SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE SEYCHELLES
Some Interesting Facts About the Seychelles
Pirate Olivier le Vasseur's treasure
That the fabulous treasure of the notorious Pirate Olivier le Vasseur, (La Buze) today valued at $US 160,000,000 probably still lies buried somewhere at Bel Ombre in North Mahé.
General Gordon of Khartoum
That General Gordon of Khartoum made public his belief that Praslin’s famous Vallée de Mai, home of the Coco-de-Mer was the original site of the Garden of Eden.
Seychelles was once a pirate hideout
That Seychelles was once a pirate hideout, in particular Anse Forbans (means Pirate’s Cove) on Mahé and Côte d’Or on Praslin.
Aldabra - world’s largest raised coral atoll
Aldabra is the world’s largest raised coral atoll and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is so vast that the whole of Mahé could fit inside its lagoon
Aldabra home to only flightless bird in the Indian Ocean
Aldabra is home to the only flightless bird in the Indian Ocean, the White-Throated Rail as well as to 273 species of plants and ferns.
Aldabra also has the largest population of Giant Tortoises in the world; 150,000 in total.
Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke
The Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market was named after a former Governor of Seychelles, Percy Selwyn Clarke (1947 – 1951), who after his term as Governor was knighted Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke.
Aride Island - important breeding site for 10 species of seabird
Aride Island is an important breeding site for 10 species of seabird and the world’s largest population of lesser noddies. It is known as the seabird citadel of the Indian Ocean.
First settlers landed on Ste. Anne
The first settlers to arrive in Seychelles landed on the island of Sainte Anne in 1770.
Seychelles area - Indian Ocean
Seychelles is scattered over an area of 1.4 million km² of ocean.
Victoria one of the tiniest capitals in the world
Victoria is one of the tiniest capitals in the world and can easily be explored on foot in less than a day.
Seychelles French/British administration
Seychelles was under French administration for 44 years (1770-1814) and under British administration for 162 years (1814-1976).
Coco-de-Mer heaviest seed
The Coco-de-Mer palm produces the largest seed in the world which weighs up to 15kg+.
Home to endemic birds
Seychelles is home to some of the rarest endemic birds (Seychelles bush warbler, paradise fly-catcher, bare-legged scops owl) to be found anywhere on earth.
Jardin du Roi
Lt. Romainville ordered the burning of the Jardin du Roi at Anse Royale in 1780 after a French ship approaching the island was mistaken for an enemy ship.
'Roc’, Marco Polo’s mythical bird
Arab historians believed that the ‘Roc’, Marco Polo’s mythical bird that could carry off and devour elephants, lived in Seychelles.
Oldest oceanic islands on earth
Seychelles’ granitic islands are the oldest oceanic islands on earth.
That the Jellyfish tree (Medusagyne oppostifolia), is considered to be one of the rarest trees on earth, with only a handful of specimens remaining.
The Clock Tower in Victoria or Lorloz as it is better known in Creole was officially inaugurated on 1st April 1903. The Clock Tower is an elegant replica of the clock that was first erected in London in 1897 at the junction of Victoria Street and Vauxhall Bridge Road, near Victoria Station.
World’s heaviest land tortoise
Seychelles is home to the world’s heaviest land tortoise living in the wild. This is Esmeralda (304 kg) on Bird Island.
Moyenne Island haunted
Moyenne Island, in the Ste. Anne Marine National park, is claimed to be haunted by a spirit that stands jealous guard over buried treasure.
Bare-legged Scops owl
Mahé’s rarest bird, the Bare-legged Scops Owl is so rare that it was once thought to have become extinct before being re-discovered in 1959.
Coco-de-Mer, once thought to originate from beneath ocean
The Coco-de-Mer was once thought to originate from a tree growing beneath the ocean, and fetched princely sums in the courts of Europe.
Seychelles is considered to offer the finest Bone-fishing in the world.
Did you know that Tracy Island, in the Thunderbirds blockbuster of 2004, was no other than the Seychelles North Island. Other scenes in the movie were also filmed in the famous Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island.
Miss World Beauty Pageant
The Miss World Beauty Pageant was held in Seychelles in 1997and 1998.
Sainte Anne Marine National Park
The Sainte Anne Marine National Park, founded in 1973, was the first marine park in the Indian Ocean.
Vasco da Gama & Pedro de Mascarenhas
The first Europeans to discover the islands were Vasco da Gama in 1502 and Pedro de Mascarenhas 1505.
Telegraphy came to Seychelles in 1893 when Cable and Wireless laid an undersea cable from Zanzibar to Seychelles and Mauritius.
Curieuse once a leper colony
Curieuse Island was once used as a leper colony.
Tomb of French commandant Jean-Baptiste Queau de Quincy
The tomb of French commandant Jean-Baptiste Queau de Quincy lies in the ground of Government House (now State House).
Pierre Poivre never set foot in Seychelles
Pierre Poivre, whose statue is found in the Court House Grounds, never set foot in Seychelles.
Opening of Victoria Hospital
The official opening of Victoria Hospital took place in 1924 by Governor Byrne.
Parish of Victoria founded in 1853
The Parish of Victoria was founded by Father Jeremie with the building of a chapel in 1853 at the location of the actual Cathedral today.
British Governor, Sir. John Thorpe - drowning
The British Governor, Sir. John Thorpe, drowned while attempting to rescue two boys at Grand Anse Mahé on the 13th August 1961.
First Seychelles' postage stamps
The first Seychelles' postage stamps were issued in 1890. Previously Mauritius stamps were used.
'Thelemaque' - first settlers' ship
The name of the ship that brought the first settlers to Seychelles in 1770 was called the 'Thelemaque'.
Eruption of Krakatoa felt on Mahé
The eruption in 1883 of a volcano in Java, Indonesia, called Krakatoa was felt on Mahé, where a tidal wave came rushing at about 4 miles per hour, reaching a height of about 2 1/2 feet long and girth of 8 feet.
Archbishop Makarios who later became President of Cyprus, was exiled to Seychelles in March 1956 until 1957
Last surviving slave
The last surviving slave in Seychelles Japhet Alice nee Africaine died in 1956.
Round Island, once a leper colony
Round Island, near Mahé, was once a leper colony. The stone building used as a prison still exists.
First motorcar in Seychelles
The first motorcar was introduced in Seychelles in 1929 by M. Adolphe d'Emerez de Charmoy.
Crocodiles and 'aligartes'
Seychelles' waters once teemed with crocodiles and 'aligartes'. The largest ever recorded was found on La Digue and was said to be 13 feet long and a girth of 8 feet.
Seychelles written as ‘Séchelles’ during French occupation
During the French occupation, Seychelles was usually written as ‘Séchelles’.
Ste. Anne mountain looks volcanic
The colonial mountain of Ste. Anne island rises over 250 metres, and looks volcanic.
Brayer du Barrer, story of silver mines on Ste. Anne
Brayer du Barrer who came to Seychelles in 1876, in his attempt to make quick fortunes, tried to persuade the French Monarchs to invest in his exploitation of the colony by inventing story of silver mines on Ste. Anne.
World record for dogtooth tuna and indo-pacific bonito
Seychelles holds world records for dogtooth tuna and indo-pacific bonito.
Frégate, home to almost extinct Magpie Robin
Frégate Island is the home of the almost extinct Magpie Robin
Olivier Le Vasseur or 'La Buse' hanged in Reunion, 1730
The pirate Olivier Le Vasseur or 'La Buse' who is rumored to have buried treasure in the islands was hanged on the 17th July 1730 in Reunion.
Seychelles important refueling base during World War II
During the Second World War Seychelles became an important refueling base for British warships and flying boats.
Dr. Hilda Stevenson-Delhomme, first woman politician
Dr. Hilda Stevenson-Delhomme became Seychelles first woman politician when she was elected to the Legislative Assembly.
No real natural hazards or dangers
Seychelles is one of the few places in the world that has no real natural hazards or dangers.
Any French-speaker will be able to largely understand Creole
Anyone who can speak a little French will be able to largely understand Creole, which is much simpler to learn, as there is no gender and the verb endings remain constant.
Landslide of 1862
On the 12th October 1862 torrential rain caused a landslip in the hills, particularly St. Louis. A large area of the town was buried and seventy or more people lost their lives.
Fleming, James Bond author, wrote few of his books at Northolme
The author of the famous James Bond character, Mr. Ian Fleming, wrote a few of his books at Le Northolme Hotel now called HiltonSeychelles Northolme Resort & Spa.