Interesting Facts about Hawaii
If you haven’t figured it out by now, with our posts on Iao Valley, Old Lahaina Luau, and getting married on Maui, we love Hawaii. Besides all of the amazing things to do there, beautiful beaches, and aloha spirit, we also love all of the interesting facts about Hawaii. We bring some of our favorites interesting facts about Hawaii to share with all of you.
1. The name Hawaii comes from hawaiki meaning place of the gods.
2. The state of Hawaii is made up of 8 main islands. The biggest being Hawaii, most commonly called The Big Island. The others are Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. The Big Island is twice the size of all the other islands put together.
3. The Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated population center in the world. The Hawaiian Islands consist of over 130 land masses that stretch over 1,600 miles. Hawaii is 2,390 miles from California and 3,850 miles from Japan.
4. Every year, The Big Island, keeps getting bigger. With over 30 years of active eruption from Kilauea Volcano it grows by more than 42 acres each year.
5. Underwater volcanoes that erupted thousands of years ago to create the biggest mountain range in the world make up the Hawaiian Islands.
6. Hawaii has its own time zone known as Hawaiian Aleutain time. It is 10 hours behind GMT. They do not participate in Daylight Savings Time making the time difference three hours behind the west coast in the summer, but only two hours behind in the winter.
7. Mt. Waialeale on the island of Kauai is the rainiest place on earth with an average rainfall of 476 inches per year.
8. All of Hawaii’s beaches are public.
9. Hawaii is the only state in the US that grows coffee, cacao, and vanilla beans.
10. You can find Hawaii beaches in the colors of white, black, yellow, red, and green sand.
11. The world’s largest volcano, Mauna Loa, can be found on The Big Island. In the 1960s, astronauts trained for the moon voyage by walking on Mauna Loa’s hardened lava fields for it was believed to resemble the surface of the moon.
12. It doesn’t matter if you were born in Hawaii or how long you’ve lived there, only those with Hawaiian ancestry are called Hawaiians. The people who live there are called locals.
13. Regardless of ancestry, most families traditionally celebrate a child’s first birthday with a luau.
14. From east to west, Hawaii is the largest U.S. state.
15. The island of Oahu draws the most visitors each year. This is in large part due to one-third of Hawaii’s best surfing beaches being found on Oahu.
16. The Aloha State has the highest life expectancy in all of the United States with the average life expectancy being 81.3 years. Their healthcare system is largely centered on preventative care and all employers are required by law to provide health insurance to all employees who work over 20 hours per week.
17. There are no seagulls in Hawaii.
18. Sadly, Hawaii has lost more species and has more endangered species than any other state in the U.S. Almost all of the native birds of Hawaii are in danger of becoming extinct.
19. Snakes are not allowed in Hawaii. The only legal serpents are those found in zoos.
20. The Aloha State gem isn’t actually a gem, but an animal. Black coral is often used to make jewelry, like a gem would be.
21. Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the U.S.
22. More than one-third of the world’s commercial pineapples come from Hawaii. They grow so easily in Hawaii that locals simply stick the pineapple crown in the ground to grow their own.
23. The Hawaiian alphabet is made of only 12 letters; A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, and W.
24. The island of Molokai has the highest sea cliffs in the world.
25. The people of Hawaii consume the most Spam per capita in the United States. A popular snack among locals in musubi; a large spam sushi.
26. Ancient Hawaiians believed that the heavier a women, especially chieftess, the more beautiful that she was.
27. On Hawaii, everyone is a minority. Many of the Hawaiian population is of mixed ethnicities.
28. Hawaii has two official languages; Hawaiian and English. However, Pidgin, Samoan, and Tongan are also spoken in the Hawaiian Islands.
29. Surfing was invented thousands of years ago by the first Polynesians who settled on Hawaii. Their surfboards weighed more than 150 pounds, measuring up to 20 feet.
30. Every year, park rangers receive packages from tourists who took volcanic rocks from Kilauea on The Big Island. The tourists claim that taking the lava rocks angered the goddess of fire, Pele, who cursed them with bad luck.
What interesting Hawaii facts do you have to share with everyone?
All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.