36 Fantastic South Dakota Facts that no one knows

South Dakota, located in the midwestern region of the United States, is the 17th largest state in the country, with an area of 77,116 square miles.

It is a state with a rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking natural beauty. Here are some interesting facts about South Dakota that you might not know:

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Fascinating South Dakota Facts Discover the Treasures of the Mount Rushmore State

The name “South Dakota” is derived from the Sioux language

South Dakota’s name derives from the Sioux language, specifically the Dakota Sioux tribe. “Dakota” means “friend” or “ally” in the Sioux language. The state is named after the Dakota Sioux and the Lakota Sioux tribes 🏞️.

Mount Rushmore is located in South Dakota

Mount Rushmore Is In South Dakota

Mount Rushmore, one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States 🏞️, is in South Dakota. The mountain features the faces of four American presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The monument was completed in 1941 and attracts over two million visitors yearly.

South Dakota has the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains

Highest Point Of South Dakota

South Dakota is home to Harney Peak, 7,242 feet above sea level. This makes it the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains. The peak is in the Black Hills National Forest πŸŒ„, a popular hiking destination.

The Black Hills of South Dakota are considered sacred by Native Americans

The Black Hills of South Dakota are considered sacred by many Native American tribes, including the Lakota Sioux, who call it Paha Sapa. The area has many spiritual and cultural sites πŸŒ…, including Bear Butte and Wind Cave.

The state capital, Pierre, is the second smallest city in the United States

Pierre, the state capital of South Dakota, has just over 13,000 people. It is the second smallest capital city in the United States 🏰, after Montpelier, Vermont.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is the most giant mountain carving in the world

Crazy Horse Memorial In South Dakota

The Crazy Horse Memorial, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is the giant mountain carving in the world πŸ—». The monument is dedicated to the Native American leader Crazy Horse and is still under construction.

South Dakota has the world’s only corn palace

The Corn Palace, located in Mitchell, South Dakota, is a unique building covered in murals made from corn 🌽. The palace is redecorated yearly with a new theme, using over 275,000 ears of corn.

The state bird of South Dakota is the Chinese ring-necked pheasant.

State Bird Of South Dakota

The Chinese ring-necked pheasant was introduced to South Dakota in the late 1800s and has since become the state bird. The bird 🐦 is known for its distinctive colors and is a famous game bird in the state.

The largest underground gold mine in the United States is in South Dakota.

South Dakota's Gold Mine

The Homestake Mine, located in Lead, South Dakota, was once North America’s most significant and profound gold mine ⛏️. The mine operated for over 125 years and produced over 40 million ounces of gold. The mine is closed today, but visitors can take tours and learn about its history.

South Dakota is home to the most extensive natural grasslands in North America.

The mixed-grass prairie in South Dakota covers over 18 million acres and is the most extensive natural grassland in North America 🌾. The prairie has diverse wildlife, including bison, pronghorn, and coyotes.

South Dakota is home to the world’s only naturally pink lake.

South Dakota's Pink Lake

Lake Retba, located in South Dakota’s Black Hills, is the only naturally pink lake in the world. The lake’s pink color is caused by algae that thrive in its high salt content. It is also known as the “Lac Rose” and is a popular tourist attraction in the region 🌸.

The town of Deadwood was once a lawless frontier town.

Deadwood, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, was once a lawless frontier town that attracted notorious figures such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Today, the city is a popular tourist destination known for its historic charm and casinos.

South Dakota is home to the world’s largest underground research facility.

The Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, is the world’s largest underground research facility 🏭.

The facility is located 4,850 feet below the surface and is used to study various scientific topics, including particle physics and dark matter.

The state animal of South Dakota is the coyote.

State Animal Of South Dakota

The coyote was designated as the state animal of South Dakota in 1949. The animal is known for its distinctive howl and is a common sight in the state’s grasslands and prairies 🐺.

The town of Wall is home to the famous Wall Drug Store.

The Wall Drug Store, located in the town of Wall, South Dakota, is a famous tourist attraction founded in 1931. The store is known for its free ice water and has become a popular stop for tourists traveling through the region.

South Dakota is home to the largest motorcycle rally in the world.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota, is the largest motorcycle rally in the world. The event attracts thousands of bikers 🏍️ annually and features concerts, bike shows, and other attractions.

The state flower of South Dakota is the Pasqueflower.

State Flower Of South Dakota

The Pasqueflower, also known as the May Day flower, is the state flower of South Dakota 🌸. The flower blooms in early spring and is known for its delicate purple petals.

The town of Yankton was once the capital of the Dakota Territory.

Yankton, located in southeastern South Dakota, was once the capital of the Dakota Territory before it became a state. Today, the town is a popular tourist destination known for its historic architecture and scenic riverfront 🏰.

South Dakota is home to the world’s only museum dedicated to the American bison.

The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, South Dakota, is the world’s only museum dedicated to the American bison. The museum features exhibits on the history and culture of the bison, as well as a live bison herd.

The state fish of South Dakota is the walleye.

State Fish Of South Dakota

The walleye was designated as the state fish of South Dakota in 1982. The fish is a popular game fish in the state and is known for its delicious taste 🐟.

The town of Custer was named after General George Armstrong Custer.

Custer, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, was named after General George Armstrong Custer, who led an expedition into the area in 1874. Today, the town is a popular tourist destination for its scenic beauty and historic landmarks ⭐️.

South Dakota is home to the largest reptile zoo in the world.

The Reptile Gardens, located in Rapid City, South Dakota, is the largest reptile zoo in the world 🐊. The zoo features over 225 species of reptiles and amphibians, including crocodiles, snakes, and lizards.

Aberdeen is home to the world’s most giant pheasant statue.

The town of Aberdeen, located in northeastern South Dakota, is home to the world’s most giant pheasant statue 🦚. The statue stands 28 feet tall and weighs over 22 tons.

The state motto of South Dakota is “Under God, the people rule.”

The state motto of South Dakota is “Under God, the people rule.” The motto was adopted in 1885 and reflects the state’s commitment to democracy and freedom.

The town of Mitchell is home to the world’s only Corn Palace.

The Corn Palace in Mitchell 🌽, South Dakota, is the world’s only palace made entirely of corn. The building is decorated with murals made from corn and is a popular tourist attraction in the region.

South Dakota is home to the world’s largest mammoth exhibit.

The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota, is the world’s largest mammoth exhibit. The site features the remains of over 60 mammoths and other Ice Age animals 🐘.

South Dakota is home to several national and state parks.

South Dakota has several national and state parks, including Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park, and Bear Butte State Park 🏞️. These parks offer various outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.

The state gemstone of South Dakota is the Fairburn agate.

The Fairburn agate, found in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is the state gemstone of South Dakota. The agate is known for its distinctive banding and is a popular souvenir for visitors to the region.

The town of Keystone is located near Mount Rushmore.

The town of Keystone, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is near the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial πŸ”οΈ. The city is a popular tourist destination known for its historic charm and proximity to the monument.

The Black Hills National Forest covers over 1.2 million acres.

Black Hills National Forest Of South Dakota

The Black Hills National Forest, located in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, covers over 1.2 million acres. The forest 🌳 is home to diverse wildlife, including elk, bison, and mountain lions, and numerous recreational opportunities, such as hiking, camping, and fishing.

The South Dakota State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the country.

The South Dakota State Fair, held annually in Huron, South Dakota, is one of the largest state fairs in the United States. The fair features carnival rides, livestock exhibits, live entertainment, and various food vendors 🎑.

The town of Deadwood was once a wild west boomtown.

Deadwood, located in western South Dakota, was once a wild west boomtown known for its lawlessness and notorious characters, such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane 🀠.

Today, the town is a popular tourist destination known for its historic buildings and gambling opportunities.

The town of Lead was once the largest gold-mining town in the United States.

Lead, located in western South Dakota, was once the largest gold-mining town in the United States. Today, the city is home to the Sanford Underground Research Facility, which researches particle physics and underground science.

The town of Yankton is home to the Meridian Bridge.

The Meridian Bridge, located in Yankton, South Dakota, was built in 1924 and is a historic landmark in the region. The bridge πŸŒ‰ spans the Missouri River and connects South Dakota and Nebraska.

The town of Sturgis hosts an annual motorcycle rally.

The city of Sturgis, located in western South Dakota, hosts an annual motorcycle 🏍️ rally that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. The rally features motorcycle races, live music, and a variety of vendors and exhibits.

In this article, we covered 36 amazing facts about South Dakota. Keep learning! 

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