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10 Things You Should Know about Hawaii

Hawaiian islands from space
10 odd things you should know before your trip to the Hawaiian Islands
Nicole Voltapetti on February 3, 2014 - 4:23 pm in Historical, Places to visit

1.)  Kamehameha!  Before being annexed into the U.S., Hawaii wasn’t just an island – it was a kingdom.  King Kamehameha established the Kingdom of Hawaii in the late-1700s and for nearly a century, Kings and Queens reigned over this little island oasis. 

King Kamehameha I Statue Kapaau

Kamehameha Statue, Kapaau, Big Island

2.)  Haunted Hawaii:  Hawaii might be known for its welcoming aloha nature, but when Hawaii’s Interstate H-1 was being constructed in the 1950s, what the workers experienced was anything but friendly.  As construction workers began tunneling through a mountain, many claimed to have been confronted by the angry ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors.  The ghostly encounters were so prevalent and menacing that many of the workers quit, causing that part of the highway to take an inordinate amount of time to complete.

Painting of a Hawaiian Warrior

Painting of a Hawaiian Warrior

3.)  These islands look delicious?  The islands of Hawaii were originally named the Sandwich Islands honoring the 4th Earl of Sandwich when Captain James Cook stumbled upon it in the late-1700s.  Perhaps King Kamehameha didn’t like the idea of his kingdom being known as a lunch item; because after he united the state’s islands in the early 19th century, he named the Kingdom after the cluster’s largest island, Hawaii.

John Mantagu, 4th Earl of Sanwhich

John Mantagu, 4th Earl of Sandwhich


The State Flag of Hawaii reflects Captain Cooks British heritage.

The State Flag of Hawaii reflects Captain Cooks British heritage.

4.)  Snakes on a Plane?  Not in Hawaii.  Despite the island’s tropical landscape, Hawaii is only home to one kind of snake, the unintimidating Hawaiian Blind Snake – and that’s a fact Hawaii plans on maintaining.  In Hawaii, it’s actually illegal to own pet snakes due to the islands’ fragile ecosystem.

5.)  Having a Blue Monday? Grab a Blue Hawaii.  This blue colored taste of heaven originated from the islands in 1957 when a Hilton bartender whipped up a concoction of rum, pineapple juice, curacao and sweet and sour mix.

Blue Hawaii Recipe

Blue Hawaii Jelly Shots Recipe

6.)  Harmless Rock or Cursed Bringer of Devastation? If you go to Hawaii and think about taking home one of Kilauea’s lava rocks – think again.  Madam Pele, goddess of fire, curses those who steal her lava rocks – a lesson many visitors find out the hard way.  Hawaiian hotels and park rangers regularly receive return packages from apologetic visitors claiming that their rock has brought them nothing but bad luck.

7.)  Hut, Hut, Hike!  Nearly every year, the National Football League’s All Stars venture to Hawaii to duel it out at the famed, Pro Bowl.  No blitzing allowed.  Lame.

8.)   A Small Step for Man, a Giant Step on Mauna Loa:  Who knew you could combine astronaut training with a Hawaiian vacation? Well, during the Space Race astronauts actually trained on Mauna Loa’s hardened lava fields to simulated walking on the moon.

9.)   Way 2 Represent!  Think there are no famous Hawaiian-born celebrities.  Wrong!  The careers of Bette Midler and Bruno Mars might have turned out differently had they not been born and raised in Hawaii.  Bette Midler studied drama at the University of Hawaii while Bruno Mars pursued his music career with the encouragement from his mother – a Hawaiian hula dancer.


 10.) Tread lightly. Hawaiian lava rock is sometimes called A’a.  Why?  Because that’s the sound you make when you walk on it barefoot.  Not so much for the heat, but for the sharp edges.

Multiple Lava Flows, Ocean, Steam, close up

BONUS FACT:  Hawaii is the 50th state in the Union. It wasn’t until after Pearl Harbor that mainland Americans realized just how important Hawaii was to the nation.  Having served faithfully and with patriotic zeal in World War II, Hawaiians assumed statehood was forthcoming. In fact, there are several collectibles (including buttons, record labels and license plates) that proudly proclaim Hawaii as “The 49th State.” (That turned out to be premature, as Alaska got the nod in 1958.) Source.



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