Here's what people are searching for on Google about your state

Have you ever done a random Google search for information about your home state? I'm sure you have; we've all done it at one point or another: But how about this: Have you ever tried to figure out what other people are searching on Google about your state? To answer this extremely pressing question, MentalFloss did some data analysis and mapped what people are searching for most in each state. Or more accurately, they found out what people wanted to know most about each state: The search data they analyzed centered around the question: "Why does [state]...?"

MentalFloss created this map as part of their Afternoon Maps series; in fact, this specific map was actually inspired by a previous map they created for the same series. (In the case of the original map, the search query used to focus the analysis was "Why is [state] so...?"). Obviously there are a lot of possibilities when looking at Google search trends, so in order to dig beyond Alaba Outside of MA, MentalFloss ignored any questions related to state sports teams, "apparently that's what they were searching for," so they kept the results related to that specific sport, indicating that they actually had a data set to work with.

If I ran through the entire map with all 50 states, we'd be here all day, so I've taken the liberty of listing the 10 most interesting or puzzling things people are searching for to give you an idea Highlights of this map. The most peculiar result. To see what people are searching for in your state or to see the full map, be sure to head to MentalFloss.

1. “Why does Montana hate the FBI?”

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This is the most searched question about Montana, and it does seem a bit strange – could Montana become home to violent criminals? Or maybe it's just that a lot of people are wary of all government entities? This may remain a mystery, but it's worth mentioning that there was a famous standoff between the Freeman Ranch and the FBI back in the 1960s; perhaps that has something to do with the inquiry.

2. “Why do West Virginia, Delaware, and Rhode Island exist?”

Cruel! All three states have this question as the most Googled question in the MentalFloss map, but it seems cold to me.

3. “Why are there so many countries in Georgia?”

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As MentalFloss points out, this is probably a misspelling for most people; "country" probably means "county." Georgia does seem to have a lot of counties, though, with 159 counties in the state, the second-highest number of counties among all 50 states.

4. “Why does Connecticut have a silent C?”

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it may be related to the original origin of the word "Connecticut": it is thought to be derived from the Algonquian word "quinnitukqut," meaning "by the long tidal river."

5. “Why does Nebraska stink?”

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This is another tough question! However, according to many people on the internet, it tastes a lot like poop.

6. “Why do Wyoming have red roads?”

Asphalt in Wyoming is often red, but the reason remains unclear. It might actually just be a color preference, as this article on highway construction points out that you can very simply change the color of the pavement as you build it.

7. “Why does California have the most seats in the House of Representatives?”

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The answer is simple, because California is the most populous (and growing!) state in the United States. Each state has representation in the House of Representatives based on its population size; meanwhile, the Senate assigns two representatives to each state, regardless of its size.

8. “Why does Colorado hate California?”

I didn't realize it, but there seems to be a strong rivalry between these two Western countries. This appears to be due to a push-pull success model, with homes moving from state to state based on the current economic and social climate each offers. For context, more than 11% of Colorado transplants were born in California.

9. “Why do earthquakes occur so frequently in Alaska?”

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Due to its location, Alaska experiences more earthquakes than all 49 other states combined: it is part of the Pacific Rim seismic belt, which is responsible for 80% of the world's earthquakes. The more you know!

10. “Why does Oregon have full-service natural gas?”

Oregon is just one of two U.S. states that bans self-pumping. Back in the 1950s, the reason for this law was safety, but even though nearly every other state (except New Jersey) has repealed laws against self-pumping, it remains the case today. Hey, at least it creates jobs, right?

If you want to see more questions people ask about each state, be sure to head over to MentalFloss to see the full list.

Image: Pixabay