1. By 1923, Los Angeles produced one quarter of the world’s oil. It still sits atop the third largest oil field in the country.
2. An oil derrick on the property of Beverly Hills High School produces about 400 barrels a day. The school earns about $300,000 a year in royalties.
3. Not many people consider visiting the coroner to finish their holiday shopping. But if you do, the LA coroner’s office has a gift shop.
4. When it rains in LA, it pours. On April 5, 1926, a gauge in the San Gabriel Mountains collected an inch of rain in just one minute.
5. While in February 1978, almost a foot of rain fell in 24 hours.
6. How did the film industry end up in LA? To get away from Thomas Edison. Edison—who lived in New Jersey—held most of the country’s film patents. Filmmakers fled westward to avoid Edison’s intellectual property claims. [Dispute: They also wanted the year-long sunshine.]
7. Beverly Hills started out as a modest lima bean ranch.
8. Santa Monica Pier was originally designed to protect a sewage pipe that dumped treated sewage into the ocean.
9. If Los Angeles were its own country, its economy would be bigger than Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Sweden’s.
11. It is illegal to lick a toad in the City of Angels.
12. Ever since the zoot suit riot in 1943, the baggy suits have been prohibited in LA.
13. It’s also illegal to drive more than 2000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard.
14. Each spring, the Getty Museum hires goats to maintain the scrub around its manicured grounds.
15. Unlike other baseball stadiums, Dodger Stadium is carved deep into the ground.
16. L.A. is home to the largest boulder ever transported—a 340-ton chunk of granite that hit the road in 2012. It took 11 days to move it just 85 miles to its home at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
17. When they were first installed, the steel walls of the Walt Disney Concert Hall reflected so much light that nearby sidewalks hit temperatures of 140°F.