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10 Unusual Facts about Tampa Bay

How well do you know Tampa Bay, FL? We’re bringing you some fun facts about the city and its history. If you’re a trivia master (or local enthusiast), give this a try.


Get to know Tampa Bay’s fun facts

Photo by Ronald Slaton

Did you know Tampa is the lightning capital of the world?

Nah, just kidding. If you know us, you know we’re here for the deep cuts — and there’s plenty of interesting factoids to go around. As connoisseurs of the quirky and unconventional, we put together a list of some of Tampa Bay’s historical quirks, oddest characteristics, and more. Maybe you’ve lived here your whole life and know some of this, or maybe you’ll learn something new.

Either way, test your local knowledge with these 10 interesting facts.

1. Tampa’s temperature has never exceeded 99 degrees. That sounds like a lie because, ya know — it’s Florida, but it’s true. The last time it even hit 99 degrees in Tampa was June 5, 1985. 🌡

2. The “You know I had to do it to em,” guy — yeah, he’s from Tampa. Holy throwback. The meme began when Twitter user @LuckyLuciano17k posted a photo of himself dressed to the nines with that infamous caption.

You know I had to do it to em

You know we had to do it to ya.

Photo by Know Your Meme

3. The city’s number one export is phosphate. And since phosphate is invaluable for fertilizer production, farmers from across the US love us.

4. Lindsay Lohan’s dad launched himself from the third-floor balcony of the Tahitian Inn to avoid rearrest. Upon being put into the TPA squad car, he said, “I’m an idiot.”

5. The world’s first passenger flight took place in St. Pete. On the first day of 1914, the first passenger flight worldwide took off from the Burg and landed in Tampa. 🛩

6. Goodfellas, Dolphin Tale, Edward Scissorhands, Magic Mike, My Girl, and The Parent Trap II (call back to Lindsay Lohan’s dad) are just a few movies that have been filmed in Tampa.

7. Busch Gardens initially started as a brewery and a botanical garden, but later on, it developed into the magical theme park you know today. Curiously, Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery, runs a bottling plant right next door. And right behind them, Pepsi has a facility, too.

8. Two famous authors have resided in the area. The first one was Jack Kerouac, a novelist of the 1960s who lived in St. Petersburg. It’s a little drive, but the second one is Stephen King, the popular horror writer. He lives in Sarasota. 📚

9. Hulkamania will run wild on you, brother. Terry Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, is Tampa-born. He started his wrestling career in 1977 and gained international recognition in 1983 when he signed for the World Wrestling Federation.

10. It took the Bucs 32 seasons to return a kickoff for a touchdown. In 2007, Michael Spurlock took one to the house for 90 yards from a kick by Falcons kicker Morten Anderson. 🏴‍☠️

Your turn. Tell us your favorite local trivia tidbit, and you might make it into the newsletter.

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