3800 American Ghost Towns You Can Visit on One Map

Geotab
Geotab

Not every city is destined to survive forever. In the 19th century, plenty of towns established during mining, oil, and railway booms flourished for a few decades, then shriveled up when their single source of economic support dried up, leaving entire towns abandoned. Geotab recently mapped out more than 3800 of these ghost towns across the U.S., diving into what areas have the highest concentration of long-abandoned settlements.

When you click on each state, pop-ups will reveal how many ghost towns that state is home to, which county has the highest concentration of them, and which city features the most in a 25- or 50-mile radius around it.

The image above is from Berlin, Nevada, a one-time mining town established in the 1880s. The mine shut down after a strike in the early 1900s, and was abandoned by the 1910s. Many of the original buildings remain standing today, though. It's now part of Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park.

Below is Harrisburg, a ghost town in Utah established in 1859. Settlers struggled to farm on the rugged land, and floods and other disasters eventually drove them to relocate elsewhere. It was abandoned by the 1890s, but remnants of some of the stone buildings are still around.

While we often associate ghost towns with Western locales like California (where there are 346 ghost towns), there are a striking number of them in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, where the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression left 308, 236, and 511 towns abandoned, respectively. Florida is also full of ghostly remains of cities, with 257 of them across the state. States in other parts of the country have strikingly few ghost towns. The Northeast is particularly bare: Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine have one, four, and five, respectively.

Explore the entire project here. If you don't have the time for a road trip to see all 3800-plus ghost towns on the map, you can take a virtual tour of the now-abandoned 19th century town of Bodie, California here, or check out our list of 10 specific ghost towns in the U.S. to visit. Though of course, if you really love ghost towns, you could just buy your own.

Ghost Towns of America
Click the image to open the full interactive version (via Geotab).

7 Top-Rated Portable Air Conditioners You Can Buy Right Now

Black + Decker/Amazon
Black + Decker/Amazon

The warmest months of the year are just around the corner (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), and things are about to get hot. To make indoor life feel a little more bearable, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the top-rated portable air conditioners you can buy online right now.

1. SereneLife 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner; $290

SereneLife air conditioner on Amazon.
SereneLife/Amazon

This device—currently the best-selling portable air conditioner on Amazon—is multifunctional, cooling the air while also working as a dehumidifier. Reviewers on Amazon praised this model for how easy it is to set up, but cautioned that it's not meant for large spaces. According to the manufacturer, it's designed to cool down rooms up to 225 square feet, and the most positive reviews came from people using it in their bedroom.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Black + Decker 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and Heater; $417

Black + Decker portable air conditioner
Black+Decker/Amazon

Black + Decker estimates that this combination portable air conditioner and heater can accommodate rooms up to 350 square feet, and it even comes with a convenient timer so you never have to worry about forgetting to turn it off before you leave the house. The setup is easy—the attached exhaust hose fits into most standard windows, and everything you need for installation is included. This model sits around four stars on Amazon, and it was also picked by Wirecutter as one of the best values on the market.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Mikikin Portable Air Conditioner Fan; $45

Desk air conditioner on Amazon
Mikikin/Amazon

This miniature portable conditioner, which is Amazon's top-selling new portable air conditioner release, is perfect to put on a desk or end table as you work or watch TV during those sweltering dog days. It's currently at a four-star rating on Amazon, and reviewers recommend filling the water tank with a combination of cool water and ice cubes for the best experience.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Juscool Portable Air Conditioner Fan; $56

Juscool portable air conditioner.
Juscool/Amazon

This tiny air conditioner fan, which touts a 4.6-star rating, is unique because it plugs in with a USB cable, so you can hook it up to a laptop or a wall outlet converter to try out any of its three fan speeds. This won't chill a living room, but it does fit on a nightstand or desk to help cool you down in stuffy rooms or makeshift home offices that weren't designed with summer in mind.

Buy it: Amazon

5. SHINCO 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner; $320

Shinco portable air conditioner
SHINCO/Amazon

This four-star-rated portable air conditioner is meant for rooms of up to 200 square feet, so think of it for a home office or bedroom. It has two fan speeds, and the included air filter can be rinsed out quickly underneath a faucet. There's also a remote control that lets you adjust the temperature from across the room. This is another one where you'll need a window nearby, but the installation kit and instructions are all included so you won't have to sweat too much over setting it up.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Honeywell MN Series Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier; $400

Honeywell air conditioner on Walmart.
Honeywell/Walmart

Like the other units on this list, Honeywell's portable air conditioner also acts as a dehumidifier or a standard fan when you just want some air to circulate. You can cool a 350-square-foot room with this four-star model, and there are four wheels at the bottom that make moving it from place to place even easier. This one is available on Amazon, too, but Walmart has the lowest price right now.

Buy it: Walmart

7. LG 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner; $699

LG Portable Air Conditioner.
LG/Home Depot

This one won't come cheap, but it packs the acclaim to back it up. It topped Wirecutter's list of best portable air conditioners and currently has a 4.5-star rating on Home Depot's website, with many of the reviews praising how quiet it is while it's running. It's one of the only models you'll find compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, and it can cool rooms up to 500 square feet. There's also the built-in timer, so you can program it to go on and off whenever you want.

Buy it: Home Depot

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The Motto of Each U.S. State, Mapped

Each state has its own motto.
Each state has its own motto.
choness/iStock via Getty Images

Unless you pay a lot of attention to license plates, you’re probably not able to easily recall your state’s motto. Texas, California, New York, and other states sport distinctive phrases that help characterize their territory. All 50 U.S. states have one, spread across multiple languages including English, Latin, Spanish, and more.

Financial services resource CashNetUSA recently assembled a map featuring all of America's state mottos, and it makes for some intriguing exploration.

Courtesy of: CashNetUSA

Many of these states have compelling stories behind their choice of a motto. In California, “Eureka!” (Greek for “I’ve found it!”) stems from the story of Archimedes realizing he could determine the purity of gold. He ran through the streets—naked—shouting “Eureka!” The phrase was later used in the original design of the state seal in 1849 at the height of the Gold Rush.

In Wyoming, “Equal Rights” refers to the state’s progressive attitude toward women's rights, having guaranteed them the right to vote, serve on juries, and hold public office beginning in 1869.

The most metal of these phrases, New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die,” came from General John Stark in 1809. He wrote a toast for a military event he couldn’t attend that read in part: “Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils.”