The following video is brought to you courtesy of the American Eye YouTube Channel. Click the video below to watch it now.
#21 Beaver City, Nebraska
While the locations on our list have animal-related names, not all of them were necessarily named for animals. But this small city in the Cornhusker state was directly named for the furry, industrial rodents. Founded in 1872 its name was inspired by the Beaver Creek, which contained an abundance of the animals.
#20 Mastodon Township, Michigan
The prehistoric creatures were distantly related to modern elephants and went extinct about 10,000 years ago. Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the township is named for the ancient behemoths. Their bones were uncovered while sinking a mine shaft. It’s also possible that ‘Mastodon’ was used for describing the huge amount of iron ore found at the site. Those animals could weigh up to 24,000 pounds (11 metric tons) so using ‘Mastodon’ as a slang adjective for ‘huge’ would have been valid.
#19 Pig, Kentucky
Located about 21 miles (34 km) from Bowling Green is where you’ll find this unincorporated community. You might think the porcine moniker is a reference to pig farms in the area. Actually, the name was chosen after townspeople couldn’t agree on what to call the place. The story goes that a resident noticed a small porker in the road, and suggested the name, “Pig”. The residents liked the sound of that, and the name stuck.
#18 Man, West Virginia
It might be nice to think this town was named for humans. And in a way, it was. With fewer than 800 residents, this place in Logan County was named for a 19th century West Virginia bureaucrat named Ulysses Hinchman. The town’s name was taken from the last syllable of the surname. Hence, Man West Virginia.
#17 Sturgeon, Pennsylvania
The southwestern part of this state is not necessarily where you’d expect to find sturgeon. But the fish do inhabit waters of the Keystone State. Three species are found in Pennsylvania as they return to spawn in the Delaware River.
#16 Fly, Ohio
Flies can have a lifespan of less than 30 days, and that brevity apparently inspired the name of this community in Jackson Township. Residents chose the name because the community wasn’t expected to last long. Actually, a Post Office was in operation there from 1886 until 1995. “Fly” could also be a reference to the Wright Brothers. Wilbur and Orville were Ohio natives generally credited with inventing and flying the first aircraft.
#15 Possum Grape, Arkansas (ark-kan-saw)
Located in Jackson County Arkansas, this community seems to bear the name of a marsupial as well as a fruit. But that’s kind of a misnomer. There are fruit-bearing vines in Arkansas called Possum Grapes, and that is the basis of the town’s name. But for 20 years the residents were divided as to whether it should be known as “Possum” or “Grape”. A compromise was reached when everyone agreed on Possum Grape. Actually, if the town was named for the marsupial, it should be Opossum Grape. Possums are native to Australia.
#14 Hippo, Kentucky
Why was a town in the southern US named for a huge, dangerous beast? Actually, it wasn’t. It was named for a local resident known as Bee Madison “Hippo” Craft. But his nickname had nothing to do with hippopotamuses, either. “Hippo” was a Southern slang term term for hypochondriac. Apparently, Mr Craft was known to complain excessively about his health. How do you think they pronounced ‘hypochondriac’?
#13 Porcupine, South Dakota
No doubt this is the most prickly name on the list. Located in the southwestern part of the state, most historians think it was named for Porcupine Butte (b’yoot). Its a mountain summit located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. However, Porcupine Butte wasn’t directly named for the rodents, either. The name refers to the prickly pine trees growing there.
#12 Anaconda, Montana
This one sounds like a town from the wild west. But its name has more to do with copper than it does the big constrictor snakes. It was the location of a huge mining operation in the 1880s and one of the mines was known as the Anaconda. The town’s founder wanted to use the name “Copperopolis” (kop-per-op-poh-lis) but it had already been registered. Instead, they went with Anaconda, naming it for the mine and smelter. At one time the Anaconda Mining Company was one of the largest trusts in the US. Like the snake, maybe they put the squeeze on their competition.