Okay, so everyone knows that “aloha” means both hello and goodbye and that the Hawaiian pizza wasn’t actually invented there (try Ontario, duh), but did you know that Hawaii is mainly responsible for your treasured pog collection? Or that Bruno Mars’s quiff is considered a state treasure?!? Ok, that’s untrue, but it should be, right?
So, if this is your first time to the Aloha State or you’re just looking for amusing Hawaiian truths to impress your girlfriend with, then feast your eyes on these random facts that no-one in their right mind would know!
Freeing your pineapples is technically prohibited
While Hawaii, as a state dislikes, nude sunbathing, that doesn’t stop residents and tourists alike from stripping down to their bare buns to get a very even tan. Yep, we are talking about the same state that has a very open sexual tolerance, but when it comes to catching an eyeful, no one is overly amused.
In the past, you weren’t even allowed to sunbathe topless, because the locals were so disturbed by it. Now, the topless sunbathe is as common as getting sun in July and is no longer illegal. You’ll still get the odd pissed-off local who would rather not see your meat an’ two veg, but hey, it’s all about the tourists, right?
More Spam is consumed per capita here than in any other US state
Yes, you’ve read that right. SPAM. Known as Spiced Ham or Special Army Meat by soldiers, this salty yet versatile meat made its way into the Hawaiian diets thanks to a surplus of the meat throughout the Pacific. To this day, SPAM is still mega popular and is consumed more in Hawaii per capita than anywhere else in the US.
It’s thought that each person on the island eats about five cans of Spam per year, with the state as a whole devouring 7 million cans annually. The stuff’s so popular, in fact, that local McDonalds and Burger King locations offer it as a topping.
If you’re visiting in the last week of April, then you HAVE to check out the islands annual Spam Jam in Honolulu, where area restaurants cook up creative Spam-inspired dishes.
If it’s good enough for Hawaii’s most prominent native son, Barack Obama……
For more fun facts on spam, check out this article.
The Aloha State is good at growing… people.
The fountain of youth may not be real, but in Hawaii, the tropical island paradise, it may as well be. Not only do locals live longer, but they’re less anxious and happier than the residents of any other state.
And, so they should be. With the average highest life expectancy in the United States of 81.3 years, the projected lifespan of those BORN in Hawaii in the year 2000 is 79.8 years (77.1 years if male; 82.5 if female), longer than the inhabitants of any other state, despite the fact that EVERYONE is a minority in Hawaii.
There are NO racial majorities. Haoles or Caucasians, constitute about 33% of the population, Japanese about 33%, Filipino-Americans about 16% and Chinese-Americans about 5%. Most of the population has mixed ethnicities.
There are strict rules on how to wear a lei
One of the best parts of touching down in Hawaii is the fragrant lei draped across your shoulders with a warm “Aloha! Welcome to Hawaii!” Yep, now you know your vacation has officially begun.
Pro tip- you have to arrange getting lei’d at the airport in advance with your airline.
But, there are rules to wearing this beautiful Hawaiian flower garland.
For starters, it’s impolite to refuse a lei, remove it in front of the person who gave it to you or wear one that you mean to offer to someone else. A lei should never be thrown away.
Instead, it should customarily be returned to the earth, ideally to where its flowers were gathered. Oh, and it’s really bad luck to give a tied lei to a pregnant woman, as it suggests the umbilical cord is wrapped around a baby’s neck. Eek!
Billboards are banned!
You may not even realize it when you’re there, but often, a destination can be better understood by what it lacks more than what it boasts, which may tell you a lot more about the Aloha state’s quirks and charms than its beautiful beaches and gorgeous sunsets ever will.
In this case, it’s billboards. As only one of four states to have banned billboards (the others are Alaska, Maine and Vermont) for view-spoiling reasons in 1927, it’s also had the ban the longest.
You may not realize this small plus while stuck on the H1 in Honolulu, the nation’s second-worst traffic city, but you will notice that many of the state’s roadside views are neat and gorgeous — a testament to how much the state values its ʻaina (land) and conserving its natural beauty.
You won’t find a Snake for lookin’
Need further proof that Hawaii is truly utopia? Snakes are outlawed and pretty much non-existent, except in zoos. The only way for mother nature to get to the Hawaiian Islands is to either fly or swim across the Pacific Ocean, which, let’s be honest, isn’t going to happen.
While an illegal gatecrasher is discovered every so often, Hawaii is largely snake-free, underlining the islands’ unique geographic and evolutionary history, as well as solidifying its status as a hiker’s heaven.
Honking your horn ain’t cool
Despite the massive amount of traffic in Hawaii, it’s pretty much unheard of to hear a car honk its horn. The absence of car tooting, even in a large city like Honolulu, is a constant reminder of the chilled out aloha lifestyle.
Buses claim that they are “driven with aloha” and the chilled out island lifestyle means drivers are more apt to let you in rather than beep when you cut them off (unintentionally of course.)
Like the lack of billboards, the nonexistent car horn also says a great deal about how people in Hawaii view pollution, whether it be audible, visual or environmental. Why tar such a magnificent cluster of islands?
RV’s and Mobile Homes aren’t welcome…. unofficially
Of course, there’s no blanket ban on using RVs or mobile homes in Hawaii, you’d just be hard-pressed to find them. This is mainly due to the excessive price of shipping such large vehicles over from any continent.
Think about it: anything that isn’t made or contrived in Hawaii, has to be shipped over, making it a mega expensive extravagance.
Plus, after a very small time on the islands, you’ll soon realize that there are limited highway miles, thus defeating the point of bringing your motor home in the first place.
Jaywalking is a fineable offense
Okay, so jaywalking IS technically illegal in a lot of places, but Honolulu’s fidelity to the law is especially strict. With so many holiday-makers dreamily walking along, the city saw a disturbing increase in pedestrian casualties a few years ago, prompting the Honolulu Police Department to crack down with a Pedestrian Safety Task Force.
Now, with a fine of $130, not even uninformed visitors are immune from jaywalking tickets and you’ll often see people dutifully and tolerantly waiting at empty intersections to cross.
You’ve been warned!
And on a random side note….
Did you know that Pogs take their name from a popular Hawaiian juice and came to America via Hawaii?
If you didn’t come of age during the 90s, the name may not ring a bell. But, for the children of the 1990s who grew up with a Tamagotchi in one hand and a Furbie in the other, Pogs were the bomb.
Transcended from their humble cardboard form, the Pog became an important cultural relic, memorializing popular icons of the time and becoming a swappable passion for its young players. And, did you know that Pogs are still used today?
Today, Pogs are used in a much different capacity than the schoolyard game, as official army currency overseas.