Hawai’i has glorious beaches, volcanoes, and so much more. But as awesome as these are, there are plenty of other interesting things about the place. Here are five fun facts about the Big Island of Hawai’i. Keep them in mind if you’re planning an upcoming trip, or use them as inspiration to finally make your way to the Islands!

Bigger Is Better

Hawai’i Island (the Big Island) is both the largest island in the United States of America and the third largest island in all of Polynesia. What’s funny is that the biggest island is also the youngest, being “only” 500,000 years old.

A Thousand Islands? Nope

The State of Hawai’i has about 137 islands in its entirety, but many of these are small reefs, rocks, and islets with no inhabitants. The Hawaiian archipelago has eight main islands, including Hawai’i (the Big Island). These include Maui, Kaho’olawe, Lāna’i, Moloka’i, O’ahu, Kaua’i, and Ni’ihau. All the other islands combined still wouldn’t be large enough to match the size of the Big Island, at more than 4,000 square miles!

World’s Most Active Volcano

Hawai’i’s island chain is entirely made from volcanic eruptions from over the last 100 million years. While there were once seven volcanoes on the Big Island, as Mauna Loa grew, she encompassed two other smaller volcanoes. Today, five volcanoes make up the land of the Big Island. These five are called Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea. Kilauea is the most active volcano and erupted three times just in 2023! Typically, the volcanoes on the island produce lava flows, but explosive pyroclastic eruptions are rare. Plus, it’s common in the winter to see snow grace the tops of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa!

Wild Kingdom

When it comes to plant and animal life, Hawai’i has a diversity as rich as its soil. It serves as home to more than 4,000 different kinds of animals and plants. Hawai’i only makes up less than 1 percent of the total land area of the United States, yet 44 percent of endangered species in the country live in Hawai’i. There are an assortment of plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world than here on the Big Island, including the Nēnē, or Hawaiian goose, and the lovely ‘Ohi’a Lehua tree. While some of these species are threatened, the island has developed no large land predators. Though humans, wildfires, land development, and invasive species do their own level of damage.

Come and See Us!

Here’s the last of our five fun facts about the big island of Hawai’i. People come from all around the world to see the sights and sites in Hawai’i—almost 10 million visiting in 2022 alone. Contact us to talk about your visit to the state. We can arrange Big Island private tours and show you more than a few things off the beaten track.