The Bat Cave
Not the actual bat cave that we all know and love from DC Comics, but something pretty close. At UF, there is a group of homes dedicated to housing bats as part of the Florida Bat Conservancy project. The houses themselves are one of the largest bat housing communities in all of the United States. Located in front of Lake Alice on Museum Rd, the site offers first-year students and avid nature lovers a chance to see the bats take off every sunset in what many classify as a breath-taking scene consistent of thousands of small, dark creatures fluttering in the warmth of the orange sun.
The Independent Florida Aligator
Like many universities in America (and throughout the world), the University of Florida has a student-run newspaper called The Independent Florida Aligator that is published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As of 2016, the newspaper holds the title of being the largest student-run newspaper in all of the United States. This means there are more people per subject area to report on than any other university in the US. Not only is the timing impeccable every other business day, the news they report on is incredibly professional, reliable and relevant.
This invention doesn’t quite rival that of the lightbulb, but it is of large importance in today’s competitive sports leagues. What is it you ask? You guessed it, Gatorade. In 1965, Gatorade was created by a team of scientists studying in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. Since then, Gatorade has formulated a heavy reputation among professional sports teams through its advertised ability to refuel an individual even after the heaviest of workouts. University of Florida students can find Gatorade as easily as they could find water on campus, with some places giving it out for free. To remember this fun fact just recall the first half of “Gatorade”.
In case you don’t know what entomology means, it is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. At the University of Florida, there is no shortage of insects for entomologists to study. In fact, one of the largest collections of butterfly and moth specimens in the world is housed at the University of Florida McGuire Center. Students and researchers the like have the ability to get up close and personal with these winged insects as well as have the opportunity to expand the collection.
The University of Florida is sometimes referred to as “The Gator Nation” or “The Swamp”. It makes sense, the humidity is very high, Gainesville is wet and hot like a swamp and we even have our fair share of alligators roaming the two lakes on campus. But why is our mascot a Gator and why are we called that? Well, it all goes back to when a local merchant began selling pendants and pins that had an alligator on them. Popularity rose among the students with these pins, and eventually, the Gator was chosen as the school mascot.