As travelers, as adventurers, as Americans, when we have the chance to explore, we revel at the spectacular national monuments and landmarks that are scattered across our country. They make up our nation's character, and no doubt they're appreciated, but with such an abundance of history (some that goes back millions of years) there's so much about each left to learn.
Like, do you know how much money it cost to construct Mount Rushmore in 1941? Or which national park might be the most dangerous? Do you know the name of the largest living organism on earth? (You'll have to read on to find out!) Of course, to know every amazing fact about each extraordinary landmark would be nearly impossible. But the following 12 facts are some of the most interesting tidbits about a few of America's most famous landmarks.
Yellowstone National Park— Beware the Bison
Did you know, the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states of the U.S. can be found at Yellowstone National Park? This includes bears, bobcats, coyotes, moose, and wolves. But the biggest (and possibly the most bad) beast you'll find in the park is the bison. According to the National Park Service more Yellowstone visitors are hurt by bison than bears each year. Male bison (called bulls) can grow up to six feet tall and weigh more than 1,800 pounds. Despite being quite enormous, the NPS says they are quick and agile, especially when it comes to defending their young, and attacks often happen when park-goers get too close. In fact, park regulations mandate that guests must remain at least 25 yards away.
The Wave— Experienced Explorers OnlyThere are no formal trails that lead to The Wave and the terrain of the Coyote Buttes is rugged, which means travelers hoping to hike the sandstone rock formation must be prepared and qualified. In fact, access to the wilderness area where it's located is limited to just 20 people per day. To gain entry, visitors must apply for a permit which is based on a lottery system. The Bureau of Land Management says that during peak months (April, May, September, and October) chances of obtaining a permit are slim, but through the rest of the year they're usually easy to obtain.
Rainbow Bridge— Largest Stone Arch in the World
Arches National Park in Utah is home to over 2,000 stone archways, including Landscape Arch which is the longest (its reach is longer than the length of a football field) in the park. But Rainbow Bridge, which has been dubbed a national monument, is not only the largest and tallest natural bridge in the park, but the entire world. Tourists can access the arch by riding a tour boat across Lake Powell then hiking about 2 miles to the site of the monument.
As a second storm in three days pushes east of the Rockies, severe and drenching storms will erupt across areas from the southern Plains to the Southeast to close out this weekend.
Despite Tuesday, March 20 marking the first day of spring, it certainly will not feel like it to those in the mid-Atlantic, where a quick-hitting snow event is expected.
Residents in the burn areas around Southern California are being put on alert for major mud flows and flooding as the start of spring is expected to coincide with the return of rain across the state.
Tropical Cyclone Marcus threatens Australia's Kimberley region with flooding rainfall into Monday.
Severe thunderstorms set to sweep through the Southeast from Monday to Tuesday will open the door for a new round of chilly air to invade the region.
A spell of unseasonable warmth in Germany will be replaced by arctic cold through Sunday as the “Beast from the East” returns.
Lives and property will be in severe danger across southeastern Madagascar as a potent tropical cyclone unloads torrential rain into Monday.