You can live in a city for years and still not learn all its secrets and hidden history. That’s why we asked Seattleites for their best fun fact about Seattle. Our followers on Instagram and Facebook were happy to share some mind-blowing Seattle facts that most people don’t know.
Read on for some fascinating, little-known facts about Seattle:
1. The eye of the Fremont Troll is made out of a VW Beetle hubcap
Visit the Fremont Troll under the Fremont Bridge to verify this for yourself!
2. The first Starbucks is not in Pike Place Market
We hate to break it to you but if you waited in line to visit the first Starbucks at Pike Place Market, you actually visited the second-ever Starbucks location. The very first Starbucks opened in 1971 at 2000 Western Avenue and no longer exists.
2. The band Soundgarden got its name from Seattle
Seattle is incredibly rich in music history. “Soundgarden was named after a structure called ‘A Sound Garden’ that’s located near Magnuson Park,” one Seattleite shared.
3. Seattle Library has perks for members
One Seattleite was eager to share this fun fact: “FRIENDS OF THE SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOOK SALE!!!!! Members get to go on the first day of the sale and it’s open to the public in the second two days!”
4. Seattle has seasons beyond “rainy”
“We have all 4 seasons! It doesn’t just ‘rain all the time,'” one Seattleite commented. Another Seattleite agreed: “It doesn’t rain nearly as much as out of towners might think.”
5. The Seattle Freeze is rooted in our history
These two contributions may not be hard-and-fast facts but they are interesting takes on the famous phenomenon of the Seattle Freeze:
“Seattle culture still maintains some of its Nordic heritage, with tepid friendliness to strangers,” commented one Seattleite. You can learn more about this heritage at the National Nordic Museum in Ballard!
Another Seattleite shared this intriguing theory: “The Seattle Freeze is the result of three decades of prominent, charming serial killers hitting the news—and generations ceasing to welcome newcomers. Kids born in the 1980’s—2000’s don’t even know why we kick the tires (safely) on new relationships for so long. We just do it because it’s the culture. But it’s actually a social coping mechanism to survive serial killers. 🤷♀️”
6. Seattleites buy the most sunglasses
Two Seattleites shared these takes on why Seattleites purchase so many pairs of sunglasses:
“Per capita, Seattlites have the most sunglasses out of the whole country. It’s because we never see the sun and therefore keep losing our sunglasses. When it finally does come out it causes us to buy new ones.”
“Seattle has the highest percentage of sunglasses sales per capita in the USA. (Or so I was advised on a harbor tour once.) The reason being Seattleites don’t routinely carry sunglasses so when the sun comes out, they rush into stores to buy them.”
7. There is a Seattle underground
8. Bruce Lee’s final resting place is in Seattle
9. Seattle is a city of small towns
10. The United Postal Service started in Seattle
11. Seattle once had a huge jazz scene in the ’50s and ’60s
12. Seattle has a Statue of Liberty
13. Pickleball was invented here
14. An inch of snow shuts down the city
This is more of a common observation than a fact, but it’s true that if you happen to be in Seattle during a snowfall you’ll notice that most of the city just shuts down. The reason is because we have such steep streets here and not much infrastructure in place to quickly clear the streets of snow. So if we get a snow day in Seattle, we enjoy staying cozy at home (or sledding down the vacant streets!).
15. Pike Place Market started because of the price of onions
You can read all the details about the origin of Pike Place Market thanks to the city archives.