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Thursday 23rd May
Trinidad and Tobago Facts
The islands of Trinidad and Tobago are the most southern in the Caribbean chain of islands.

Trinidad was part of South America until the last Ice Age.

Trinidad is separated from Venezuela (in South America) by the Gulf of Paria.

The highest point on the islands is El Cerro del Aripo (940 m) in Trinidad.

Pitch Lake, on the island of Trinidad, is the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt.

The natural phenomenon of mud volcanoes occurs on and around Trinidad and Tobago. In 1997 a mud volcano erupted in the village of Piparo (Trinidad) with mud flying up to one hundred and fifty feet.

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the Carib people called Trinidad the Land of the Hummingbird.

Christopher Columbus named Trinidad the "the Trinity" after the three peaks in the south east of the island.

The Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago includes Columbus' ships on his voyages of discovery to the New World. The ships were the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

In the mid 1600s, Tobago was briefly a colony of the Duchy of Courland, now part of Latvia. The use of the name Courland in Tobago dates back to this time.

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago were ceded to the UK in the early nineteenth century.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) prohibited the slave trade within the British Empire. (Slaves in the British colonies did not gain their freedom until the 1830s. The Abolition of Slavery Act (1833) began the process leading to emancipation).

Contract workers from India were employed between 1845 and 1917.

The first successful oil well was drilled in Trinidad at Aripero in 1866.

In 1889 the islands were united as one territory.

Trinidad and Tobago remained under British control until independence was achieved in 1962.

Trinidad and Tobago became a republic in 1976.

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a member of the UK's Commonwealth.

Minority groups living in Trinidad and Tobago include those of Syrian and Lebanese descent whose families worked in the textile and retail sectors of the country.

Sir Trevor McDonald, born in Trinidad in 1939, is a well known television newsreader in the UK.

In 2007 the government decided to close the sugar industry.

Trinidad and Tobago will be adversely affected by climate change with rising sea levels and more severe weather events.

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