Martian vacation hotspots: why aliens love Seattle.

I’ve been having a lovely time playing with a dataset containing 60,000 UFO sightings. They come with locations (city/state), and a free-text description field that’s pretty fascinating to read.

To get an idea of the distribution of sightings, I plotted the frequency of UFO sightings by state, normalized by the number of residents. There’s a high number of sightings in northern New England, but the west coast seems to be the biggest epicenter of UFO sightings. Washington state in particular has vastly more UFO sightings per capita than any other state.

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Clearly this indicates that when aliens visit Earth, they want to visit the space needle. To get a better sense of what the people reporting the sightings were experiencing, I made a word cloud of the free-text descriptions accompanying the reports from Washington.

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Lots of bright lights moving around in the sky!

Finally, here’s the gist with the code and state population data (taken from world atlas¬†and munged into this form for a previous project, included here to make the code reproducible):

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