Big Island Trivia

Posted in: Big Island 2021, Culture & History

Hawai‘i Island is better known as the “Big Island” in honor of its relative size. It’s also because Hawai‘i Island shares its name with the entire state, which can be very confusing to those less familiar with the islands. Hawai‘i Island is in fact one of the most unique land masses on the planet. Consider:


-While it is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, it is also the youngest, with estimates ranging from 400,000-800,000 years. (Kauai, the oldest island, by contrast, is estimated to be five million years old!)


-Like many “youngsters”, Hawai‘i Island is still growing. From 1983-2013, 500 acres of new land was created by almost continuous lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano. The growth continues each year.


-The Kilauea Volcano is the most active in the world.


-The island is the most diverse land mass in the world, boasting eight of the Koppen Climate Zones. Tropical monsoon, tundra and desert climate zones are within a one hour drive of each other on the Big Island.


-Snow is a regular occurrence on the Big Island, at least on the slopes of Mauna Kea. 


Now that you have a head start on Big Island facts, see how you fare on this five question Big Island Trivia Quiz. Ready? Here goes:


1. Just how big is the Big Island?

A. Bigger as all the other Hawaiian islands combined.

B. More than twice as large as all the other Hawaiian islands combined.

C. It’s not that big- it’s named that because of its mountains.


2. True or False: The Big Island is home to an alpine lake.


3. Loihi is:

A. A Hawaiian seasoning popular on Loco Mocos.

B. A type of seaweed favored in the diets of Hawaiian sea turtles.

C. A new island forming off the southeastern coast of the Big Island.


4. What is Vog?

A. A fog caused by the sulfur dioxide of volcanic gasses.

B. What locals refer to as jet lag when flying home from the Mainland or other countries.

C. A local drink made from lilikoi fruit


5. The Big Island is made up of how many shield volcanoes?

A. Three     B. Four    C. Five 



A – For trivia buffs, Maui is the second largest island, followed by Oahu and Kauai.


True- Lake Waiau is not only an alpine lake, at over 13,000 feet in elevation, but it is the only lake on the Big Island, after the evaporation of Ka Wai o Pele in 2018. Alpine lakes refer to lakes that are above the timber line in mountains and are usually over 10,000 feet in elevation. 


C- The Loihi Seamount is an active submarine volcano that began forming around 400,000 years ago and has risen around 10,000 feet above the sea floor. It is expected to break sea level 10,000-100,000 years from now and be the newest Hawaiian island.


A- Vog can cause respiratory distress in people with asthma and other breathing conditions, and its effects can be felt as far away as Oahu. The concentration of vog varies based on volcanic activity and when present, can be featured in local weather forecasts.


C- Four of the five volcanos are active. Only Kohala Volcano, which last erupted around 120,000 years ago, is extinct. The active volcanos are Mauna Kea, Kilauea, Hualalai and Mauna Loa (the world’s largest volcano).

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