Also known as the Beaver State, Oregon is widely known for its rainy northwest climate and beautiful natural areas. However, there is certainly more to Oregon than meets the eye. Here are 20 interesting facts about Oregon.
1 Oregon's state flag is very unique. It is the only flag in the country that has a reverse side. Appropriately, the reverse side of Oregon's flag shows a beaver, the state animal.
2 Oregon is home to the deepest lake in the country, Crater Lake. It was formed from the remains of a volcano.
3 The country's deepest river gorge also makes its home in Oregon. At 8,000 feet deep, this gorge is known as Hells Canyon.
4 Oregon's state flower is the Oregon Grape and its state bird is the Western meadowlark.
5 The famous Oregon Trail was the longest overland western expansion route in the country.
6 The name "Oregon" is said to come from the French word "ouragan." This word means "windstorm," and refers to the powerful winds that blow over the Columbia River.
7 The largest sea cave in America sits on the Oregon coast. It is home to hundreds of wild sea lions and is appropriately named Sea Lion Cave.
8 Eugene, Oregon was the first city in the United States to incorporate one-way streets.
9 Portland, Oregon has more than 60 breweries within its city limits. This is more than any other city in the world.
10 Portland is home to the smallest city park in the world. Mill End Park is a small circle 2 ft (0.61 m) across, with a total area of 452 sq in (0.292 m2).
11 The iconic Nike "swoosh" logo was created by a Portland State University student in 1971.
12 The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon is known for its well-preserved fossil layers, which feature fossilized plants and mammals from around 45 million years ago.
13 Oregon was the first state in the country to decriminalize marijuana in 1973.
14 Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach is roughly 235 feet high, making it the third largest coastal monolith in the world.
15 Famous Oregon natives include River Phoenix, Beverly Cleary, Sally Struthers, Ty Burrell, and Matt Groening.
16 Oregon is home to the largest mushroom in the world. This fungus spans roughly 2.4 miles, and it is believed to be more than 1,900 years old.
17 Portland has more bicyclists per capita than any other city in the country.
18 Oregon was first explored by the Spanish and French; however, the state was first mapped by famous explorers Lewis and Clark.
19 The Gold Rush brought many settlers to Oregon, and many miners found success in Oregon’s many rivers. The Gold Rush came to an end for this area in 1860s.
20 During World War II, the Japanese military launched unmanned balloon bombs toward the western United States. Most were intercepted by U.S. military; however, one bomb did cause six casualties in Oregon. It is believed that these six individuals were the only casualties on U.S. soil caused by World War II combat.