No matter where you are in the US, there are always likely to be a few stunning national park scenes that you can head to for a walk or two. The Florida Everglades provide some of the most spectacular wetland and waterside scenes you’ll find at this end of the country. Known as ‘croc country’ to many people, it’s a huge expanse of land and water which brings tourists from all the world.
But how much do you actually know about the Florida Everglades? Are you planning a trip here in future? Let’s take a look at a stack of interesting facts about the Everglades you might want to clue up on before you head on out.
There is no other place in the world – in the wild – where you will find crocodiles and alligators living together. There are actually plenty of differences between the beasts that might not be too obvious to the naked eye – however, the land and water here bring both fearsome species together in a unique ecosystem.
Believe it or not, the Florida Everglades is responsible for delivering gallons of water to millions of people’s homes. Specifically, without the Everglades, around seven million people across Florida would go without water to drink. It’s thought this accounts for around a third of all Floridians.
The Everglades are actually home to more species than you might think. There are said to be more than 300 different species of fish which call the area home, for example, and it’s further thought that around 36 different threatened or endangered species live in the region, too.
The area is truly massive – impossible to even cover in a week. That’s because the Everglades extend over 1.5 million acres in wetland, meaning there’s always likely to be something new and interesting to explore and discover here!
Preservation of the Everglades has been ongoing for decades. In the 19th century, people were already draining the area. However, by the early 1900s, work began to try and protect the region, as drainage was proving to be harmful. The National Park has been in place here since 1934, and it’s taken even further time to establish boundaries and protections in the area.
The Everglades experience serious rainfall from year to year. That’s because there are around 60 inches of droplets which fall and build up across the months. That’s around double what you might expect in even the greyest of mainland cities and towns. However, rain here, as you might imagine, is a great relief when it comes to cooling things down from the heat of summer.
It’s thought that the Florida Everglades are under threat from species which are invading the region. For example, the Burmese Python is continuing to cause a serious tip in the balance when it comes to predators and prey across the wetlands. There’s been ongoing efforts to try and preserve the natural ecosystem for many years now.
There’s actually a missile base which is technically still calling the National Park home. Specifically, it’s a Nike Hercules base, which is thought to be a holdover from the Cold War between the US and Russia dating back decades. To this day, people can still take tours of the base.
Believe it or not, the Florida Everglades in total make up one big river! It’s always on the move, trailing down from the Lake Okeechobee, and is at least 100 miles long. There’s a reason why it’s earned the nickname the ‘River of Grass’ over the years!
There is oil in the Florida Everglades, however, it’s never been drilled for thanks to it being of perceived low quality – that, and the fact that when it was discovered in 1946, there was no clear way to derive the produce from out of Shark Valley.
While you might find yourself batting off mosquitoes in the Florida Everglades, they actually have a firm home in the region, as they help to add to the complex ecosystem and food chain. Specifically, without mosquitoes, the local fish wouldn’t have a regular source of food – so think twice before you squish any – just wear repellent!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about the Everglades that we’ve not mentioned? Share them here in the comments section below!