Feel free to use the following 20 Big Island Fun Facts to plan your next trip to the islands, to help with a school report or project or just to memorize and show your friends just how knowledgeable you are about Hawaii.
1. Hawaii is not only the name of the State, it is also the name of the state’s largest island. The size of the island is where it gets it’s nickname “The Big Island”.
2. The Big Island of Hawaii is a little over 800,000 years old making it the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands. (That is for now, a new island is forming about 15 miles southeast of the Big Island. The new island is still one mile below the ocean. It’s name is Loihi. Probably in 40,000 years, the island will finally emerge from the ocean).
3. The Big Island of Hawaii is larger than all of the other islands combined. It is 95 miles long, 80 miles wide and a total of 4,038 square miles and it is still growing due to the constant lava flow from Kilauea.
4. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It has been active for over 600,000 years. Lava has been flowing from Kilauea to the ocean daily since 1983. That is a Big Island Fun Fact that most people do not know.
5. There are 13 different climate zones in the world. Each climate zone has it’s own unique ecosystem. The Big Island has 11 of the climate zones. The only two climate zones that are not found on The Big Island are the Arctic climate zone and the Sahara climate zone.
6. The Big Island was created from 5 different volcanoes. The five volcanoes are Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Kilauea, Hualalai and Kohala. On a clear day you can stand in one spot and just turn around to see all five volcanoes from one spot. This experience is known as a “Five Volcano Day”. Now that is a great Big Island fun fact.
7. Mauna Kea is the largest mountain in the state. It is 13,760 feet above sea level. If measured from the ocean floor, it is over 30,000 feet making it the largest mountain in the world. (4,000 feet larger than Mt. Everest).
8. Mauna Kea contains more scientific observatories in one place than anywhere else in the World. These observatories house some of the largest telescopes in the world. It is also home to Lake Waipo. At 13,020 feet above sea level, this glacial lake is one of the highest lakes in the world. It is the 3rd highest lake in the United States.
9. Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984 . Mauna Loa is 60 miles long, 30 miles wide and is 13,677 feet high and is considered the densest and most massive mountain on Earth. Mauna Loa consist of 10,000 cubic miles of iron hard lava rock.
10. The population of The Big Island is 175,784. The Capital city of The Big Island is Hilo. The island flower is the Pua Lehua Ohia, the blossom of the Lehua tree. The Island color is red.
11. The southern tip of the island, Ka'lae, is the southernmost point in the United States. It’s latitude is that of Belize and Cuba. 18:54:49 N, 155:41:00 W. There is a constant 27 knots per hour wind blowing at this point 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.
12. During a struggle with the native population, Captain James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay on The Big Island in 1779. Did you know that Big Island Fun Fact.
13. John Palmer Parker, married to a Hawaiian Princess, formed Parker Ranch in the mid 1850’s. Today Parker Ranch is 2/3 the size of Oahu. At 480,000 acres Parker Ranch is the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, supplying the Hawaiian Islands with most of it’s beef.
14. In 1935, the United States Air force bombed a lava flow that threatened the city of Hilo. The bombs did not stop the lava. Bet you didn't know that Big Island Fun Fact.
15. In 1946, a 56 foot tsunami hit the east side of The Big Island causing extensive damage.
16. In 1981, The Ironman Triathlon moved from Oahu to Kona on The Big Island.
17. Two of Hawaii’s most powerful Goddesses live on The Big Island. Pele (Goddess of Fire) lives in Halemaumau crater in Kilauea volcano. Her sister, Poliahu (The Snow Goddess) lives in Mauna Kea.
18. The Big Island is home to the internationally acclaimed Merrie Monarch festival to honor King David Kalakaua. This hula festival and competition is held yearly in Hilo. King David Kalakaua was known as the Merrie Monarch. He revived hula and many other ancient customs so they would always be a part of the islands.
19. The Big Island is the only place in the United States where vanilla beans and cacao beans are grown. These two beans are the main ingredients in chocolate.
20. The Mauna Loa Macadamia Plantation and Factory are located on The Big Island. Mauna Loa is the largest producer of Macadamia nuts in the United States.
Now how are those for some interesting Big Island Fun Facts?
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