Ace your holiday party conversations

7 Grand Canyon facts sure to impress

The holidays are here. Which means it’s also holiday party season. While figuring out what to wear and what to bring are important, so is having something to say when you get there. Now you already know not to talk about religion or politics (especially now). So what can you talk about?

America’s favorite canyon is a good, across-the-board topic that isn’t going to upset anyone. And you never know. Knowledge of the Grand Canyon just might earn you some points with that influential VP – everybody loves a charming storyteller.

Dazzle your friends and family and be the toast of the party with the following facts:

#1 The Grand Canyon itself is a popular star of the silver screen. Films from Thelma & Louise to Transformers: The Last Knight have included scenes shot at the park. Perhaps most famous of all? The hijinks hapless Clark Griswold encountered at the Grand Canyon in National Lampoon’s Vacation.

#2 The air in the Grand Canyon is among the cleanest anywhere in the United States. Take that, Beijing!

#3  The Grand Canyon is essentially one massive rock formation. But what kind of rock? The big three at the Grand Canyon are shale, limestone and sandstone.

#4 The most dangerous animal in Grand Canyon National Park has to be a rattlesnake or scorpion, right? As we reported earlier this month, rock squirrels are the creatures that result in the most hospital visits each year. These pesky critters have little fear of humans and will take a big interest in your lunch. They’re cute but they will bite so don’t feed them. And if you’re looking for a delicious and squirrel-free dining experience, head over to Yavapai Tavern at Yavapai Lodge.

#5 The Grand Canyon’s original moniker was the Big Canyon. That’s what it was called prior to 1871. Major John Wesley Powell came up with the catchier “Grand Canyon” name that has certainly stuck.

#6 This summer, Beyoncé filmed the music video for “Spirit” at the Grand Canyon. Havasu Falls figured heavily in the shoot which caused traffic snares in the region.

#7 The rare pink rattlesnake is only found in Grand Canyon National Park, though visitors suffering from ophidiophobia may not be happy to hear this.

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