Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Tenerife Canary Islands

Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

A few days ago I have stumbled upon this interesting thread, posted on the ‘Tenerife Forum Community’ FB-page. Peter, editor at tenerifeforum.site and the group’s admin asked it’s members to name one thing many people don’t know about Tenerife. Some statements were truly astonishing and new to me, so I immediately felt inspired to highlight and check on some of the most remarkable facts. Thus I went on research …..

1. Originally, Tenerife wasn’t one island, but three islands (today Teno, Anaga, Adeje)

Wikipedia : The oldest mountain ranges in Tenerife rose from the Atlantic Ocean by volcanic eruptions which gave birth to the island around twelve million years ago. The island as it is today was formed 3 million years ago by the fusion of three islands made up of the mountain ranges of Anaga, Teno and Valle de San Lorenzo

2. Tinerfeños is the name of the people of Tenerife .. because the guanche’s headman’s name wasTinerfe

Tinerfe “the Great”, legendary hero who was a Guanche mencey (king aboriginal) of the island of  (Canary Islands, Tenerife). He was the son of mencey Sunta, who ruled the island in the days before the conquest of the Canary Islands by Castilla. Tinerfe the Great lived in Adeje (like all his predecessors), approximately hundred years before the conquest of 1494.    wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinerfe

The children of Tinerfe were:

  • Acaymo:  (mencey of Menceyato de Tacoronte)
  • Adjona:  (mencey of Menceyato de Abona)
  • Añaterve:  (mencey of Menceyato de Güímar)
  • Bencomo:  (mencey of Menceyato de Taoro)
  • Beneharo:  (mencey of Menceyato de Anaga)
  • Pelicar:  (mencey of Menceyato de Adeje)
  • Pelinor:  (mencey of Menceyato de Icode)
  • Romen:  (mencey of Menceyato de Daute)
  • Tegueste:  (mencey of Menceyato de Tegueste)

The eighteenth-century historians Juan Núñez de la Peña and Tomás Arias Marín de Cubas, among others, state that the name of the island of Tenerife could come from Tinerfe.

Tinerfe’s 9 children are the 9 famous statues in Candelaria

tenerife canary islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
3. The best places to eat are Guachinches

Well, to confirm this statement we won’t have to bother Wikipedia or Google search. Fabio & Ruth over at Tenerife Travel Secret provide excellent information and some precious tips on Tenerife Food Experience and all you actually need to know to enjoy a fantastic time on the island.

Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

If you like Flamenco, I have got a little insider tip for you! Give the little Tasca in Miraverde a go. Live music and flamenco every Friday & Saturday night in an unbelievable cheap and cheerful familiar atmosphere. Join in and clap, dance, and sing along with these amazing guys!

4. Admiral Nelson lost his arm in the battle of Santa Cruz. The British gave the Spanish a cheese at the end of the hostilities

Nelson took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where his attack was defeated and he was badly wounded, losing his right arm, and was forced to return to England to recuperate. The following year, he won a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile and remained in the Mediterranean to support the Kingdom of Naples against a French invasion … (done my very best, but Wikipedia obviously doesn’t know about the cheese)

Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts 
5. El Médano is the longest beach on the island – you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot to lay your towel on its two-kilometre stretch of natural sand

Playa del Médano is the longest natural beach on Tenerife and it spreads crescent-like over more than 2 miles between El Médano harbour and the 550feet high and reddishly appearing Montaña Roja. Within the small bays between the light rocks, one always finds a quite place to stay.

tenerife canary islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

The beach was awarded the “Blue Flag” for tidiness, water quality and life-guard-service in 2011. Due to the soft blowing winds, Playa del Médano is not only perfect for sun worshippers, but also for kiters and windsurfers. It is an amazing sight to watch the kiters and windsurfers roam across the water with their colourful sails. Their starting place is the south end of the bay.   

source: teneriffa.ferienhaus-canarias

Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
6. Shakespeare was paid with wine from the Island due to the mention within, Henry IV and Merry Wives of Windsor

The canary wine was a sweet white variety with a yellow tint. Canary wine was imported to England from the Canary Islands off the north-western coast of Africa. Shakespeare refers to canary wine in Twelfth Night (1.3.74) and The Merry Wives of Windsor(3.2.83)

source: shakespeare-online.com

Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts
7. Teide casts the largest shadow of any object on Earth

Did you know that the shadow of Teide is the largest shadow in the world projected onto the sea? And do you know why the shape of the shadow of Teide is pyramidal even though the Teide is not a regular cone? While at the beginning of the projection, the shadow of Teide resembles the silhouette of the peak of the volcano, as time passes, the length of the shadow of Teide extends, because the height of the Sun decreases. Thus, the shadow of Teide projected in the atmosphere takes up a triangular shape, irrespective of the shape of its summit.

source: volcanoteide.com

tenerife canary islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
8. The patron saint of Guatemala, St Peter was born in Vilaflor Tenerife and lived as a hermit in a cave in what is now part of TFS airport. You can visit his shrine today, it’s opposite the sign/car park for the Red Mountain on the El Medano – Los Abrigos road

The Cave-Shrine of Santo Hermano Pedro is a cave shrine dedicated to Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur (Canary first saint). Located in the municipality of Granadilla de Abona, near El Medano on the south of the island of Tenerife Canary Islands, Spain. This cave is considered one of the most important pilgrimage spots of the Canary Islands, which annually attracts over 300.000 visitors. In this cave is where saint stood with his flock to rest to recover and walk again forces the way to his small village in the highlands of Vilaflor. Currently inside the cave is a wooden statue of the saint, the cave has a section that is completely surrounded with votive offerings of the faithful.

source: Cave of SantoHermanoPedro

Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
9. The traditional Canarian wrestling – Lucha Canarias

Canarian wrestling comes from the history of the Guanches, the earliest known natives of the Canary Islands, although with limited contact between the islands, each island then developed different rules.

In 1420, shortly after the Spanish conquest, Alvar García de Santa María first recorded the wrestling techniques, including the use of referees, or “hombres de honor”. Only some of these early rules and techniques have survived to modern times. After the Conquest, the sport became part of the islands’ folklore, only usually being fought at celebrations or local festivals.

tenerife canary islands
image: Paulina on the Road

The rules were first laid down in 1872, making it one of the earliest defined forms of wrestling.Wrestlers start in the middle of a sand circle, called “terrero”. The object is to make their opponent touch the sand with any part of their body, except the feet. To accomplish this, they use different techniques called “mañas” to throw their opponent off balance. Two falls are required to win a bout. A match ends when all the members of one team have been defeated.

source: Canarian wrestling

10. The Giant Tajinaste is the symbol of Tenerife and is also known as El Orgulloso de Tenerife (Pride of Tenerife)

Another great insider tip is one of Paulina’s hidden jewels, the  Barranco del Infierno, “Hell’s Canyon”, at Tenerife’s southern Costa Adeje got its name due to its vast depths. Access is limited to 300 people per day and the hike lasts about 3h30. The hike’s destination is Tenerife’s highest waterfall ... read on   

tenerife canary islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts
11. The bird was named after the islands and not the other way around. The name Canary came supposedly from the presence of large dogs on the island, which could have mistakenly been monk seals, but the name Islands of the Dogs stayed. The birds from the islands were later introduced to Europe as canaries

The name Islas Canarias is likely derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning “Islands of the Dogs”, a name applied originally only to Gran Canaria. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauretanian king Juba II named the island Canaria because it contained ‘vast multitudes of dogs of very large size’

Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts

Another speculation is that the so-called dogs were actually a species of monk seal (Canis marinus or “sea dog” was a Latin term for “seal” critically endangered and no longer present in the Canary Islands )The dense population of seals may have been the characteristic that most struck the few ancient Romans who established contact with these islands by sea.

Alternatively, it is said that the original inhabitants of the island, Guanches, used to worship dogs, mummified them and treated dogs generally as holy animals.The ancient Greeks also knew about a people, living far to the west, who are the “dog-headed ones”, who worshiped dogs on an island.

Other theories speculate that the name comes from the Nukkari Berber tribe living in the Moroccan Atlas, named in Roman sources as Canarii, though Pliny again mentions the relation of this term with dogs.

12. Agatha Christie came to Tenerife to write. Bust of her in la Paz Puerto de la Cruz

Agatha Christie together with her daughter, Rosalind, and her secretary, Charlotte Fisher, arrived at Tenerife on 4 February 1927. She was thirty-six years old. They stayed at the Gran Hotel Taoro in Puerto de la Cruz, at that time the best hotel in Tenerife and the center of the British community on the island.

Tenerife Canary Islands
Tenerife Canary Islands – Random Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

On its premises were located the Anglican Church and the British Library, now Taoro Park. Upon their arrival, they probably went to see the Orotava Valley, the favourite tour for all visitors arriving there. It is said that in Puerto de la Cruz Agatha Christie completed The Mystery of the Blue Train and she sent it to her publishers. She never felt proud of this book but it sold very well thus putting an end to her economic problems.  

source: following-Agatha’s-steps

13. The Original Planet of The Apes was filmed there

Movies filmed on Tenerife Canary Islands .. and some more curiosities

  • Brian May wrote the Queen song “Tie Your Mother Down” at the Observatorio del Teide at Izaña (altitude of 7,770 feet), in the autumn of 1971, while working on his grad thesis.
  • This dramatic scenery has been featured in films such as One Million Years B.C. (1966), Intacto (2002), Clash of the Titans (2010) and Wrath of the Titans (2012)
  • The Raquel Welch poster of One Million Years B.C. that plays a significant role in the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption was taken at the Teide.
  • On December 8, 2008, following an initiative from the Jewish community of the Canary Islands, an Israeli flag was placed near the summit of Mount Teide.
  • The park has a small chapel dedicated to the Virgen de las Nieves which is the highest Christian church in Spain.
  • Tenerife was the place where L. Ron Hubbard (founder of the Church of Scientology) called picked “OT-III materials”, according to this doctrine one of the volcanoes which were cast the “thetans” 75 million years ago is the Teide together with other volcanoes in the world, mainly from Hawaii.
  • On 24 June 1989, the radio Espacio en Blanco of the Radiocadena Española called a “UFO Alert” in the Teide National Park in order to achieve some kind of contact with extraterrestrials. This event was attended by about forty thousand people.
  • On January 8, 1998, members of a cult led by German psychologist Heide Fittkau Garthe were arrested, when they tried to perform a ritual suicide on Teide.
  • The sixth instalment of The Fast and the Furious starring Vin Diesel, and directed by Justin Lin, The Teide had the main stage for most of its outer shoots.

source: Teide National Park

Thanks a lot for reading, muchas gracias y hasta muy pronto!

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7 years ago

Really interesting. thanks for your research.

7 years ago

Loved it! History is so interesting, isn’t it? It looks so beautiful and rich in culture. I have never met a beach that didn’t fall in love with me, hope you have room for us lol