15 Things You Might Not Know About Maine
1. Maine is the only state that borders just one other state—New Hampshire.
2. Maine’s Machias Seal Island and North Rock in the Gulf of Maine are among the four areas of disputed territory between the United States and Canada, and the only ones that contain land. The disagreement stems from dueling interpretations of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, and it's unlikely to erupt into a major conflict. The British established a lighthouse on Machia Seal Island in 1832, and it's still peacefully staffed by the Canadian Coast Guard.
3. Maine's lobster yield, more than 90 million pounds each year, accounts for nearly 50 percent of the country’s lobster supply.
4. Maine produces wild 99 percent of the nation's blueberries. Until 2003, the state also made 90 percent of the country's toothpick supply. (Now, most toothpicks are made overseas.)
5. The Desert of Maine in Freeport is not actually a desert. But the 40-acre span of exposed glacial silt—which is like sand only with a finer grain—looks like a tiny Sahara just a few miles from the coast.
6. Maine is home to the world’s largest telephone. Or at least a sculpture of an old-fashioned candlestick phone, 14 feet tall, in Bryant Pond. If you're in the area hunting for enormous objects, you can see the world’s largest nonstick pan in nearby Pittsfield.
7. In the category of slightly less random oversized objects: "Eartha" holds the Guinness World Record as the "World's Largest Revolving/Rotating Globe" with a diameter of 41 feet, one and one-half inches. You can see it housed in a three-story glass atrium in the office of a mapping company in Yarmouth.
8. On the other end of the size spectrum is Pocahontas (Echo Point) Light, the world’s smallest lighthouse, which stands just six feet tall on the edge of Great Diamond Island.
9. In Portland you can visit the International Cryptozoology Museum, which is dedicated to specimens and artifacts from creatures of questionable existence like Bigfoot, Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster. A sample of alleged Yeti hair is among its collection's highlights.
10. Spanning 40 miles along Route 1 is a 1:93,000,000 scale model of the solar system created by local high school and technical school students. The planets are spread throughout backyards and roadsides of several towns.
11. Maine has more moose per square mile than any other state. Maine is home to over 75,000 moose, and in areas around the aptly named Moosehead Lake, there are three moose for every person.
12. Maine is about the same size as the other five New England States combined and contains 542,629 acres of state and national parks.
13. Maine is one of just two states where electoral votes are distributed according to the state’s congressional districts instead of the state as a whole. This means that unlike the other 48, one candidate does not necessarily get all 4 of Maine’s votes.
14. Earmuffs were invented to help fend off Maine's chilly winters. Chester Greenwood was a 15-year-old ice skater in the early 1870s when he had an idea for keeping his ears from getting so nippy. He enlisted his grandmother's help in attaching beaver pelts to a wire frame, and the first earmuffs were born. Greenwood would later patent his design and start mass-producing the invention, which turned Farmington in the "Earmuff Capital of the World."
15. Eastport is the only United States municipality that has been ruled by a foreign government. The island town spent four years under British rule following the conclusion of the War of 1812 before being returned to the United States in 1818.