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Curious Facts About US Airports

US Airports Confidential

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Airport Confidential! Fascinating Secrets of America’s Airports Revealed

An airport is an airport is an airport, right? Just a place to fly in and out of, right? Wrong.’s agents spent months gathering intelligence on the unusual side of America’s travel hubs, uncovering information that won’t be so obvious to the casual traveler stopping by on a layover. With more than one third of the world’s airports located within the U.S., it only makes sense that there would be some intrigue, secrets and strange happenings on the grounds of even the largest facilities. From full-on conspiracy theories involving secret cities and hidden messages to surprising animal residents and buried treasure, America’s airports are a wealth of mysteries and unique fixtures. Venere has dug into its classified files to bring you Airport Confidential!, an infographic exploring some of the more fascinating facts about major U.S. airports.

Boston Logan International
Famous pirate Captain Kidd is said to have stashed treasure all around Boston. When Boston Harbor was filled in to build Logan, one of the small islands believed to contain some $300,000 worth of the treasure was covered and now serves as part of the city’s airfield.

Washington, D.C. Dulles International Airport
Most people traveling through Washington‘s IAD aren’t aware that the airport is actually home to several historic aviation artifacts — including the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

Orlando International Airport
Most people traveling to Orlando are headed to central Florida to visit its 10 theme parks, a fact that’s reflected in the navigational paths pilots use to get there; many are named after attractions in the area: COSTR1, CWORLD1, MINEE4, and so on.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Travelers heading through Detroit marvel at the psychedelic tunnel connecting two terminals. It was one of the first color-changing LED displays in the U.S. The two 27-minute rotating “shows” represent thunderstorms, wind and fireballs — not exactly the most aviation-friendly topics.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Chicago‘s O’Hare is home to a massive beekeeping operation of over 1,000,000 bees. Additionally, there is an aeroponic garden in the middle of the airport that grows produce and herbs for the airport’s 50-plus restaurants and cafes.

Denver International Airport
Where to begin? DIA is the center of a number of conspiracy theories, ranging from a secret government base under Denver‘s airport that houses either aliens or secret weapons (or both) to murals on the airport’s walls that contain hidden messages.

Anchorage International Airport
This relatively small airport has one of the best taxidermy exhibits in the U.S. — including bears, elk and the world-record halibut, which weighs more than 400 pounds.

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
Occasionally, an unmarked white plane with a single red stripe passes through Las Vegas‘ McCarran. This is the plane that takes workers to the government complex at Groom Lake — more commonly known as Area 51. The call sign for this plane is “Janet.”

Los Angeles International Airport
Rumor has it there is a service that can delay flights for up to 15 minutes to ensure that well-heeled customers make their flights. That rumor might have been started by the airport workers at LAX who supposedly get paid on the side to tip off paparazzi to the arrival of celebrities!

San Francisco International Airport
In San Francisco’s dry climate, tall grasses present a significant fire risk. So who better to get rid of the grass than goats? The airport hires 400 goats each year to graze on the grass surrounding the airfields, reducing the fire danger in an environmentally responsible manner.

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