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Discover the Lone Star State: Top 23 Fun Facts about Texas You Didn't Know!

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"Get ready to tip your hat to the Lone Star State, as we dish out some delightful tidbits and tantalizing trivia about good ol' Texas!"

1. World's Largest Urban Bat Colony

In the Lone Star State, Batman's sidekicks come out to play under the summer skies in staggering numbers: Around 1.5 million bats call Austin's Congress Avenue Bridge their home, creating the world's largest urban bat colony and embarking on nightly feasts of insect destruction, much to the delight of locals and tourists alike.
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2. "Friendship" State Motto Origins

Why did the Texan cross the road? To get to the friendlier side! Surprise: The name "Texas" actually originates from the Native American Caddo word "taysha," meaning "friend" or "ally," and the state motto, "Friendship," reflects this friendly foundation.
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3. Texas Chili: Political Power Play

Texas chili: tastebud tango and political power play! This spicy potpourri has caused more feuds than a telenovela, but just as the Lone Star State won't settle for less B, so too must true Texans lick their lips in anticipation for a taste of history's sauciest conquest: Chili made outside of Texas is considered sacrilegious, and the late President Lyndon B. Johnson was a proud defender of this culinary sovereignty, even hosting the International Chili Cook-Off in 1967.
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4. Space Center Houston's Astronomical Attractions

To infinity and beyond, y'all! If you thought Buzz Lightyear was far out, wait until you hear this: Space Center Houston, Texas, is the official visitor center of NASA's Johnson Space Center, boasting interactive exhibits, historic artifacts like the OG Mission Control room, and even a tram tour through the heart of NASA's working government facilities!
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Texas' Wild Pig Problem

5. Texas' Wild Pig Problem

In the Lone Star State's latest episode of "Porkbusters Gone Wild": Texas is home to an astounding 3 to 4 million feral pigs, granting it the dubious honor of having the highest wild pig population in the U.S. These hoggish hooligans reproduce rapidly, wreaking havoc on crops, lawns, and even infrastructure like dams and telephone poles, with wildlife specialists labeling it an ecological emergency.
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6. Breakfast Taco Debate

When the age-old question of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" arises, Texans counter with another equally boggling query—Who truly pioneered the breakfast taco? One may ponder this as a mouth-watering existential dilemma: The origin of breakfast tacos is hotly contested in Texas, with cities like Corpus Christi and San Antonio vying for the title of go-to taco town, igniting delicious debates and leaving bellies full of pride.
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7. Lubbock: America's Wind Power Hub

Hold on to your hats, folks, the winds of change are blowing hard in Texas: Lubbock boasts one of the highest average wind speeds in the U.S. at a breezy 12.4 mph and is home to the American Wind Power Center, powering thousands of homes with gusts of renewable energy.
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8. Wildseed Farms: Largest Wildflower Seed Farm

Whoever said "bigger isn't always better" obviously never visited Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, Texas – where even the flowers try to "Texas-size" themselves: Boasting its status as the largest working wildflower seed farm in the United States, Wildseed Farms cultivates over 41 different species of wildflowers under the watchful eye of owner, John R. Thomas. Each year, he harvests several hundred thousand pounds of seeds, some of which end up in the gardens of aspiring green thumbs, while others are responsible for adding dazzling displays of floral flair along highways from the Carolinas to Georgia, Mississippi, and beyond.
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9. Chili's: Texas-born Dining Chain

Where baby back ribs meet good vibes and frozen margaritas take center stage: Chili's, the chain that set the bar for casual dining, was founded in Dallas, Texas in 1975 by Larry Lavine. The family-friendly spot fast became famous for everything from burgers to tacos, as well as pairing popular music with dim lighting for an atmospheric experience. Today, Chili's boasts over 1,600 locations worldwide, raking in a saucy $3.5 billion in sales in 2021.
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Dublin Bottling Works: Home of Texas Root Beer

10. Dublin Bottling Works: Home of Texas Root Beer

Soda-licious and peppered with history, Texas is home to a pop legend like no other: Dublin Bottling Works, the state's oldest soda bottling facility, was also the first to bottle Dr Pepper in 1891. Though they parted ways with Dr Pepper in 2012, they delightfully fizzed on with their own lineup of original-recipe sodas, sweetened with cane sugar for that nostalgic goodness. Do your taste buds a favor and drop by Dublin Bottling Works for a sip of Texas Root Beer, or any of their other delectably bubbly concoctions.
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11. Fried Beer at Texas State Fair

In a twist straight out of a sudsy soap opera, Mark Zable defied all beer batter expectations and showed the world that a frothy, deep-fried surprise could steal hearts (and taste buds) in just 20 seconds flat: By inventing fried beer at the Texas State Fair in 2010, he wrapped dough around the likes of Guinness and nabbed the Most Creative award, resulting in a munchable masterpiece that oozes with beer and tastes like a hot pretzel's hoppy cousin.
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12. Texas: Top Dog in Cotton Production

They say everything's bigger in Texas, and that includes our beloved fluffy pillows of cotton: In recent years, Texas has been the top dog in the U.S., producing a whopping 40% of the nation's total cotton production, with the High Plains region leading the charge as the cotton king thanks to its ideal climate.
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13. Austin's Silicon Hills for Tech Entrepreneurs

Hey there, Silicon Cowboy! Ever wondered where the Wild West meets the World Wide Web? Well, saddle up and get ready for this tech-savvy rodeo: Austin, Texas boasts over 15 startup incubators and accelerators, attracting major players like Google, Apple, and Adobe, and earning a gallopin' $621 million in venture capital investments in 2013 alone. Yeehaw, Austin's "Silicon Hills" is a true frontier town for tech entrepreneurs!
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14. Pecan Tree: The Official State Tree

In Texas, the pecan tree nut only rises to fame for filling pies but also for claiming the title of "branch royalty": The pecan tree is the official state tree of Texas, recognized for its significance in the state's pecan industry, history, and cultural heritage.
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Sabine River: Texan-Louisiana Border

15. Sabine River: Texan-Louisiana Border

When the Lone Star State plays limbo with Louisiana, the Sabine River is the stick they bend under: This 360-mile-long beauty, dividing Eastern Texas from its neighbor, has three major branches – the Cowleech Fork, Caddo Fork, and South Fork – enticing visitors to grab their fishing gear and explore its picturesque charm.
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16. Hamilton Pool Preserve: Birdwatcher's Paradise

Move over, Hitchcock, there's a new bird paradise in town: Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs, Texas, designated as a nature preserve since 1990, is where our feathered friends like the Golden-cheeked Warbler gather to catch up on the latest avian gossip. Amidst the semi-arid flora, rare plants like canyon mock-orange and chatterbox orchids work hard to dazzle any unsuspecting hikers: But the real highlight is taking a dip in the picturesque pool, which was pre-approved by the Warblers, but swimming’s not guaranteed with your reservation, so don't count your chickens before they've hatched!
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17. Texas' Sun-soaked Skies

Bathing suit, sunglasses, and sunscreen at the ready - we ain't in Kansas anymore, Toto: Texas boasts a sun-soaked 76% sunshine rate with 3415 hours of golden rays a year, and Dallas folks get to say "Howdy!" to 135 days of clear skies where clouds cover less than 30% of their daylight view.
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18. Land Grants and Spanish Flavor in Texas History

They say everything's bigger in Texas, but did you know their land grants used to come in a Spanish flavor? Unwrapping the taco of history, we find: Moses Austin was given land in Texas by the Spanish government in 1820, but after Mexico's independence in 1821, empresario land grants came from the Mexican government, not Texas.
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19. Bluebonnet Wishes and Folklore

In Texas, bluebonnets are apparently the floral fortune cookies of the Lone Star State, with folks wishing on petals – just don't pick 'em too soon, or your luck might look like a prickly situation: According to Indian folklore, picking a bluebonnet and making a wish can make it come true, but beware, some Texans believe it's bad luck to pluck one before the first day of spring. With five different species, two of which are native only to Texas, these vibrant flowers remain an integral part of the state's culture and history.
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20. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo: World's Largest

When they say everything is bigger in Texas, they ain't just talking about belt buckles and cowboy hats, partner: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo reigns supreme as the world's largest shindig of its kind, drawing over 2.5 million visitors annually for 20 days filled with feral excitement, barnyard beauty, and foot-stompin' tunes.
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21. Sunken Spanish Ship Discoveries

Ahoy there, sea-faring jokesters, prepare for a bit of sunken humor: The Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas houses the underwater "estate" of the Spanish cargo ship San Esteban, which went belly-up in a storm in 1554. Treasures from this ill-fated vessel, including a mariner's astrolabe with a confirmed date and a cannon made by welding together iron bars, now reside in the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History – talk about a whale of a discovery!
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22. Texas: A Force in U.S. Textbook Decisions

They say everything is bigger in Texas - even their textbook tug-of-wars: The Lone Star State is responsible for around 10% of the nation's history and social studies textbooks, leading to contentious approval processes and oftentimes resulting in publishers making modifications or withdrawing books entirely to appease conservative groups and the Texas State Board of Education.
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23. Invention of the Frozen Margarita Machine

When life gave Mariano lemons, he made the world's booziest Slurpee: In Dallas, Texas, Mariano Martinez invented the first-ever frozen margarita machine in his restaurant, drawing inspiration from 7-Eleven's Slurpee machines and perfecting his famous concoction's consistency. And where would such an iconic machine be stored? None other than the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, of course!
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