Weird Florida: Exploring The Bizarre Side Of The Sunshine State

Lovely weather all the time, beautiful beaches and amazing sunsets, Disney World, fantastic parks and Bok Tower Gardens – all of these and more make The Sunshine State a wonderful place to visit all year long. Florida’s small and interesting towns are also a fine way to spend your time here. And they hide a lot of interesting things, many not known by the general public. And for those of us that like a bit of weird, Florida has that as well. Let’s see some of the weird facts about Florida. Enjoy!

1. Drive-Thrus and Alligators

weird Florida: drive-thrus and alligatorsAlligators are all too present in Florida and some of them have developed a particular liking to Drive-Thrus. Whenever you’re in one make sure your friendly alligator isn’t in the line as well. It might be funny to hear about things like these happening to others but once you see an alligator up close and personal, things change drastically.

2. If it starts with “Florida Man”

man reading newspaperThen you know you’re in for a real wild ride (probably). There’s a lot of these news reports headlines that start off with “Florida Man” and the rest is usually either funny, weird or exciting in some way – sometimes all 3. Bizarre crimes, someone wrestling an alligator (yes that happened) or who knows what else, it all happens after you hear that kind of headline.

Here are just a few of these headlines:

Florida Man tries to cross ocean in Hamster wheel…again
Florida Man arrested for DUI wearing “I’m the reason the beer’s always gone” t-shirt
Florida Man charged with battery after slapping police horse’s butt
Florida Man arrested after buying meth and asking cops to test its authenticity
Florida Man arrested after he allegedly stole 66 rolls of toilet paper from hotel

These are so funny, you just know you’ll Google some of them right now to see what the actual deal is…

3. Tree falling iguanas

iguanas

Even in Florida it can get chilly outside and when that happens iguanas that like to stay in the trees can fall down since it’s too cold. Then they go into a reptilian hibernation of sorts. The whole thing can feel and look like a reptilian rainstorm depending on where you are at that time.

4. Florida zombie alerts

weird Florida: zombie alertCan you believe someone actually sent out a zombie alert in Florida? It happened in 2018, by accident, during a power outage. We wonder what residents were thinking when they heard this. Sounds like a plot from a horror movie.

5. The bath salt epidemic

And talking about zombies, Florida had its own “zombie apocalypse” when some people started using certain synthetic drugs or bath salts. Things must have been just like in an episode from the “The Walking Dead”.

6. Sponges and bathrooms as art

weird Florida: Spongeorama

In Tarpon Springs, Florida, there’s the “Spongeorama” museum where you’ll find a LOT of natural sponges, thousands of them. Some are decorating restrooms, making them look pretty art-full. Don’t forget to visit the sponge gift shop and get yourself a nice souvenir.

7. Florida sinkholes

hole in the ground

Sometimes the ground just decides to open up in certain areas in Florida. Many such cases have been reported, sometimes with human casualties or swallowing houses or cars.

8. Hurricane parties

seaBecause if you can’t beat it, why not party when it happens? That’s what some people do when it’s hurricane season in Florida. They throw these parties “celebrating” this “special” time in their lives.

9. The tank rampage of ‘95

tank

In 1995 someone stole a tank from the National Guard armory and went on a stroll through San Diego streets. The tank crushed cars and infrastructure in its path before its driver was fatally shot by the Police. There’s an interesting Wikipedia page about this if you’re interested to learn more.

10. Florida’s migratory flocks

birdsEvery winter, Florida gets visited by birds that are looking for a warmer climate for the winter. Many migrating birds will make Florida their home for a short time and will make Florida seem like a bird sanctuary of sorts.

11. Fire tornadoes

Sometimes wildfires whip up swirling flames and form fire tornadoes that look very scary and can do a lot of damage. It can happen in Florida and it’s much scarier than a sci-fi movie.

12. Florida meth labs in Walmart

labThis one might seem very strange but believe us when we say it happens more than you’d think. Do a Google search for “meth lab in Walmart in Florida” to see what we mean.

13. World’s smallest police station

weird Florida: smallest Police station

Florida is home to the world’s smallest police station which is actually a phone booth-like structure. We’re not kidding! It’s located in Carrabelle and looks like it couldn’t be real – but it is.

14. Vomiting vultures

vultureYes, that is correct. There have been cases where such vultures have invaded cars or even houses (or vacation homes) and left a real mess behind. Some people have resorted to covering their cars with tarps.

15. Alligator trappers on speed dial

alligatorsIf you live in Florida this is a must. You never know when you’ll spot an alligator close by and need the assistance of specialists in this. Alligators have been spotted in swimming pools, on golf courses, backyard and like we already mentioned earlier, in drive-thrus.

16. Fruit-themed festivals

Market with people

Floridians do love their fruits. They will probably end up creating a festival for everything soon. They have the Zellwood Corn Festival, the Dade City Kumquat Festival, Florida Key Lime Pie Festival, Clay County Annual Strawberry Fest, Brooksville Blueberry Festival, DeSoto County Watermelon Festival and many, many more.

17. Spook Hill

This is the place where cars appear to roll up a spooky hill instead of going down. Cars seem to defy gravity and roll uphill.

Well, we hope you’ve found some of these weird facts about Florida interesting, fun or downright strange. There’s plenty more weirdness in Florida but these are some of the more known things. Let us know your favorite or others you know of in the comments below. Have a good one!

Recommended reading next: 15 Weirdest Laws In Florida You Didn’t Know Existed

Why is it called Florida?

Florida was named by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, in 1513, in honor of Spain’s Easter celebration “Pascua Florida” which means Feast of Flowers.

Is Florida a happy place to live?

A 2020 study on WalletHub says it’s not among the first 20 happiest US states.

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