We’re sure you’ve heard about Barbados’ beautiful beaches and lovely people including global music superstar Rihanna, but here are some things that you may not know about the island.
Barbados was given its name by Portuguese sea captain Pedro a Campus who originally called the island “Los Barbados” meaning “bearded ones”. This is because when he first visited the island there was an abundance of bearded fig trees to be found. The name was eventually shortened to just Barbados, as we know it today.
Rum Lovers’ Paradise
Barbados is the home of rum with Mount Gay Distilleries being the first to produce rum in 1703. Mount Gay rum is still in production and is the oldest rum known in the world! There is a saying on the island, that for every church there is a rum shop. Barbados has more than 1,500 rum shops spread all over the island, much to the delight of rum lovers.
The grapefruit which we have all grown to know and love originated in Barbados. When first discovered in Welchman Hall, grapefruit was called the “forbidden fruit”. It was thought to be an accidental cross between sweet orange and shaddock.
Barbados is a Limestone Island
The island is made up of over 85% of coral limestone. Since the water on the island travels through this limestone before reaching reservoirs, it means Barbados has one of the purest water supplies in the world because the limestone is actually a natural water filter. So it’s definitely safe to drink water straight from the tap!
While you’re driving through the country on your Barbados holiday, you might occasionally spot little furry creatures scampering across the road. Don’t worry, these are not rats, but they’re mongooses. They were originally brought to the island from India to help control the rat population in the cane fields, etc. However, it turned out that since the rats were nocturnal, they never really came into contact with the mongooses. In an ironic turn of events, the mongooses eventually killed all the snakes, which actually ate the rats. Barbadians actually think it’s a sign of good luck if a mongoose crosses your path.