5 Things You May Not Know About Puerto Rico

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In honor of President Obama's pending visit to Puerto Rico (the first by a sitting president in 50 years!) and the National Puerto Rican Day parade that just rocked New York City, we wanted to share five cool facts you may not know about the small, but influential, Caribbean nation:

1) Puerto Rico has the only rainforest in the entire U.S. National Forest system. Just a short drive from the capital city of San Juan, El Yunque rainforest will transport you back in time to an era before development and agriculture changed the landscape.

2) The world's largest radio telescope is in Puerto Rico. Arecibo, PR is the home to this scientific marvel—which measures about a thousand feet in diameter and spans roughly 20 acres.

3) Puerto Rico is tiny (roughly the size of the state of Connecticut) but it's one of the most densely populated islands in the entire world. Yet there are still more Puerto Ricans living off the island than on the island.

4) The Puerto Rican flag was designed in 1895 in solidarity with Cuba, which was also fighting for their independence from Spain at the time. It is actually the exact same design as the Cuban flag, but with the colors reversed.

5) Puerto Rico is home to more biolumenescent bays than anywhere else in the world. At Fajardo Bay, Mosquito Bay, La Parguera Bay and in Vieques you can find microorganisms called dinoflagellates (marine plankton) in the water that light up when disturbed by motion.

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About this author1

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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