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States of the US


A map of MinnesotaA map of MinnesotaMinnesota is located in the Midwest region of the United States. Its landscape has been largely shaped by the massive ice sheet, more than a kilometre (0.6 mile) thick, that once lay across much of northern North America. During the last phase of the Ice Ages, known as the Wisconsin glaciation, which ended around 12,000 years ago, the ice scoured the terrain. The melting ice left behind thousands of lakes, boulder-strewn hills and a thick covering of rich fertile soil, called glacial till, in all but the far southeast of Minnesota (an area called the Driftless Zone). Northeastern Minnesota, above Lake Superior, is part of the Canadian Shield, made up of the most ancient rocks on Earth. To the south and west are rolling hills, which give way to plains and the prairie croplands. 

Inside the Mall of America in BloomingtonInside the Mall of America in Bloomington


The name Minnesota comes from the Native American Dakota word for the Minnesota River, mnisota, meaning "clear blue water" or “clouded blue water”. The mni part of the word, also spelled mini or minne, means "water”. Many places in the state also have names connected to water, such as Minnehaha Falls ("laughing water”), Minnetonka ("big water") and Minneapolis, a combination of mni and polis, the ancient Greek word for "city”.

Palisade Head on Lake SuperiorPalisade Head on Lake Superior

Ice Palace, built for the St Paul Winter CarnivalIce Palace, built for the St Paul Winter Carnival


In 1898, a stone was found on a farm near Kensington, southwest of Alexandria. Inscribed on it were runes (ancient Viking writing) describing the adventures of a party of Norse explorers in 1362. Scholars, however, say the inscriptions are of more recent origin and that it is a hoax.

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