Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
• Florida was discovered in 1513 by Juan Ponce de Leon from Spain when he landed by boat in North-East Florida, possibly near present-day St Augustine. This is when written records about Florida began
• Florida measures 65, 795 sq miles
• Florida’s population is 17, 019, 068
• Florida had 663 miles of beaches
• The capital of Florida is Tallahassee
• Florida’s nickname is the Sunshine State ( due to it’s fantastic climate)
• The state flower is Orange Blossom
• The state tree is a Sabal Palm
• The main industry in Florida is tourism. Florida is the top travel destination in the world. It’s worth $57 billion. The main attraction is WaltDisneyWorld in Orlando – the largest vacation resort in the world!
WaltDisneyWorld covers 48 square miles (the same size as Greater Manchester in UK) Along with over 20 hotels, there are 4 theme parks and 2 water parks. The theme parks are called Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
The theme parks have many attractions including hair-raising rides, parades, information films and shows. This is where Mickey Mouse lives! The water parks are called Blizzard beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
There is also a huge Sports complex called Wide World of Sport where lots of big sporting events take place as well as being a place for local school children to take Sports lessons.
• Another large industry in Florida is agriculture. 75% of America’s oranges come from Florida and 40% of the world’s supply of Orange juice comes from Florida
• Over 40% of all US exports to Latin and South America pass through Florida
• The Space industry represents $4. 5 billion of the state' s economy with the average wage of an employee being approximately $52, 000. Kennedy Space Centre (KSC) employs around 15, 000 people. This is also a big tourist attraction especially when rockets are due to launched.
• Construction is a big industry too along with Research and Software.
• Florida is also famous for its large population of Alligators. They live in lakes, swamps. Canals and other wetland areas. There is a 99% chance that there is at least one alligator in any area of water in Florida. Alligators eat fish, turtles and a variety of other animals including small dogs!
In late June and early July, female alligators usually lay 30 to 50 eggs in mound shaped nests made of reeds and other vegetation. Baby alligators hatch after an incubation period of 2 months. When hatched alligators are already fully developed and about 8 inches long. Mature alligators usually range between 6 and 12 feet in length, with females rarely exceeding 9 feet. Because alligators are cold-blooded we often see them sunning themselves on logs or on banks near water. Alligators should not be fed since this causes them to lose their fear of humans and feeding them is against Floridian law.
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