The youngest state in the country, Hawaii is a unique place with a culture and history all of it’s own. As one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, there is much to see and do in these islands, and even more to learn. We’ve compiled a list of the top most interesting (and widely unknown) facts about the Aloha State. It’s always good to brush up on your US history, so here are a handful of intriguing tidbits you probably never knew about Hawaii. Learn something new every day!
– Hawaii is the only United State that grows coffee commercially. Most of Hawaii’s coffee is grown in the “coffee belt” in Kona, Big Island, but Kauai, Maui, Oahu and Molokai all produce coffee as well.
– Honolulu is the largest city in the world. The Hawaiian Archipelago consists of over 130 scattered points of land stretching roughly 1,600 miles. And because the state constitution says that any island (or islet) not named as belonging to a county belongs to Honolulu, this makes Honolulu (the capitol of Hawaii) about 1,500 miles long (that’s over half the length of the continental United States!) and the largest city in the world.
– Kilauea on the Big Island is the world’s most active volcano. The first well-documented eruption of Kīlauea happened in 1823, and since then the volcano has erupted repeatedly. Visitors flock to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to glimpse active lava flows (depending on volcanic activity), craters and calderas, underground lava tubes, the volcanology museum (Jaggar Museum) and the
– Ever wonder where Hawaii’s state flag came from? The eight horizontal stripes on Hawaii’s flag represent each of the state’s main islands. In the upper-left corner of the flag is a small version of Britain’s flag, which honors British captain George Vancouver, who gave Hawaii its first flag in 1794.
– The highest sea cliffs in the world are on Moloka’i. This island is also home to one of Hawaii’s most remote settlements, Kalaupapa, which was a place of exile for those afflicted by Leprosy.
– Hawaii has lost more species and more endangered species than any other state in the nation. Nearly all of the state’s native birds are in danger of becoming extinct. The state bird is the Nene, or Hawaiian Goose, whose population is rising.
– Hawaii has its own time zone (called Hawaiian Standard Time), and does not observe Daylight Saving Time. This means in the summer, Hawaii is 2 hours behind the US west coast and in the winter it is 3 hours behind. Hawaiian Standard Time runs five hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
– Hawaii is the most isolated population center on Earth. It is 2,390 miles from California, 3,850 miles from Japan and 4,900 miles from China. The Hawaiian Islands are as remote as it gets!
– Honolulu harbors the only royal palace in the country (the Iolani Palace). Electric lights illuminated Iolani Palace four years before the White House in Washington D.C. had them.
– Hawaii is the only U.S. state whose majority of people are non-white. Every ethnicity in Hawaii is considered a minority because it is one of the most racially diverse places in the world.
– Hawaii is on the same latitude (20°N) as Hong Kong, Mecca (Saudia Arabia), the Sahara Desert and Mexico City.
– The highest recorded temperature in Hawaii is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, measured in Pahala on April 27, 1931, and the lowest is 12 degrees Fahrenheit, measured on Mauna Kea on May 17, 1979. While this sounds extreme, Hawaii’s average temperate is between 78 to 85 degrees F.
– Only two types of mammals are native to Hawaii: the hoary bat and the monk seal. The Hawaiian name for the monk seal is ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, which means “dog running in the rough water.” The Hawaiian hoary bat is Hawaii’s only endemic land mammal and is federally protected under the endangered species act.
– Hawaii has the lowest percentage of home ownership and the highest life expectancy in the United States (75 years old for males, 80 years old for females).
– The rainiest place on Earth is Mt. Waialeale on the island of Kauai, where the average rainfall is 476 inches per year. Kauai is known as the Garden Isle for it’s lush topography and is also the oldest island of the chain.