33 Interesting Facts About New Mexico

Last updated on October 1st, 2022

New Mexico is the 36th most populous and the 5th most extensive of the 50 states of the United States. It is in the Southwestern region of the United States of America. The state attained statehood on January 6, 1912, becoming the 47th state to join the union. Its five bordering states are Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. New Mexico (nicknamed: The Colorful State, The Land of Enchantment) has 33 counties. The state’s capital is Santa Fe. The postal abbreviation for New Mexico is NM. With these 44 facts about New Mexico, let us learn about its history, culture, people, economy, geography, and much more.

1. Home of Capulin Volcano: you can view portions of five different states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Colorado) when you are at the top of this extinct volcano. The volcano was once used as a landscape marker for the Santa Fe Trail.

2. The first atomic bomb was dropped in Jornada del Muerto in New Mexico on July 16, 1945. The same design was dropped in Nagasaki Japan only a few weeks later.[1]

New Mexico on the map
New Mexico (in red) on the map with bordering states.

3. Among the youngest American states: New Mexico was not an American state until 1912. This is because the state is dominated by the Hispanic community and catholic, which kept it from being admitted as a state.

4. Santa Fe holds the distinction of being the oldest state capital in the U.S. as well as New Mexico’s oldest city.[26]

5. It’s illegal to dance while wearing your Sombrero: don’t even think about dancing while wearing your sombrero because this can land you in jail. Stick to hats if you have to wear one while dancing.[2]

6. It’s illegal for women to appear in public unshaven
Do you love walking unshaven and declaring you are a natural woman? Then don’t do this is New Mexico as it is illegal. Always shave while in public.[3]

7. Home of the Shovel Race Championship
The world shovel race championship is usually held in Angel Fire, N.M. The race is held every year, and thousands of people come from around the US to be part of it.[4]

A hot air balloon
A hot air balloon

8. It is the hot air ballooning capital of the world: the city of Albuquerque sees more than 700 local hot air balloons glide over its landscape for two weeks every fall. The city’s International Balloon Fiesta draws both balloonists and gawkers from all over the world.[24]

9. The self-guided bullet is a product of new Mexico: the state is home to a lot of research facilities and laboratories. The self-guided bullet is designed in Sandia labs which is in New Mexico. Sandia researchers Red Jones and Brian Kast and their colleagues have invented the dart-like self-guided bullet.[5]

10. An event that happened in New Mexico inspired the invention of the polaroid: the Polaroid or instant photos are a great deal, especially when you are on vacation. The next time you think of taking a Polaroid to remember the inventor by the name Edwin H. Land. He was inspired to develop the technology because her daughter wanted to take instant photos.[6]

Flag of New Mexico

Flag of New Mexico

11. It holds the world record for the largest Navajo Taco: the state produces more than 30 pounds of green chili. This is used in making of a taco. The state holds a world record for the largest taco ever made.[7]

12. Home to one of the oldest towns in the USA: Santa Fe is one of the oldest towns in the USA. It was founded in 1607 thirteen years before the Pilgrims came to the country. It was initially called La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis and later changed in 1610.

13. Home to Bandera Ice Cave: the Bandera ice cave dates back to the 1100 B.C. This makes it one of the oldest caves in the area.[8]

14. A third of the residents speak Spanish: this state is predominated by the Hispanic community. Most of the residents speak in Spanish when they are at home and use English for formal communications.[22]

15. Has the oldest government building: Santa Fe’s governors’ palace is considered to be the oldest colonial government building in the United States. The building has a lot of history and is a landmark in the state.[12]

16. It was once the uranium capital of the world: Grants, N.M produced a lot of uranium in the 20th century than any other place in the US. This led to the area to be referred to as the uranium capital of the world.[13]

17. Doc Holliday is from New Mexico: before Doc Holliday gained his fame at the tombstone, he was previously a dentist from Las Vegas. He worked his way up to become famous. He was part of the legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral.[14]

New Mexico on the map

18. Have a large number of UFO reports
The state is known for the many reports about UFO’S. In a recent event, the pilots of at least three separate aircraft encountered an unidentified flying object high above southern Arizona and New Mexico on 24th February 2018. 

Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo

19. Taos Pueblo is over 900 years old: the Taos Pueblo building is over 900 years which makes it one of the oldest inhabited building. These structures are in excellent condition, and they look like a story building.[15]

20. Interestingly, the founder of another American giant Amazon.com–Jeff Bezos–was born (January 12, 1964) in Albuquerque.

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