50 Interesting Facts About Jamaica & Jamaicans

50 Interesting Facts About Jamaica and Jamaicans - Usain Bolt

Jamaica is where languages, culture and cuisine meet and blend into one of the most unique places on the planet. The island nation’s innovators and visionaries were responsible for a myriad of ‘firsts’ that transcended development in other countries and its rich history continues to make a mark on the global stage. Despite millions of visitors each year, there’s a myriad of facts unique to the island of which many people are unaware. Here are 50 interesting facts about Jamaica.

  1. Jamaicans are the fastest runners on earth and most come from the Trelawny area – including Usain Bolt
  2. The nation has an active bobsled team and was the basis of the movie “Cool Runnings”
  3. Author Ian Fleming owned land in Jamaica and where he wrote his James Bond novels
  4. Reggae music originated there
  5. Music superstar, Bob Marley, was born in Jamaica
  6. Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc originated hip-hop and rap music
  7. Port Royal was called the “wickedest city on earth” in the 17th century due to pirate activity
  8. AT&T copied the Jamaican phone system for use in the U.S.
  9. Jamaica built its first railroad in 1845
  10. There’s a thriving aviation industry on the island
  11. The country had electricity and running water before the U.S. in 1893
  12. One of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Port Royal, Jamaica
  13. The Historic Cast Iron Bridge spanning the Rio Cobre River is the oldest of its kind in the western hemisphere
  14. The ackee is the country’s national fruit and it’s the only place people eat it
  15. Residents drink more cranberry water and cranberry juice per capita than any other country
  16. Over 200 orchids grow wild in Jamaica
  17. The world’s second-largest butterfly, the Giant Swallowtail, lives in Jamaica
  18. It was the first Caribbean country to have its own website
  19. The mongoose was introduced in 1872 to kill rats and they also killed off most of the native snake species
  20. Blue Mountain Coffee is grown in Jamaica and is one of the most expensive and highly-sought
  21. Ginger ale was created in Jamaica
  22. Fourth Jamaican women have won the Miss World title
  23. Several top models have come from Jamaica or descent from Jamaicans, including Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones
  24. Jamaica has the most rum bars per square mile
  25. It was the first British colonial territory to create a postal system – in 1688
  26. The Manchester Golf Club, established 1865 in Jamaica, makes it the oldest in the western hemisphere
  27. The ortanique fruit, developed in Jamaica, is a cross between an orange and a tangerine
  28. The most expensive rum in the world is produced in Jamaica
  29. It has the most radioactive mineral spa in the world – Milk River Bath
  30. On a clear day, the outline of Cuba can be seen from Jamaica’s Blue Mountain range
  31. The island has the largest cell phone penetration per capita in the world
  32. It was the first in the western world to produce bananas commercially
  33. The country is recognized by Guinness World Records as having the most churches per square mile. There are over 1,600 “churches” all over Jamaica.
  34. The “Doctor Bird” hummingbird is found only in Jamaica and is its national bird
  35. Jamaica is home to several natural, thermally-heated mineral springs that are Jamaica National Heritage Trusts
  36. The first newspaper was the “Weekly Jamaica Courant” published in 1718
  37. Jamaica’s national anthem is the only one in the world that’s also a prayer
  38. It’s the fourth-largest producer of bauxite needed to make aluminum
  39. The nation has more multiple live births than any other country
  40. It’s socially unacceptable to use a person’s first name unless invited
  41. Nickels were first used in 1869
  42. Jamaican-born Tessa Sanderson was the first black British woman to win Olympic gold in 1984
  43. The country has over 952 identified caves
  44. The nation has more than 120 rivers
  45. Jamaica perfected the game of Dominoes
  46. The nation is ranked third in the world as a tourist destination
  47. Commercial radio broadcasts began on July 9, 1950
  48. Jamaican-born aviator, Capt. Barrington Irving, Jr., broke round-the-world solo flying records
  49. The first settlers were the Taino, an Arawak people, and the name Jamaica is a translation of their word Xaymaca which means “Land of Wood and Water”
  50. Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh is the longest-reigning Miss World in history

Feel free to add in the comments more Facts About Jamaica.

_Interesting facts about Jamaica and Jamaicans

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About the author

Glen Benjamin

I strongly believe there are 3 sides to every story. Telling each side is the challenge.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that - Martin Luther King