Giant sloths, red delicious apples, and sliced bread... oh my!

Ok, so I'm going to start by saying that all of the fun facts you're about to read are all completely new and interesting to me, because I wasn't born and raised in the great state of Iowa. You native Iowans might know most of these, but maybe there's a few in here that you weren't aware of! Only in Your State came up with a list of fun facts about Iowa, so here is a combination of their findings and a few of my own:

  1. The Estherville Meteorite - On May 10, 1879, a 455-pound meteorite hit just outside of Estherville in Emmet County. It is the largest meteorite to ever hit North America, burying itself 15-feet into the ground! Pieces of it are on display at the Estherville Public Library, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and also the Naturhistorisches Museum in Austria.
  2. Sliced Bread - Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport was the inventor of the first ever loaf-at-a-time bread-slicing machine. He built a prototype back in 1912 that was destroyed in a fire, so his first working machine wasn't ready until 1928.
  3. First Female Lawyer - Iowa was the first ever state to allow women to take the Bar Exam, and Burlington-born Arabella Mansfield (born Belle Aurelia Babb) was the first ever woman to become a lawyer back in 1869.
  4. Hog-Wild - Hogs in Iowa outnumber people 4-to-1, meaning that there are approximately 12 MILLION hogs!
  5. Red Delicious Apples - Back in 1875, a Red Delicious tree was discovered by Jesse Hiatt at his farm in Peru, Iowa. He thought the tree was a nuisance and chopped it down three times, but it kept growing back. He finally allowed it to produce apples, and he called them "Hawkeyes".
  6. Motorcycles - Iowa comes in 3rd place in the US for motorcycle ownership, with a ratio of 18 people to every bike. The only states that beat us are New Hampshire in 2nd place, and South Dakota in 1st.
  7. Big Stuff - Iowa is home to the World's Largest Strawberry (Strawberry Point), but the strawberry is made of fiberglass, it's not an ACTUAL strawberry.
  8.  Giant Sloths - The Giant Ice Age Sloth was discovered by Thomas Jefferson and was said to be about 10-feet-tall and weigh 2-3 TONS. They roamed Iowa before going extinct approximately 9,500 years ago. You can see a real-life depiction of the Giant Sloth at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History.
  9. The Manson Crater - 74 million years ago an asteroid or comet struck in Manson, Iowa, leaving a giant crater that is flat land today. It is one of the largest known impact events to ever happen in North America. At one point it was thought to be the asteroid/comet that killed the dinosaurs, until they discovered that it was too old.
  10. The Hawkeye State - The Iowa nickname is in honor of Chief Black Hawk, the leader of the Sauk Indians, after the Black Hawk War of 1832.

Iowa is also the home of the first automatic electronic digital computer, had the highest percentage of its population serve in the Civil War, and once went to war with Missouri (don't worry, it was bloodless). For more info and facts on Iowa, click HERE.

Do you have anymore fun facts about Iowa you'd like to add to the list? If so, share them with us in the comments!