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Top 10 Fun Facts About South Dakota

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Curious to learn more about the great plains and mountains of South Dakota? Check out these top ten fun facts about The Mount Rushmore State.

South Dakota Has More Shoreline Than Florida

Most people think of South Dakota as a classic prairie state, but the fact is that it has more shoreline than the state of Florida. This is thanks to its abundance of rivers and lakes, especially the great Lake Oahe.

South Dakota is Full of Bones

One of the most awe-striking parts of the South Dakota landscape is Badlands National Park. This park is one of the United States’ richest fossil areas, holding fossils of saber-toothed tigers and three-toed horses as some of its more exotic finds.

South Dakota Has a Massive Monument in the Making

Sioux chief Crazy Horse is one of the most revered figures in all of Native American history, and South Dakota was his home. The Crazy Horse Memorial, a mountain carving in Black Hills, has been under development since 1948, and when it’s finished, it will be the world’s largest mountain carving.

Personal Space Is No Problem in South Dakota

Throughout South Dakota, the average population density is just 10 people per square mile. That ranks it 46 out of the 50 states for population density. While the state has plenty of denser towns and cities, it also has vast open spaces.

Tourism is a Hot Industry in South Dakota

While agriculture is unsurprisingly the top industry in South Dakota, the state brings in more tourism than most people realize. The state brings in about 13.5 million tourists annually, who spend about $4.4 billion each year.

South Dakota Hosts an Annual Mashed Potato Wrestling Contest

The town of Clark, SD is known for its mashed potato wrestling. The annual event is part of the town’s yearly Potato Days festival.

You Can Enter a Corn Castle in South Dakota

As another unique, produce-based tourism opportunity, South Dakota is home to the world’s only Corn Palace. Located in Mitchell, SD, the Corn Palace is an epic structure made of 3500 bushels of corn.

South Dakota Is the Ultimate Middle Ground

If you want to be as far inside the United States as you can get, you’ll find yourself in South Dakota. Accounting for Alaska and Hawaii, the geographic center of the US is near Belle Fourche, SD.

South Dakota Wasn’t Always the Home of Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is well-known for its carving of four US presidents’ faces, and it’s a key tourism location in South Dakota. It wasn’t always called Mount Rushmore, though. Before the carving, it was known as the Mountain of Rock.

South Dakota Is Home to One of the Highest Populations of Native Americans

South Dakota has long been home to many different nations of Native American people. Today, there are about 76,000 Native Americans living in South Dakota. That’s the #9 highest population in the US, but the #3 highest population percentage among US states.

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