30 Pieces of Miami Trivia You Might Not Know
Let's be honest: It's the middle of August, you're sweating more than a GOP presidential candidate looking at Donald Trump's latest poll numbers, and chances are, you're feeling a little bit down on Miami right about now. It's understandable: Even the biggest Magic City booster can lose faith in his chosen city during the dog days of hurricane season.
That's what makes this the perfect time to reflect on what a unique, weird, amazing metropolis it is that we all call home. Refresh your Dade County spirit with some bizarre trivia about Miami that, chances are, you didn't know:
1. The City of Miami proper is the smallest city by area to anchor a major American metropolis.
2. Miami has been the setting of scenes in three James Bond movies: Goldfinger, Thunderball, and Casino Royal. That's the most of any U.S. city. Indeed, Thunderball centers on a villain's nefarious plan to blow up Miami Beach.
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3. Oddly, the actor playing James Bond has never actually filmed a scene here.
4. The Metromover is the largest and most used public people mover in the United States. (In fact, Walt Disney World's private monorail is the only larger comparable system in America.)
5. Speaking of Monorails, the Seaquarium Spacerail was the first hanging monorail in America when it was constructed in 1963. It was constructed solely for entertainment purposes and was demolished in 1991 once people stopped thinking that the simple act of riding in a monorail was fun.
6. Though it's often said that Miami's temperature has never reached 100 degrees, the National Weather Service did uncover records that showed Miami hit the 100 mark for one day back in July 1942.
7. The idea for The Golden Girls started as a Miami Vice parody. In a 1984 TV special to promote its upcoming season and the premiere of Miami Vice, NBC asked Selma Diamond and Doris Roberts to appear in a sketch called "Miami Nice" to poke fun of Miami's reputation as a retirement destination. Executives liked the idea so much that they actually asked Susan Harris to produce a pilot script for the idea. The name was eventually changed, but the location remained in Miami.
8. Miami is the only major city founded by a woman.
9. As of last count in 2014, Miami had the least amount of residential toilets per capita of any city in America.
10. The Miami Marlins are the only MLB team to have never lost a postseason series — which just means the only two times they made it into the playoffs, they somehow won the World Series.
11. Miami, Naples, and the surrounding areas are the only cities in the continental United States to have a tropical climate. (Though, there is some disagreement over whether the climate should be classified as tropical or subtropical, we are the only area considered by at least some people to be tropical.)
12. Miami is one of the three vertices of the Bermuda Triangle.
13. During a short period during the land boom of the 1920s, the Miami Herald was the biggest paper by ad sales in the entire world.
14. In addition to having the largest amount of Cubans living outside of Cuba, areas in Miami-Dade also have the highest concentrations of Bahamian, Haitian, Venezuelan, and Nicaraguan-Americans outside their homelands.
15. The Miami area is the only metro surrounded by two national parks — Everglades to the west, Biscayne to the east.
16. Don Johnson originally resisted the now-iconic fashions he wore on Miami Vice and imagined Sonny Crocket wearing more denim and cowboy boots.
17. Miami's first recorded name was Chequescha. That's what Juan Ponce de Leon wrote down when he sailed into Biscayne Bay in 1513.
18. Yes, the suburb of Sweetwater was founded by a troupe of traveling Russian circus dwarves who wanted to retire.
19. More tropical vegetables are grown here than any other county in America, which, who knew?
20. Miami is also the live-flower import capital of America.
21. Things Miami is second at: the second-largest concentration of medical and research facilities (in the civic center), the second-largest American city with a Spanish-speaking majority, the airport with the second most international arrivals, and the second-largest performing arts center in America.
22. The City of West Miami was established after the City of Miami decided to cut back on drinking hours and gambling.
23. Miami has the most citizens born outside the country of any city in the world.
24. The director of Scarface, Brian De Palma, refuses to reveal which substance they used as a stand-in for cocaine in the movie.
25. Born in 1948 at the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Co., Snooty the Manatee is believed to be the first manatee born in captivity. At 67, he's also the oldest manatee in captivity and perhaps the oldest in the world and now lives at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.
26. Despite popular misconception, the first sunscreen was not developed on Miami Beach, but Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green's Red Vet Pet sunscreen formula was the first to attain popular use in America. Unfortunately, it didn't work too well, but the formula was bought and then improved upon by Coppertone.
27. With a worldwide gross of $516,642,939, Meet the Fockers is the most successful movie ever set primarily in Miami.
28. Hialeah is the most densely populated city in America without a single skyscraper.
29. Due to the hurricane of 1926 and the bursting of a local land boom bubble, the University of Miami struggled during its first two decades and was known as the "cardboard college" after purchasing hotels to use as classrooms and renovating them with flimsy partitions.
30. The Godfather Part II is the only movie with scenes set in Miami to win the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. Though the 1969 winner, Midnight Cowboy, ends right before the main character arrives in Miami.