Solomons Islands Flag

20 Fascinating Facts About Solomon Islands

20 Fascinating Facts About Solomon Islands


1. The Solomon Islands are an island nation located in Oceania. They consist of approximately 992 small islands, atolls, and reefs.

2. Only 347 of the islands are populated. The six major islands are Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita, Makira, New Georgia, and Santa Isabel.

3. The Solomon Islands are the third-largest archipelago in the South Pacific.

4. The first settlers of the Solomon Islands were Papuan-speaking hunter-gatherers from New Guinea. They inhabited the islands for possibly as long as 50,000 years before Austronesian-speaking early Melanesians began arriving around 4000BC.

5. The Lapita people appeared in the Solomon Islands around 3,000 years ago – between 2000 and 1600BC.

6. The first European to explore the islands was the Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendana in 1568.

7. Believing that gold was present, Mendana named the islands after the legendary King Solomon’s mines.

8. The Solomon Islands were colonized by the UK in the 19th century. The British Solomon Islands Protectorate was declared in 1893.

9. The protectorate was informally known as “The Happy Isles”.

10. In 1942, during the Second World War, the Solomon Islands were occupied by Japan. There was extensive fighting, especially during the decisive Battle of Guadalcanal. The Japanese were eventually forced from the islands by the Allies in 1945 and British rule was restored.

11. Today, the islands are popular with scuba divers due to the numerous Second World War submarine, ship, and aircraft wrecks.

scuba divers solomon islands

12. US President John F Kennedy kept a coconut shell in his Oval Office as a reminder of when he was marooned in the Solomon Islands in 1943. After his boat sank, he was rescued by two Solomon Islanders called Eroni Kumana and Biuku Gasa.

13. The president, along with 10 other survivors, swam to the uninhabited Plum Pudding Island. It has now been renamed Kennedy Island.

14. In 1976, the Solomon Islands became self-governing before achieving complete independence from the UK in 1978.

15. The national flag consists of triangles of blue, which represents the importance of water, and green, which represents trees and crops, separated by a yellow diagonal stripe which represents the sun. In the upper corner are five white stars which stand for the original five provinces that initially made up the country.

Solomons Islands Flag

16. Between 1998 and 2003, the Solomon Islands was gripped by a crisis known as “the tensions” in which armed combat took place between militants from the islands Guadalcanal and Malaita.

17. In 2000, Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa’alu was taken hostage by the Malaitan Eagle Force. He was subsequently forced to resign.

18. In 2003, an Australian-led peacekeeping force was deployed in the Solomon Islands. It stayed for 14 years until 2017.

19. In the late 19th century, the Solomon Islands were among several Pacific islands to suffer from ‘blackbirding’. Blackbirding was the kidnapping of people for use as forced labor on plantations in Fiji and Australia. The grotesque practice ended around 1872 and led to several countries banning overseas-labor recruitment.

blackbirding in solomon islands

20. It’s believed that approximately 30,000 laborers from the Solomon Islands were recruited between 1870 and 1910 to work on plantations in Fiji and Queensland, Australia.




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