Jamaica Facts
Jamaica Facts

22 Enchanting Jamaica Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published June 9, 2023
  • Jamaica is only 51 miles (82 km) at its widest point. It would take less than a day to drive the entire island.[5]
  • The Jamaican flag features four triangles. The top and bottom green triangles represent vegetation, agriculture, and hope. The black triangles represent past and future challenges. the yellow cross represents Jamaica's raw materials and sun.[5]
  • In Jamaica, over 90% of the population is of African descent. Other people come from China, India, Germany, and Syria.[6]
  • Religious groups in Jamaica include Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Rastafarians. Approximately 69% of the population is Christian of various denominations, while 21% said they have no religion.[6]
  • Papilio homerus fact
    The Homerus butterfly has been described as "gigantic and magnificent" and is named in honor the Greek poet Homer
  • Jamaica is home to the largest endangered butterfly in the Western Hemisphere, the Homerus swallowtail. Its wingspan is 6 inches (25 cm).[6]
  • Jamaica is home to the world's second smallest bird, the vervain. It is only 2.5 inches (8 cm) long.[6]
  • Jamaica is more mountainous than most Caribbean countries, with almost half the country sitting at over 1,000 feet (305 m) above sea level.[5]
  • Jamaica's Milk River Bath is the most radioactive mineral spa in the world. Because it has radioactive levels of 16m curies per liter, bathers should not spend over 20 minutes in the water and go in no more than three times per day.[9]
  • The Blue Mountains are the longest mountain range in Jamaica and are named for the blueish mist that covers them. The mountains' unique humid climate makes it an ideal location for growing coffee.[4]
  • Jamaica produces some of the rarest and most expensive coffees in the world at the Blue Mountain Coffee plantation.[3]
  • The original people who lived in Jamaica were the Taino. They named the island "Xaymaca," meaning "of wood and water."[5]
  • Jamaica was the first country in the Western world to commercially produce bananas.[5]
  • Jamaica History Facts
    Jamaica's first banana export trade began in 1866

  • In 1509, Jamaica became a colony of Spain. The British claimed it in 1655.[5]
  • Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter a Winter Olympic event: bobsledding.[11]
  • Bob Marley Fact
    Bob Marley is one of the most famous Jamaicans
  • Famous people from Jamaica include Bob Marley, Usain Bolt, Patrick Ewing, and Grace Jones.[7]
  • Jamaica has more rum bars per square mile than any other country and is famous for its unique-tasting rum.[2]
  • Both the largest and the smallest butterflies live in Jamaica: the Homerus (giant) swallowtail and the pygmy blue.[5]
  • Jamaican inventions include chocolate milk, Canasol eye drops, and the orantique (a cross between an orange and tangerine).[1]
  • Jamaica became independent in 1962, the first country in the Caribbean to do so.[5]
  • English is the official language of Jamaica, although the majority of people speak Patois, or Jamaican Creole[5]
  • The Manchester Golf Course in Jamaica is the oldest surviving golf course in the Western Hemisphere.[8]
  • Port Royal, Jamaica, was called the "wickedest city on earth" because it was a hub for pirates, prostitutes, and slavers. When an earthquake destroyed it in 1692, it was hailed as divine punishment.[10]

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