For many people, Hawaii is regarded as a dream destination that needs to be visited at least once in their life. The Hawaiian archipelago is incredibly diverse, and each of the main islands has something unique going for it. However, besides excellent weather, first-rate beaches, and tropical landscapes, Hawaii is fairly unknown to those who haven’t visited the islands yet. Here are a few interesting facts about the Hawaiian islands that you probably didn’t know.
There are 137 Hawaiian Islands
Most people already know that there are multiple Hawaiian islands, and some can name at least one. However, it isn’t common knowledge that the Aloha State is made up of 137 islands, including uninhabited islets, reefs, rocks, and atolls. The eight major islands in order of size are Hawaii Island (often called Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. Out of these eight, only six truly welcome visitors. Niihau is also known as the Forbidden Island and can only be visited when invited by a permanent resident or when joining a specific helicopter or safari tour of the island. There is no permanent population on Kahoolawe, and this tiny island can only be visited by researchers and volunteers. Luckily, the other six islands welcome tourists with open arms, and you will find comfortable hotels and and luxury resorts at these islands.
An Ever-Growing State
The Aloha State is the only state in the U.S that is still growing. The Hawaiian islands were originally formed from volcanic activity, and each island is made up of at least one volcano. Big Island actually has 5 volcanoes, and two of them, Mauna Loa and Kīlauea, are still very active. Thanks to continuous eruptions from Kīlauea and the ever-flowing stream of lava into the ocean, new landmass is created everyday. Intrepid adventurers can actually watch this amazing sight unfold by visiting the volcanoes on foot or getting close to the flowing lava by boat. Kona, Hawaii resorts are located on Big Island, and they are great for relaxing after a long day of exploration. In addition to dramatic volcanic scenery, Big Island has much to offer. You will find beautiful beaches, coffee farms, cascading waterfalls, and lush rain forests on Big Island.
Hawaii is the Most Isolated Island Chain in the World
The island chain of Hawaii is over 2,000 miles away from everywhere else, which provides the islands with unique biodiversity unseen in other places on earth. The tropical wildlife and plant life is something else as the ecosystem of Hawaii has developed in isolation. The ecosystem is protected with a strict set of import laws. For example, bringing a pet into the islands is incredibly difficult, and small animals, such as hamsters, are actually outlawed. In addition, snakes, hermit crabs, certain types of parakeets, and hybrid cats are not welcome either in fear that they damage the delicate flora and fauna.
Hawaii is the Birthplace of Surfing
Research suggests that surfing has roots in Polynesia and pre-modern Hawaii, and all genders from varying social classes practiced the sport. Nowadays, you can still find locals and tourists alike trying to catch a wave throughout Hawaii.