Skip to main content

20 Fun Facts About Coconuts

Published on February 11th, 2022

Botanically speaking, a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe, also known as a dry drupe. However, when using loose definitions, the coconut can be all three: a fruit, a nut, and a seed. The exotic coconut has been around since the dawn of time, readily available in deep forests, dry zones and even mountain areas, widely known for its miraculous hydrating power and organic health benefits, whatever form it is found in.

But did you know there’s more to this mysteriously fleshy and succulent fruit? Here are some fun facts you probably didn’t know about coconuts.

  1. The coconut tree is botanically named Cocus Nucifera and they can grow up to 82 feet (25 meters) high.
  2. The name coconut is actually a combination of nut, and the Portuguese word coco, meaning head of skull
  3. Coconut water contains 94% water (on average) with approximately 46 calories a cup.
  4. A coconut tree can produce up to 180 coconuts during a single harvest.
  5. Coconut oils contain MCT’s, a medium-chain triglycerides which are easy to digest. The oil is a source of energy and has an accelerating effect on metabolism. Coconut oils are very healthy and good for your heart.
  6. Coconut oils also contain four growth hormones, called cytokinins, and three sets of chromosomes – or triploids – that help the development of many organisms.  Coconut water is considered the “father of modern tissue culture science”. Currently, research is being done to see if coconut can be used in hair regrowth and anti-ageing cosmetics.
  7. Coconuts, in different forms, are anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasite.
  8. On average, three and a half cups of coconut equates to 1 tbsp (25 grams) of Fiber. This is the recommended daily amount of fibre an adult should have.
  9. In 2016 there were over 59 million tons of coconuts produced worldwide.
  10. Just like mangoes, cashews and cherries, the coconut is actually a drupe and not a nut. The drupe is an item that has a fleshy outer around a pit.
  11. The husk of a coconut can actually be burnt to act as a natural mosquito repellent, a process used in many countries around the world.
  12. The coconut palm is actually the national tree of The Maldives.

And here’s where it gets weird…

  1. In 2013 police in the Maldives took possession of a coconut due to a belief that it had been cursed with black magic.
  2. 2.5% of injuries in Papua New Guinea’s Provincial Hospital were reported as caused by falling coconuts.
  3. During the Pacific War of 1941-45, coconut water was used to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.
  4. Coconut grenades were a weapon used in World War II by the Japanese in which a coconut was filled with items most importantly a grenade, and then thrown at the enemy.
  5. In 2011, Ho Eng Hui managed to pierce 4 coconuts in 12.15 seconds in Milan to set a world record.
  6. Natives of the Kiribati islands used woven coconut string to construct robust armour.
  7. Researchers are investigating whether coconut husks can be used as a low-cost building material in the Philippines.
  8. Coconut oil has swept the beauty world with so many celebrities and iconic figures swearing by it including Eva Mendes and Priyanka Chopra.

Bet you didn’t know most of that! 

All in all this wildly exotic and heavily craved drupe is native to the wondrous lands of Sri Lanka – and coconut in its many forms, whether chips, butter, oil or as a refreshing beverage is used not just in the tiny island-nation, but in fact all around the world.

Visit to learn more.