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I went searching on the internet for some tidbits of information about our beloved country. Feel free to read though, and even learn a thing or two!
- Jamaica has around 120 different rivers and approximately four mineral springs
- The aboriginal Tainos, who were the first inhabitants of Jamaica, have left several words in the Arawak tongue that have made to into the English Language. These include: “hammock”, “tobacco”, “potato”, “hurricane”, “maize”, “barbecue”, “cannibal” and “canoe”.
- The first town built by the Spanish in Jamaica was called “Sevilla Nueva”, or “New Seville” near St. Ann’s Bay. The town now lies beneath the earth and is currently being excavated.
- Jewish residents are probably among the oldest inhabitants of Jamaica, from the days of the Spanish settlement of the island.
- There is an indigenous bird called the “Jamaican Tody” that makes its nest in the ground instead of in trees.
- Mongoose were imported from India to kill snakes hiding in the canefields. They have remained part of the Jamaican fauna to this day.
- The national flower is the “Lignum Vitae”, or the “Tree of Life”. It was often used to make various medicines, and its wood was prized due to its hardness and heaviness. This meant it was perfect for constructing ship propellers and police batons, and is coveted by furniture makers.
- Jamaica has over 500 species of true ferns, ranging in various sizes and shapes.
- Two of the indigenous butterfly species one can find here are the Giant Swallow Tail Butterfly and the “Zebra” Butterfly.
- Pimento is indigenous to Jamaica, and as such we supply most of the world’s market for this spice.
- In 2012 the population of Jamaica was estimated to be around 2.9 million.
- Spanish Town was the first capital of the island, and held this title for about 300 years.
- Jamaica has the fastest runners on earth.
- Jamaica produces the most music per capita.
- Isaac Mendes Belisario, a Jamaican of Jewish descent, was the earliest known visual artist active in Jamaica around the time of Emancipation in the island. His works serve to document the lifestyle of the era.
- The Jamaica Electric Light Company became the first power plant in the country in 1892. It was located on Gold Street in Kingston.
- Port Royal is debated to be the most popular location in the Caribbean, and was also called the “wickedest city on earth” due to the unsavoury characters who frequented the town. Notable pirates used the location as a base of operations, and Captain Henry Morgan (a Welsh privateer) was even made the Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica.
- Dr. Thomas P. Lecky is responsible for developing two new species of cattle that could survive in Jamaica’s climate.
- The Kingston Earthquake of 1907 struck on Monday, January 14 at approximately 3:30 pm. It registered a magnitude of 6.5 on the Richter scale.
- The Royal Botanical Gardens, also known as the “Hope Gardens”, was formed in 1873 on land belonging to Major Richard Hope, one of the original English settlers of the island who arrived with the invading force of Sir William Penn and Robert Venables.
Blessings in abundance!