Jamaica might be renowned for its paradise beaches, laid back culture and iconic musicians, but there are many other reasons this island is as unique as it is beautiful, and some of these reasons might just surprise you!
1. Bond Beginnings
Writer Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond novels in his Jamaica home, which he called Goldeneye.
2. Winter Olympics
In 1988, Jamaica became the first tropical country to enter a Winter Olympics event – bobsledding. The events are loosely depicted in the cult classic, Cool Runnings.
Image copyright: Iurii Osadchi
3. National Dish
Jamaica’s national dish is ackee (a fruit which belongs to the same family as the lychee) and salt fish, which is usually eaten at breakfast with fried dumplings.
4. Spanish Names
Jamaica was conquered by Spain in the 16th century, which is why there are numerous places with Spanish names, like the popular resort town of Ocho Rios (eight rivers).
5. National Bird
The most famous Jamaican bird is the red-billed streamertail, otherwise known as The Doctor Bird, which some believe derived its name from its incredibly narrow syringe-like beak.
6. Technological Innovation
Jamaica became the first Caribbean nation to launch its own website in 1994.
7. Speedy Residents
Jamaica is the birthplace of the world’s fastest man – Usain Bolt. Jamaican children become involved in athletics at school from a young age, and the island has produced many notable sprinters over the past few decades.
Image copyright: thelefty
8. Political Stance
Jamaica was the first country to impose economic sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid regime.
9. Giant Butterflies
Jamaica is home to the second largest butterfly in the world (The Giant Swallowtail).
10. Freshwater Turtles
There’s a species of freshwater turtle native to the island called the Jamaican slider.
11. Driving Habits
Jamaicans drive on the left hand side of the road.
Jamaica has long been touted as the country with the highest number of churches/Christian places of worship per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
13. National Flag
Jamaica’s flag is one of only three in the world that doesn’t contain the colours red, white or blue (the others being Mauritania and Libya).