Most of us have heard the usual facts about Alaska.  We decided to make a list of things about Alaska most people haven’t heard!

Honey Buckets:  The TV shows focus on outhouses, what about the honey buckets?  Many village and remote cabins don’t have indoor plumbing.  A honey bucket is the solution for not having to go outside to do your business.  It’s nothing more than a 5 gallon bucket that accepts your deposits.  If you want to make things more luxurious, they can even be fitted with a special toilet seat.  I hope I don’t need to tell you how it got its name.

Honey_bucket

honey bucket empty

Whale Hunting:  Whale hunting is globally prohibited.  Did you know that certain communities of Alaska’s Natives are still allowed to hunt whales?  The Spring and Fall whale hunts help preserve their traditions and feed their communities.  Let’s face it, indigenous people are not responsible for whales becoming endangered species.  They’ve successfully and responsibly managed their natural resources for thousands of years.

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Floating Strip Club:  In the town of Kodiak, an old crab boat named the “Wild Alaskan” has been re-purposed  into a floating strip club!  Kodiak is the perfect town for a business like this, full of fishermen who go out to sea for extended periods of time and return with pockets full of cash.

wild alaskan strip club

Alaska’s North Slope is a Desert:  Consisting of 14% of Alaska’s land the North Slope receives less moisture than the Mojave Desert.  What makes the North Slope unique is that most of it is wetlands.  There’s a layer of permafrost that keeps any moisture at or near the surface.  It’s can also be very windy, when a snow flake falls it could actually land miles upon miles away.  During the summer months, the bugs will drive you clinically insane  (I’m really not exaggerating), so a stiff breeze is welcomed.

north slope

Easternmost & Westernmost Points in the United States:  You’re right, this doesn’t make any sense!  It’s true on the basis of a technicality.  The Aleutian Island Chain stretches to the Western Hemisphere at 180* Longitude marking the Westernmost claim.  The Aleutians Chain also stretch across 180* Longitude marking the Easternmost claim.

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Road Kill Programs:  Nothing goes to waste in Alaska.  Most Alaskan towns on the road system have a road kill list.  Put your name on this list to receive an animal that has lost it’s life to the highway.  Applicants prioritize the necessity for the meat and those with highest priority are called first.  To put things in perspective, a moose carcass can yield hundreds of pounds of meat and feed several families.   In larger towns, local charities recover the road kills and and it goes to shelters and other food programs.  When the Troopers catch some one who is harvesting fish and game illegally the confiscated meat gets donated to charities.

Moose-Road

Japanese Occupation:  During WWII the Japanese attacked and occupied Kiska and Attu Islands in the Aleutian Chain.  This was only the second time an enemy force has occupied American soil.

kiska

Extreme Tides:  Cook Inlet in Southcentral Alaska has the largest tidal range in the United States and fourth largest in the world at 30 feet.  The factors for these extreme tides are geographic position and shape along with the moon and sun’s gravitational pull.  They can be extremely dangerous and people have lost their lives on the beaches when the tide comes back it.  There’s also a rare phenomenon called a bore tide that happens in Turnagain Arm.

cook inlet

Earthquakes & Volcanos:  Alaska sits on the Northern edge of the Ring of Fire and plate tectonics is the reason for all this activity.  Alaska is home to 80% of all active volcanoes in the United States and 8% on the earth.  There are also about 50-100 earthquakes per day and 3 of the 10 largest earthquakes in the world happened in Alaska.

augustine

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HAARP:  Built in the 1990’s, scientists call it a High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program to enhance military communications.  Conspiracy theorists believe it’s much more than a research facility.  It’s commonly blamed for everything from earthquakes to influencing weather, let’s not forget BRAINWASHING!  If you’re coming into Alaska the gates are on the Tok Cutoff of the Glenn Highway.

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Our foil hats kept us from being brainwashed at the gates of HAARP.
Our foil hats kept us from being brainwashed at the gates of HAARP.

Largest Oil Field in the Unites States:  Located on the North Slope of Alaska, Prudhoe Bay is 213,543 acres and is also the largest oil field in North America.  The 800 mile long Trans Alaska Pipeline was built to transport the oil to the port town of Valdez.  Prudhoe Bay provides over 10,000 jobs (on and off the Slope).

Ben's Canon 003

Wildlife exists around the oil fields.
Wildlife exists around the oil fields.
When the sea ice goes out there's also jobs for boat captains.
When the sea ice goes out there’s also jobs for boat captains.

School Loan Forgiveness:  Yes, that’s correct!  The most common jobs for loan forgiveness are for medical professionals and teachers.  The requirement is usually that you need to work in an under served or remote location.  If you have a thirst for adventure, there might be a job for you in Alaska.  This is one of the many reasons we came to Alaska.

The Land of Seasonal Jobs:  Alaska is full of job seasons.  The obvious one is the tourism industry during the summer months.  There are also jobs that revolve around the different fishing seasons.  When the ocean freezes over (making transportation easier) work ramps up on the North Slope oil fields.

One of my deck hands puking off the bow of the boat on his first trip in the Gulf of Alaska.  With will and perseverance he overcame seasickness and was an awesome deckhand.
One of my deck hands (summer job) puking off the bow of the boat on his first trip on the Gulf of Alaska. Through willpower and perseverance he overcame seasickness and was an awesome deckhand.

Guns, Guns, & More Guns:  It’s probably no surprise, Alaskans are well armed.  Over 57% of Alaskans own guns and there are more guns in the state than there are residents.  Alaska is also a state where you can legally carry a concealed weapon, you’re also allowed to drive with loaded and concealed gun.  It will make you think twice before breaking into someone’s house or road raging.  Please note: If you’re ever pulled over by law enforcement tell them, [it should be the first thing you say] you’re armed and where the gun is located.

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Pilot Bread:  A very versatile and popular cracker found in many homes and cabins across the state.  Alaskans are one of the largest consumers of Sailor Boy Pilot Bread.

pilot-bread

Private Pilots:  With so much remote and inaccessible land Alaska’s home to six times as many pilots and 16 times as many aircraft per capita when compared to the rest of the United States.

Lake Hood

The Keyboard:  Alaska is the only state whose name can be spelled on one row of the keyboard!

I know you just tested it our for yourself!
I know you just tested it out for yourself!

 

We hope you enjoyed our not so usual list!  Please feel free to add any other unusual facts in the comments, we’d love to hear them!

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