Facts About America's Southern States That Actually Surprised Us

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Vote up the facts about the American South you never knew before.

Did you know that the American South developed its very own musical styles, customs, and literature, alongside various cuisines during the Civil War? If you didn’t know this, you might not know the many surprising facts we have uncovered about the American South. From Texas producing more oil than most of the world to tattooing only becoming legal in a certain state in 2004, the American South has many interesting, surprising, shocking, and beguiling facts underneath the surface.

Life in the South can feel like a wholly different world - a land filled to the brim with oddities, peculiarities, and mysteries, and we have just scratched the surface. Yet, that’s what makes this region of the US so interesting. Should you be curious about learning more facts about the southern USA, our list might be of interest to you. 

  • 1
    146 VOTES

    An Island In South Carolina Is A Home To Monkeys Only

    Morgan Island in South Carolina comprises 2,000 acres of unspoiled land, but the picturesque isle is strictly off-limits to anyone not granted permission. The island is home to rhesus monkeys, and humans are not permitted to visit because they might disturb the population. 

    The island was established as a monkey colony by the US government in 1979. During that time, 1,400 rhesus monkeys were relocated there to be used as research animals in the hopes that the US could begin its own self-sufficient breeding program. Since then, the monkey population has boomed, and the island is now home to more than 4,000 monkeys

    Morgan Island is still managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, but the monkeys are no longer used for research. Even though this is the case, no one can visit the island, though boat trips around it are permitted. 

    146 votes
  • 2
    266 VOTES

    There Is An Amish Neighborhood Outside Sarasota, FL, Where The Amish Go On Holiday

    It might be difficult to believe, but an Amish holiday neighborhood is located outside Sarasota, FL. This neighborhood is known as Pinecraft, and it has been a place for the Amish to spend a vacation since the 1920s. 

    Every winter, hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families travel from their homes in America and Canada to this sunny neighborhood to spend a few weeks or months at one of the modest bungalows

    Many Amish people look forward to vacationing in the Pinecraft neighborhood because it is the only time of year when their strict cultural rules are loosened and they can spend time with people from communities other than their own.

    266 votes
  • The Venus Flytrap Is Native To The Carolinas
    Photo: Jean / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    165 VOTES

    The Venus Flytrap Is Native To The Carolinas

    The Venus flytrap can live up to 20 years in the wild, and is one of the few carnivorous plants that actively traps its prey. Although this deadly plant obtains most of its energy through photosynthesis, it also sustains its energy by trapping insects and allowing their bodies to provide it with nutrients. 

    This plant can sense its prey with hair-like extensions on the tip of its two-lobed leaves. Once the prey is trapped between its leaves, the plant releases digestive juices that break down the insect unfortunate enough to get itself trapped.

    Contrary to what is commonly thought, the Venus flytrap is not a plant that is native to exotic destinations. Even though they have been planted and naturalized in other areas of the world, they actually only occur naturally in North and South Carolina. In these states, it occupies distinctive pine areas along the coastal plain.

    165 votes
  • 4
    212 VOTES

    The Last Person To Receive A Civil War Pension Died In North Carolina In 2020

    In 2020, Irene Triplett - the last person to receive a Civil War pension - passed in North Carolina at the age of 90.

    Every month, Irene received a check for $73.13 from the United States government because she qualified for a pension as the helpless child of a veteran. According to sources, she suffered from cognitive impairments, which is why she qualified for the pension. 

    Her father served as a private in the Confederate Army before he defected and shifted his allegiances to the Union. Irene received the Civil War pension until 2020 because of the advanced age her father was when she was born. Irene’s father was 87 and her mother was 34 when she was born in 1930. 

    212 votes
  • 5
    108 VOTES

    Tattooing Only Became Legal In South Carolina In 2004

    In the 1960s, the government of South Carolina made tattooing illegal. Lawmakers feared that hepatitis would become an epidemic if tattooing was allowed to continue. Due to this ban, underground tattoo artists known as “scratchers” worked from their homes, garages, and living rooms, providing tattoos to those who wanted them. 

    These tattoo artists were rarely formally trained and did not follow sanitary requirements. It eventually reached a point where health concerns surrounding unlicensed tattooing could not be ignored.

    Tattoo reinstatement opponents were convinced to reverse the tattoo ban, and in 2004 tattooing was officially made legal in South Carolina. 

    108 votes
  • 6
    117 VOTES

    In 1942, Mississippi Was Plagued By The 'Phantom Barber'

    There are many strange crimes dotted throughout history, but the mysterious crime surrounding Mississippi's “Phantom Barber” is certainly one of the strangest. In Pascagoula, MS, in 1942, the town experienced a series of break-ins. These break-ins occurred at a convent and in neighborhood homes. 

    What was peculiar about these break-ins was that the criminal took a lock of hair from each person whose home they broke into. This strange behavior led to the criminal being called the “Phantom Barber.” 

    Unfortunately, the wrong man was accused and convicted for the break-ins, and it was only discovered in 1948 that William Dolan was innocent. With Dolan being granted a pardon after passing a lie detector test, many believe the real “Phantom Barber” was never caught. 

    117 votes