10 Things You Didn't Know About Idaho

Out of all 50 states, how many have you actually visited? Was Idaho one of them? If not, then you are missing out. Idaho, though not many people know this, is one of this country's best kept secrets as it is a beautiful mixture of urban cities and breathtaking natural hotspots. Here are ten things that you might not have known about this amazing state. Be warned, however, the further you read, the more you will want to move here.

10. There's more than just potatoes here

Say, what? Idaho isn't just one giant potato farm!? No, no it is not. Actually, it is quite far from that. Idaho is a very diverse state that is home to much more than your favorite vegetables. True, Idaho grows a lot of potatoes and is the largest producer of potatoes in the entire U.S. but there is much more to it than that. Idaho is home to lots of mountain wildernesses that have hunting, fishing, and camping opportunities; rivers for kayaking, canoeing, and swimming; urban cities with restaurants, sports teams, schools, and plenty of jobs, and much more.

9. Wallace, Idaho is declared to be the 'Center of the Universe'

Yep, that is no typo. Wallace, Idaho, a small town of only 780ish people, has declared itself 'the Center of the Universe'. Now, this isn't some sort of delusional concoction of the townsfolk, this was a joke made by a group of scientist that were gathered there in 2004. They said that you can't prove that Wallace, Idaho is not the center of the universe, therefore it is inherently proven to be so (kind of like innocent until proven guilty). The mayor then, who loved the idea, officially declared Wallace, Idaho the center of the universe with a commemorative monument and everything.

This sparked the Center of the Universe Festival that has become a popular event for tourists and locals alike.

8. The Idaho State Capital is the only state capital heated by geothermal energy

Idaho is well-known for its awesome natural resources, one of which being its hot springs. There are many hot springs in Idaho that are great for relaxation and recreation, but did you know its power can be harnessed for more than just that? Geothermal energy is a form of energy production that relies on the hot water that bubbles below the earth's surface. It can be used to generate raw electricity and even used to directly heat a building. And that, friends, is what the Idaho State Capitol building did. It is heated by water that is several thousands of feet below the surface. It is not the only building in downtown Boise that uses this resource, but it is the only state capitol building that is heated in this manner.

7. Idaho is home to one of the most remote places in the lower 48 states

If you have ever wanted to be as far away from civilization as possible, then Idaho is a good place to start. Though it is not the most remote place in the lower 48 states, the forested mountain range that covers most of northern Idaho and western Montana is a place where you can leave the world behind you. It is so well known for being remote that it is even officially named the "Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness" -  no joke. You can travel into the River of No Return Wilderness and be so far away from any roads that Siri would probably have a heart attack. Many people go there for the great hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking opportunities it has. If you decide to venture out there, however, be sure to bring a good GPS, some maps, and extra food - just in case.

6. Arco Idaho was the first town to be lit by nuclear energy

During the 1950s, when nuclear energy was still a mystery waiting to be harnessed. The Russians, the Germans, and many other countries were on the brink of a breakthrough when the United States beat them to the punch. In July of 1955, Arco, Idaho, home of the Idaho National Laboratory, was the first town to ever be powered by nuclear energy. This accomplishment was an incredible step forward in the world of science that allowed nuclear power plants to be produced for commercial use.

5. In Idaho, there is over 100,000 miles worth of rivers

Yep, that's right, 100,000 miles of rivers here in Idaho. There are big ones, small ones, fast ones, and slow ones, and just about everything in between. There are some many rivers that a person who enjoys watersports can be as picky as Goldilocks in a mattress store. There are rivers that are full of all kinds of fish, rivers that are home to class 5 rapids, and rivers that are great for lazy floating; the best part about all these rivers, though, is that most of them are within driving distance of some sort of town or city. So, if a person is staying in a city like Boise or a resort town like Sun Valley (where many celebrities like Bruce Willis own summer homes) they can always find a river to enjoy in no time at all.

4. Buck Knives, Boise paper and cardboard, and Micron memory chips are all made in Idaho

You've probably all heard of Buck Knives or seen the giant green boxes of Boise printer paper, but did you know that they, along with many other great things, are manufactured in Idaho? Buck Knives, though it started in San Diego, California, is now located in Post Falls, Idaho - a town in the northwestern part of the Idaho panhandle. These knives that have been around for over a century are quality tools that any knife collector would be proud to wear on his or her belt.

Boise paper, owned by Boise Inc., is a popular brand of paper products in offices, warehouses, and many professional environments. Even in TV shows that are based in an office environment (including the show "the Office" where they work at a paper company) are known to have boxes of Boise paper laying around. The company behind these products is headquartered in none other than Boise, Idaho.

Lastly, there are Micron Memory chips. You may not know much about Micron's memory chips unless you are in the tech industry, but you have most likely used one before. Micron's memory chips are manufactured for many different products, but most notably for Apple's IPhones. If you have ever used an IPhone, and in some cases an IPod, you have more than likely used a memory chip made by Micron - also headquartered in Boise.

3. Idaho's name is made up

Back when Idaho was just a territory, and it was being considered for statehood, a politician came forward and submitted the name 'Idaho' saying that it was an old Indian word for the gem of the mountains. The people of congress liked it and thus the name Idaho was born. People thought it was such a nice word that, even when it was discovered to be bogus, it stuck. So, unlike Colorado, Nevada, and Utah, that all have names that mean something in other languages, Idaho is a complete work of fiction.

2. Idaho's license plates indicate what part of Idaho a person is from

Unless a person gets a personalized license plate, all randomly created license plates in Idaho are printed with a combination of a number and a letter that indicates what county a particular car is registered in. So, for instance, a car from Ada County - the county where Boise is located - will have license plates with the first two character starting with 1A. If the first two characters are 2C then the car is from Canyon County and so on and so forth. This can make road trips a lot of fun as you can see how far certain people have driven to get to any given place. It is even more fun when you are in a different state and find another car with the same license plate code.

1. Contrary to popular belief, Idaho is a real place

Now, this may seem like a silly thing to say - and it is - but, to be fair, UrbanDictionary.com started it. UrbanDictionary.com is a Wikipedia-style website where the definitions to slang words and other entries are written by visitors to the website. This is all fine and good until you get something like this: "[Idaho is] One of the best-conducted hoaxes in history. Idaho does not exist, nor does anyone "from Idaho" exist. It is suspected Idaho is a black hole." - AngryAmishMafia May 19, 2004.

Idaho is a wonderful place and it is surely worth a visit. Come see it for yourself; but be warned, the longer you stay, the harder it will be to leave.