Hawaii: surf's up on Oahu's North Shore | Photo: Shutterstock

Hawaii is the land of volcanos, luaus, surfing beaches, blue waters, leis, music, and endless green fields. That you already know. So, what more secrets hide the Aloha State?

There are many reasons to visit the Hawaiian Islands.

Whether you're visiting the remote South Pacific archipelago for the sandy beaches, the surfing waves, or exploring the ancient traditions, cultural practices, and legacies, Hawaii is always truly fascinating.

But if you want to impress friends and work colleagues, you've got to pull a few gems out of your pocket.

Discover the most interesting facts about Hawaiian culture.

1. Duke Kahanamoku was named after the Duke of Edinburgh;

2. Hawaii is the most isolated archipelago in the world, yet one of the richest and most important territories of Polynesian culture;

3. Scholars believe that 16th-century Spanish explorers were the first to reach Hawaii;

4. British explorer Captain James Cook named Hawaiian islands the "Sandwich Islands";

5. Between 1778 and 1900, as a result of Western influences, the native Hawaiian population fell from 300,000 to 30,000;

6. The hybrid slang of Pidgin is also known as "Hawaiian Creole";

7. A 2,625-nautical mile submarine telephone (HAW-1) cable was laid between Hawaii and the mainland of the United States in 1957;

8. The Hawaiian alphabet comprises only 12 letters - seven consonants (H, K, L, M, N, P, and W) and five vowels (A, E, I, O, and U). The Hawaiian language also uses two diacritical marks - the 'okina ( ' ), a glottal stop, and the kahakō ( - ), a macron;

9. Hawaii was the first US state to legalize abortion;

10. Some people believe that the rocks from the Kilauea volcano bring bad luck;

HAW-1: the telephone cable that connected California to Oahu

11. Hawaiians have the longest life expectancy in the United States: 81.3 years;

12. It snows in Hawaii;

13. Billboards are not allowed in Hawaii;

14. Barack Obama was born at Kapi'olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii;

15. Hawaii does not observe daylight saving time and has its own time zone;

16. Car horns are not welcome in Hawaii;

17. The 'Iolani Palace, the royal residence of the last monarchs of Hawaii in Honolulu, is the only royal palace in the United States;

18. Hawaiian waters have 200 of the 680 types of fish;

19. In Kauai, the oldest island of Hawaii with six million years, buildings can't be higher than a palm tree;

20. The longest Hawaiian word is lauwiliwilinukunuku'oi'oi (longnose butterflyfish);

Lauwiliwilinukunuku'oi'oi: the longest Hawaiian word | Photo: Brian Gratwicke/Creative Commons

21. Queen Lili'uokalani, the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom, was a talented multi-instrumentalist musician;

22. More than ten sovereignty organizations actively fight for the independence of Hawaii;

23. The Hawaiian flag is the only US state flag to feature the United Kingdom's Union Jack;

24. The Apollo astronauts trained for the moon landing in Mauna Kea, the highest mountain in Hawaii;

25. Kaho'olawe and Ni'ihau are the only two of the eight Hawaiian islands that are closed to visitors;

26. Hawaii is the widest US state;

27. Black coral is the official state gem of Hawaii;

28. When ancient Hawaiians say "Go Diamond Head," they are telling you to go east;

29. The ukulele, the iconic instrument of traditional Hawaiian music, is a gift from Portuguese immigrants;

30. The missionaries that converted Hawaiians to Christianity in the 19th century banned the Hula dance (Hula Auana and Hula Kahiko);

Hula dance: the 19th-century missionaries banned it from Hawaii | Photo: Shutterstock

31. The apostrophe mark found in Hawaiian words is called 'okina, and it signifies a phonetic glottal stop;

32. One should never refuse a lei or remove it in front of the person who gave it;

33. Spam, the canned spiced ham, is so popular in the islands that it is also known as the "Hawaiian Steak";

34. The Seven Mile Miracle, on Oahu's North Shore, is a stretch of sandy beaches featuring 36 world-class surf spots;

35. Big wave surfer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau saved over 500 people from drowning and lost his life trying to save the crew of Hokulea;

36. Hawaii has several nicknames. The most popular tags are "Aloha State," "Paradise of the Pacific," and "Pineapple State";

37. Maui showcases the world's largest surfboard fence with over 640 different boards;

38. One may only have one alcoholic drink in front of them at once;

39. The Hawaiian steel guitar was born in the islands around the turn of the 20th century;

40. The word "Honolulu" means sheltered harbor;

Hawaii: the oldest island of the archipelago has six million years | Photo: Shutterstock

41. Big Island's Ka Lae, also known as South Point, is the southernmost point of the United States;

42. Kauai and Niihau were the only Hawaiian islands that King Kamehameha didn't conquer;

43. The four main gods and goddesses of Hawaiian religion are Kū, Kāne, Lono, and Kanaloa (male) and Papa, Haumea, Pele, and Hi'aka (female);

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