How much do you know about Hawaii? Whether it’s a little bit or nothing at all, you’ve come to the right place to learn a few facts about Hawaii. Store them away for fun, use them in an upcoming school project about this state of the USA or keep them up your sleeve to convince your parents to go on an amazing holiday.
Let’s get straight into some interesting facts about Hawaii in the country of the United State of America.
Fast facts about Hawaii
Hawaii is the 50th state of the United States of America and the only state completely made up of islands. Out of 132, only 7 islands of Hawaii are inhabited: Hawaii (also known as the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, Niihau and Kauai.
Hawaii is also fondly known as the Aloha State as this is the Hawaiian way of saying Hello and Goodbye. Mahalo (which means thank you) is also used as a way of saying Goodbye.
Hawaii is well known for a number of natural resources including sugarcane, pineapples, coffee, macadamia nuts and flowers.
Must see traditions on a trip to Hawaii
If you love to dance, the hula is certainly one show not to miss when you visit Hawaii. It’s a traditional Hawaiian dance which tells a story through movement. Most dancers usually wear grass skirts and leis.
If there’s one thing to be a part of when you go to Hawaii, it’s a luau! A luau is usually celebrated outdoors and feature traditional Hawaiian music and tasty food like Kalua puaʻa (roast pig), Lomi salmon, poke (diced raw fish), and beer. However, it might surprise you to learn that until 1819, men and women in Hawaii weren’t actually allowed to eat together. Luaus started when King Kamehameha II hosted a feast where he ate with the women, effectively starting a new tradition.
Facts about surfing in Hawaii
Hawaii is famous for surfing. It is believed to have originated in ancient Polynesia and only later prospered in Hawaii. In ancient Hawaiian times, surfing (or wave sliding as it was called at the time) was considered so much more than just a fun activity, it was integrated into their culture and became part of their religion, art and society with a spiritual meaning.
It was in the early 1900s that surfing really came alive in Hawaii, especially at Waikiki Beach. Duke Kahanamoku, who had grown up surfing, taught visitors how to surf and canoe. He was an extraordinary athlete who is considered the father of modern surfing.
Interesting historical facts about Hawaii
Historically speaking, Hawaii is famous for the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. On the morning of December 7, 1941, more than 350 Japanese Navy aircraft deployed an attack on the Pearl Harbor base in Honolulu. It was an attack that caught the US completely by surprise as there was no declaration of war. A total of 188 US aircraft were destroyed, 2403 Americans were killed and important base installations were damaged. It was this attack that led the US to formally enter World War II. As a visitor, you can tour the Pearl Harbor National Monument, built on the water above the wreckage of the U.S.S. Arizona, one of the eight battleships attacked and damaged during the fight. You can actually see the remains of the ship which is 40 feet below the water and stands as a memorial to those who lost their lives.
In other Hawaii history facts, it was in 1879 that Portuguese immigrant Joao Fernandez, introduced the braginho, a four-string musical instrument to the Hawaiians, which they renamed the ukulele. On August 21, 1959 that Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States of America. Statehood Day is an official state holiday in Hawaii. English explorer Captain James Cook made his first visit to the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. He named the group of islands the Sandwich Islands in honour of the Earl of Sandwich.
Interesting facts about Hawaii volcanoes
The Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanic activity. Kauai is the oldest of the inhabited islands formed about five million years ago, with the Big Island the youngest island which was formed about 600,000 years ago.
The Big Island is also home to the most active volcano on Hawaii, Kilauea. Located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea has been erupting continuously for more than 35 years and each year, it’s active lava flow expands Hawaii by more than 40 acres.
Maui is home to Haleakala, the world’s largest dormant volcano. Haleakala means “House of the Sun”.
Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on earth, spanning 75 miles (or 120.7km). Mauna Loa means “Long Mountain”. The volcano makes up roughly just over half of the Big Island and stands 13, 681 feet (4170m) above sea level.
Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest volcano, measuring from the bottom of the ocean floor to its peak above land, which is about 38m higher than Mauna Loa, its more massive neighbour!
Animals of Hawaii
When it comes to animals from Hawaii, the variety of wildlife is quite diverse.
- There are only two mammals native to the island of Hawaii. One is the Hawaiian monk seal, the state mammal of Hawaii. The Hawaiian Monk Seal is one of only two remaining species of monk seals in the world. The other is the Mediterranean Monk Seal. Unfortunately the third species, the Caribbean Monk Seal, is now extinct.
- The other mammal that is native to Hawaii is the Hawaiian Hoary bat. These types of bats are their own species, although they are closely related to the Hoary Bats in North, Central and South America.
- Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles are known as “Honu” by the locals, and can be found in shallow waters near the shore. Two popular places for seeing these turtles are the North Shore and Laniakea Beach.
- Hawaii’s state bird is the Nene Goose. It is the rarest goose in the world! While it was once more common in Hawaii, its population has slowly decreased and you will likely only see them if you’re on Kauai or the Big Island.
- Mongoose were released onto the islands in the 1800s to decrease the rat population.
- Unlike the well-known but less common Bottlenose Dolphin, Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins are the less aggressive, friendlier members of the dolphin family. Of all the animals found in Hawaii, dolphins are one of the best to experience in their natural habitat.
Facts about Hawaii beaches
A visit to Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of its infamous beaches. It’s no secret that Hawaii has some stunning beaches, but they are also quite diverse. You have the world famous Waikiki beach, with all the infrastructure and tourist attractions galore, or Waimea Bay, known as a surfing mecca. But there are also hidden beaches, only accessible by boat or trails, with virtually little to no infrastructure.
If it’s one thing that sets aside the beaches of Hawaii, it’s the unusual colours. Many beaches are filled with the usual white sand, but other beaches also feature green, red, pink and even black sand, thanks to the volcanoes. Whether you like hiking, biking, kayaking, sailing, swimming, or just sitting on the beach relaxing, Hawaii is definitely the state for you.
Activities for kids in Hawaii
When it comes to a family trip to Hawaii, there’s plenty of fun for the kids and big kids alike. Ohana (family) is deeply important in Hawaiian culture, making the islands a popular spot for families to frequent.
Kauai fun facts
Whether it’s an exhilarating zipline adventure through the jungle, a relaxing day at the beach, or a kayaking trip on one of Kauai’s rivers, the Garden Island is a true adventurer’s playground. You can also tour the film locations of more than 60 movies and television shows. Stop by natural wonders including the Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon and Wailua River.
Fun on the Big Island
Where else can you swim with manta rays, watch whales and enjoy a leisurely horse ride? You can also check out the active volcano of Kilauea, a 420-foot waterfall and a black sand beach.
Activities in Oahu Hawaii
Known as the “Heart of Hawaii” you’ll find an activity and attraction for every inclination, from the North Shore to the Makapuʻu Lighthouse on the island’s southeast tip.
Activities in Hawaii Maui
Visit the Maui Ocean Centre and walk through a tunnel surrounded by a 750,000 gallon water tank. Visit the Hawaii Nature Centre in Wailuku or become a junior ranger at the Haleakala Visitor Centre.
What to do in Lanai
Explore the tide pools of Hulopo’e Bay, have a family picnic at Dole Park or relax at one the island’s amazing resorts.
Molokai fun activities
Visit the Big Wind Kite Factory, Papohaku Beach – one of Hawaii’s largest white-sand beaches, tour a Macadamia nut farm or send a real coconut from Ho’olehua Post Office.
Hawaii fun facts and information – all about Hawaii
After scouring through all these fun facts about Hawaii, You’ll be that little bit more knowledgeable about the Aloha State and maybe it’s time to book a flight and go explore it for yourself! Aloha!
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