New Mexico is one of the United State’s most intriguing states. After much research, we have compiled a list of 33 interesting facts about New Mexico. To begin, the belief that New Mexico got its name from the country of Mexico is incorrect. In the mid-16th century, Spanish explorers wrongly believed that the territory was home to flourishing Mexican Indian tribes. This eventually led to the territory being called New Mexico. In reality, the Nation of Mexico did not come into the picture until the mid-19th century.
Interesting Facts About New Mexico
1. Santa Fe is the capital city of New Mexico. At 7000 feet above mean sea level, it is the highest capital city in the US.
2. Every year, in the month of October, Albuquerque hosts the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.
3. Rivers and lakes form just 0.002% of the surface area of the state, which is the lowest among all the states’ water-land ratio. A majority of the lakes in the state are man-made.
4. The longest river in New Mexico is the Rio Grande. It flows the complete length of the state.
5. The White Sands National Monument is indeed a desert; however, it is made of shiny gypsum crystals, not sand!
6. New Mexico borders with Arizona, Colorado, and Utah at the very same point.
7. The Palace of Governors is one of the most ancient public structures in the entire nation. Located in Santa Fe, it was built in the year 1610.
8. The world’s very first Atomic Bomb, contrived in Los Alamos, exploded on July 16th, 1945 at the White Sands Testing Range.
9. Archeologists have identified over 25,000 Anasazi sites in New Mexico. The Anasazi, were a remarkable civilization and were the ancestors of the Pueblo, and were present for around 1300 years.
10. The US state of New Mexico has the country of Mexico as its neighbor, thereby sharing the international border.
11. New Mexico’s state flower is the Yucca, the leaves of which are used in making rope, sandals, and baskets.
12. A quarter of New Mexico is covered by forests. There are 7 National Forests in the state and includes the Gila National Forest, the largest in the nation.
13. “Pueblo” is the word used to define a crowd of people, a township, or even a style of architecture. There are about 19 groups, speaking four dissimilar These people have lived here longer than perhaps any other culture.
14. The Navajo, the country’s largest Native Group, has over fourteen million acres of reservation.
15. New Mexico’s Indian Reservations sometimes function as separate states, inside of a state, and their tribal law can supersede the state law.
16. It is officially stated in the constitution that New Mexico State is bilingual. One out of every three families speaks Spanish in New Mexico!
17. The Palace of Governors, located in Santa Fe is said to be the earliest Government Building within the whole of the United States.
18. New Mexico’s economy is supported by two facets– scientific research and mining. The Sandia National Laboratories carry out research in natural energy while mining comprises of natural gas, oil, potash, uranium, coal, zinc, copper silver and of course, gold.
19. To put the latest rockets to test, White Sands Missile Range was created on the very same spot where the nation’s first atom bomb was exploded.
20. One of every four workers are employed directly by the Federal Government. The State and local administrations, too, employ a good amount of people.
21. Till the end of the nineteenth century, public education did not exist in New Mexico. There was no high school or college in the state till 1888.
22. The Santa Fe Opera is famous for its open-air theater situated just outside the city, close to the bottom of the Sangre de Christo Mountains.
23. Deming town is famous for its yearly duck races.
24. There are more cattle and sheep in New Mexico than people! The occupancy in the state is about 12 people for every square mile.
25. Owing to New Mexico’s dry climate, three-fourths of the roads are not paved, as they do not wash away!
26. Albuquerque, the largest city of New Mexico, was formed in 1706 and was named after a Spanish province.
27. Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico, is the finish point in the 800 miles long Santa Fe Trail.
28. The miners at Lake Valley discovered such pure silver in the veins that the metal could be cut off in chunks, rather than digging for the white metal!
29. The aerospace industry is one of New Mexico’s leading industries. This became possible due to the efforts of Robert Goddard, a scientist from Massachusetts who came here to test models of rocket-ships. Some people made fun of him at that time, calling him a crackpot!
30. In 1963, the black bear was chosen to be the state animal of New Mexico. This was done to honor ‘Smokey,’ a little cub that was touted to become the symbol of National Fire Safety. The little bear, however, perished in a fire that broke out in his home in the Lincoln National Forest, in 1950.
31. The state’s fourth largest city, Roswell, came into being in 1869. This happened because a professional gambler set up a stand-alone store on the desolate cattle trail.
32. One can find Moon Rocks in the International Space Hall of Fame, located in Alamogordo.
33. Thousands of wild bats can be found in the Carlsbad Caverns. The biggest open space in the Carlsbad Caverns is longer than a dozen football fields and more than 20 stories high.
Well, there you are! These are 33 cool and interesting facts about the state of New Mexico, USA. Hope you enjoyed each of these facts as much as we did, compiling them!