Norman, OK

OK. Scrum down. It’s time for 10 facts about Oklahoma, Norman and the University of Oklahoma. Or at least it was, before I found n=>10 facts.

  1. Oklahoma is located near the geographical centre of the 48 contiguous states (which is located near Lebanon, Kansas) and near the confluence of three major American cultural regions: the Midwest, the Southwest, and the South.
  2. Oklahoma is the 20th-most extensive (181,295 km2) and the 28th-most populous (3,923,561) of the 50 US states. On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the union.
  3. The name “Oklahoma” comes from the Choctaw words: “okla” meaning people and “humma” meaning red. The state’s name therefore literally means “red people.”
  4. Shopping cart was invented in Oklahoma. Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain in Oklahoma City, conceived of the “folding basket carrier” in 1937. It is for things like this, places become cultural centres.
  5. Oklahoma’s state capitol building is the only capitol with an oil well directly underneath it. In 1941, the “Petunia #1” well was slant drilled through a flowerbed to reach the oil pool, which produced about 1.5 million bbl. over the course of 43 years. N.B. I could find little on the reservoir, source, seal, trap, etc, If anyone has any info, please let me know.
  6. Cimarron County of Oklahoma is the only county in the United States that borders four states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas.
  7. Oklahoma has about 55,646 miles of shoreline, which is pretty impressive considering it’s more-or-less smack-bang in the middle of the contiguous US. This is more than the combined non-tidal coasts of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Spoiler alert: this coastline isn’t marine, it’s freshwater, and related to, amongst other water bodies, Lake Eufaula, the state’s largest lake. I think this fact is very cool.
  8. Beaver, Oklahoma is the cow shit (more politely referred to as a ‘chip’) throwing capital of the world and, every year, it hosts the World Cow Chip Throwing Championship. When we in the UK think of obscure US ‘sporting’ events, it’s this type of thing we think about. Cf. cow-tipping.
  9. The Saurophaganax maximus is Oklahoma’s official state fossil. A fossil of one was first found in the early 1930s in Cimarron County. This is one fierce-ass looking dinosaur.
  10. Norman was named in honor of Abner Norman, the area’s initial land surveyor. It was formally incorporated on May 13th 1891.
  11. Garth Brooks and the The Flaming Lips (OMG I FREAKIN’ LOVE YOSHIMO BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS!!!!) come from Norma, OK. Ed Harris studied at OU.
  12. In addition to the very well know Oklahoma City bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19th 1995, there was an, at least to me, less well know bombing incident on the grounds of the University of Oklahoma on October 1st 2005. Time-permitting later today, I want to go and visit the memorial for the former.

Author: Christopher Aiden-Lee Jackson

I am Professor of Basin Analysis @imperialcollege. I ❤️ 🏃🏿, 🚴🏿 and @basinsIC (⛏). I obsess about the tectono-stratigraphic development of sedimentary basins. Why? Because I'm hopeless at everything else.

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