Hawaii April 10, 2016
Here Are 14 Things They Don’t Teach You About Hawaii In School
Hawaii may be America’s youngest state, but it is definitely not without intriguing history, fascinating places and some pretty crazy tidbits of information. You may not have learned these 14 lesser-known facts about the Hawaiian Islands in school, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth knowing.
1. The state gem isn’t actually a mineral at all. Black coral, a living animal, is commonly used to make jewelry.
2. Approximately 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year, and spend a combined 11 billion dollars. Waikiki accounts for approximately 44 percent of those tourists.
3. Everyone knows about Hawaii’s eight main islands, but not everyone is aware that there are 124 small, uninhabited islands that are technically part of Hawaii as well.
4. According to the Hawaii state constitution, any island not named as belonging to a county belongs to Honolulu.
This makes Honolulu the largest city in the world – stretching approximately 1,500 miles, about halfway across the 48 mainland states.
5. From dry, coastal desert to snow-capped mountains, Hawaii Island is home to 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones.
6. The Hawaiian language was banned in 1898 when Hawaii became a U.S. territory, and wasn’t resurrected as the official language until 1978.
7. The small Hawaiian island of Kaho’olawe was used as a target for military training until 1990, and is littered with bombshells to this day.
8. Mauna Loa – one of the world’s larges volcanoes – was once used as a training ground for astronauts before heading to the moon.
Recently, six NASA researchers spent several months on the volcano’s northern slope, simulating a Mars space station.
9. The first Asian American in the United States Senate was Hawaii’s Hiram Fong. A descendant of Chinese immigrants, he was elected to the senate in 1959.
10. The luau was first created in 1819, when King Kamehameha removed many religious laws that were practiced, including the rules that stated that men and women were to eat their meals separately.
The King performed the symbolic act of eating with a woman, and ended all religious taboo. Now, the terms luau and party are almost exchangeable.
11. Hawaii is home to approximately one-third of all the endangered species in the United States.
12. The oldest Catholic Church in continuous use in the United States can be found in Honolulu; the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace was built in 1843.
13. A hundred years ago, two wallabies escaped from a private zoo on Oahu, and allegedly a small wallaby colony now inhabits the Kalihi Valley. Sightings are rare, and visitors are asked not to look for the wallabies on their own, as they are a delicate population.
14. The rainiest place in America – and across the world – is Kauai’s Mount Waialeale, which receives approximately 450 inches of rain each year.
Isn’t our beautiful state absolutely fascinating? What other interesting pieces of information about Hawaii do you know?