The 14 Most Amazing Facts about Houston

Houston is one of the largest US cities by area, but did you know that the phone on the International Space Station uses a Houston area code? It’s true! Check out these 14 amazing facts about this sprawling, culturally rich city.

The 14 Most Surprising Facts about Houston
Text version
  1. Houston hosts the National Museum of Funeral History.
    It covers embalming, funerals of presidents and popes, mourning in the 1800s, and more.
     

  2. The largest livestock show in the world is in Houston.
    With 2,600,000 attendees, the 2017 Houston Livestock Show broke a world record. It's also one of the largest rodeos in the world.
     

  3. The city has an underground pedestrian tunnel system.
    Stretching 6 miles, these tunnels located 20 feet under the ground connect 95 city blocks.
     

  4. The Space Station's phone uses a Houston area code.
    The area code is 281, so the ISS is an honorary resident of Houston.
     

  5. You can "burp" the Buffalo Bayou.
    Pushing the red button on the Preston Street Bridge causes the bayou to bubble for several seconds.
     

  6. Houston has 21 Fortune 500 company headquarters.
    Of all US cities, Houston has the fourth most Fortune 500 company headquarters.
     

  7. One of the first words uttered on the moon was "Houston."
    Addressing mission control, astronaut Neil Armstrong said, "Houston, Tranquility Base here."
     

  8. Houston is as big as NYC, Boston, and SF combined.
    At 599.6 square miles, Houston is the ninth largest US city by area. It has 2.3 million residents.
     

  9. Houstonians eat out way more than most of the country.
    Houstonians eat an average of 6.9 meals out a week, two more than the national average of 4.9.
     

  10. Houston's population is one of the youngest in the US.
    The median age in 2016 was 33. Native-born Houstonians tend to be younger than transplants.
     

  11. Only NYC has a larger US theater district than Houston.
    With 8 theaters covering 17 blocks, Houston's Theater District can accommodate 12,000 people.
     

  12. The Houston Metro Area features more than 150 museums.
    History, art, or wacky things--whatever you like, Houston has the right museum for you.
     

  13. Houston has the highest rates of ethnic and racial diversity in the US.
    The city welcomed around 400,000 new foreign-born residents in the first decade of the 21st century.
     

  14. One of the widest freeways in the world goes through Houston.
    Some stretches of the I-10 feature 26 lanes, making it one of the widest highways in the world.

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