The state of Texas has cultivated a distinct personality over the years, and with good reason.
For many Americans in the other 49 states, The Lone Star state most likely conjures up images of fanatic football fans, insanely delicious barbeque, and wild rodeos.
While those elements and true and thus already solidifies the state’s awesomeness, here are seven awesome facts about Texas that you didn’t know.
What’s in your backyard?
You’ve most likely heard the saying “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and Texans take it to heart.
While cats and dogs are the traditional American house pet, Texans have upped the ante.
Today, there are more than 2,000 tigers living in Texas and most of them are kept as pets.
If that doesn’t make your head spin, maybe the fact that Texas is the second largest home for tigers next to India.
There is something special about Texas Football
There’s a fine line between fandom and fanaticism. Texas is home to over 1,305 high school football stadiums.
Some of these only have a holding capacity of just over 100 attendants, while others are breaking records (54,000 attendants to be exact).
Since 2010, there have been over 60 stadiums built in the state.
The rest of the world can fight over who’s the best at soccer, but when it comes to high school football, Texas reigns as the king of the hill.
Which side are you on?
Texas has been under the rule of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy and the United States.
Because of this, there is a stereotype that most Texans see themselves as Texans first, and Americans second. While this stereotype is untrue, it is not unfounded.
There are Texans who see themselves as Texans first, but it’s not in the demographic that you might expect, which are young and Hispanic voters.
No really, things are bigger in Texas
It’s larger than any European country, would be the 40th largest country if it was a country of its own, and is the largest state in mainland United States and second only to Alaska as the overall largest.
On top of that, it’s home to over 11 million cattle, has more farmland and home to more crude oil than any U.S. state.
Unsung Cowboy Heroes
We all know stories about Billy the Kid and Wild Bill, but very few know about the African American cowboys who hailed from Texas.
This includes former slave turned songwriter and cattle drover Charlie Willis, the notorious Texas Kid (known to cause vandalize segregated saloons), and Charlie Willis, and rodeo performer Bill Pickett.
Anthropologists estimate that the earliest sign of human inhabitants in the land that is now known as Texas dates roughly 37,000 years ago.
An ancient burial site discovered in 1953 called, “Midland Minnie” dates back to a civilization that existed about 12,000 years ago.
The descendants of these peoples are thought to be the various Native American groups that exist in Texas today.
Keep Austin Weird
The state’s capital has a personality of its own outside of Texas’ already rambunctious reputation.
The “Live Music Capital of the World” has been the hangout spot for legendary musicians such as Chuck Berry and Janis Joplin, and is even known to be frequented by non-American musicians such as former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant.
In addition to having dozens of live shows every night, the annual South by Southwest event hosts over 2,000 bands and over 28,000 attendees alone.
Did you know what Texas has some awesome tea as well? Check it out here.