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Caribbean history: Fascinating facts

  • Antigua - the highest point on the island is called Mount Obama, after the former US president (Daniel Parker)
  • Aruba - the Caquetío Amerindians migrated from Venezuela to Aruba to escape attacks from the Caribs (Beverley Quansah)
  • The Bahamas - the heart of piracy in the Caribbean, Nassau (the capital) attracted the greatest concentration of pirates ever seen in the New World, most prominently between 1690 to 1720 (Rosie Turner)
  • Cuba - the only cars that Cuban citizens can own legally are cars created and bought before 1959. After this year, the Cuban government seized all of the cars, and owns them all to this day. Most of the pre-1959 cars in the country are from the USA (Thomas Lawson)
  • Curaçao - decided against independence and remain reliant on the Dutch government (Deborah Owusu-Ansah)
  • Dominca - it was claimed that the world's longest-living person, Elizabeth Israel (‘Ma Pampo’), was from the island (Harriet Ramsden)
  • Dominican Republic - the famous amber in the film 'Jurassic Park' can be found in the Amber Museum in Puerto Plata (Owen Pennicotte-Henrie)
  • Grenada - Leapers' Hill, in the north of Grenada, was the supposed site of the final defeat of the island's indigenous population by the French; those still alive chose to jump to their death instead of being captured (Mansa Femiola)
  • Guadeloupe - Guadeloupe is split into Grand-Terre (Large Land) and Basse-Terre (Low Land) but Grand-Terre is smaller than Basse-Terre and Basse-Terre is higher in altitude than Grand-Terre (India Alby)
  • Montserrat - Soufrière Hills volcano is the most studied volcano in the world and Montserrat is regarded as a 'Modern Day Pompeii' in the Caribbean (Stephen Loat)
  • Nevis - birthplace of Frances Nisbet, wife of Horatio Nelson (David Lambert)
  • Puerto Rico - two-thirds of the island was a U.S Naval base from 1941 to 2001 (André Barrette-Moore)
  • Tobago - the 1960 Disney film 'Swiss Family Robinson', based on the 1812 novel of the same name, was filmed in Tobago (Adeorike Oshinyemi)
  • Saint Barthelemy - the only Caribbean colony that was a Swedish colony for a significant period of time: 1784-1878 (Carmen Palmer)

  • Saint Kitts - there is an annual swim between the islands of St Kitts and Nevis, over a distance of 4km (Rhiannon Hall)
  • Saint Lucia - Saint Lucia has 2 Nobel Prize winners: Sir Arthur Lewis for economic sciences in 1979 and Derek Walcott for literature in 1992. No country has more Nobel Prizes per capita (Ruth Andrew)

  • Saint Martin - despite its short runway that is located between a large hill and a beach, major airlines fly large jet aircraft into St. Martin’s Princess Juliana International Airport (Will Murphy)

  • Saint Vincent - home to one of the oldest botanic gardens in the western hemisphere, founded in 1765 (Rukiye Serin)
  • Sint Eustatius - in 1776 the government brought the wrath of England upon the tiny nation after recognizing the newly independent United States by firing an 11-gun salute to a passing warship (Graham Stott)
  • Sint Maarten - a report from the World Count of Gaming Machines in 2014 found that Sint Maarten has more fruit and slot machines per resident than any other country in the world (Liam Stafford)
  • US Virgin Islands - sold by Denmark to US in 1916 for $25 million in gold (David Lambert)