23 Facts About Paul Bunyan


Paul Bunyan is a giant lumberjack and folk hero in American and Canadian folklore.

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Paul Bunyan's exploits revolve around the tall tales of his superhuman labors, and he is customarily accompanied by Babe the Blue Ox.

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Paul Bunyan has been the subject of various literary compositions, musical pieces, commercial works, and theatrical productions.

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Paul Bunyan's likeness is displayed in several oversized statues across North America.

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The English surname Paul Bunyan is derived from the same root as "bunion" in the Old French bugne, referring to a large lump or swelling.

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The great Paul Bunyan is represented as getting out countless millions of timber in the year of the "blue snow".

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Paul Bunyan was a powerful giant, seven feet tall and with a stride of seven feet.

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Paul Bunyan was famous throughout the lumbering districts for his great physical strength.

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Paul Bunyan was another principal researcher who recorded early Paul Bunyan stories from lumberjacks.

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Paul Bunyan published these anecdotes in short pamphlet format for the use of students of folklore.

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In 2007, Michael Edmonds of the Wisconsin Historical Society began a thorough reinvestigation of the Paul Bunyan tradition, publishing his findings in Out of the Northwoods: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan.

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Edmonds concluded that Paul Bunyan had origins in the oral traditions of woodsmen working in Wisconsin camps during the turn of the 20th century, but such stories were heavily embellished and popularized by commercial interests.

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Paul Bunyan wrote that Paul Bunyan and Babe are said to have created the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota by their footprints.

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Stories about Paul Bunyan credited him with creating the Grand Canyon by pulling his ax behind him, and Mount Hood by putting stones on his campfire.

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Later authors have invented tales of Paul Bunyan's finding a female giant as a spouse, such as in the tale "Paul Bunyan's Wife"; her first name is not revealed in the story, she is only referred to as "Mrs Paul".

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Legends of Paul Bunyan was the first book published by the prolific tall tale writer Harold Felton.

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Contrary to the usual image of Bunyan's gigantism, Platt's Paul is depicted as a man of average height, but compensated with a "larger than life" personality consistent with the film's "over the top" nature.

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James Stevens in his 1925 book Paul Bunyan makes another unverified claim that Paul Bunyan was a soldier in the Papineau Rebellion named Paul Bon Jean, and this is occasionally repeated in other accounts.

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Stewart and Watt acknowledge that they have not yet succeeded in definitively finding out whether Paul Bunyan was based on an actual person or was wholly mythical.

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Paul Bunyan's extreme gigantism was a later invention, and early stories either do not mention it or, as in the Stewart and Watt paper, refer to him as being about seven feet tall.

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Across North America, giant statues of Paul Bunyan were erected to promote local businesses and tourism.

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Paul Bunyan's statue is briefly shown in the film Fargo from 1996.

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The statue of Paul Bunyan is regularly mentioned in the novel It by Stephen King.

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