• Standing at about 1.34 million, T&T’s population is around 40 percent Indian, 39 percent black, 18 percent mixed-race, 0.6 percent white and 0.4 percent Chinese. Its population is theologically diverse, too: with 26 percent Roman Catholic, 25 percent Protestant, 23 percent Hindu, 6 percent Muslim, 3 percent Presbyterian and 6 percent adhered to African-based religions such as Spiritual Baptist and Orisha.

Go into almost any bar in the world and you’ll see a bottle of Angostura bitters, produced in Trinidad and an essential ingredient of many classic cocktails. Its aromatic blend of herbs, spices and alcohol is such a guarded secret that no single person is permitted to know the full recipe.

Trinidad is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for the giant leatherback turtle. Grande Riviere on the north coast sees one of the world’s highest density of nests, with some 500 turtles visiting per night at the height of the season.

The peculiar Pitch Lake, at La Brea on Trinidad’s southwestern coast, is the world’s largest natural reservoir of asphalt.

• In 2006, T&T became the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup, though the Soca Warriors didn’t manage to score a goal in the tournament, drawing one match and losing two more before being knocked out.

T&T lie outside the region’s hurricane belt, and haven’t suffered a big blast since Flora in 1963, though minor earthquakes occur at an average of one per month.

Native to southern Trinidad, the Moruga Scorpion is officially the second hottest pepper in the world, notching up two million units on the Scoville heat scale, just a fraction less than the Carolina Reaper.

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