31 Interesting Facts About Guam

Last updated on March 18th, 2017 at 10:25 am

Guam is a small island country with a unique and complex culture. Although it is small in size, Guam plays a crucial, strategic role in U.S. defense. It is also known for its tropical beaches and ancient latte stones. Here is a chance to learn some interesting facts about Guam. Let’s begin!

1. Guam is located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, and was formerly known as the Territory of Guam.

2. The island was first visited by the Portuguese (learn some interesting facts about Portugal) explorer Ferdinand Magellan on March 6, 1521, while sailing for the King of Spain.

3. Guamanians get American citizenship by birth under Title 8 of the U.S. Code. However, the downside is that in the United States, the people of Guam are not given the full range of opportunities that many native-born Americans are given.

4. There is a beach in Guam known as ‘The Gun Beach.’ The beach also houses Guam’s largest beach bar.

Japanese Guns on the Beach of Agat Bay Guam
Japanese Guns on the Beach of Agat Bay Guam. Image credit – amanderson2

5. Would you believe the fact that Guam does not have sand? Yes, this is true! What you see on the beaches is coral, not sand. Paved roads in Guam are also made by mixing coral and cement together.

6. As per a study, the coral cover on Guam declined from 19 percent to 10 percent from 2003 to 2011. The coral reefs are estimated to be responsible for providing more than $20 million to Guam’s economy.

7. Did you know that a Japanese soldier hid in Guam’s jungle for nearly three decades? The soldier was waiting for the war to end; however, he spent the time unaware that the war had already ended. The soldier was discovered in 1972, and soon he went back to his home country, eventually getting married. Surprisingly, this soldier visited Guam several times, even after marriage.

8. The economy of the country is supported by tourism and the United States Armed Forces.

9. The descendants of Austronesian people are the original inhabitants of Guam.

10. The U.S. House of Representatives has a member from Guam; however, that person is a non-voting delegate.

11. Guam is also known as the “Island of Warriors.”

12. Guamanians have to fly 4000 miles to Hawaii to receive PTSD treatment (posttraumatic stress disorder).

13. Guam is located roughly 7,000 miles from the U.S. mainland.

14. Guam was also bombed after the attack (just over four hours) on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). The lives of 7,000 Americans and 17,500 Japanese were lost during the battle.

15. Japan renamed the island “Omiya Jima” meaning “Great Shrine Island” during their siege between 1941 and 1944.