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    May 5, 2020

    17 Interesting Facts About The Caribbean Most People Go Their Whole Life Without Knowing

    Ever heard of goat water?

    1. In Curaçao, you can stand on an ostrich egg — then enjoy an ostrich egg omelet.

    2. The national dish of Montserrat is goat water.

    3. Three Caribbean islands are part of the European Union.

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    The islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique are both overseas departments of France, while Saint Martin is an overseas collectivity of France. All three islands use the Euro (although on the southern, Dutch side of Saint Martin they use the Florin) and all are represented in the European Union. So technically, you can set your foot in the EU without ever crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

    4. The island of Saba is home to the shortest commercial runway in the world.

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    Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport on Saba, a municipality of the Netherlands, is home to a record-breaking runway. The landing strip is reported to be just 400 meters long (1,312 feet) and is flanked by water.

    5. During Hurricane Irma, Sir Richard Branson hunkered down in a wine cellar on his private Caribbean island.

    6. People pronounce “Caribbean” differently — and even the pros don’t agree.

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    According to Macmillan Dictionary, it’s pronounced kar-eh-bee-uhn, while Google says it’s kr-i-bee-uhn. Alternatively, Merriam-Webster lists both.

    7. Barbados was the only foreign country George Washington ever visited — and while he was there, he got smallpox.

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    According to History.com, George Washington’s only trip outside of the United States was to Barbados. He visited the island with his half brother, who had tuberculosis, in the hopes that the warm weather would help him recover. But not long after they arrived, George contracted smallpox.

    8. The islands are all over the map politically — from socialist countries to constitutional monarchies.

    9. Over 75% of the Caribbean population lives on just two islands.

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    According to the United Nations’ 2019 mid-year population count, over 33 million of the Caribbean’s 44 million people live on just two islands — Cuba and the island that’s home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

    10. That means there are some Caribbean islands with tiny populations — but Montserrat takes the cake.

    11. One of the hottest chile peppers in the world comes from Trinidad and Tobago.

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    The Trinidad Moruga scorpion chile pepper registered 1.2 million Scoville heat units on the Scoville scale (compare that to jalapeños, which register about 5,000 units) and was the hottest chile pepper in the world in 2012. It was dethroned in late 2013 by the Carolina Reaper with a reported 2.2 million Scoville heat units.

    12. Many locals speak their own language.

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    While English, French, or Spanish may be the official language of many Caribbean nations, the native language for many Caribbeans is Creole — a language derived by blending multiple languages.

    For example, in Guadeloupe and Martinique, islanders speak a French Creole, which is a mix of French, African, and West Indian languages.

    13. Jamaican authorities mistook Jimmy Buffett’s plane for that of a drug runner and shot at it.

    14. There's more to the Caribbean than beaches. Some of the mountains are taller than any US peak east of the Mississippi.

    15. It doesn't matter if it's January or July; the daily highs are typically in the 80s.

    16. If you were to circumnavigate Cuba, you’d have to travel around 3,570 miles — almost 800 miles more than it takes to drive from LA to NYC.

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    Cuba has approximately 3,570 miles of "irregular, picturesque coastline," according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The drive from LA to NYC is around 2,789 miles.

    17. The Cayman Islands have more businesses than people.

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