Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Texas?: HowStuffWorks
How Much Do You Know About Texas?
By: Teresa McGlothlin
6 Min Quiz
Image: TerryJ/E+/Getty Images
About This Quiz
Did you know that the Six Flags amusement park gets its name from the number of flags that have flown over the state of Texas? A state with one of the most interesting histories, Texas is full of things that might surprise you. You might think you know your Texas stuff, but do you know as much as you think you do?
Throughout this quiz, we're going to take a trip deep into the heart of The Lone Star State. From the state's multiple cities to its king-sized ranches and natural lakes, there's more to Texas than steer or bluebells. Historical sites like The Alamo and the Houston Space Center are only part of the story, too. There are as many things to know about Texas as there are extensive miles of highway!
You don't need to have any exes who live in Texas to get the answers right. All you need to have is a taste for barbecue, live music and American geography. Will you impress yourself with the knowledge you've already acquired, or will you need to find out even more? Read each question carefully, and you'll find out how many Texas-sized IQ points you have. Are you ready to find out?
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The oldest state law enforcement agency began in Texas. What's it called?
Founded in 1823 by Stephen Austin, the Texas Rangers were the first state law enforcement agency. After the War of Independence from Mexico, the "Father of Texas" hired the men to protect those who were settling in the wild frontier regions of the state.
Throughout its history, the flags of how many nations have flown over Texas?
Texas has one of the most interesting histories of all the states! Throughout its history, it has been a territory of six different countries. Hence, the name of the state's most famous amusement park — Six Flags.
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What's the name of the Texas ranch that's bigger than Rhode Island?
With a whopping real estate value of $1.1 billion, King Ranch is not only the biggest ranch in Texas, it's the most expensive! It was first established in 1853, and it operates to this day.
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It doesn't have the most people, but it does get to be the state capital. What Texas city are we talking about?
Houston might be the biggest city in Texas, but Austin is the state's capital. Sitting at the base of the Colorado River, Austin is a hotbed for technology, music and laid-back living.
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Other than Big Red, do you know which sugary drink was invented in Waco, Texas?
In 1885, pharmacist Charles Alderton first served his newly invented Dr Pepper as a fountain drink. Back then, the townspeople would sit at the counter and say, "Shoot me a Waco." It's one of the few soft drinks that utilize real cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.
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What is the name of the official bird of Texas?
Standing at about 10 inches tall, mockingbirds are beautiful! They are also fiercely predatorial, and that's why, in 1927, it was chosen as the Texas state bird. Texas officials admired the bird's fierce protection of its nest.
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Texas produces more of which textile material than any other state? It doesn't have anything to do with cows.
When you think of Texas, you probably think of cattle. You should also think of sheep! Every year, the state pumps out over 1.7 million pounds of wool. That's a lot of sheep shearing.
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There are 7,000 lakes in Texas. Which one is the largest natural lake?
Sitting on the border between Louisiana and Texas, Caddo Lake is the only lake in Texas that isn't man-made. With over 40 square miles of lush wetlands, you never know when you might see an alligator there.
If you're visiting Galveston, which animal are you forbidden to let run on the beach?
Try to behave yourself and keep your camel on a leash in Galveston! It's illegal to let it roam the beach. You are also forbidden from using feather dusters in any of the state's public buildings.
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Is it true or false that Texas was once its own country?
It's true! After passing hands from Spain to France to Mexico and a few more entities, Texas became its own country in 1836. The Independent Republic of Texas stood alone for a decade until it joined the United States in 1845.
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You won't find many people there, but what's so special about Brazoria County, Texas?
Brazoria County, Texas, is not only the home of the state's largest bird population, it's also home to the biggest population of birds in the entire country! Ornithologists have counted over 400 different species of our feathered friends there.
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Can you figure out which one of these seashells gets to be the striking Texas state shell?
If you take a stroll down any of the beaches in Texas, you might find a remnant of the state shell, the lightning whelk. lightning whelks are sea snails that can grow up to 15 inches in length, and they're often mistaken for conchs.
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Texas is home to two former presidents. Who are they?
Both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson are Texas natives. Hailing from the towns of Dennison and Stonewall, respectively, their terms in office were separated by the years that John F. Kennedy served.
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Houston's namesake, Sam Houston, was born in which of these U.S. states?
Sam Houston might have been born in Virginia, but he lived to lead in Texas. The two-time leader of the Republic of Texas held the distinction of being one of the first senators to represent the state in the United States Senate.
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What is the maximum legal speed limit you can drive on Texas highways (specifically, a highway leading to Austin)?
If you feel the need for speed while you're visiting Texas, take a trip down State Highway 130. You are legally allowed to drive up to 85 miles per hour on the road that connects Austin and San Antonio.
If you lined up all of the highways in Texas, how many miles would they stretch?
Texans love to drive, and they have a lot of roads to choose from. Between state highways, interstates, park roads, farm roads and frontage roads, there are over 72,000 miles of lanes to drive.
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Texas has an official state dinosaur. Do you have any idea which name it has?
Everything is bigger in Texas, and the state dinosaur is no different! The Pleurocoelus weighed up to 10 tons, and it once roamed in groups throughout the central and north-central regions of the state.
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How many head of cattle will you find roaming throughout Texas? It's nearly half the number of citizens.
Not including the iconic bronze longhorn steers that grace The Plaza in Dallas, 11.7 million head of cattle roam throughout the state. In addition to being the biggest wool producer, Texas also keeps the market full of beef.
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Channel your inner cryptozoologist, and tell us what creature you have a good chance of seeing in Texas.
If you're hoping to spot Bigfoot, enthusiasts say that Texas is one of the best states to visit. With an average of 806 sightings per year, the Lone Star State is ranked the eighth most popular state to see the beast. They ask that you refrain from shooting it, though.
Other towns might disagree, but one Texas town claims to have invented the hamburger. Which town is it?
Long before food trucks took over Texas towns, Uncle Fletcher Davis stood in front of the Henderson County Courthouse making hamburgers for hungry lawmakers. Since the 1880s, the town of Athens has been known as the birthplace of America's favorite sandwich.
This should be easy! What is Texas' official state nickname?
One glance at the red, white and blue flag of Texas should give you an idea about the state's nickname. The Lone Star State nickname pays tribute to the time when the state stood as an independent country.
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While driving through Texas, you might see fields of what colorful state flower?
Texas bluebonnets hit peak bloom in the months of March and April, and they are one of the toughest state flowers around. Able to withstand dry conditions, the Lupinus texenis,can also be found in adjacent areas of Mexico.
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After years of changing hands, Texas finally became a state on what date?
After declaring independence from the Republic of Mexico in 1836, Texas spent a little over 10 years as the independent Republic of Texas. On December 18, 1845, it was annexed and included in the United States of America.
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Do you have any idea which animal is the Texas state mammal? There are millions of them there.
Officially called the Texas Longhorn, the longhorn steer is the state's most beloved mammal. It's easily recognized by its horns that average up to 70 inches long. In some cases, they can grow to almost 100 inches (8.3 feet) across!
If you're humming along to the song Texas has adopted as its state song, what song are you humming?
The Texas state legislature voted and adopted "Texas, Our Texas" as the state song in 1929. It was chosen after a statewide search for the song. "Texas, our Texas, so wonderful and great!"
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Where would you need to travel to visit the world-famous space center in Texas?
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry once claimed that Houston was the first word spoken on the moon. Although that's not true, it is true that the Houston Space Center is a historic place that draws 1.1 million visitors every year.
Which kind of pie could be made from the nut of the Texas state tree? It's a Thanksgiving favorite.
Texas is the only state in the union where you will find so many pecan trees growing in their native habitat. Found in 152 of the state's counties, usually along riverbeds, the nut has been exported since 1860.
Will you find more or fewer than 100 state parks throughout Texas?
At last count, there are 102 state parks throughout the state of Texas. The most popular, Garner State Park, averages over 419,000 visitors per year. Located in the Texas Hill Country, its well-loved for its venues.
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What's the name of the San Antonio site where the Republic of Texas battled against Mexico?
Between February 23, 1836, and March 6, 1836, soldiers from the Republic of Texas fought hard to fight off the Mexican army. Ultimately, all of the Texas soldiers lost their lives. Every year, more than 2.5 million people visit The Alamo to pay their respects.
It's also famous for its food trucks, but which Texas city is better known as the "Live Music Capital of The World"?
There's no shortage of nightlife in Austin, Texas! Every night, over 100 bars and clubs host live bands and solo performers. Austin officially refers to itself as the "Live Music Capital of The World." There are more live music venues per capita in Austin than anywhere else in the U.S.
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Which one of these nations has never had rulership over the state of Texas?
England may have played a huge part in American history, but it never got its hands on Texas. Texas was too busy fighting with Spain, Mexico and France for the ownership of its land.
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Texas is the second most populated state. Which state has more people?
According to a 2019 headcount, Texas is home to 29,087,070 citizens. With nearly 10 million more people, California is the only other state to have a larger population. Alaska gets the prize for the biggest state, but Texas comes in a close second.
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On average, how many tornadoes are reported each year in Texas?
The state of Texas sits in an area of the United States dubbed Tornado Alley. Unpredictable weather is the norm there. An average of 132 tornadoes touch downs in Texas each year.
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Can you figure out which one of these household utilities Texans do not share with other states?
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas — ERCOT to locals — provides electricity to over 90% of all Texas homes. Texas is the only state in the union to exist on its very own power grid.
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Which one of these words makes up the Texas state motto?
Texas might be Norwegian slang that means crazy, but it had an entirely different meaning to the Caddo Indians who originally occupied the state. To them, it was a word that translated to mean friends of allies. In keeping with tradition, in 1930, the word "friendship" was adopted as the Texas state motto.
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