43 Texas Facts They Never Taught You In School

You may think you have Texas figured out, but these facts will make you think again.

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1. The Dallas Cowboys haven’t played football in Dallas since 1971.


2. The fastest road in the entire United States is located in Austin, Texas. It has a speed limit of 85 mph.


3. The infamous Jesse James refused to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas because he liked the chili they served there.


4. If you’ve been to Houston airport, you may notice that it takes you awhile to walk to baggage claim. That’s because Houston airport received so many complaints about baggage wait times that they decided to move baggage claim further away. Now, the walk is longer than the wait. The number of complaints has actually dropped since these changes were made.


5. While filming, “No Country for Old Men” in Marfa, Texas, the crew had to stop filming for a day because of a huge cloud of smoke from the set of “There Will Be Blood.”


6. Texas has a large population: 26 million people to be exact. And 70% of the population of Texas lives within 200 miles of Austin.


7. But Austin isn’t getting all the love: Texas possesses three of the Top Ten most populous cities in the U.S.: Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.


8. People aren’t the only populous mammal in Texas: the state’s cattle population is estimated to be near 16 million.


9. Texas is 267,339 square miles, which is 7.4% of the nation’s total area.


10. El Paso, Texas is actually closer to California than it is to Dallas, Texas and it takes just as long to get from Beaumont, Texas to El Paso as it does to get from Beaumont to Chicago.


11. The song “Deep in the Heart of Texas was banned by BBC “during working hours” on the grounds that “its infectious melody might cause wartime factory-hands to neglect their tools while they clapped in time with the song.” Texas = too catchy for it’s own good.


12. Houston, Texas is the only U.S. city without zoning laws.


13. El Paso, Texas has been ranked one of the safest big cities in America, despite the fact that it’s across the river from Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the entire world.


14. Texas uses it’s own power grid, separate from the other two grids, which power the Eastern and Western United States.


15. Sometimes Texas laws can be quite a riddle. Literally. For example, there’s a Texas law that states when two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone. Hmm…?


16. And according to Texas law, you may not shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel. It doesn’t say anything about the first or third story…


17. A time capsule, which was buried in 1968 in Amarillo, Texas, contains the passbook to a bank account with a $10 deposit and is expected to be worth $1 quadrillion when it is opened in 2968.


18. The King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island.


19. A live oak located near Fulton is the oldest tree in the state. It is estimated that the tree is at least 1,500 years old.


20. Jalapeno pepper jelly originated in Lake Jackson, Texas. Thanks, Lake Jackson.


21. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. It is still brewed today at what was formerly known as the Dublin Dr Pepper Factory, now Dublin Bottling Works. This soda factory is one of the last in America to use real cane sugar instead of corn syrup.


22. More land is farmed in Texas than in any other state.


23. The world’s first rodeo was held in Pecos, Texas on July 4, 1883.


24. In Galveston, Texas, the Flagship Hotel on Seawall Boulevard is the only hotel in North America built entirely over the water.


25. The Heisman trophy is named for John William Heisman, who was the first full-time coach and athletic director at Rice University in Houston.


26. “Friday Night Lights,” while set in the fictional town of Dillon, is actually based on a book and movie (of the same name) that documents the 1988 season of Odessa, Texas’ Permian Panthers.


27. Speaking of Texas claims to fame, the one and only Beyoncé Knowles was born and raised in Houston, Texas.


28. And Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas. But he’s no Beyoncé …


29. A Dallas restaurant owner invented the first-ever frozen margarita machine. He was inspired by the Slurpees at his local 7-11. You can still get a margarita at Mariano’s Hacienda Ranch, but the original machine is now on display at the Smithsonian.


30. While we’re on the topic of frozen alcohol, drive-through daiquiris are totally legal in Texas. At least two-dozen daiquiri “to-go” stores exist in the state. Just pull up one of these liquor establishments, ask for a margarita or daiquiri and you’re good to go.


31. Texas is the only state in the US to have flown the flag of six separate nations throughout its history: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America


32. Speaking of six flags, ever wonder where the famous amusement park got its name? The original Six Flags amusement park opened in Arlington, Texas in 1961 and was named Six Flags Over Texas because of the historical relevance to the state’s flags.


33. Tex Avery, Looney Tunes animator and the creator of Bugs’ Bunny’s iconic catchphrase “What’s up, Doc?”, went to North Dallas High School.


34. There is an “Enchanted Rock” in Fredericksburg, Texas. It is a massive, 11,000-year-old igneous rock intrusion in the shape of a dome and it is comprised of pink granite. The rock covers 640 acres of land and rises 425 feet above the ground around it.


35. And in Rocksprings, Texas there is a “Devil’s Sinkhole,” a vertical chasm that plunges 400 feet into the depths of the earth and has a 40X60 foot opening. It is the largest single-chambered cavern in North America, and was once considered sacred by Native Americans.


36. Just 23 miles west of Austin exists Hamilton Pool: a natural spring formed in the limestone bedrock and fed by an underground river. What makes it so unusual, however, is the beautiful emerald color of the water in the Spring.


37. Mammoths used to roam freely in Texas during the Ice Age. In Waco, TX you can visit a Mammoth site, where you can walk through an excavation site and see the remains of the largest concentration of Columbian mammoths to have died from one event. The remains of 24 mammoths were found here in 1978.


38. Before 2012, local brewers in Texas couldn’t call a beer a “beer” if it had alcohol content greater than 4 percent. Texas labeling laws required all malt beverages to be called “ale” or “malt liquor.” In addition, if a malt beverage (AKA “beer”) had alcohol content greater than 4 percent, the drink could not be advertised as a beer.


39. Texas broke the record for making the largest Frito-Lay Pie, which is made with chill, cheese, and corn chips. The record-breaking Frito pie weighed 1,325 pounds.


40. Texas also broke the record for making the largest bowl of salsa. Bob Blumer, of the TV Show, “Glutton for Punishment”, made a 500-gallon bowl of salsa during the Annual Tomato Festival in Jacksonville.


41. No person or company can own more than five liquor store permits in Texas. WalMart actually sued the state of Texas over this law, but lost. There is a loophole, however: the package store law permits “blood relatives” of license holders to open five more stores under the same name. All in the family…


42. In Austin, Texas, there is a store called Toy Joy that is full of vintage toys.


43. The Congress Avenue Bridge, which spans Town Lake in downtown Austin, is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. The colony is estimated at 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats. If you’re in Austin between March and November, you can watch these bats emerge from under the bridge at twilight.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.