Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents

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.

This Is What Millions of Monarch Butterflies Sound Like

iStock/JHVEPhoto
iStock/JHVEPhoto

Monarch butterflies have disappeared from some parts of the U.S., but there are plenty of the winged creatures at Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. In a video spotted by The Kids Should See This, entomologist and conservationist Phil Torres pays a visit to the UNESCO-protected butterfly sanctuary in Michoacán, which is located northwest of Mexico City.

Beginning each fall, millions of the butterflies—which could soon be labeled an endangered species, depending on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s forthcoming decision—migrate from the U.S. and Canada to the forests of Michoacán. Once there, they completely cover the pine and oyamel trees they land on, creating fluttering branches that look like a strange species of tree at first glance.

“It’s not just visually stunning. It’s not just emotionally stunning … It sounds absolutely magic[al],” Torres says, “because you’ve never heard before the sounds of tens of millions of butterflies flying around you, because it only happens here. It’s one of the rarest sounds on Earth and you’re about to get a listen.”

At around the 5:40 mark in the video, you can hear the low buzzing sound of the butterflies—a surprisingly soothing ambient noise that’s best heard through headphones. Check out Torres’s video below, and visit his YouTube channel, The Jungle Diaries, to see more nature videos like these.

[h/t The Kids Should See This]

Watch the Game of Thrones Title Sequence Recreated With Paper Sculptures

moleskineart via YouTube
moleskineart via YouTube

Before every episode of Game of Thrones, viewers are given an aerial tour of Westeros in an animation created by Angus Wall and the designers at Elastic. In 2016, to promote four new notebook designs inspired by the show and its characters, Moleskine worked with Dadomani Studios to recreate the King's Landing section of the animation, using paper and stop motion animation instead of 3D computer graphics to present a unique take on the already memorable opening.

According to a behind-the-scenes video shared by FastCoDesign, the model was made using over 7600 pieces of paper and took about 160 hours to complete. The creators are shown painstakingly cutting and gluing each tiny piece together to build the gears and other architectural features of the capital. More than 700 photos were taken of the handmade towers and houses, which were then animated to form the 40-second video (above).

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

Updated for 2019.

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