Jamaica Fun Facts

Here are just a few fun facts and information on Jamaica.

* Independence Day: August 16, 1962

* National Flower: Lignum Vitae (Wood of Life)

* National Tree: Hibiscus elatus (Blue Mahoe)

* National Bird: Trochilus polytmus (Doctor Bird)

* National Dish: Ackee and saltfish

* It was Harry Belefonte who called Jamaica Island in the sun

* The national dish of Jamaica is Ackee and Saltfish

* The name Jamaica comes from a word of the Arawak Indians, "Xaymaca", meaning land of wood and water.

* The words barbecue, canoe, hurricane, potato and tobacco come from the language of the first colonists of Jamaica, the Arawak Indians.

* Rum is the national drink of Jamaica; the island was the world's first commercial producer of rum.

* Ackee, the Jamaican national fruit, is often eaten for breakfast. If ackee fruit is opened before it is ripe it gives off a poison which can be fatal.

* Today, the sugar industry is the highest employer in Jamaica - in the eighteenth century the island was the world's largest sugar producer. Coffee from Jamaica's Blue Mountains is among the world's most famous and expensive.

* The Blue Mountains are named for the mists that often cover them, which look blue from a distance.

* Noel Coward spent many years living in his Jamaican home, "Firefly", near Ocho Rios. He is buried in the garden.

* Errol Flynn, the famous film star, bought a hotel and a large estate in Jamaica and lived there for a number of years.

* Ian Fleming designed and built his home, "Goldeneye", in Jamaica and wrote ten of his James Bond novels there.

* Fleming borrowed the name of his famous spy, James Bond, from James Bond, the author of a guide to the birds of the West Indies.

Now...this one is not "fun" but he is a legend, and it is a fact, so I will include this...

Bob Marley, a major influence on modern popular music - Jammin; No Woman, No Cry - died of cancer at the age of 36.

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