Summer Facts
Summer Facts

51 Sun-sational Summer Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published March 28, 2017Updated August 2, 2019
  • The word “summer” is from the Proto-Indo-European root *sam-, meaning summer. The root *sam is a variant from the Proto-Indo-European root *sem-, which means “together/one.”[28]
  • The “dog days of summer” refer to the weeks between July 3 and August 11 and are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation. The ancient Greeks blamed Sirius for the hot temperatures, drought, discomfort, and sickness that occurred during the summer.[14]
  • Summer is the by far the busiest time at movie theaters, and Hollywood always hopes to earn a significant portion of total annual ticket sales through summer blockbuster months. To date, the top 10 most famous summer blockbusters of all time are 1) Jaws, 2) Star Wars, 3) Jurassic Park, 4) The Dark Knight, 5) Raiders of the Lost Ark, 6) E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, 7) Forrest Gump, 8) Ghostbusters, 9) Animal House, and 10) Terminator 2: Judgment Day.[11]
  • In the United States, over 650 million long-distance summer trips are made.[29]
  • In the United States, the top 5 most popular summer vacations are 1) beach/ocean (45%), 2) a famous city (42%), 3) national parks (21%), 4) a lake (17%), and 5) a resort (14%).[29]
  • The top 5 most popular summer vacation activities in the United States are 1) shopping (54%), 2) visiting historical sites (49%), 3) swimming/water sports (49%), 4) going to a park or national park (46%), and 5) sightseeing tours (46%).[29]
  • Interesting Eiffel Tower Fact
    The Eiffel Tower is 6 inches taller in the summer than in the winter
  • In the summer heat, the iron in France’s Eiffel Tower expands, making the tower grow more than 6 inches.[7]
  • The month of June was named after either Juniores, the lower branch of the roman Senate, or Juno, the wife of Jupiter.[17]
  • Marc Antony named the month of July, in honor of Julius Caesar.[17]
  • The month of August was named for Julius Caeser’s adopted nephew Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius, who held the title “Augustus.” He named the month after himself.[17]
  • “September” is from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven.”[17]
  • Both “equinox” and “solstice” refer to the path of the sun throughout the year. During a solstice, the sun is either at its northernmost point (Tropic of Cancer) or it is at its southernmost point (Tropic of Capricorn). An equinox is either of the two days each year when the sun crosses the equator and both day and night are equally long.[14]
  • The word “solstice” is from the Latin solstitium, which is from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop) because it seems as if the sun stops at the solstice.[15]
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22, and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere.[21]
  • Scientists argue that summer babies are significantly more likely to suffer from mood swings than babies born in other seasons.[5]
  • In southern England, over 37,000 people gather at Stonehenge to see the summer solstice. Druids and pagans are among those who celebrate the longest day of the year at this notable place.[30]
  • And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

  • Suicides actually increase during the summer months. Research suggests several reasons, including increased interaction with other people and seasonal hormonal changes.[8]
  • Around the summer solstice, some Christians celebrate St. John’s Eve, which marks the birth of John the Baptist. John supposedly was born 6 months before Christ, which is traditionally considered to be around December 24.[14]
  • The word “season” is from the Old French season, which means “sowing/planting” or “seed time.”[24]
  • While rare, the plague is more readily contracted and spread during the warm summer months, particularly in the western U.S. In 2012, for example, a Colorado girl contracted the disease when she touched a dead squirrel on a family camping trip.[13]
  • Ancient pagans celebrated midsummer with bonfires. It was believed that the crops would grow as high as a couple could jump across the fire. Additionally, bonfires would generate magic by boosting the sun’s powers.[14]
  • Summer babies are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and are less likely to become CEOs. Because summer babies are typically the youngest children in each school class, their relative immaturity can affect the quality of their education.[18]
  • Interesting Summer Baby Fact
    Summer babies are statistically less likely to perform well in school

  • Studies show that men are more likely to cheat during the summer months.[16]
  • Warmer weather causes certain diseases to peak during the summer, such as Valley Fever, West Nile Lyme Disease, and food poisoning.[13]
  • Leprosy is more readily contracted during the summer. Each year about 150 Americans contract leprosy, the same skin-disease that is mentioned in the Bible. In the United States, the source of leprosy is usually armadillos. The disease is transmitted when people, particularly in the southern U.S., hunt, kill, and eat infected armadillo.[13]
  • The first Olympic Games in the modern era were the 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece. The Games featured the Panathinaiko Stadium, the first giant stadium of the modern world that housed the largest crowd to ever watch a sporting event.[3]
  • According to custom, in the United States, a person can wear white pants only during the summer, or between Memorial Day and Labor Day.[17]
  • A ubiquitous summer treat is watermelon. Watermelon is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family and consists of 92% water. On average, Americans consume 15 pounds of watermelon annually.[7]
  • Interesting Facts about Summer
    Watermelon is a classic summer treat

  • Popsicles, a popular summer treat, was accidentally invented by an 11-year-old boy in San Francisco in 1905. He left a glass of soda sitting outside and by the next morning the soda had frozen. He began selling them at an amusement park in New Jersey. In the U.S., cherry is the number 1 flavor.[31]
  • July, the hottest summer month in the Northern Hemisphere, is National Ice Cream Month, not surprisingly. Americans eat an average 20 quarts of ice cream a year. Vanilla is the most popular flavor, with chocolate coming in a distant second.[2]
  • Contrary to popular belief, crime rates do not increase during the summer. However, the types of crimes change as the seasons change. For example, during the summer, bike thefts and items stolen from cars increase. During the winter, criminals are more likely to steal cars and Christmas presents left in cars.[23]
  • Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night's Dream takes place on Midsummer’s Eve, a time that Elizabethans would have associated with celebration. The summer solstice was associated with dancing drinking, mystery, and magic. In his bewitching play, Shakespeare captures the festive atmosphere of the season and even includes some summer rituals.[25]
  • Interesting Summer Facts
    Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night's Dream takes place on Midsummer’s Eve, a time that Elizabethans would have associated with celebration.

  • The longest summer bikini parade on record happened on August 19, 2012, in China with 1,085 participants.[32]
  • “Summer Penile Syndrome” is a seasonal skin disease. Characterized by an acute penis hypersensitivity, swelling, itching, and painful urination, the disease is caused by chigger bites to the penis, most often during the warm summer months.[26]
  • Summer time, specifically between Memorial Day and Labor Day, is the deadliest season for drivers aged 15–20.[6]
  • Many ancient civilizations celebrated the summer solstice. For example, the ancient Greeks celebrated the agriculture god Cronus; the ancient Romans paid tribute to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth; and the ancient Chinese honored femininity and the force known as yin.[17]
  • Many Native Americans held ritual dances to honor the sun during the summer solstice. For example, the Sioux would set up teepees in a circle to represent the cosmos, and participants would decorate their bodies in the symbolic colors of the sun: red (sunset), blue (sky), yellow (lightning), and black (night).[17]
  • Before the Civil War, schools did not have summer vacation. In rural communities, kids had school off during the spring planting and fall harvest while urban schools were essentially year-round. The long summer holiday didn’t come about until the early 20th century.[17]
  • Little Known Summer Facts
    Children are more likely to gain weight over the summer
  • According to the CDC, children are more likely to gain weight over the summer because kids are less active, are more likely to have an inconsistent sleep schedule, and tend to eat more junk food.[27]
  • According to Forbes, the top 9 most hazardous summer injuries are caused by 1) playground equipment; 2) skateboards; 3) trampolines; 4) lawn mowers; 5) amusement attractions; 6) non-powder guns, BBs pellets; 7) beach, picnic, camping equipment; 8) barbeque grills, stoves, equipment; and 9) trimmers, small garden tools.[19]
  • Studies reveal that most American babies are born in the late summer (September 12, 18, 25, and 26), while the least are delivered on major holidays.[10]
  • According to Rolling Stone, the top 10 best summer songs of all time are 1) “Dancing in the Street,” Martha & The Vandellas; 2) “Summertime Blues,” Eddie Cochran; 3) “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper; 4) “California Girls,” The Beach Boys; 5) “Rockaway Beach,” The Ramones; 6) “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” Sly & the Family Stone; 7) “Summer in the City,” Lovin’ Spoonful; 8) “Vacation,” The Go-Gos; 9) “Summertime,” DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince; and 10) “Cruel Summer,” Bananarama.[9]
  • According to Facebook studies, across age groups, couples are more likely to break up earlier rather than later in the summer, though summer is less popular than winter or spring for breakups. December is the most popular month overall to break up, as are Mondays.[12]
  • In some European pagan traditions, picking certain plants, such as roses, verbena, rue, and St. John’s wort on the summer solstice gave them certain properties that they wouldn’t have if they were picked at any other time.[15]
  • The most dangerous time to go to the hospital is during the summer, especially July. The most experienced medical residents graduate and leave hospitals in July, just as new physicians (or last year’s medical students) arrive. Death rates increase between 8%–24% in July.[20]
  • A group of researchers found that tweets around the world were more positive as their region approached the summer solstice than those who lived in parts of the world that were approaching the winter solstice.[15]
  • Fun Sunscreen Fact
    About one shot-glass worth of sunscreen is enough to cover the body
  • Many yoga groups participate in mass yoga celebrations on the summer solstice. They see the summer solstice as a sacred transition in the flow of life on earth and a time to do sun salutations.[22]
  • While January is the most popular time of the year for divorce, there is also another spike in July/August. Many parents file divorce before the school year starts because they are considering relocating or enrolling their children in a new school district.[4]
  • The record for the most people applying sunscreen was on January 8, 2012, in Australia with 1,006 participants applying sunscreen for 2 minutes.[32]
  • Summer solstice celebrations often involve dancing around a maypole (although some countries celebrate with maypoles in the spring). Maypoles have variously been interpreted as a phallic symbol, as a symbol of the world axis, as a remnant of sacred trees, or as the growth of vegetation.[14]
  • Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat over 7 billion hot dogs.[1]