California is where dreams happen. From the world’s largest tree at Sequoia National Park to the gorgeous beach of Coronado, the Golden State is a destination of fun and sun. Specifically, down in San Francisco, this California city is known for many tourist attractions and landmarks, one being the Golden Gate Bridge. This mighty bridge is a popular backdrop for many selfies and photos; however, the Golden Gate Bridge is more than just a pretty piece of architecture. From the early days of its construction to its modern-day usage, here are some interesting facts about California’s most popular bridge that are worth knowing about!

8 The Local Press Called It “Ugly”

Today, the Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark for San Francisco. However, during its planning phase around the 1920s, Joseph Baermann Strauss, the original engineer behind the bridge, took to creating preliminary sketches of San Francisco’s bridge. When it was finally released in December 1922, citizens fell in love with the design. However, some people, including the local press, described it as "unsightly," with one even referring to it as a “rat trap.” However, today, some remnants of Strauss’ design live on in the Golden Gate Bridge but were originally sketched as a cantilever-suspension bridge.

7 It’s One Of The Safest Bridges To Be Built

Building a bridge is no easy task, but brave construction workers who build bridges take that risk all the time. Though 11 workers lost their lives while constructing the Golden Gate Bridge, it was still “relatively safe” to build. In fact, Strauss emphasized safety during construction, requiring workers to wear hard hats. Additionally, a literal safety net was built underneath the bridge that spanned 10 ft wide and 15 ft long. It came in handy as it saved 19 workers from their downfall while also earning them the nickname Halfway to Hell Club. Thus, safety in San Francisco was a priority back then and is still one right now!

6 It Was Supposed To Be Painted Blue And Yellow

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge stands out in photos because of its bright color. However, its bright red exterior was originally meant to act as a primer! In fact, the bridge—as demanded by the US military—was to be painted blue and yellow. Additionally, they wanted the bridge to be covered in stripes to be easily visible from the air. However, once the red paint came out, the consulting architect, Irving F. Morrow, felt that the bright color was more visually appealing, blending with its natural surroundings.

RELATED: 10 Beautiful California Islands You Need To Visit

5 Its Color Is NOT Red!

It’s hard to look away when staring at the Golden Gate Bridge, perhaps due to its bright color, mistakenly defined as bright red. However, this beautiful architectural marvel is actually painted in the color International Orange. This color choice was said to blend with the natural beauty of San Francisco while being versatile to blend with the changing seasons beautifully. As an interesting side note, international orange is also used in aerospace applications, including space suits and tall towers that need to be recognized from far distances.

4 It Takes A Huge Team To Maintain The Bridge’s Color

The photo worthiness of the Golden Gate Bridge remains as beautiful as it was first built, thanks to a dedicated team of workers. Specifically, in order to maintain the bridge's colors, it takes 28 painters, 13 ironworkers, three pusher ironworkers, five painter laborers, and one chief painter! Additionally, the bridge must be repainted on a frequent basis due to its regular exposure to the elements that cause its parts to rust.

3 Why Isn’t The Golden Gate Bridge Gold?

Given its name, many people wonder why the Golden Gate Bridge is not gold. To answer this question, it goes back to the fact that the landmark’s name comes from the Golden Gate, a strait that links San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Acting as a port, the Golden Gate frequently experiences fog, which was a nuisance for early explorers centuries ago, like Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo or Sir Francis Drake. In fact, because of its fogginess, choppy waters, and rocky reefs, the Golden Gate remains a resting place for hundreds of shipwrecks!

RELATED: Tohoku Shinkansen: What To See On Japan’s Longest Train Ride

2 Over The Years, Interesting Things Happened At The Bridge

Standing tall and proud, the Golden Gate Bridge experienced its fair share of interesting festivities and events. For example, in 1984, it was featured in a James Bond movie: A View to a Kill starring Roger Moore. In contrast, in 2005, a 6-ft ostrich broke out of a cargo vehicle and stepped onto the Golden Gate Bridge, halting evening traffic in both directions! Finally, in October 2011, people set foot on the bridge to set a Guinness World Record for the "most people doing jumping jacks in 24 hours".

1 It’s Big, Beautiful, And Busy!

Once considered to be the tallest, longest suspension bridge in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge no longer holds that title. Despite that, it's still massive with its fair share of traffic. Besides biking across the bridge, it’s also a busy highway. Specifically, in 2020, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District estimated that 32,470,000 vehicles crossed the iconic bridge, resulting in a toll revenue of about $125,401,000 that year! In fact, since its opening on 1937, it’s also estimated that 2,241,603,474 vehicles have passed through the Golden Gate Bridge.