Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean islands are made up of island groups including Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles, Leeward Antilles, and the Windward Islands.
Greater Antilles includes the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.
Lesser Antilles includes the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Martin, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, and Guadeloupe.
The Windward Islands include Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos.
The Leeward Antilles include Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire.
There are countries that border the Caribbean, including Panama, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and several others.
Approximately 2% of the islands in the Caribbean are inhabited by people.
Many of those living on the Caribbean Islands are the descendants of slaves brought over from Africa when the Europeans began to colonize the area.
Some of the common languages spoken in the Caribbean include English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Creole, and Papiamento.
The islands in the Caribbean are also sometimes referred to as the West Indies. Christopher Columbus thought he had reached the Indies (Asia) on his voyage to find another route there. Instead he had reached the Caribbean. The Caribbean was named the West Indies to account for Columbus’ mistake.
The Caribbean Islands may have evolved after volcanoes erupted under the sea several billions of years ago, according to geologists.
The most populated islands in the Caribbean are Haiti and Dominican Republic, and Cuba.
More than 4.3 million tourists visit the Dominican Republic each year, making it the most popular with tourists. Approximately 3.7 million visit Puerto Rico each year, and 2.7 million visit Cuba each year.
The shortest runway (for airplanes) in the world is located on Saba, an island in the Caribbean.
Famous eco-tourism destinations in the Caribbean include Bird of Paradise Island, Balenbouche Estate in St. Lucia, and Trinidad’s Asa Wright Nature reserve.
Some people believe that the inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands – the Caribs – who lived there when the Europeans arrived, were cannibals.
The Caribbean Islands have a diverse topography including coral reefs, mountains, tropical forests, low-lying plantations, valleys, waterfalls, and volcanoes.
Jamaica has more churches per square mile than can be found in any other country. It has 1,600 churches in total.
In the famous movie series Pirates of the Caribbean, parts of all films were filmed in the Caribbean.
The very first James Bond film titled Dr. No was filmed in the Caribbean Island of Jamaica.
Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. These islands curve southward from the bottom tip of Florida to the Northwest of Venezuela in South America. There are at least 7000 islands, islets, reefs and cayes in the region. They are organized into twenty-five territories including sovereign states, overseas departments and dependencies.

The name “West Indies” originates from Christopher Columbus’ idea that he had landed in the Indies (then meaning all of south and east Asia) when he had in fact reached the Americas. The Caribbean consists of the Greater and Lesser Antilles and is part of North America.

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands

The Antilles now generally refers to the islands of the Caribbean or West Indies, except the Bahamas. A distinction is made between the “Greater Antilles” on the north of the sea, including Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico; and the “Lesser Antilles” on the east, forming the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands, and the Venezuelan Islands—the Leeward as far as Dominica, the Windward as far as Trinidad, and the Venezuelan along the coast of South America. Because of their linguistic similarities with Spanish-speaking nations, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are also considered part of Latin America. Geographically speaking the Antilles are part of North America.

Like the name “Brazil”, the word “Antilles” dates from a period anterior to the discovery of the New World, “Antilia” being one of those mysterious lands which figured on the medieval charts sometimes as an archipelago, sometimes as continuous land of greater or lesser extent, constantly fluctuating in mid-ocean between the Canaries and East India. But it came at last to be identified with the lands discovered by Columbus.

Later, when Columbus’s Indian territories emerged as a vast archipelago enclosing the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, “Antilia” assumed its present plural form, Antilles, which collectively applied to the whole of this archipelago.

A group of island, which separates Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, is called Caribbean. These islands are in the shape of crescent and stretched on 2,000 miles approximately. They are different and unique in their culture, flora and fauna. There are nearly 7,000 islands and islets. These are part of West Indies grouping. Here, we are stating some interesting facts about Caribbean.

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West Indian Island Flags | Steelasophical Steelpan | Dominica
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West Indian Island Flags | Steelasophical Steelpan | Trinidad
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1: Population

Caribbean consists of thousands of islands, but you will be surprised to know that only two percent of these islands are inhabited by the human.

2: Cruise

Caribbean is rich in fauna, flora, food and culture and attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world. More ships cruise Caribbean islands than any other part of the world.

3: Coral Reefs

Caribbean is rich in coral reefs, which are very old. We can find 10 to 15 million years’ old coral reefs here. Majority of them are quite large in size.

4: Drive through Volcano

A large number of volcanoes exist in the world, but the only drive through volcano is in Caribbean. It is present in St. Lucia.

5: Land of Rivers

An island, named Jamaica is the largest English speaking island in Caribbean. Jamaica is known for its rivers, as it has 120 rivers.

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands

1.      The Caribbean Sea is our ‘bread-and-butter’ and the main source of food and livelihoods for most of the region’s 41 million people. But, we also need protection from the sea’s relentless power, a service provided free of charge by coral reefs and mangrove forests. This is why it’s critical that we collectively protect our coastal areas.

2.      The Caribbean’s colorful parrotfish are often eaten in our seafood-loving countries, but they are far more valuable alive in the sea. Have you ever wondered where our beautiful, white sand beaches come from? Parrotfish poop contains chewed up fragments of coral that accumulate over time to produce most of our white sand beaches–one adult parrotfish can generate 90kg of sand per year! They also help keep our reefs healthy by feeding on algae, which can otherwise smother corals.

3.      The queen conch can spend up to 40 years grazing in our seagrass beds. Its shell thickens as it grows, gradually becoming large and heavy with a gorgeous translucent pink blush around its aperture. The queen conch’s muscular flesh is consumed throughout the islands and its beautiful shell is blown like a trumpet in the exuberant soundtrack of cricket matches.

4.      Despite what Bob Marley says, we have far more than three little birds! The Caribbean is a birding hotspot with 560 bird species recorded throughout the region’s islands.

5.      Iguanas have been soaking up the sun across our islands for over 12 million years. These remarkable creatures are among the region’s largest land vertebrates and help nature by acting as local gardeners, spreading the seeds of many plant species.

7.      Our dramatic silk cotton trees with beautiful buttress roots can grow as tall as a 10-storey building. They have had spiritual significance since the Ciboneys, Tainos and Kalinagos arrived here around 600 CE in silk cotton dugout canoes. Today, they are among the largest and oldest trees in the Caribbean and important sources of nectar and folk medicines.

8.      Coral reefs are found throughout the Caribbean, but did you know that most corals only mate once per year? And they won’t mate on just any occasion – scientists believe that the timing is linked to the lunar cycle, usually around the full moon. Check your calendar to schedule a visit to the next coral mass-spawning event!

9.      Our islands are surrounded by water, but in the Caribbean, freshwater can be scarce. This water is fundamental to our survival. Small surprise then, that our three indigenous religions, Santeriá, Orisha/Shango Baptists and Voudou, venerate the deities who govern freshwaters.

Kimberly John is the Science Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Program.  She is a native of Trinidad and Tobago and currently lives in Kingston, Jamaica.

This is my island in the sun
Where my people have toiled since time begun
I may sail on many a sea
Her shores will always be home to me
Oh, island in the sun
Willed to me by my father’s hand
All my days I will sing in praise
Of your forest, waters, your shining sand
As morning breaks the heaven on high
I lift my heavy load to the sky
Sun comes down with a burning glow
Mingles my sweat with the earth below
Oh, island in the sun
Willed to me by my father’s hand
All my days I will sing in praise
Of your forest, waters, your shining sand
I see woman on bended knee
Cutting cane for her family
I see man at the waterside
Casting nets at the surging tide

We bring the Caribbean to you

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Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands Jamaica

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands Dominica

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands Grenada

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands St kitts

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands St Lucia

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands Antigua

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands Tobago

Interesting Facts About Caribbean Islands Trinidad

This is the song Gary trotman arranged, recorded and produced at ARC Music Prod Int and used in the James Bond 007 movie Casino Royalea

Down the way where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountain top
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop
But I’m sad to say I’m on my way
Won’t be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town
Down the market you can hear
Ladies cry out while on their heads they bear
‘Akey’ rice, salt fish are nice
And the rum is fine any time of year
But I’m sad to say I’m on my way
Won’t be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town
Sounds of laughter everywhere
And the dancing girls sway to and fro
I must declare my heart is there
Though I’ve been from Maine to Mexico
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