, walnut, elm, spruce, maple, sassafras, and witch hazel, among others.
22. The 268-ft. waterfall, Snoqualmie Falls, appeared in the cult TV series Twin Peaks, directed by David Lynch.
Source: Flickr user joiseyshowaa
23. Seattle, a city known for being overcast much of the year, leads the nation in sunglasses sales.
24. Adam West, who plays an animated version of himself on “Family Guy” and “The Fairly OddParents,” was born in Walla Walla.
25. In a state known for its liberal leanings, Washington is actually the birthplace of conservative radio host Glenn Beck. While most known for his political commentary and non-fiction writings, Beck actually has a few fiction thrillers under his belt as well.
26. Aside from water access, Whidbey Island is accessible only by one bridge—the Deception Pass Bridge—which is one of the most photographed landmarks in the Puget Sounds region.
Source: Flickr user Sheila Sunday
27. Washington is home to several rockers, including Jimi Hendrix, Bing Crosby, and of course, Kurt Cobain.
28. Washington State is one of the largest suppliers of apples in the world. The Red Delicious accounts for 48 percent of apples exported to other countries.
29. And speaking of apples, the original logo for Apple Inc. looked nothing like it’s current iteration. It was super old-timey and featured Isaac Newton reading underneath an apple tree.
30. The Rhododendron Species Foundation and Botanical Garden in Federal Way contains more than 10,000 rhododendron species, including that of the state flower, the Coast Rhododendron.
Source: Flickr user Allie _Caulfield
31. Fifty-seven people were killed in the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption, considered to be the deadliest volcano eruption in U.S. history.
32. “USA Today” once named Walla Walla as the “friendliest small town in the U.S.” The town is also known for its sweet onions and proliferation of wineries (there are a whopping 100 wineries compared to 30,000 residents).
33. The Fremont Troll which sits underneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge is clutching a VW Beetle with a California license plate.
Source: Flickr user John Henderson
34. The “Mayor of the City Dump” was J.P. Patches, a clown portrayed by Seattle-based Chris Wedes on KIRO. Wedes hosted the show twice daily for 13 years straight. That has to have set some kind of record.
35. Seattle gets a bad rap for being a rainy city but it actually receives less rainfall than Atlanta, New Orleans, and New York.
36. Washington is a leader in employment in the technology industry. And with household names like Boeing, Gates, and Schultz, it’s no surprise.
37. The foraging banana slug, the largest land mollusk in the U.S. and a native of Washington, can grow up to 9 inches long.
Source: Flickr user Linda Tanner
38. Workers in Seattle commute via the bike more than in any other U.S. city.
39. The 9,000 year-old skeleton, Kennewick Man was discovered in Washington.
40. According to the EPA and the American Lung Association, Bellingham is one of the cleanest cities in terms of air pollution in the nation.
41. The larger-than-life hat and boots south of Seattle were originally constructed to be part of a cowboy-themed gas station.
Source: Flickr user Seattle Municipal Archives
42. And the man who wears those probably also owns the World’s Largest Frying Pan, which stands 14 feet tall in Long Beach.
43. Washington has its very own Gravity Hill 10 miles northeast of Prosser. See what happens when you set your car in neutral near the word “start” that is written on the ground.
44. Robot collectors can rejoice at the Robot Hut in eastern Washington, which is home to one of the largest robot collections, including replicas of metallic sci-fi characters and toy robots.
45. The Wave was started by University of Washington Husky fans.
46. Built in 1961, the Space Needle in Seattle is the first revolving restaurant in the U.S.
Source: Flickr user Nicola
47. Spokane is home to HoopFest, the largest three-on-three basketball tournament in the world.
48. Washingtonians are some of the least religious people in the country. Church membership in these parts is lower than anywhere else in the nation.
49. Pictionary, Pickle-ball, and Cranium were all invented in Washington.
50. Mount Saint Helens is the site of several Bigfoot sightings over the years.
Feature Image Source: Flickr user MIGreenberg