60+ Mind-Blowingly Fun Facts About Texas You Won’t Believe

Texas style westernmill windmill at sunset, Argentina
© reisegraf/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Erin Whitten

Published: September 26, 2023

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Welcome to the Lone Star State, a land reputed for its large and in charge charm! Texas stands out with its unique personality and diverse land, showing off a fusion of cultures. So, get ready to saddle up as we embark on a journey across the Texas plains. We’ll be delving into the fascinating, the quirky, the iconic, and the unbelievable facets of this magnificent state!

Geography & Nature

The Size and Population of Texas

Starting off with sheer size, Texas spans 268,597 square miles. And with its size, it can easily house more than 31 million people.

Aerial view upscale lakeside houses surrounded by beautiful autumn leaves in Coppell, Texas, USA

Texas spans 268,597 square miles.

©TrongNguyen/iStock via Getty Images

Landscapes of Every Kind

Moving to the scenic beauty, Texas boasts ten different ecological regions. This means there’s a landscape for every person, whether you’re fond of lush forests, vast plains, rugged mountains, or serene coastal areas.

Reaching New Heights: Guadalupe Peak

For those who are seeking adventure in your life, Guadalupe Peak stands tall and proud as Texas’s highest point, coming in to 8,751 feet above sea level.

Guadalupe National Park, Guadalupe Mountain

Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas at 8,751 feet.

©Victoria ‘Tori’ Meyer/Shutterstock.com

All About Water in Texas

Shifting our gaze to water bodies, Texas is a treasure trove. From its 191,000 miles of streams, fifteen river basins, and eight coastal regions to its 196 reservoirs, those who love aqautic activities are in for a treat.

Enchanted Rock: A Stone Unlike Any Other

Venturing into the heart of Central Texas, you’ll find the remarkable Enchanted Rock. This granite structure is among the largest in the U.S.

Palo Duro Canyon: A Canyon to Rival Them All

Digging deeper into geological wonders, the Palo Duro Canyon emerges as a must-see. Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas”, it showcases diverse geological patterns to viewers.

The Mighty Rio Grande River

On the topic of natural boundaries, the Rio Grande River carves its path for a notable 1,896 miles, acting as a natural divider between Texas and Mexico.

The Balcones Escarpment: Splitting Texas in Two

Zooming in on geographical divides, the Balcones Fault zone plays a pivotal role. This natural landmark neatly separates the Texas Hill Country from the coastal plains.

Big Bend: A Hidden Gem

For those seeking remote beauty, the southwestern corner of Texas hides a gem: Big Bend. This quiet spot is a beauty of canyons, river valleys, and beautiful mountains.

Big Bend National Park - Santa Elena Canyon

This quiet spot is a beauty of canyons, river valleys, and beautiful mountains.

©Paul Leong/Shutterstock.com

Hot and Cold: Texas’s Weather

Transitioning to weather patterns, Texas can show extremes. While places like Monahans can sizzle with highs of 120°F, locales like Tulia often experience the state’s coldest temperatures.

Hurricanes: Nature’s Challenge

Lastly, touching on the state’s wild weather, Texas’s massive coastline often bears the brunt of hurricanes. Significant events like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 serve as somber reminders of nature’s true power.

Wildlife and Habitats

A Variety of Life Forms: Bird to Mammal

Texas is amazing when it comes to wildlife. It’s home to 540 types of birds, 142 kinds of mammals, lots of amphibians, and many more animals. This just shows how rich and varied Texas’s nature really is.

The Night’s Winged Wonders: Bats

Venturing into the night, Texas has rightfully earned its nickname as “the battiest state in the nation.” With 32 of the 47 bat species native to the U.S. finding a sanctuary here, it’s a testament to the state’s dedication to preserving diverse habitats.

Mexican Free-tailed bats emerging from a cave in central Texas.

Texas has rightfully earned its nickname as “the battiest state in the nation.”

©Jeff Reeves/Shutterstock.com

Predators of the Land: Cougars and Ocelots

Taking a closer look, Texas is home to big cats like cougars and ocelots. However, with the decreasing number of ocelots, especially near the Mexican border, it’s clear we need to do more to protect them.

Giants of the Waters: Alligators

Heading to the waters, Texas has a lot of alligators – around 400,000 to 500,000 of them. They mostly live in coastal areas and bayous. This shows how diverse wildlife can be in different parts of the state.

No social distancing here!

Texas has a lot of

alligators

– around 400,000 to 500,000 of them. They mostly live in coastal areas and bayous.

©Chris Drahos/iStock via Getty Images

The Wild Hog Challenge: Balancing the Ecosystem

However, there’s a problem. The growing number of wild hogs in Texas is causing issues for the environment. This brings to the public eye, the need for quick action to help areas affected by them.

Small Yet Mighty: Texas’s Lesser-Known Inhabitants

From below the ground to up in the trees, special animals like pocket gophers, tree squirrels, and beavers have made Texas their home. This really shows how diverse and welcoming Texas’s natural habitats are.

Beaver

From below the ground to up in the trees, special animals like pocket gophers, tree squirrels, and beavers have made Texas their home.

©iStock.com/webmink

A Desperate Cry: The Endangered Ocelots and Black Bears

It’s alarming to note that ocelots and black bears in Texas teeter on the brink of extinction, spotlighting the immediate need for protective measures.

Exotic Residents: Uncharted Dwellers

Peeking into the more unusual side, Texas shelters exotic animals like tigers and pythons, owned privately. Their lack of proper tracking brings forth concerns about safety and ethics.

State Symbols: Celebrating Biodiversity

Texas proudly shows off its wildlife variety by having eight official state animals. Animals like the Nine-banded armadillo, the Texas longhorn, and the Mexican free-tailed bat each tell a part of Texas’s animal story.

Guardians of the Wild: Conservation Endeavors

Honoring its rich wildlife, Texas has created many sanctuaries and preserves. Places dedicated to animals like the famous Texas longhorn show just how much the state cares about its animals.

Camels in Texas? An Unusual Tale

Going back in time, West Texas tried something unusual in the late 1800s, they introduced camels. While this experiment didn’t last, it sure added an interesting twist to Texas’s wildlife history.

Curious camel in desert

West Texas tried something unusual in the late 1800s, they introduced camels.

©Chalabala/iStock via Getty Images

Bird City Texas: An Avian Sanctuary

Soaring high, Bird City Texas stands as a beacon for bird conservation, emphasizing Texas’s earnest efforts in nurturing avian life.

Marine Protectors: Sea Turtle, Inc.

South Padre Island shines a spotlight on marine conservation with Sea Turtle, Inc., underscoring Texas’s pledge to preserve sea turtles, especially the Kemp’s Ridley variety.

A Roar of Refuge: Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary

Up in Tyler, Texas, the Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary extends a warm embrace to exotic big cats, showcasing the state’s heartfelt mission to safeguard these majestic creatures.

Bangladesh, Bengal Tiger, Tiger, West Bengal, Animal

The

Tiger

Creek Animal Sanctuary extends a warm embrace to exotic big cats.

©iStock.com/Thinker360

Mystical Nighttime Creature: The Ringtail

Among Texas’s nocturnal wonders is the elusive ringtail, a secretive creature that adds to the state’s abundant animal mysteries.

Ringtail Cat

Among Texas’s nocturnal wonders is the elusive ringtail.

©Carlos R Cedillo/Shutterstock.com

The Reptilian Majesty: Texas Indigo Snake

Lastly, the Texas indigo snake, as the state’s serpentine giant, exemplifies the vast and impressive scope of reptilian life thriving in Texas.

Landmarks & Attractions

Prairie Dog Town: A Historical Refuge

Diving into history, Prairie Dog Town, founded in 1935, stands as a beacon for black-tailed prairie dog conservation. It not only safeguards this crucial species but also offers a window into Texas’s diverse wildlife.

Pair of Prairie Dogs (Cynomys) exchanging loving effusions and appearing to be kissing

Prairie Dog Town, founded in 1935, stands as a beacon for black-tailed prairie dog conservation.

©MyImages_Micha/iStock via Getty Images

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge: More than a Sanctuary

Venturing southward, this refuge isn’t just a haven for birds and wildlife. It bursts with activities, from hiking and swimming to biking, all set against the backdrop of rich biodiversity.

Bat Watching in Texas: The Dance of the Night

When night falls, Texas transforms. With sites like Clarity Tunnel and the Ecker James River Bat Cave Preserve, the state offers mesmerizing bat-watching experiences, drawing enthusiasts from far and wide.

Cadillac Ranch: Where Art Meets Landscape

Moving to Amarillo, the Cadillac Ranch emerges as a fusion of art and landscape. This public art spectacle, with ten Cadillacs nose-down in the earth, epitomizes innovative spirit and draws visitors like a magnet.

San Antonio RiverWalk: The Heartbeat of the City

The San Antonio RiverWalk, with its intertwining walkways and bustling hubs, is more than a scenic route. It’s the cultural and commercial lifeline of the city, pulsating with energy and life.

Dog Park Series - San Antonio Header

River Walk in San Antonio is one reason why this Texas town made our Top 20 Most Walkable Cities in the US list.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

The Alamo: Echoes of the Past

Stepping back in time, the Alamo in San Antonio resonates with tales of bravery and defiance. Established in the 18th century, it witnessed the iconic Battle of the Alamo and stands today as a testament to the states rich history.

Space Center Houston: To Infinity and Beyond

Soaring to the stars, the Space Center Houston offers a celestial journey. As NASA’s official visitor center and a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, it paints a vivid picture of space exploration’s past, present, and future.

Moody Gardens: A Haven of Learning

Lastly, heading to Galveston, Moody Gardens unravels as more than a tourist spot. It’s an educational oasis, emphasizing nature with its myriad attractions, making it an ideal venue for both entertainment and enlightenment.

History & Culture

German Influence: Echoes of European Settlement

Diving into the European connection, towns like Fredericksburg and New Braunfels in Texas vividly exhibit Germanic influences. Whether it’s architecture, festivals, or cuisine, these traces stem from the 19th-century German immigrant settlements, adding layers to their diverse culture.

A wall mural in New Braunfels, Texas.

©Tomás Del Coro / CC BY-SA 2.0 – Original / License

The State Rangers: Upholders of Justice

Moving into the realm of law and order, the Texas State Rangers, established in 1835, stand as iconic figures. These legendary enforcers played a central role in Texas’s formative years, leaving a lasting legacy on its historical narrative.

Juneteenth: Celebrating Emancipation

Turning to significant milestones, Juneteenth emanates from Galveston in 1865. This momentous day isn’t just a holiday; it marks the abolition of slavery in Texas, signifying a pivotal chapter in American history.

Six Flags Over Texas: A Nod to Varied Rule

Transitioning to cultural landmarks, the theme park Six Flags Over Texas represents more than just amusement. Its name embodies the six sovereign entities that influenced the region, each leaving its mark on the states rich heritage.

The Republic of Texas: A Bygone Era

Peeling back the layers of history, Texas once flourished as its own entity from 1836 to 1845, known as the Republic of Texas. This period underscored their unique identity and its unwavering spirit of autonomy.

The Lone Star State: A Badge of Distinction

Texas, with its proud “Lone Star State” moniker, reflects its history as an independent nation and its hard-fought freedom from Mexico, shining a light on its distinct identity and tenacity.

Multicultural Heritage: A Confluence of Cultures

Delving deeper into its roots, Texas’s story is a patchwork of diverse cultures. The interplay of Spanish, Mexican, Native American, African American, and German influences has sculpted its traditions, cuisine, and overall cultural identity.

Austin: Strumming the Heartstrings

Lastly, stepping into the realm of music, Austin, besides being the state capital, resounds as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” This accolade mirrors Texas’s rich musical lineage and its profound influence on the global music stage.

Austin city limits sign at the Bullock Texas State History Museum

Austin City Limits is one of the longest-running music specials in television history.

©Lucas Beck/Shutterstock.com

Economy & Industry

Oil Industry Pioneer: The Spindletop Revolution

Diving into the annals of industrial history, Texas’s global recognition for oil was solidified in 1901 with the Spindletop revelation. This landmark event marked not just their ascendancy in the oil sector but also ushered in a new era in global energy dynamics.

Leaders in Sustainability: Riding the Wind

Transitioning to the realm of renewable energy, Texas stands tall with its green initiatives. The state’s prowess in wind power generation, outshining all other states, is a clear testament to its commitment to a sustainable future and diversified energy strategies.

Agriculture: Sowing Seeds of Prosperity

Digging deep into its agrarian roots, Texas has firmly established itself as a powerhouse in producing hay, poultry, and eggs. Such agricultural achievements exemplify the state’s rich farming lineage and its unwavering role in nurturing the nation’s food supply.

Economic Vigor: Beyond Numbers

Turning to the financial spectrum, Texas’s dynamism is evident in its formidable gross state product, securing a position as the second-largest in the U.S. This feat underscores the state’s economic vitality and its cornerstone position in the country’s fiscal framework.

Tech Hub of the South: The Lure of Silicon Hills

Lastly, shifting the lens to the technological front, Austin’s Silicon Hills emerges as a beacon for tech aficionados and companies. From budding ventures to established tech giants, the region exemplifies Texas’s magnetic pull in the digital domain, highlighting its forward-thinking approach in the ever-evolving tech world.

Food & Drink

Official Declaration: The Spicy Stalwart, Chili

Starting with official endorsements, the state proudly stamped chili as its state dish in 1977. This declaration resonates with the state’s deep-rooted culinary traditions and underlines its passion for flavors that tell a story.

The Synonymy of Tex-Mex: Beyond Borders

Navigating the flavor profiles, Texas and Tex-Mex are nearly synonymous. This delightful blend of Mexican and Texan tastes gives birth to classics like nachos, tacos, and enchiladas, all accentuating the multicultural essence of the Texan palate.

Barbecue Brilliance: A Meaty Affair

Drifting to smoky alleys, Texas’s love for barbecue, especially the meticulously slow-cooked beef brisket, stands unparalleled. This craft showcases the state’s finesse in delivering meaty perfection plate after plate.

A Beverage Pioneer: Dr Pepper’s Legacy

Quenching the thirst for innovation, the invention of Dr Pepper in 1885 in Waco solidifies Texas’s role in beverage evolution. Outdating even Coca-Cola, it remains a testament to the state’s beverage prowess.

Sweet Representations: Delighting in Pecan Pie

Dipping into sweetness, the pecan pie not only delights the taste buds but also proudly carries the title of Texas’s state pie, reflecting the state’s penchant for sweet traditions rooted in local produce.

Brewing Innovations: Craft Beers Take Flight

As the tides of tastes turn, Texas witnesses an effervescent surge in craft breweries. This trend shines a spotlight on the state’s versatility in brewing and its enthusiasm to toast to varied tastes.

Vines of Texas: An Evolving Wine Legacy

Drawing parallels in beverages, the Texan wine industry, ranking fifth in the U.S., weaves a story of the state’s agricultural prowess and its innovative spirit in winemaking.

Cool Inventions: The Frozen Margarita Revolution

Adding a frosty chapter, the invention of the frozen margarita machine in 1971 by Dallas’s own Mariano Martinez shows unwavering drive to innovate in the culinary space.

Dairy Diaries: The Creamy Chronicles of Blue Bell

Concluding our flavorful journey, Blue Bell Ice Cream emerges from Brenham, serving scoops of Texas’s rich culinary heritage and its commendable stride in the dairy sector, rounding off a truly diverse culinary saga.

Miscellaneous

The State Fair of Texas: A Grand Fiesta

Kicking off our journey, the State Fair, nestled in Dallas, stands as the country’s most expansive. A blend of thrilling activities, vibrant exhibits, and a plethora of food choices encapsulates Texas’s festive zeal and rich cultural diversity.

Houston’s Art Car Parade: Where Art Meets the Road

Shifting gears to Houston, the annual Art Car Parade paints the town with a spectrum of imaginatively adorned vehicles. It’s not just a parade but a canvas, celebrating Texas’s flourishing and eclectic art culture.

An entry in the annual Art Car Parade held in Houston, Texas.

©Alex Brogan / CC BY-SA 3.0 – Original / License

The Texas State Capitol: A Testament to Grandeur

Soaring skyward, the Texas State Capitol doesn’t just overshadow the U.S. Capitol in D.C. in terms of height; it stands as a beacon of unique architectural flair and the indomitable spirit of “Everything’s bigger in Texas!”

High School Football: More than Just a Game

Digging deep into traditions, Texas’s ardor for high school football is palpable. With stadiums rivaling those of professional teams, it’s evident that here, football isn’t just a sport; it’s a way of life.

Billy Bob’s Texas: The Rhythmic Pulse of the State

Lastly, moving to the beats of Fort Worth, Billy Bob’s reverberates as the world’s most expansive honky-tonk. This iconic locale is not just about music and dance; it’s the very heartbeat of Texas’s vibrant country scene.

Billy Bob's, Fort Worth, Texas

Billy Bob’s is a famous honky tonk bar in Fort Worth, Texas.

©Michael Barera / CC BY-SA 4.0 – Original / License


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About the Author

Erin Whitten is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily covering dogs, food, and travel. She earned her BA in Communications and Digital Media from Arizona State University in 2019. A resident of Massachusetts, Erin enjoys hanging out with her shelter cat Azula and taking photos of other animals.

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