By Bryan Henry
Did you Know...?
After discovering a seemingly
endless number of islands in the northeast Caribbean
in 1493, Christopher Columbus named them after St. Ursula and
the 11,000 virgins--the Virgin Islands.
Panama is from the Cueva Indian language meaning
"place of abundance of fish", or "place of many
With an area of only 37 square miles, the island
of St. Maarten/St. Martin is the smallest landmass
in the world to be divided between two countries. Its dual owners
are the Dutch and French, who have shared the island for almost
Bermuda is named after Spanish sea captain
Juan de Bermudez, who sighted the islands in 1503. The Bermudas
are a group of about 300 rocky islands, about 20 of which are
Venezuela has 72 island possessions in the Caribbean,
the largest being Margarita Island.
Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who sailed with Columbus
on his second voyage, discovered the Turks and Caicos
The only foreign land George Washington ever visited was Barbados.
Until 1959, the Cayman Islands were dependencies
Henry Morgan, one of the most brutal buccaneers of the 17th century,
was eventually knighted by the British and made governor of Jamaica,
where he died a wealthy planter.
There are about 35 species of lobster in six families that occur
in the Caribbean Sea.
One large coral-munching parrotfish can produce two tons of sand
While reefs in the Pacific are 60-70 million years old, reefs
in the Caribbean are only 10-15 million years
The Barbados House of Assembly was formed in
1639 and is the only representative legislature in the Caribbean
to have remained in existence for more than three centuries.
Only about 2 percent of the Caribbean's numerous
islands are inhabited.
An old rule of thumb for sailing from England to the Caribbean
was to sail south till the butter melted, then proceed west.
was the first country to issue a commemorative postage stamp in
honor of Elvis Presley.