Promoted
win

51 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Los Angeles

You’re standing on an oil field right now.

1. Los Angeles has seven area codes—213, 310, 323, 424, 626, 747, 818—more than any city in the U.S. Five of those area codes are palindromes.

2. Los Angeles has the largest Thai population anywhere outside of Thailand.

3. According to a recent study, the average Los Angeles driver spends 59 hours sitting in traffic, or about two and a half days a year.

4. The person who gifted Griffith Park to the city was named Griffith J. Griffith.

5. L.A. has always suffered from smog. The ancient Chumash tribe’s name for the L.A. Valley translates to “valley of smoke”.

6. Los Angeles smells like concrete, motor oil, marijuana and bacon-wrapped hot dogs, according to residents.

7. The smallest city in Los Angeles County, Vernon, has only 114 residents.

8. The Watts Towers were constructed by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia on his lot over the course of 33 years in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

9. The “Think Blue” sign in the mountains north of Dodger Stadium pays homage to the nearby Hollywood Sign.

10. Many stars are buried in Hollywood’s Forever Cemetery. One of those stars is Looney Tunes voice actor Mel Blanc, whose gravestone reads, “That’s all folks.”

11. L.A. is home to the largest boulder ever transported—a 340-ton chunk of granite that hit the road in 2012. It took 10 days to take it to the LACMA museum.

12. The Shirley Temple, a non-alcoholic cocktail, was invented in Los Angeles.

13. In Los Angeles, there are nearly 7,000 people per square mile. New York has 5,319.

14. Tally’s Electric Theatre in Los Angeles was the first movie theater to open 112 years ago.

15. The Great Wall mural, at 2,754 feet long, is one of the longest murals in the world.

16. Murphy’s Ranch, in Santa Monica, is a bunker from which Hitler planned to run the Nazi empire after the war, which included a diesel power plant, 375,000 gallon concrete water tank , giant meat locker, 22 bedrooms and a bomb shelter.

17. Beverly Hills started out as a lima bean ranch, but by 1900, it was sold for development.

18. Angelenos travel 41,372,940 miles a day.

19. There’s a neighborhood in Westwood called “Tehrangeles. It is home to the Iranian community.

20. 1 in 10 residents is an undocumented immigrant.

21. Plastic bags are banned in Los Angeles.

22. L.A. sits on top of the third largest oil field in the country. Oil rigs are hidden throughout the city, near schools, malls and even a farmer’s market.

23. There’s a “Time Travel Mart” in Echo Park that sells dinosaur eggs, robot milk, dodo chow, duel starter kits, and time-machine parts. It is actually a front for 826LA, a literary nonprofit that tutors young kids on their writing skills.

24. The original Hollywood sign was installed in 1923 and read “Hollywoodland.”

25. L.A. ranks second in the number of women-owned businesses.

26. The Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth” was written about a riot at Pandora’s Box, a Sunset Strip club, in 1966.

27. Whimsic Alley, a Harry Potter themed store, sells butter beer, chocolate frogs, quidditch robes, wands, and more.

28. Demonstrations on how to make your own toothpaste from orange by-products were popular attractions at the 1922 Los Angeles County Fair.

29. The city’s longest street, Sepulveda Boulevard, is 40 miles.

30. The city’s shortest street, Powers Place, is just 13 feet long.

Skeletons in the Closet, the L.A. County Coroner’s gift shop. Getty Images/Dan Callister

31. The Los Angeles Coroner’s office has a gift shop where you can buy beach towels, videos of gruesome local murders, and body bag luggage.

32. Life expectancy varies by twelve years between residents in Watts compared to those in Bel-Air.

33. Quentin Tarantino worked as a video store clerk in Los Angeles after dropping out of school.

34. Before the city was named Los Angeles, it was called “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula,” which in English means “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Porciúncula River.”

35. Los Angeles was Mexican territory until 1848 when it officially became a part of the United States.

36. The 1963 Baldwin Hills dam collapse is considered the first live televised disaster.

Getty Images/Staff

37. The Church of Scientology, who have their headquarters in Los Angeles, campaigned to have the city rename one street running through their complex “L. Ron Hubbard Way.”

38. In 1825, there was a flood which caused the Los Angeles River to change course from flowing west into the Santa Monica Bay to flowing south towards San Pedro Bay.

39. In 1992, there were 1,092 murders in Los Angeles. In 2012, the city recorded just 298.

40. The 90 freeway, now known as Marina Freeway, was once called the Richard Nixon freeway.

41. During the 1940’s dustbowl era, the Los Angeles police chief sent 125 policemen to act as bouncers at the state border, turning away “undesirables,” aka low-income “okies” from Oklahoma.

42. In 2006, a new tar pit was discovered in Wilshire. It contained the remains of saber-toothed cats, giant sloths, American lions, and a mammoth that was named Zed.

43. The Bunny Museum in Pasadena has the Guinness World Record for “owning the most bunny items in the world.”

44. There are 135 different languages spoken in Los Angeles.

45. Truckers call L.A. “Shaky Town” because of the earthquakes that sometimes plague the city.

46. There are 3,473,930 foreign-born residents living in Los Angeles County as of 2013.

47. The Getty Museum hires goats to maintain the scrub around its manicured grounds.

48. In 1996, Charlie Sheen bought 2,615 outfield seats at Angels Stadium in nearby Anaheim—so he could catch a home run ball.

49. The Hollywood Walk of Fame has 2,518 stars.

50. The film industry ended up in L.A. to avoid Edison’s intellectual property claims because he owned many of the country’s film patents.

51. GQ considers Downtown L.A. the next great American city.

Downtown L.A. Thinkstock

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Juan Gabriel and Walter Mercado are the unicorns of my heart. Editorial Fellow from Phoenix, AZ.
 
  Your Reaction?
  REACT WITH GIF
 

    Contributions

    Here Are The Top Stories
    • A conservation group at Oxford University told BuzzFeed News that media reports of Jericho's death were not true and that the 11-year-old lion was "alive and well".
    • More debris – believed to be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 – has been found washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion on Sunday.
    • A Memphis police officer was shot dead on Saturday night while conducting a routine traffic stop, according to a statement from the Memphis Police Department.
    Get The News App

    Hot Buzz

    What’s The Most Annoying Misconception About Country Music?

    collection

    How Did You Meet Your Significant Other?

    collection

    Now Buzzing