The Short Life Of History’s Tallest Man

Robert Wadlow Tallest Person

Born in Alton, Illinois in 1918, an abnormal pituitary gland would catapult Robert Wadlow into the public limelight while he was a teenager–and end his life at a mere 22 years old.

At the time of his death, Wadlow was 8’11” (2.72 meters) and weighed 439 pounds (199 kilograms). Wadlow initially aspired to go to law school after graduating from high school in 1936, but ended up spending most of his time participating in tours and festivals around the United States, some of which were sponsored by the Ringling Brothers Circus.

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19 Surprising Mad Men Facts You Might Not Know

Mad Men Facts

Source: Tilt

Since 2007, we’ve been watching Don Draper drink, smoke, cheat, lie, flirt and, most importantly, advertise. Although “Mad Men” is quickly coming to an end, there are still many aspects of the show and its actors that you might not know. Before you say goodbye to our favorite 1960s-inspired series, check out these surprising Mad Men facts you might not know:

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Don’t Have The Budget For International Travel? Check Out These Hidden Wonders Of The United States

The Earth is filled with natural wonders, carved and sculpted by nature’s passage of time. Mountains and rivers chiseled by ancient glaciers dot the global landscape, along with waterfalls, caves and marshes. Surprisingly, many of these impressive features can be found in America, across its expansive 3.8 million square miles.

Wild locations like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are well known for their beauty and landscape, but a plethora of just-as-beautiful others are hidden throughout the nation. These secreted gems offer visitors a unique opportunity to not only see natural America, but also to take a trip off the beaten path.

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The Black Hills

Black Hills American Wonders

Native Americans have inhabited the Black Hills of South Dakota since at least 7000 BC. The hills were the site of gold mining and as you might guess, numerous battles between the government and Native Americans. Today, they are an annual gathering place for over 550,000 bikers. Source: Matador Network

The Black Hills

Buffalo in the Black Hills

The Black Hills landscape is incredibly complex as well, featuring craggy rocks, grasslands and wet valleys. The environment is home to a wide array of animals, including buffalo, mountain lions and Bighorn Sheep. Source: Matador Network

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Hidden Wonders Bombay Hook

Migratory birds have a friend in Delaware at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1937, the 15,978-acre tidal marsh is one of the largest and most pristine expanses in the Mid-Atlantic region. Source: Stephen L Tabone Nature Photography

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Bombay Hook Wildlife Reserve

As high-quality habitats along the Atlantic Flyaway disappear, Bombay Hook has become increasingly important as a stop for migratory birds that travel north to their breeding grounds. Source: Stephen L Tabone Nature Photography

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Hidden Wonders

Tucked in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico is Carlsbad Caverns National Park, where caverns are king. The park contains 119 limestone caves that were carved out by sulfuric acid. Source: Matador Network

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The caverns were once a part of a primordial sea that existed 250 million years ago. Bones from ice age animals like giant sloths, lions and camels have been found around the entrances to the caves. Source: Weird World Facts

Death Valley

Beautiful Sunset Death Valley

Though Death Valley is the driest and hottest area in North America, it actually sits over one of the world’s largest aquifers. The valley's oldest rocks are over 1.7 billion years old. Source: Matador Network

Death Valley

Death Valley Racetrack Playa

Death Valley is also known for Racetrack Playa, where rocks seem to move without any intervention from humans or animals. Scientists recently discovered that the rocks don’t use magic to move, but rather slide across thin sheets of ice that are pushed by wind whipping through the valley. Source: Matador Network

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Hidden Wonders in Texas

Just outside of Fort Worth, Texas is a place where you can actually walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs. Dinosaur Valley State Park actually has fossilized dino prints along the Paluxy River that runs through the park. Source: Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaur Plains National Park

Hiking trails take you back through time on rugged and steep pathways, but at least you’re not running from a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Source: Dinosaur Valley State Park

Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park

Picturesque waterfalls and rocky outcroppings aren’t normally associated with Ohio, but they’re definitely there. Hocking Hills State Park houses unique geographical features. Source: Business Insider

Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Falls Beautiful

Formed by glacial torrents, the park’s rock formations also include deep gorges, a rock shelter and a “devil’s bathtub,” which is a cool way to describe a creepy hole with water in it. Source: Bourbon Ridge Retreat

The Horicon Marsh

Horicon Freshwater Marsh

The largest freshwater cattail marsh isn’t in Florida or Louisiana, it’s actually in Wisconsin. The Horicon Marsh is an important habitat for redheaded ducks, Canadian geese and great blue herons. Over 268 different species of birds have been sighted in the area. Source: Adkotin

The Horicon Marsh

Marshland Hidden Wonders

The marshland remained unchanged until the arrival of European settlers, who modified it through draining and hunting. However, after it was deemed a wildlife refuge in 1927, water levels returned and it’s once again wild. Source: Birding is Fun

Craighead Caverns

Sea Cave in Tennessee

The United States’ largest non-subglacial underground lake is located outside of the small town of Sweetwater, Tennessee. The lake is part of an extensive cave system called Craighead Caverns. Source: Travel Mindset

Craighead Caverns

Lost Sea in America

Explorers have mapped 13 acres of water and discovered more cavernous rooms beneath the lake. The Lost Sea is marked by “cave flowers,” a rare phenomena that worked to have lake named as a National Landmark. Source: Lake Scientist

The Monument Rocks

Monument Rocks

These beautiful rock formations aren’t in the desert of Arizona, but rather in Kansas, in the middle of grassland. Oh, and they’re made out of chalk. Source: Tourist Destinations

The Monument Rocks

Monument Rocks in America

The Monument Rocks also have the accolades of being named the first national natural landmark by the Department of the Interior. They rise up 70 feet and are estimated to have been formed 80 million years ago. The formations are important shelters for birds, particularly the American kestrel who hunts across the prairie. Source: Nature's Arches and Bridges

Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island looms over the water like a mountain, which is how it got its name. The island only has 10,000 year round residents, but visitors come to see Acadia National Park, which is located on the island. Source: Matador Network

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

The island dates back 550 million years ago when it was just a sea-floor mud deposit, created by volcanic ash. Eventually, the island rose and glaciers eroded its landscape, as visible in the extremely rocky landscape. Source: Matador Network

Northern Lights, Alaska

Northern Lights Hidden Wonders

Alaska is one of the best spots on the planet to see the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis. Caused by solar winds, the aurora looks like a rainbow doing yoga as it moves across the sky. Source: National Geographic

Northern Lights, Alaska

Northern Lights in Alaska

The Northern Lights are best observed in the winter when it’s darkest in Alaska. The displays take place 60 to 70 miles above the Earth, higher than a plane flies. Source: National Geographic

The Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia

The Okefenokee Swamp covers 700 square miles in southeastern Georgia and northern Florida. The name comes from the Hitchiti Creek language meaning “Waters Shaking.” Source: Luxagraf

The Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Swamp

The shaking waters could come from the sound of the male alligator as it bellows throughout the swamp. Be prepared for awesome paddling treks through 120 miles of swamp trail, just don’t fall in. Source: Luxagraf

Painted Hills, Oregon

Hidden Wonders in Oregon

One of Oregon’s 7 natural wonders are the painted hills near the town of Mitchell. Millions of years of history are exposed in the layered hills of the area like geological water painting. Source: Love These Pics

Painted Hills, Oregon

Red Painted Hills

Many ancient fossils have been discovered in the area, including early horses, camels and rhinos. The red coloring of the formations is due to laterite that was created by floodplain deposits. Source: Love These Pics

Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls in America

Washington’s Palouse Falls consists of upper falls at a drop of about 20 feet, which lead to the main drop and lower falls around 180 feet high. Rock benches, plunge pools and potholes have imprinted the surrounding landscape. Source: Matador Network

Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls

Kayaker Tyler Bradt ran the falls setting an unofficial world record for highest waterfall run. Lacking that kind of bravery, most of us just enjoy the pristine beauty of the locale. Source: Reddit

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Hidden Wonders Rocks Beach

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore runs nearly 40 rocky and sandy miles along the Lake Superior shoreline in Michigan. The colorful cliffs have been naturally sculpted into caves, peaks and arches. Source: Random Space

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Painted Rocks National Landshore

The colors of the painted rocks come from the large amount of minerals in them. The area contains most of Michigan’s waterfalls and makes for great recreational activity or even video production. In 2010, Kid Rock filmed the video for his song Born Free at the lakeshore. If he knows about it, you should too! Source: Random Space

For more natural wonders, check out Fly Geyser and our list of the most stunning natural destinations in Europe!

Thirty-Three Maps That Explain The United States Better Than Any Textbook

Years ago, famed historian E.H. Carr made an apt point that one cannot separate the historian from history and that what we see in history books is not necessarily pure fact–it has been made and presented as such due to the judgments of a very fallible and selective person. All of this is to say that when it comes to getting to the reasons why the United States looks the way it does today, “truth”–if we can find it–is quite hard to come by.

For every historian who disputes the reasons why a certain war broke out or how a particular president’s decision changed the fate of America, there’s a map which lays hard data bare and allows for the viewer’s own interpretation. Maps aren’t as immediately exciting as a good story, which is why we tend to overlook them when trying to understand our present. We’d like to change that. Without further ado, here are thirty-three fascinating maps that explain the United States:

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The Highest Paid Public Employees In Each State

The Highest Paid Public Employees In The United States

Once additional compensation from media appearances, fundraising and apparel contracts are factored in, sports coaches are the highest-paid employees in 40 out of 50 states.

The Status Of Gay Marriage By State As Of February 2015

Gay Marriage 2015

When the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, many activists rejoiced--gay marriage was here at last. While they did declare DOMA unconstitutional, the Supreme Court still left the decision of permitting or banning gay marriage up to individual states. As of this writing, 37 states allow gay marriage, with groups challenging marriage restrictions in the states that haven't adopted more inclusive marriage laws.

Meth Labs By County

Meth Labs By County

Once a relatively obscure drug associated with biker gangs, methamphetamine has become one of the most popular drugs in America thanks to its relatively easy and cheap production. In a recent nationwide survey, one out of two hundred adults in America reported using meth in the past year.

Mean Center Of Population In The United States

If each American had the same "weight", the mean center of the US population would be the point where, if split down the middle, the two halves would perfectly balance out. As we can see, the lure of the western "frontier" has really stuck.

Global Obesity Rates

Global Obesity Rates

Among developed countries, the United States has the highest rate of obesity, with one-third of the population classified as obese. This rate is estimated by the Harvard School of Public Health to reach 50% by 2030.

Global Incarceration Rates

Global Incarceration Rates

As of 2014, the United States has the highest incarceration rate on the planet. While America represents 4.4% of the world's population, it houses 22% of the world's prisoners.

US Economic Activity Map

In many respects, the United States is the tale of two countries. Not only is money increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer people, but also in fewer areas of the United States.

The Largest Ancestry By County In The United States

Ancestry In The United States

The legacy of conquest and opportunity-seeking can be found in our blood--and on our maps. African and African American ancestry is most common in the once slave-holding South, just as Mexican heritage in Texas transcends annexation and war.

Countries That Use The Imperial System

Metric System

As of 2015, only three countries continue to eschew the metric system in favor of the Imperial system: Burma, Liberia, and the United States.

Size Of Alaska

In the standard Mercator projection map, Alaska is shown to be comparable to Texas in terms of size. In reality, it's actually twice the size of Texas and roughly 25% the overall size of the continental United States.

Deployment Of American Troops By Country

US Worldwide Troop Deployment

A consistent source of global tension, 230,000 members of the United States military are deployed in over 160 countries across the world.

Paid Maternity Leave In America

The United States joins Suriname, Liberia and a handful of other countries that decline to provide paid maternity leave. Meanwhile, access to affordable contraception and family planning services has become the subject of intense political debate.

How Americans Say Groups Of People

"Y'all" is one of the most common linguistic markers of Southern heritage, but its origins actually come from across the pond. Scots-Irish immigrants brought the phrase "Ye aw" with them to the South, and the rest, they say, is history.

Racial Segregation In Chicago

Racial Segregation Of Chicago

While government-mandated racial segregation ended in the 1960s, de facto residential segregation has sprung up in its wake. The above map of Chicago's white, black, Asian and Latino populations visualizes just how insulated groups continue to be from each other.

United States Census Blocks With No Populations

Uninhabited America

While the green tones collecting in the Western half of the US might inspire a misanthrope to make a move to Utah, beware: most of the uninhabited areas in this map are only that way due to natural features that make it difficult to live there or because human settlement is prohibited there (think national parks).

A Map Of Light Pollution In The United States

Light Pollution United States Map

The east coast of America suffers from some of the worst light pollution in the planet, depicted in the heat map above of light pollution in the continental US.

Extermination Of American Bison

Once numbering in the hundreds of millions in North America, the American Bison were slaughtered in the 1800s for their fur and meat during the westward expansion of the United States. Bison populations were pushed to the point of near-extinction with only 1,000 left in the 1890s, but were saved by an aggressive conservation program put in place by Theodore Roosevelt. Read about the near-extinction of American Bison on All That Is Interesting.

Mexican Drug Cartels Map

There are a number of reasons why drug cartels have gained such influence over the Mexican state and the United States never-ending War on Drugs is one of them. Mexico is a major US heroin supplier as well as the largest foreign supplier of methamphetamine and marijuana. In fact, production of these drugs has only increased since Mexico launched its own War on Drugs in 2005. Currently, the drug trade employs approximately 500,000 people and contributes around $30 billion a year to the Mexican economy.

The Happiest States In The United States

Happiest States In The United States

America Visualized By Distance To The Nearest McDonald's

America Map By McDonalds Locations

In many ways, McDonald's has become the face of America both home and abroad. Domestically, one can hardly drive without encountering one of the 14,000 McDonald's located in America, visualized clearly by the map above.

The Fourth Congressional District Of Illinois

Gerrymandering In The United States

Gerrymandering -- the practice of manipulating boundaries of political representation to favor one party has become a country-wide problem. The Economist calls Illinois’ Fourth Congressional District one of the most strangely drawn gerrymandered districts in the country. Crammed into these two tiny swaths of land are a vast amount of left-leaning Latinos, which effectively ensures that they will only have one representative in Congress and consequently cannot sway other races in the city.

The Most Popular Website By State

Most Popular Website By State

Regional differences don't only mean culinary and linguistic distinctions, but also differences in media consumption, in part due to local employment sectors. The tech-heavy northwest prefers TechCrunch while the states surrounding Washington DC favors Politico.

The Most Recognizable Brand From Every State

Recognizable Brands Of Each State

Florida, we're looking at you.

Death Penalty Practices Across The World

Death Penalty World Map

The United States is currently the only developed nation that still practices the death penalty. In 2008, it joined China, Iran, and 43 other countries in voting against a United Nations resolution against the death penalty.

The Gender Imbalance Of Singles Across American Cities

Single People In America

If you're a woman looking for love, it might behoove you to head west.

The Height Of The Mexican Empire In 1823

Height Of The Mexican Empire

From 1821 to 1848 California, Texas and New Mexico formed three provinces of the Mexican Empire.

The Amount Of Snow It Takes To Cancel Snow By County

Snow It Take To Cancel School In The US

The United States is one of the most geographically and topographically diverse countries on Earth. Case in point: temperatures have hovered around -50 degrees in Alaska on the same day that temperatures top 130 degrees in Death Valley.

State Autocomplete Map

We can trace the US story through stereotypes: in the South, many wonder why states are so poor, racist and backwards, and why the Northeast is such a white, liberal enclave.

Fifty-Six Years Of Tornadoes Mapped

Tornado Tracks United States

Known as Tornado Alley, the American Midwest is home to the highest frequency of tornadoes in the world.

The Probability Of Upward Mobility In America By Locality

Upward Mobility In America Map

If you want your child to have a shot at entering a higher tier of the socioeconomic echelon, you might not want to settle down in the South, where segregation both class and race tends to shape your future.

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If you enjoyed our collection of maps of America, check out All That Is Interesting’s other posts on twenty-five maps that make sense of the world and interesting facts that will blow your mind! And if you enjoy our content, be sure to like All That Is Interesting on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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