Talk about coincidence.
Vulcan, Alberta has been around since December 23, 1912, but it wasn’t until 1966 that the town’s name took on a whole new meaning.
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That was the year that Star Trek first aired, launching a decades-long, series-spanning fanbase enthusiastic about all things Star Trek – and the town (accidentally) fit that bill.
One of the original series’ main characters, Spock, is a member of the Vulcan race (he is half-Vulcan, half-human), speaks Vulcan, is from the planet Vulcan, and (famously) salutes Vulcan.
The town decided to steer into the skid by erecting sculptures of the fables USS Enterprise and Spock himself, as well as building a Star-Trek-themed tourism station.
The town was also home to the TrekCetera Star Trek Museum, but it has since moved north to Drumheller.
According to the town’s website, the name actually has its origins in Roman Mythology.
“Contrary to what popular culture might lead you to believe, the Town of Vulcan did not get its name from science fiction,” the website’s history page reads.
“In 1910 a CPR surveyor, who had a fondness for Roman Mythology, named the town after the Roman god of fire.”
With only 1,917 residents and 679 dwellings, Vulcan is not the biggest town, but it attracts hundreds of tourists for its annual Star Trek convention, Spock Days, along with 1000 participants to its annual Vulcan Tinman Triathlon – even without the race being somehow linked to the science fiction show.
The town is located 125 kilometres southeast of Calgary, and can be reached in one hour and 20 minutes by car.
Live long and prosper, Vulcan!