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Just How Big Is Alaska? About the Area of 19 Other States

Click to enlarge. Image Credit: Metric Maps

Because maps of the world are inherently distorted, our ideas about geography and the relative size of countries and continents can be wildly different than reality. Greenland, for instance, appears monstrous on many maps, but is actually quite small, while Africa is huuuuge.

Alaska already looks massive on a map, but it’s hard to fathom just how it compares to other U.S. states in terms of land area. In this map by Metric Maps, spotted by Digg, 19 different U.S. states can fit into Alaska, the nation’s largest state by area. Not just the smaller states, either. Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia can all fit inside Alaska with room to spare. But as you might suspect, much of that landmass is virtually uninhabited. Alaska is the 47th most-populated state in the U.S.

[h/t Digg]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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