Sanibel Island Trivia

DATE: July 6, 2020

How much do you REALLY know about Sanibel Island? Gather the family for a little Island Trivia Night and test your knowledge of the place we call home and the one you call your home away from home!

True or False

  1. Sanibel Island has a common north-south orientation.
  2. Sanibel Island is a Barrier Island.
  3. The first turtle nest has been found on Sanibel this year.
  4. Sanibel Island used to be one island with Captiva Island.
  5. Sanibel was not inhabited when it was discovered by Spanish explorers.
  6. Sanibel Island is world-famous for its seashells.
  7. Sanibel Island was once home to infamous pirates.

Short Answer

  1. How long is Sanibel Island?
  2. When was the city of Sanibel founded?
  3. When was Sanibel Island discovered?
  4. How did Sanibel get its name?
  5. What is the best time to go shelling?
  6. Sanibel Island is home to how many shell species?
  7. What is are the rarest shells found on Sanibel?
  8. How many lighthouses are on Sanibel Island?
  9. How many different bird species can be found on Sanibel Island?

sanibel island lighthouse view from water

Trivia Answer Key:

True or False

  1. False – Sanibel Island is oriented east-west. This is very unique to how most islands of this type are oriented and it is why it has such exceptional shelling!
  2. True – Sanibel Island is a barrier island off the coast of Fort Myers, FL. Barrier islands protect the coast line and create an environment that allows wildlife to flourish.
  3. True – The first turtle nest of the year was discovered April 8, 2020. This loggerhead nest broke the record for earliest nest of the year – previously held by a Kemp’s Ridley nest, laid April 16, 2018.
  4. True – At one time Sanibel and Captiva Island were one. Extreme weather has been a known factor in connecting and separating the two islands.
  5. False – The earliest inhabitants of Sanibel Island were from the Calusa Tribe. Known as “mound people” or “pile dwellers” for the structures they inhabited, historians believe the Calusa Tribe inhabited the island dating back as far as 1200 AD.
  6. True – This might have been too easy!
  7. True – In 1513, the island became a haven for infamous pirates. Sanibel Island is said to have pirate treasure on it and was once known as the Buccaneer Coast.

Short Answer

  1. Sanibel Island is 12 miles long and 3 miles wide.
  2. Sanibel Island was founded November 5, 1974.
  3. Sanibel Island is believed to be discovered by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513.
  4. Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon called the island “Santa Isybella”, which has now been shortened to “Sanibel”.
  5. After a storm. Storm waters churn up the bottom of the Gulf and can push in HUGE volumes of shells as they pass through the area.
  6. Sanibel Island is home to 250 shell species.
  7. The three rarest shells on Sanibel Island are the Junonia, Lion’s Paw and Scotch Bonnet, with the Junonia being the crown jewel of shelling finds.
  8. Sanibel Island is home to one lighthouse, which sits on the east end of the island! Fun fact, this was one of the first lighthouses to be built north of Key West.
  9. Sanibel Island is home to over 245 different bird species throughout the year. Learn more about Sanibel Island birds in our blog.


Discover more about Sanibel Island History today and plan your next stay at Sundial!


Share Post