Interesting facts about the Isle of Man
The original language on Mann was called Manx. Manx is a Gaelic language similar to some types of Irish Gaelic. The last native speaker of Manx, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974.
Mann (short for Isle of Man) has the Oldest Continuous Parliament in the World. Several countries lay claim to this title, but the Manx parliament has been standing without break ever since 979. Icelandic parliament is older but had a 45 year gap in 1800s.
Manx cats have no tail. The Manx is a breed of cat that actually comes from the Isle of Man, and its best known feature is its taillessness. The breed also exhibits very large hind legs and a rounded head.
There’s also a breed of sheep from the island called the Manx Loaghtan, which is known for sometimes having four or six horns.
The Bee Gees are from the Isle of Man. Their parents moved to Australia later on but the Bee Gee brothers were born on the Isle of Man.
The symbol on the Isle of Man flag is the triskelion. It is similar to the symbol of Sicily. The Isle of Man triskelion is composed of three armoured legs with golden spurs, upon a red background. The three legs are known in Manx as ny tree cassyn (“the three legs”).
On TT races
Mann is the motorcycle racing capital of the world. The International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race has been conducted on the island since 1907. The races are run on the local roads that are closed for this occasion. If you’re going to watch the races, make sure you don’t “lock” yourself within the racing circuit.
- The first 100mph lap was in 1957 by Bob McIntyre.
- Top racers today average close to 130mph.
- John McGuinness is the lap record holder with an average speed of 131.578mph in 2009.
- The late great Joey Dunlop won the TT a record 26 times.
- Traditionally, on the middle Sunday of the 2 weeks over the TT is known as ‘Mad Sunday’, where fans watch in fancy dress as the public are allowed to take to the course on their bikes, with no speed limits on the mountain section!
- Sadly, the TT has claimed 239 racers over its 106 years