1. Manatees (aka sea cows and/or the original mermaids) live in Florida!
Florida classifies these little guys as “endangered” and makes a big effort to protect them. Yay Florida!
2. Where would you ship your grandparents if not for Florida?
Incidentally, Florida provides a lot of old people for you to chill with when you inevitably get shipped there.
4. It’s a state where you can wear flip-flops year-round and no one will judge you.
Let your rubber-sole flag fly!
5. You can also load up on vitamin D year-round (for free!).
Benefits of sunshine include an improved immune system, healthy bones, reduced stress, reduced risk of depression, and improved cardiovascular health, among other things.
6. It’s home to the alleged Fountain of Youth that Ponce de León discovered.
It’s in St. Augustine, and apparently none of the Florida retirees have found it.
7. If not for the male strip clubs of Tampa, you’d all be “Magic Mike”-less.
And what a sad, fully clothed world that would be.
8. Without Florida, Ernest Hemingway wouldn’t have had this house in Key West, where he wrote some of his classics.
Like A Farewell to Arms and Green Hills of Africa.
9. He also filled that house with polydactyl (six-toed) cats, which are often nicknamed “Hemingway cats,” and took adorable photos like this.
His former home is now a museum and houses roughly 40–50 of Hemingway’s kitties’ descendants. Here are some of those cats.
10. Want a warm, sunny, sexy place to get drunk on spring break? Oh, that’s right, you have to go to Florida.
11. And in Florida, it’s so warm that you can pretty much be drunk all day long without judgment. Like, seriously, no judgment.
Anyone want to take a shot in honor of Florida?
12. Gianni Versace’s former mansion is on Miami Beach and his ghost is rumored to haunt it.*
(*That’s a rumor we made up.)
13. Florida is the penis of America, and it’s a big one.
Be proud of that wang, fellow Americans!
15. The proximity to Cuba means a lot of delicious Cubans. (The people and their sandwiches.)
16. The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg houses the largest collection of Dali’s work, which means tons of melting clocks.
It also looks awesome from the outside.
17. Oh, you need a place that’s warm for spring training? You’re welcome, Yankees.
18. Walt Disney World is bigger, better, and badass-ier than its California counterpart.
Plus, those Mickey Mouse ice cream pops taste better in the humidity, we hear.
19. Think of all the fantastic glimpses of humanity you’d miss without Florida! Like the “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” guy.
For real, though, Florida loves tazing.
20. Or all those Floridians who turned into zombies after eating some bath salts.
21. Without Florida, you’d have no big-ass trucks to admire.
Or their owners, for that matter.
22. Without Florida there would be no astronauts! (Or, there would be, just not shooting into space from the penis of America.)
23. Florida gives you plenty of orange juice to drink morning, noon, and night, if you’re so inclined.
24. Plus, very few people are actually from Florida, which helps combat petty tribalism.
25. Unless, of course, you’re William H. Macy, Norman Reedus, Ashley Greene, Maya Rudolph, Jim Morrison, or Debbie Harry, because they are all native Floridians.
And exceptionally good looking ones.
26. As is Bob Ross, and without him you wouldn’t know the “Joy of Painting.”
27. In Florida there’s a reasonable chance of getting struck by lightning two, three, hell, even four times.
28. And Florida is home to the oldest continuously settled city in the United States: St. Augustine.
This state not only has old people, it has old cities too!
29. Florida is one of seven states that has absolutely no state income tax. None whatsoever.
Save that money for alligator nuggets, a thing that also exists in Florida!