5 Cool Facts We Bet You Didn't Know About Arkansas

On June 15, 1836, Arkansas became the 25th state to join the Union. To celebrate the anniversary of this historic event, here are 5 cool facts we bet you didn't know about the state officially nicknamed "The Natural State".

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It Is Illegal To Mispronounce “Arkansas” While In Arkansas It's illegal to pronounce "Arkansas" wrong. In 1947, in an effort to safeguard the heritage of the state, Arkansas enacted legal code 1-4-105, which states, “The only true pronunciation of the name of the state … is that received by the French from the native Indians and committed to writing in the French word representing the sound. It should be pronounced in three (3) syllables, with the final ‘s’ silent, the ‘a’ in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables. The pronunciation with the accent on the second syllable with the sound of ‘a’ in ‘man’ and the sounding of the terminal ‘s’ is an innovation to be discouraged.”

Arkansas Is The World Capital Of A Variety Of Things Numerous cities in Arkansas take pride in being the world capital of a variety of different things. Alma, Arkansas claims to be the capital of spinach, going so far as to erect a statue of Popeye the Sailor. Hope, Arkansas, claims to produce the world's largest watermelons where a mere 260 pounder doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Mount Ida is home to the world capital of quartz crystals, Mountain View is home to folk music, and Pine Bluff is the world capital of archery bow production.

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Arkansas Produced Some Of The Biggest Diamonds On Earth Crater of Diamonds State Park in Pike County, Arkansas, is the only remaining active diamond mine in the United States, and one of just two in the country's history. Today, Crater of Diamonds mostly serves as a tourist attraction where tourists can prospect for their own gemstones. In fact, Arkansas is home to the three largest diamonds ever discovered in America—diamonds that are among the largest ever discovered on Earth. The Strawn-Wagner, discovered by Shirley Strawn in 1990 is currently on permanent exhibit at the Crater of Diamonds tourist center and is widely regarded as the world's first perfect diamond.

Arkansas Is Home To Two Particularly Bizarre Phenomena Arkansas is home to two bizarre occurrences. The first is referred to as the Dover Lights, an unexplained illumination that happens in an empty valley in the Ozark Mountains. According to legend, the lights are generated by the restless spirits of Spanish soldiers who died searching for treasure. The second odd occurrence is more terrestrial in nature. The Fouke Monster, also known as the Southern Sasquatch or the Beast of the Boggy Creek, was brought to global attention in 1971. The bothersome cousin of Bigfoot, rumored to be seven feet tall, three feet wide, 300 pounds, and covered in hair, has been accused of destroying Arkansan livestock and crops.

Arkansas Invented Cheese Dip Cheese dip is considered to be an important part of Arkansas’s food culture. Little Rock holds the World Cheese Dip Championship annually, which makes sense since cheese dip was invented there by Blackie Donnelly at his Mexico Chiquito Ark-Mex restaurant in 1935 in North Little Rock. Cheese dip is served pretty much in every nook and cranny restaurant of The Natural State.