24 interesting facts about Grenada

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The most interesting facts about Grenada, from the world’s first underwater sculpture park to the local legend of a bottomless lake.

Interesting facts about Grenada include the world’s first underwater sculpture park
Interesting facts about Grenada include an underwater sculpture park (Shutterstock)

Fast facts

Official name: Grenada
Population: 113,570
Area: 344 sq km
Capital city: Saint George’s
Major languages: English, French patois
Major religions: Protestant 49.2%, Roman Catholic 36%, Jehovah’s Witness 1.2%, Rastafarian 1.2%
Time zone: UTC-4 (Atlantic Time Zone)
– Source: CIA World Fact Book

Interesting facts about Grenada

1. Grenada is an island nation located in the West Indies of the Caribbean.
– Source: Britannica

2. The island probably takes its name from the Spanish city of Granada, with successive French and English interpretations resulting in present-day Grenada. In Spanish “granada” means “pomegranate”.
– Source: CIA World Fact Book

3. It is unclear how long Grenada has been inhabited by the native Arawak and Carib Indians. Some studies suggest it was from as early as 5000 BC while others suggest it may not have been until AD 300.
– Source: Quaternary Science Reviews (Journal)

A beach in Grenada
Grenada is an island nation (Shutterstock)

4. Grenada was first sighted by a European on August 15, 1498, when Christopher Columbus sailed past the island without landing and named it Concepción.
– Source: Britannica

5. In 1651, Caribs committed mass suicide rather than surrender to Europeans after losing a battle. The islanders leapt off a cliff, now called Carib’s Leap or Leapers Hill, in Grenada’s northernmost town of Sauteurs (French for “jumper”).
– Source: Fodor’s Travel

6. By area, Grenada is the second smallest independent country in the western hemisphere. Only St. Kitts & Nevis, also in the Caribbean, is smaller.
– Source: World Bank

7. Grenada is known as the Spice island, as it is the world’s second-largest producer of nutmeg after Indonesia as well as a considerable producer of mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
– Source: BBC News

Nutmeg seeds
Nutmeg seeds (Shutterstock)

8. French settlers from Martinique initially establish a colony and founded the present-day capital, Saint George’s in the mid-17th century. They established sugar estates and imported thousands of African slaves.
– Source: BBC News

9. In 1763, Britain took control and vigorously expanded sugar production and introduced cotton, cacao and nutmeg and imported larger numbers of slaves.
– Source: Britannica, BBC News

10. In 1974, Grenada gained Independence from Britain with Eric Gairy becoming the country’s first prime minister.
– Source: BBC News

11. Grenada is home to the world’s first underwater sculpture park. The Moliniere park has over 60 underwater sculptures located on the seabed around 15 feet (4.5m) below the surface.
– Source: National Geographic

Interesting facts about Grenada include the world’s first underwater sculpture park
Sculptures in the underwater sculpture park (Shutterstock)

12. The capital Saint George’s was originally named Ville de Fort Royal (Fort Royal Town) by the French. But when the British took over it was renamed Saint George’s Town, after the patron saint of England, which eventually became simplified to Saint George’s.
– Source: CIA World Fact Book

13. In 1979, the leftist New Jewel Movement seized power in Grenada under charismatic leader Maurice Bishop which ushered in the Grenada Revolution. In 1983, the revolution fell apart when Bishop was arrested and later shot amid a military coup led by Bernard Coard.
– Source: Britannica

14. Grenada’s flag has a yellow and green diagonally divided background and a red border. It also features six yellow stars, a central star in a red disk and a nutmeg symbol. The green represents vegetation, the yellow is for wisdom and the sun and the red border symbolises harmony and unity. The seven yellow stars stand for the original administrative subdivisions of Grenada while nutmeg is one of the island’s chief products.
– Source: Britannica

Grenada's flag
Grenada’s flag (Shutterstock)

15. In 1983, the USA invaded Grenada following the coup. Citing concerns about the danger to the 1,000 American citizens living in Grenada, President Reagan sent thousands of troops into the country to overthrow Coard and restore democracy.
– Source: History Channel

16. October 25th is known as Thanksgiving Day in Grenada and marks the anniversary of the American military intervention in 1983.
– Source: Office Holidays

17. In 2004, Grenada was hit by Hurricane Ivan. the hurricane damaged over 90% of homes on the island, killed at least 14 people and damaged a prison leading to the escape of 17 convicts.
– Source: The Guardian

18. The national dish of Grenada is ‘oil down,’ a hearty stew, made of local veggies, salted meat and aromatic spices.
– Source: National Public Radio

Oil down being prepared in a sauce pane
Oil down is Grenada’s national dish (Shutterstock)

19. Grenada is one of 27 countries that doesn’t have any UNESCO World Heritage Sites. However, it does have three properties on the Tentative List (properties intended to be submitted for nomination).
– Source: UNESCOThe Telegraph

20. Grenada is home to four of the world’s seven varieties of turtle, including the leatherback – the largest species. Leatherbacks can grow up to 7 ft (2.1 metres) in length and weigh as much as 2,000 lbs (900kg).
– Source: The Telegraph

21. A local legend suggests that Grand Etang Lake is bottomless. Some locals maintain that those who drown in the lake reappear far away in St Vincent, Trinidad or Venezuela.
– Source: National Geographic

Grand Etang Lake
Grand Etang Lake (Shutterstock)

22. Around half (50%) of Grenada is covered in forest.
– Source: CIA World Fact Book

23. Grenada is famous for its Carnival, also known as the Spicemas Festival. Events begin during June and July each year when the annual soca monarch, calypso and steel band competitions take place. The event climaxes in August in Saint George’s with street parties, parades, dancing and live music.
– Source: Lonely Planet, Spicemas Corporation

24. Grenada is well-known for its outstanding chocolate with the country home to acres of coca plantations. The most famous producer is the Grenada Chocolate Company which produces the Jouvay brand of chocolate.
– Source: Harrell et al. (2019) Central America Travel Guide. Lonely Planet: London

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