When you hear about Michigan, what comes to mind? Do you think of facts about Motor City? What about the Great Lakes? \n\nIf you don't know many interesting and fun facts about Michigan state, you should change that! It's a fascinating place with tons of facts worth knowing. Whether you're planning a trip or just want to impress your friends with your new-found knowledge about this northern state, you won't regret reading this article! \n\nFrom the interesting to the creepy, there's a Michigan fact to grab anyone's attention. However, knowing where to look can be overwhelming. So, this list covers a few different areas to help you get started.\n\nSo, what are you waiting for? Start reading 50 facts about Michigan state that will fascinate you!\n\nStarting any list of fun facts on Michigan is the fact it was the 26th state in the Union. Before 1837, Michigan was a US territory, but it hadn't been granted statehood yet. \n\nIt's possible Michigan could have become a state a little sooner. Conflicts over territory with Ohio kept Michigan from earning its star on the American flag for a while.\n\nWith as many lakes as Michigan has, it's no surprise there's an official state fish. The Brook Trout has been an official Michigan symbol since 1988. \n\nThe Brook Trout replaced the previous state fish, the general trout species. Since there are 4 species of trout native to Michigan's waters, it was an easy choice for the initial title of state fish.\n\nIn the middle of Lake Superior, you'll find the island collection that makes up Isle Royale National Park. Since it's so remote, the park has been able to remain car-free with the only access being by boat. \n\nSome of Michigan's natural wildlife can thrive on the island since it's protected from harmful outside elements. Timberwolves and moose are among some of the more exciting inhabitants of the park.\n\nMichigan's State Capitol is the beating heart of the state's legislation. Its architecture, therefore, needed to reflect the important work that would be conducted within it. \n\nIt was built following a combination of the Renaissance Revival and Classical Revival styles. It's also one of the only state capitol buildings to feature its unique center dome, complete with hand-painted designs.\n\nIf you're wondering what sorts of nicknames Michigan has, look no further. One of this great state's monikers is the "Mitten State." \n\nThat nickname might seem silly, but it makes sense if you look at a map of the United States. If you look closely, the state is shaped like a mitten. It's unclear who started the nickname, but it dates back to at least 1901.\n\nMichigan might be inland, but that doesn't stop it from having an impressive coastline. The state is surrounded by 4 of the 5 American Great Lakes. \n\nThe lakes' impressive sizes, mean Michigan has over 3,200 continuous miles of coastline bordering them. That's the longest freshwater coastline in the country. It also has the country's second-longest coastline in general.\n\nAnother one of the most interesting facts of Michigan is one of the state's other nicknames. When not referred to as the "Mitten State," it's being called the "Wolverine State." \n\nThe state earned that nickname for 2 reasons. Initially, Michigan had a large population of wild wolverines, though their numbers dwindled over time. The state was also the center for the northern US fur trade, which also added to the validity of the moniker.\n\nMichigan is home to some of the biggest industries in the country, which has caused its population to boom over the years. With around 10 million residents, Michigan is the 10th most populated state in the country. \n\nUnsurprisingly, most of the state's citizens are localized around Detroit and the state's other major cities. However, due to its natural beauty, many people have also started spreading out to more rural areas as well.\n\nDiana Ross became one of the biggest names in the music industry. From the time she was 15, her star power earned her notoriety. \n\nWhat you might not know, if you're just a casual fan, is that Diana Ross is a Michigan native. She was born and raised in Detroit, the state's biggest city and the country's music capital at the time.\n\nLewis Cass may have been born in New Hampshire, but he gained notoriety as Governor of Michigan. He was awarded the title in 1813 by President Madison to reward his decorated military service. \n\nCass took to the position and came to think of the state as his home. He served as governor for 18 years, and he continued to live in the state until he died in 1866.\n\nThe death penalty, also known as capital punishment, has always been a point of contention in US politics. To this day, states can't agree on what's the best course of action regarding it. \n\nWhile many states have banned the punishment over the years, Michigan was the first. In 1846, Michigan abolished the death penalty. At the time, the only exception to that rule was as punishment for treason, which was considered the most heinous crime.\n\nLimestone is one of the most useful minerals out there. It has a high tolerance to temperatures and water, so it doesn't break down with as much wear and tear. \n\nA large portion of the limestone on the market comes from Michigan. That's because the state is home to the largest limestone quarry in the world.\n\nOne of the most interesting and fun Michigan facts is that the state is rich in natural resources. However, perhaps one of the most important natural resources found in the state is iron ore. \n\nIron ore is an essential ingredient in making steel which has been a necessary component in construction since the 1800s. When deposits were found in Michigan, miners flocked to the state, making it one of the biggest iron ore producers.\n\nMinnesota might be the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", but Michigan has that number beaten by a landslide. Popular culture cites the state as having around 11,000 lakes, but even that number is wrong. \n\nIf you count every lake in the state, including those that measure less than an acre, there are nearly 65 thousand lakes in Michigan. The lakes make up over 22 thousand square miles of Michigan's total area.\n\nMichigan State University is a common choice for higher education among Michigan residents. However, not everyone knows that it was the first college of its kind. \n\nU of M, as it's commonly referred to by locals, was the first US university to offer agricultural programs. After it opened in 1855, other schools began to follow suit.\n\nMichigan's state pride is palpable throughout its territory. Therefore, it's no surprise that the state motto is "si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice" which means "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."\n\nLike many states' mottos, the phrase is in Latin. It can be seen on the official seal and coat of arms, as well as on official Michigan government buildings.\n\nMichigan not only has the longest freshwater coast, but it also has the largest freshwater sand dunes. These sand dunes are protected areas, with the tallest dune reaching 450 feet in height.\n\nThe sand dunes were formed millions of years ago when glaciers slowly moved through the area. These glaciers transported sand to Michigan's shores, where its been ever since.\n\nMichigan is one of the United States border states with Canada. However, while many states have a land border to divide the US and Canadian territories, that's not the case with this state. \n\nPart of Michigan and Ontario's shared border is the Detroit River. The state also has 4 land borders with its northern neighbor as well.\n\nThere are many Michigan historical facts, but one of the most important has to do with the civil rights movement. Though it is a progressive northern state, Michigan was still involved in the movement that lasted nearly 40 years. \n\nIt set a landmark precedent by being the first state to include civil rights protection in its laws. In the years following this 1964 law, other states followed in Michigan's footsteps.\n\nThe 5 Great Lakes are some of the largest freshwater bodies of water in the country, but Lake Superior is the largest of them all. It's the largest freshwater lake on the planet and the second-largest lake in the world. \n\nThe lake is so big that it holds 10% of the globe's freshwater supply. In numbers, that equals around 3 quadrillion gallons spread out across 32 thousand square miles.\n\nMichigan has multiple islands to its name, with one of the most famous being Mackinac Island. To reach these islands, you often need to catch a boat. But in this case, you can take the bridge. \n\nThe Mackinac Bridge is 26 thousand feet long and connects the island with the mainland. Of that length, 8,600 feet are completely suspended over water. Those impressive numbers make the bridge one of the longest in general and the longest suspension bridge in the world.\n\nFounded in 1929, the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation became a state landmark right away. In just 40 years, the museum was converted into a National Historic Place. \n\nThe museum showcases 300 years of American progress and displays artifacts from great American innovators throughout the country's history. Since innovations are coming to light every day, the museum is ever-changing.\n\nThe Michigan Lower Peninsula, also known as Lower Michigan, is the largest chunk of the state's territory. The territory measures 277 x 195 miles which makes up around 2/3 of the state's total land area. \n\nThe lower peninsula is not only the largest section of the state, but it's also the least elevated portion as well. The highest point reaches 1,705 feet of elevation.\n\nIf you're fascinated by state symbols, you'll likely be interested in learning about the Michigan state bird. That title goes to the American robin which is native to the state. \n\nThe robin became the state bird in 1931. However, Michigan isn't the only state to choose this bird as its symbol. Connecticut and Wisconsin also share the American robin.\n\nA list of fun facts of Michigan wouldn't be complete without the Michigan state flower. Since 1897, the apple blossom has held that title. \n\nThe flower is native to Michigan and is popular due to its fragrant smell. Arkansas representatives agreed as they also made it their state flower 4 short years later in 1901.\n\nGrand Rapids is the 2nd most populated city in Michigan, with over 200 thousand residents. However, according to rumors, there are even a few ghosts that call the city home. \n\nStories of the area's ghosts can date back to when Native Americans were the sole residents of the territory. They called it the "Haunted Valley." Today, you can take haunted city tours all year.\n\nWhen you think of Bigfoot, you might think of the Pacific Northwest. But sightings have reached as far east as Michigan. The Upper Peninsula specifically has seen its fair share of Bigfoot stories. \n\nIn 2021, a hunter claims to have caught the mythical creature on film. Unfortunately, the evidence is still considered inconclusive, but it's revived the state's fascination with the legend.\n\nPaulding, Michigan, might seem like a run-of-the-mill small town, but it's full of mystery. Since the 1960s, mysterious lights have been seen in the town's territory. \n\nThese lights have earned the name "Paulding Lights." To this day, no one knows for sure what causes the lights to appear. Theories range from swamp gasses to ghosts causing the phenomenon.\n\nIf you find yourself in Michigan's countryside, you might hear stories of the "corn monster." The creature is described as being similar to Bigfoot. However, rather than being spotted in the woods, the corn monster is often spotted in open corn fields. \n\nThe legend of the corn monster is mostly centered around the Winn area. However, people all over the state are familiar with it. No one knows exactly when the sightings first started, but they've become a regular part of Michigan life.\n\nFans of the paranormal from all over the country flock to Denton Road and its bridge in Wayne County, Michigan. During the day, it may seem like a country road in southeast Michigan, but at night rumors about the bridge fly. \n\nMany locals have claimed to see ghosts on the bridge and along the side of the road when driving at night. Most often the figure seen is that of a woman, who has earned the moniker "The Blue Lady."\n\nIf you're trying to impress people with your knowledge of facts about the state of Michigan, you have to mention the floating post office. It's the J.W. Westcott II boat, and it's located on the Detroit River. \n\nThe Detroit River is the docking place for many boats and ships, some of which are used as mailing addresses. To get mail to these boats, the floating post office and delivery service were implemented.\n\nMichigan is subdivided into 83 counties. Typically, each county has a few towns or cities within its borders, but that's not the case everywhere in the state. \n\nChippewa County has just a single city within its borders. That city is Sault Ste. Marie. The city has a population of around 13,000. Be careful not to confuse the city with its sister in Canada, which shares the same name.\n\nIf you're unable to make it to the Netherlands, you can get a taste of Dutch culture in Michigan. The city of Holland has an authentic 250-year -old Dutch windmill. \n\nThe windmill is located in the Windmill Island Gardens and is called DeZwaan, which is Dutch for "the swan." Along with the mill, the park also has a carousel and tours led by guides in Dutch costumes.\n\nThe windmill is recognized by the National Parks Register on the National Register of Historic Places.\n\nThough luge isn't the most popular sport, it's still an important event in the winter Olympics. However, there are surprisingly few places to train in the US. \n\nOne of the only luge tracks in the country is located in Muskegon. The track is slightly shorter than those used during competitions, but it was designed by a 3-time winner to help aspiring athletes train.\n\nCurrently, in the USA, 10 states recognize what is called "recycle payback" or "bottle bill." Meaning if you purchase a recyclable bottle or can, you typically have to pay a little extra as a deposit which you'll get back by recycling correctly. \n\nMichigan is one of those states. However, it sets itself apart by having the highest payback amount of any participating state.\n\nPeople who aren't from Michigan might assume that the state capital is Detroit. It's the largest city, after all. However, that's not the case. \n\nThe capital of Michigan state is Lansing. It's the 6th largest city in the state, and it spans 2 separate counties. Lansing was chosen strategically as the western parts of Michigan were underdeveloped and having the capital there would jumpstart settlements.\n\nWhen the US was still in its infancy, its land was often sectioned off into large areas. One of these areas was called the Northwest Territory.\n\nEven experts on current Michigan facts and information may be unaware of this part of the state's history. During the late 1700s, the Northwest Territory was comprised of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.\n\nWhile many movies and shows have taken place in Michigan, they're often filmed in Hollywood. However, that's not the case with the 1980 film "Somewhere in Time." \n\nThe movie is set on Mackinac Island and stars Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The film was made almost entirely on location and caused a small influx of visitors to this peaceful Michigan island.\n\nIt's hard to picture a time when cereal wasn't promoted as an important part of a balanced breakfast. It's a staple food in most people's homes, but did you know one of the biggest cereal companies was born in Michigan? \n\nBattle Creek was the headquarters and production site for Kellogg's for over 100 years and was considered the heart of the cereal industry. Though the headquarters has moved to Chicago, the city still recognizes how important this breakfast food was to its development.\n\nThough Michigan has about half the population of New York, the opposite is true for their land area. You could fit New York inside of Michigan nearly two times. \n\nMichigan is the 11th largest state by size. You may not realize that when you consider its pure land area. But remember, the state is full of lakes which also contribute to its overall size.\n\nFor years, Detroit was known as America's music capital. Numerous legendary record labels signed their first bands and singers in the city, including Diana Ross. \n\nPerhaps an even more important contribution Detroit has made to music is that it brought music integration to the mainstream. By promoting genres like blues; jazz; gospel; and R&B, African American artists were able to gain a much wider audience than ever before.\n\nAt one time, northern Michigan was considered inhospitable and was mostly wilderness. That changed in 1620 when the state's upper peninsula was first explored by Étienne Brûlé. \n\nBrûlé continued his explorations of Canada down south into what is now considered Michigan territory. Twenty-one years later, French missionaries set up a mission in the area.\n\nMichigan facts and history date back a lot further than you might think. While settlers have only been in the state's territory for about 300 years, there's evidence that people have called the territory home for nearly 12 thousand. \n\nMany of the first people on the American continent followed big game across the Bering Strait. These people were mostly nomadic, but would sometimes settle in fruitful areas where they were able to find food, water, and shelter.\n\nYou may have heard Detroit referred to as Motor City. That's because it was once the center of the American automotive industry. \n\nSince Michigan is rich in iron ore and copper, car manufacturers had easy access to the material they needed to build reliable vehicles. By building them right in Detroit, they were able to cut down on shipping costs and help the city's economy boom.\n\nBefore settlers claimed Michigan, it was populated by Native American tribes. While many tribes scattered throughout the US or joined together, there are still 12 tribes that are currently recognized within the state. \n\nThese tribes are descended from the original Native American groups in the territory. Those groups were the Potawatomi, Sauk, Fox, Huron, Ottawa, Kickapoo, Ojibwe, and Menominee, people.\n\nIf you're driving around Detroit, keep an eye out for signs indicating I-375. It's the shortest freeway in the state and the second shortest in the country. \n\nInterstate 375 measures 1.1 miles in length and has been open to cars since 1964. The street aims to connect the main stretch of the freeway with Jefferson Avenue in the city.\n\nYou might find yourself wondering where Michigan gets its name. Like many states, it derives from the language of one of the Native American tribes that originally populated the area. \n\nMichigan derives from a word in the Ojibwe language that means "big lake" or "big water." Since the state is surrounded by so many bodies of water, the name makes perfect sense.\n\nYou might expect a coastal state like Florida to have the most boaters of any place in the US. Surprisingly, that's not the case. Until recently, Michigan had that title. \n\nMichigan has 1 million registered boats in the state which was a record breaker for years. Recently, California has managed to beat it. However, considering Michigan's inland nature, the amount of time it held the title is impressive.\n\nOne of the most unexpected fun facts about Michigan state has to do with its soil. Not only is the state rich in natural minerals, but it's also extremely fertile. \n\nMichigan's soil and climate can support a wide variety of crops. Over 300 different crops are harvested by Michigan farmers every year, and agriculture makes up nearly 25% of the state's economy.\n\nMichigan's geography is unique. While multiple states have islands like Michigan, Michigan is the only state that has 2 peninsulas. \n\nYou might assume the northern part of the state would be part of Wisconsin. However in an agreement with the government to get its statehood, Michigan gave some disputed territory to Ohio in exchange for the upper peninsula.\n\nThere you have it! Fifty facts about the Mitten State. How many of them did you know? Did any of them surprise you? Hopefully, you learned a lot from this list that you can use on your next trip to Michigan or just to impress your friends and family. \n\nAs one of the most diverse and unique states in the country, Michigan deserves more attention. Fifty is a lot, but there are plenty more facts where these came from. Pick your favorite and use it to kick-start your own research so you can be a Michigan expert in no time!