10 facts to celebrate T&T’s Independence Day!

The twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates its 58th year of independence today, August 31.

An aerial view of Port of Spain

To celebrate its independence, we found ten BUZZ-worthy facts that you may not have known about the nation:

1.The world’s largest natural deposit of asphalt is located in Trinidad and Tobago. The La Brea Pitch Lake, located to the nation’s south, is a popular tourist attraction and is sometimes been referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. The asphalt from the lake has been used to pave roads in the United States and Europe.

The La Brea Pitch Lake

2. The popular limbo dance was created in Trinidad and stems from the country’s African heritage. It has become a popular feature of many cultural events with some raising the stakes and walking under the stick while it’s on fire.

3. Trinidad and Tobago is the home of the steelpan, the only new acoustic instrument discovered in the 20th century. Initially made out of oil drums , it’s widely considered the island’s national instrument

4. The Trinidadian accent was ranked among the world’s sexiest accents by CNN in 2014.

5. The first black Miss Universe, Janelle Penny Commissiong, is from Trinidad and Tobago. Commissiong won the title in 1973.

Miss Universe 1977 Janelle Commissiong surrounded by Miss Universe Pageant runner-ups. (Photo: Miss Universe)

6. Trinidad and Tobago has the highest number of bird species per square mile with 485.

7. The island is home to one of the world’s hottest peppers, the Moruga Scorpion, which is grown in the south of the island. The pepper’s average heat registers at more than 1.2 million on the Scoville scale.

The Moruga Scorpion is one of the hottest peppers int he world.

8. Several forms of music, including calypso, soca and chutney can trace their origins to Trinidad and Tobago.

9. The island has the world’s oldest legally protected forest reserve, the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve, which was established on April 13, 1776. The reserve is home to 210 species of birds and about 16 mammalian species.

The Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve is home to more than 200 species of birds.
(Photo: Newsday)

10. Queen’s Park Savannah is a public park encircled by a 3.7 kilometre road that is considered to be the world’s largest roundabout. It was formerly home to a racecourse and now plats a central role in the country’s annual Carnival.