Idaho's Fascinating & Mystifying Shape

Loved for its scenic mountains and potatoes, Idaho's boot-like shape has fascinated and mystified Americans for well over a century. Like most of us, you might assume the shape of a U.S. state would be entirely intentional. Well, you know what they say when you assume things, don't you? You...shouldn't (nor should we have started down that path).

Idaho's Outline Was an Accident

Like Play-Doh, Teflon, and Penicillin, American icon Bob Ross would probably call Idaho's modern-day shape a happy little accident. Even so, Idahoans have found a reason to celebrate it.

Idaho is shaped much like a logger's boot, thereby accidentally reflecting the state's rugged forested and mountainous terrain in which logging and mining play major roles. Encyclopedia Britannica

Leave it to Idahoans to find the silver lining in just about anything, right?

1863 Idaho Was a Plain Jane

But long before it took the shape of the beloved logger's boot, the Gem State had a totally different silhouette. In fact, as plain as it was, its original shape was so dramatically different than the one we know today, none of us would recognize it.

Fun fact: Idaho's transition from plain Jane to the shape we love today started soon after Lincoln signed the act that created the Idaho Territory in 1863.

Have you ever wondered how Idaho got its odd shape, or why its so narrow up north? Maybe you're still baffled by the Joe Biden-Montana-smelling-Idaho theory that took off a few years ago?

Scroll on for a quick & fun explanation of all that & more!

How Idaho Got Its Crazy Shape + 9 Random Cool Facts About It

Have you ever wondered how the Gem State got its distinctive, gun-like shape? Maybe you're curious to know how Idaho got its nickname? We can explain that & more in the gallery below!

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

Quirky and Unusual Facts Most People Don't Know About Idaho

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