They say everything is bigger in Texas, but things are a little weirder in the Lone Star State, too. After all, Texas is the second most populated state, so it’s sure to have its quirks here and there. It’s just surprising how many weird things you may not know about this state.
Yes, you know where Texas is on a map, you know its cuisine, and you know that Austin is the capital of live music and amazing barbecue. But did you know that Texas has an official state dinosaur? Well, it does! And the state is actually a goldmine for paleontological finds. Texas has a few other particular oddities, like its own dialect of German, the United States’ fastest highway, and the only town on Earth named after Earth.
Yeah, it’s just like we said. Texas is a little bit weird. But that’s OK! Plenty of other states are a little weird too. (We’re looking at you, California and Florida!) But if you think these previously mentioned facts are a little funky, it’s nothing compared to the other weird things about Texas.
DISH, Texas, used to be called Clark. In exchange for renaming the town DISH, its couple hundred residents received free basic television for 10 years and a free digital video recorder from Dish Network. DISH, Texas, no longer gets free television from Dish Network — but the town name is still on, and it’s one of the quirkiest town names in America.
In order to be allowed to hold public office, the law states you must first acknowledge the “existence of a Supreme Being.” We’re not quite sure how this is constitutional (perhaps because it’s broad enough), but it’s definitely one of the weirdest laws in America.
Do you happen to be in Austin and spot a Sasquatch? Don’t worry — it’s perfectly legal to shoot and kill a Bigfoot in Texas. Just make sure it’s really a mythical creature first and not, like, your neighbor’s dog.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Wikimedia Commons
The 1900 Galveston Hurricane devastated the Texas port city in September 1900. Between 6,000 and 12,000 people lost their lives. The city had an elevation of 8.7 feet, and the storm brought a surge of over 15 feet.
In Fredericksburg, Texas, you’ll hear a distinctive dialect of German. No surprise, it’s called Texas German. It’s spoken by descendants of German immigrants who settled in Texas in the mid-nineteenth century and includes words like “stinkkatze” (meaning skunk). This particular language is just one of the things that makes Fredericksburg one of America’s towns that feel just like Europe.
Texas can feel like another world sometimes, but nope, it’s on Earth.
Texas State Highway 130 (better known as the Pickle Parkway) has a 41-mile section that has a marked speed limit of 85 mph. You can drive that whole stretch in under half an hour!
Tornadoes can happen in Texas any month of the year. In fact, Texas has an average of 132 tornadoes per year. That’s one tornado roughly every three days.
They don’t call it Tex-Mex for nothing! The official state dish of Texas is chili. If you want to try your hand at making this heartwarming dish at home, consider these 15 chili recipes.
Want something sweet after that hearty chili? Why not try a slice of the state dessert of Texas, pecan pie.
What plate of Tex-Mex is complete without chips and salsa? None! And that’s why this iconic duo is the official state snack of Texas.
The Paluxysaurus Jonesi is the official dinosaur of Texas! This cousin of the Brachiosaurus is named for the town of Paluxy, Texas, and Jones Ranch, where fossils of this sauropod were discovered.
If the federal government wants build a park or fence or anything in Texas, it has to ask the state’s permission first.
But this isn’t necessarily a slight on the Texan people. You see, Norwegians watched a lot of Western films, so they associate the Southern (and Texan) lifestyle with wild action and fun or “crazy.”
Though one may think the state motto is “Don’t Mess With Texas,” it is not! It’s just “Friendship.”
Fort Worth is home to a life-size wax recreation of da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” that you can walk up to and take a photo of. The statues are complete with real human hair. And yes, it is the weirdest roadside attraction in the state.
And it has six residents. Never one for growing, Guerra reported a population of 100 in 1914, 75 in 1968, and 15 in 1990. The post office, which has been run by one family for three generations, also functions as the town museum. Even though Guerra is microscopic, it has nothing on the smallest towns in America.
Dallas is the ninth largest city in America with a population of 1.3 million, and San Antonio is the seventh most populous city with 1.4 million residents. The biggest city in Texas? None other than Houston, which boasts 2.3 million people. It holds the No. 4 spot nationwide. Another fun fact about Houston: It’s the most diverse city in America!
The Texas Rangers as we know them today were founded on October 17, 1835, but they have roots as far back as 1823.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the Lone Star State had over 28.3 million residents as of 2017. Only California, with 39.5 million, has more.
Dwight Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas, and Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas. That’s kind of weird, right? And if you know all of these 21 facts, well, that’s a sure sign you must be from Texas.
More From The Daily Meal:
The Best Food and Drink in Texas for 2018
10 Things Only People From Texas Say
10 Foods (and Drinks) You Didn’t Know Were Invented in Texas
10 Ways Southerners Are Way More Polite Than You
21 Southern Classics That Have Conquered America