Is Kansas Really "as Flat as a Pancake"?

Cross-country drivers discovered long ago that Kansas is a flat state, but is it “as flat as a pancake”? It’s just a saying, of course, but in 2003, a team of researchers from Texas State University and Arizona State University thought this question was worthy of study. They ordered IHOP pancakes, cut them, and measured them. The researchers found that the pancake had a flatness value of 0.957, while the flatness of Kansas measured 0.9997. So, it turns out that Kansas is actually flatter than a pancake.

Flat, flatter, flattest:

  • In 2014, geographers at the University of Kansas found that Kansas actually ranks as the seventh-flattest U.S. state, when expressed as the percentage of flat land to all of a state’s land.

  • The more recent research was published in Geographical Review, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Geographical Society. It determined that the flattest state is actually Florida.

  • Five additional states are also flatter than Kansas -- Illinois, North Dakota, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Delaware.

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More Info: Texas State University, Arizona State University

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