The year is almost over and that has us looking back over the many stories we’ve covered this year. Not only did we feel like taking a walk down memory lane, but we wanted to highlight some of the most popular stories we posted this year so you could reminisce as well.
What Constellation Appears on the Alaskan Flag?
Answer: Ursa Major
If Ursa Major doesn’t sound familiar, you might know this constellation as the Big Dipper. But if we’re being entirely accurate, it’s the Big Dipper plus Polaris (the North Star) that graces Alaska’s state flag. Meant to represent Alaska’s great outdoors heritage, the state flag features a dark blue background with yellow stars. The blue background is said to represent the night sky, the surrounding oceans, and also the forget-me-not, Alaska's state flower. And Polaris’ placement highlights how Alaska is the northernmost state in the Union.
Where Did the World's First Commercial Flight Go?
Answer: St. Petersburg to Tampa, Florida
Unlike today's jumbo jets packed with travelers, the first passenger plane catered to one passenger at a time. On January 1, 1914, a short flight between St. Petersburg and Tampa kicked off the concept of commercial passenger travel. While the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line folded only four months after it debuted, it transported over 1,200 passengers during its time.
What Is the Deepest Great Lake?
Answer: Lake Superior
As a refresher, there are five Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. Of the group, Lake Superior is the deepest. It’s also the largest and northernmost of the five lakes. At its deepest point, Lake Superior stretches as far as 1,300 feet below the surface.
Which Three Countries Border Luxembourg?
Answer: Germany, Belgium, and France
Officially known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, this small Western European nation is landlocked. That means residents have no direct access to the ocean. Considering that Luxembourg is smaller than the state of Rhode Island, it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the smallest countries in the world.
What Is the Largest National Park in the U.S.?
Answer: Wrangell–St. Elias National Park
If you’re used to hearing people fawn over Yellowstone, you might be surprised that a it's not the largest national park in the country. Wrangell–St. Elias National Park is so large that you could put Yellowstone and Yosemite inside of it! With 13.2 million acres of protected lands, it’s time to put this giant Alaskan park on your wanderlust list.
How Many Countries Have Coastlines on Both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans?
You can probably guess a few of these off the top of your head. But who rounds out the list? Entries you might not guess include Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, and Honduras. A country you might not have expected is Russia, which does, in fact, touch the Atlantic Ocean.
What Building Served as Inspiration for the Taj Mahal?
Answer: Humāyūn’s Tomb
No trip to India is complete without a trek to Agra so you can visit the Taj Mahal. While it’s clearly a magnificent structure, many are surprised to learn that there was another mausoleum in India that served as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal, Humāyūn’s Tomb. Located in Delhi, this tomb is considered a pinnacle of Mughal architecture — namely the domes and tilework. Similar styles can be seen in structures across India from this same period, and are prominent features in the Taj Mahal.