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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
Jamaica is a country of many “firsts” and “only’s”, we have been blessed with talented people and unique experiences of which we are very proud just as I am pleased to share these cool facts about Jamaica with you.
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Did you know Jamaica is the only island in the Caribbean that is entirely surrounded by the Caribbean Sea?
Notice, I didn’t say the only island surrounded by water, that would not be true at all. But Jamaica’s location in the Caribbean Sea makes it the only island whose shores are bordered by the Caribbean Sea.
Cuba, one of our closest neighbours, is surrounded by three different bodies of water; the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Trinidad is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.
Many persons were not aware that Jamaica is actually more than one island. Granted, many of them are inhabitable to humans but they provide refuge for many migrant animals in the cold winter months. This makes them a fisherman’s paradise and many like Morant Bank host seasonal fishermen.
The offshore island of Pedro Bank is the largest harvesting ground for Queen Conch in the Caribbean.
Jamaica produces the most music per square mile in the world. With so many genres to choose from Reggae, Dancehall, Ska, Mento and the list goes on, there is no surprise that our artistes are inspired to create.
Jamaica has the most rum bars per square mile. Bar hopping can be really a chore.
And quite ironically, we have the most churches per square mile. Make of that what you will.
The island of Jamaica is actually the peak of an underground mountain. It is thought to be an extinct volcano.
For our 50th year of Independence, Appleton Estate released its 50-Year Rum that had been ageing since 1962. It was the most expensive rum in the world at release.
Ackee and Saltfish is the island’s national dish. This makes Jamaica one of the only places in the world to eat Ackee. The fruit can be poisonous if not picked and prepared correctly.
Our coffee is one of the rarest and most expensive in the world. The Blue Mountain region is not a large area and that coupled with the other specifications on what qualifies to be Blue Mountain Coffee means that not much of it is produced each year. A large percentage of our coffee is also exported to Japan.
Meet some of them here at the Rockland Bird Sanctuary!
Over 250 birds call the island home, 26 of them endemic. This includes our National Bird the Swallowtail Hummingbird which is the second smallest in the world. Locally it's called 5he Doctor Bird.
The second largest butterfly in the world calls Jamaica home. The Homerus swallowtail has a maximum wingspan of 6 inches.
We have one of the widest varieties of ferns in the world. Many of which are endemic to Jamaica and rarer still, some are only found in the Fern Gully, St. Ann.
We have four stunning mountain ranges. The Blue, John Crow, Don Figuero, and Cockpit Country mountain ranges are four reasons we always encourage everyone to do more than just visit the beaches on the coastline. Because as stunning as they are, they do not do the entire island justice.
Ian Fleming wrote all the James Bond books on the island.
Jamaica was colonised by both the Spanish and British.
Jamaica has the fastest runners in the world. Jamaica's long list of athletes includes the fastest man and woman alive, Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson Herah.
The athlete with the most sub-ten runs in history, Asafa Powell.
The 5x Olympic Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and countless other talented track and field athletes.
Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics, you have seen Cool Runnings, right? It is about our bobsled team and their journey the the Winter Olympics.
Jamaica is the first English-speaking country to enter the Men's World Cup. In 1998, every Jamaican was glued to their TV or radio decked out in Black, green and gold in full support of the Reggae Boyz.
Jamaica is the only Caribbean country to have a male and female team represent them at the World Cup. The Reggae Girlz made this come true when they qualified for the 2018 women’s world cup.
Historically, Jamaica became the only Caribbean team, male or female, to have consecutive qualifications at the World Cup when the Reggae Girlz qualified yet again for the 2023 world cup.
Jamaica has the most multiple births in the world. There are a lot of twins in Jamaica.
Jamaica was the first country in the New World to construct a railway, just 18 years after Britain and before America did.
Jamaica has the fourth most wins in Miss World. There have also been many very close wins with first and second runner-up finishes. We have yet to win Miss Universe though, our closest to that title has been 1 runner-up.
And to end on a sweet note, Jamaica was the first country to make chocolate milk.
What other inventions were they by Jamaicans? Find out here.
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Cool Facts About Jamaica | Written: October 4, 2022
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