Approach New York from the air, and one thing in particular dominates Manhattan- Central Park. Taking up 3.5 square miles- almost a fifth of the whole of Manhattan- it’s fair to say that Central Park is the jewel in the crown of the city.
For such a big place, it’s no surprise that Central Park has its fair share of fascinating facts and history- so here are five things that you probably didn’t know about this beautiful part of New York.
Fun Facts About Central Park #01: It played host to the biggest concert in American history
On most days, Central Park offers the residents of New York a welcome place to enjoy some peace and quiet in the heart of the bustling city. However, from time to time, huge outdoor concerts are held in the Park- and in 1997, Garth Brooks played a particularly enormous one.
Around 980,000 people showed up- over half the population of Manhattan! This makes it the biggest outdoor concert ever held in America, and one of the largest in the entire world- a testament to just how much New Yorkers love coming together for special events like this.
Fun Facts About Central Park #02: It’s home to a staggering number of benches
With miles and miles of paths to stroll along, we wouldn’t blame you if your legs got tired while walking through Central Park. Luckily, though, there are plenty of places to sit and rest your legs- the Park is home to over 9,000 benches!
Almost all of them carry dedications to people who found a special place in their hearts for Central Park during their lifetimes, and they make for a great place to just sit and watch the world go by.
Fun Facts About Central Park #03: It has its own place on the census
At 3.5 square miles, Central Park is bigger than many New York neighborhoods. In fact, it’s so big that it has its very own U.S. Census tract. In the last census in 2010, 25 people claimed Central Park as their home.
Before you go getting any ideas, though, Central Park officials confirm that no one actually lives there permanently- unless you include the inhabitants of Central Park Zoo, that is!
Fun Facts About Central Park #04: It took some serious firepower to build
While Central Park might look all-natural, it was actually a very carefully crafted project that took 15 years to complete. When it came to building the four roads which intersect the park, constructors had to carve through 30 feet of solid bedrock.
To do so, they used gunpowder- and it’s said that more gunpowder was used during this process than in the Battle of Gettysburg! Wanna know more? How about taking part in one of the Central Park Tours New York to explore more of this beautiful place?
Fun Facts About Central Park #05: There are some remarkably tiny inhabitants, too
The rest of the facts on this list have been pretty big- after all, since Central Park is so vast, you’d expect it to hold plenty of size-related records.
However, in 2002, scientists were to discover a previously-unknown species of centipede in Central Park, which measures just 10mm long. That makes Nannarrup hoffmani one of the smallest centipedes around!