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20 of the Weirdest Facts about New York City

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New York City is the kind of place you just adore. Some of us just like to visit and enjoy the shopping and dining while others love to call the city home. And while you think you might know everything there is to know about the Big Apple, chances are more accurate that you know very few things about the city that never sleeps. Sure, it’s home to Broadway, and Times Square is a madhouse (and kind of gross) and the top of the Empire State Building is really windy, but there is so much more you don’t know about the city. And we have some weird facts for you.

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NYC was the Nation’s Capital

Many people are probably aware of the fact that Washington DC was not always the capital of this great nation. In fact, most people think that it was Philadelphia, and it was. But the truth is that Philly was the capital only after it moved from New York City to the city of love and then it was moved to Washington. So New York City used to be the capital of the country. And we’re glad it’s not anymore, because we just can’t imagine how much worse traffic could get.

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Largest Chinese Population

Aside from Asia, there are more Chinese people in the city of New York than anywhere in the world. The population is so large here that virtually no other city’s Chinese population even comes close to that of New York City. Perhaps this explains why nearly 100 million Chinese food containers are used in the city on an annual basis. It’s also a reason that Chinatown is so prevalent in the city.

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Albert Einstein’s Eyes are in NYC

You did read that correctly, and I am not joking in the least. Somewhere in the city is a safe deposit box that contains the eyeballs of Albert Einstein. It seems pretty gross because it is pretty gross. We cannot even begin to wonder how they are stored in that box, and who decided that they needed to be kept there. We also can’t figure out why anyone would want to keep them there in the first place. To each his own, of course, but we are a little freaked out by this one.

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It’s a Gold Mine

One man in New York City has a job. His job is to mine the sidewalk cracks in the city in search of gold, and he finds quite a bit. In fact, he earns approximately $600 per week doing this. It’s unclear whether or not this is a full time gig for him or just something he does on the side, but we have to imagine it’s a side job. While finding $600 a week is nice, it’s not enough to live on when you have to pay rent and you have to feed your family.

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Topless Women are Legal

There are so many things that are not legal in New York City, but one of those things does not include going topless in public. The only stipulation is that topless women in New York City must only be topless for fun and not for business purposes. This means you have to want to be topless, not be paid to be topless. It sounds like the city is trying to eliminate stripping in public and probably the sex trade. But all people topless for fun are good to go.

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1 in 38 People

Okay, so 1 in 38 people what? Well, if you do the math and start comparing, 1 in every 38 people in the United States is actually a resident of New York City. That’s a lot of people, and that just goes to show just how many people there really are in the city. It’s got more than most states, and you have to find it impressive that there are so many people that call this city home. It’s a bit city, but it’s not that big when you really think about how many people call it home.

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There was 1 Homicide on 9/11

In a city that usually sees its fair share of homicides, September 11, 2001 was a slow day for murder with the obvious exception of the awful terrorist attack that claimed the lives of thousands. There was only one murder outside of that on 9/11 and police have been unable to solve the crime as of yet. There is always hope, however, as many cold cases are solved later on due to additional evidence, witnesses and even new DNA findings.

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Hot Dog Stands Cost How Much?

You’ve probably seen them, you might even have tried a meal at one of them; hot dog stands are all over the place in New York City, and it’s because people love hot dogs and quick food. And apparently grease and the slight smell of fried food on their person all day long. These people do have a job, and it’s an expensive job. The cost for a permit to own and operate a hot dog stand here in the city is approximately $289,000 per year; just one year.

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Bank Vaults are Deep

The Federal Reserve Bank is located on Wall Street, and it’s one of the most important locations in the world. Why? Because it’s the place that contains nearly a quarter of the world’s gold. It’s locked in vaults deep below the bank and in the earth, and it’s only a special handful of people that get to make the trek down there. Actually, does anyone consider that a fun trek to go 80 feet below the ground into a vault? Probably not.

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There are More People Here than Most States

We all know that there are a lot of people in New York City. All you have to do is take a quick look at traffic to realize this, but that’s not the point. The city by itself – not counting the entire state of New York – has more people than 39 states in the country. That’s a lot of people in a very little space. Think of it this way; New York City has more people than an entire state, such a Rhode Island, but those people have an entire state and New Yorkers have a few square miles.

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The Park is Bigger than Monaco

Monaco is a luxurious and beautiful destination in which a prince resides with his royal family, and it’s also one of the premier spots across the world. But it’s small. In fact, it’s so small that New York City’s Central Park is actually quite large in comparison. That’s right; the park in the middle of the city is actually larger than the entire municipality of Monaco, which just goes to show that the park is quite large (or Monaco is quite small).

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There are Many Second Languages

Did you know that nearly half of all people who live in New York that are over the age of 5 have a second language in which they are fluent? Many of them use this second language at home all the time, and that’s why they are so good at it. English might be their second language, technically, but the point is that nearly half of all residents speak a second language in New York City. That’s pretty talented and enviable.

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Central Park is the First Landscaped Park

Believe it or not, Central Park is the very first park in the entire county to be landscaped and used for public access. No other park in the country allowed this kind of appeal and luxury until Central Park, and it’s still one of the most famous and most enjoyable parks in the world. And it’s one that started a huge trend as large parks in the middle of busy downtown areas are more popular than ever in many large cities across the country.

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November 28, 2012 was the Best Day

On this day in history, there was a day that everyone felt was pretty good. Sure, you might have had a bad day, but according to the city, this was a really good day. There was not one violent crime (this includes rape, murder and assault) reported this day. Of course, that doesn’t mean it did not happen that day, but the law did not get one report about anything out of line occurring on this day in history. That’s pretty impressive.

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Don’t Drink the Water

There is a reason I always order bottled water when I go out, and it’s because of random facts like this one. Tiny little shrimp called copepods are found inside the drinking water in New York City. You cannot see them and you probably have no idea that they are there, but they are there. If that’s not enough to gross you out, I just don’t know what might make you choose to skip the drinking water in the city.

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Subway Musicians are Not Random

Many people assume that the musicians that play in the Subway are random people with some serious talent, but they are not. They are actually personally selected and have to go through a very strenuous process to get this job, and it’s one that many people do not get. And in fact, some of the people down there playing music for you have played in some of the world’s most impressive musical venues.

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More People Born than Dead

If you do the math, there is one person born in the city of New York every 4 minutes, approximately. On the flip side, however, only one person dies in the city every 9 minutes. That means there are twice as many people born here as there are dying here, which means the population is just increasing on a rapid pace. It’s pretty impressive to think of all the new babies born here. Where are they being birthed?

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The City is Bad for Trees

Okay, so the city doesn’t have many trees on many streets in comparison to other cities across the world, but just one Sunday is a bad day for trees in the city. It takes approximately 75,000 trees to make enough paper to print the Sunday edition of the New York Times. Not only does the paper bring mostly bad news, it also kills a lot of trees to bring us that bad news. Read it online, people.

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Madison Square Park was a Cemetery

It’s not a cemetery now, but it was. Actually, it still is. Under the park is nothing but bodies, and that’s enough to just creep you out forever. In fact, there are more than 20,000 people buried here. As to who it is under the ground you walk on when enjoying a beautiful day, we just don’t know. But maybe some of the people in the ground here are ancient relatives that are long lost. Or I guess that they are not exactly lost.

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The City Pays for Homeless Airfare

If you can promise the City of New York that you have a place to stay and live, they city will buy you a one-way airline ticket to get there. The catch is that you have to be a homeless person if you want to make this happen. The city doesn’t just go buying tickets for people who want to move out of the city or go visit friends. It will require some serious proof and some work, but the city will pay for your homeless friends to go ‘home’ if they can find one.

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Written by Tiffany Raiford