Tennessee is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It’s a landlocked state that borders with 8 states: Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the southwest, and Missouri to the northwest. The official nickname of Tennessee is “The Volunteer State” because of the large number of volunteers from the Tennessee militia during the War of 1812. We will discuss 10 interesting facts about Tennessee so that we can know more about this “Volunteer State”.
1. Tennessee is the State with Most Borders with Other States
Along with Missouri, Tennessee is the state that borders with most other states. Both Missouri and Tennessee have borders with 8 other states. As we have talked above, Tennessee has borders with Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. The longest border of Tennessee is with Kentucky to its north.
2. Nashville is the Capital and Largest City of Tennessee
The capital city of Tennessee is Nashville. It’s also the largest city. Nashville metropolitan area is also the most populous metropolitan area and the largest in terms of land area. Nashville is also the 21st most-populous city in the United States and the fourth most populous city in the southeastern region. Nashville has been the capital city of Tennessee since 1843.
3. Tennessee is the State with the Most Caves in the United States
There are more than 10,000 documented caves in Tennessee so that it has more caves than any other states in the United States. Blue Spring Cave is the longest cave in Tennessee with 64.4 km (40.02 mi) length. We can also find Craighead Caverns between Sweetwater and Madisonville, Tennessee. It’s an extensive cave system that contains the largest non-subglacial underground lake in the United States and the second largest in the world, the Lost Sea.
4. Ruby Falls in Tennessee is the Tallest Underground Waterfall in the United States
Ruby Falls is a series of underground cascading waterfalls in Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The falls are located within a cave more than 1,120 feet beneath the mountain’s surface. At 145 feet (44 m) height, Ruby Falls is the tallest underground waterfall in the United States. Ruby Falls was discovered by Leo Lambert in 1928 and name the falls after his wife, Ruby.
5. Bristol, Tennessee is the Birthplace of the Country Music
Although Nashville is the hub of country music, Bristol is considered the birthplace of country music. It’s based on the 1927 Victor recording sessions in Bristol that generally mark the beginning of the country music genre. We can also find Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol and the original site of the Bristol recordings several blocks from the museum that marked by a plaque.
6. Tennessee is the Largest Producing State of Ball Clay
Tennessee is the largest ball clay producing state of the United States. More than 60% of ball clay of the United States comes from Tennessee. Ball clays are kaolinitic sedimentary clays that consist of kaolinite, mica and quartz. It’s used in many ceramic articles’ construction. Weakley County in Tennessee has the largest ball clay deposits in the United States.
7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the Most Visited National Park of the United States
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a national park located in the Tennessee and North Carolina border in southeastern United States. It’s the most visited National Park of the United States with more than 14 million visitors in 2021. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has 522,419 acres (2,114.15 km2) area that makes it one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States. It’s often called as “Salamander Capital of the World” as it’s a home of 30 different Salamander species.
8. Clingmans Dome is the Highest Natural Point of Tennessee
With 6,643 ft (2,025 m) elevation, Clingmans Dome is the highest natural point of Tennessee. It’s the third highest point in mainland Eastern North America after Mount Mitchell and Mount Craig that are only slightly higher. Clingmans Dome is also the highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are also two subpeaks of Clingmans Dome: Mount Buckley 6,560-foot (2,000 m) in the west and Mount Love 6,400-foot (1,950 m) in the east.
9. The Northern Mockingbird is the State Bird of Tennessee
The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) was designated as the official state bird of Tennessee in 1933. It’s also the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. It’s a New World passerine bird that can be found widely in North America. Although this bird is permanent resident, the birds from the north move south during harsh winter. Besides state bird, Tennessee also adopted the bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) as the state game bird in 1988.
10. There are 3 State Flowers of Tennessee: Passion Flower, Iris and Tennessee Coneflower
Tennessee adopted 3 state flowers: passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) that was designated as the state flower in 1919 then revised as state wildflower in 1973, Iris (genus Iridaceae) as the state cultivated flower that adopted in 1933 and Tennessee coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis) that was designated as the second state wildflower in 2013. Tennessee coneflower is a rare species that was once listed as an endangered plant species and can only be found in limited locations in Tennessee.
Besides those 10 interesting facts, there are surely many other interesting facts about Tennessee that are not mentioned in this article. So, it’s surely a good idea if you want to share any other interesting facts about Tennessee with us here.