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Cayman Islands MAP AND DESCRIPTION
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A British Overseas Territory located in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands are considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles. The territory is a major world offshore financial centre.

The Cayman Islands are located in the western Caribbean Sea and are the peaks of a massive underwater ridge, known as the Cayman Ridge (or Cayman Rise). This ridge flanks the Cayman Trough, 6,000 m (20,000 ft) deep which lies 6 km (3.7 mi) to the south. The islands lie in the northwest of the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba and west of Jamaica. They are situated about 700 km (430 mi) south of Miami, 366 km (227 mi) south of Cuba, and about 500 km (310 mi) northwest of Jamaica. Grand Cayman is by far the biggest, with an area of 197 km2 (76 sq mi). The two "Sister Islands" of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are located about 120 km (75 mi) east north-east of Grand Cayman and have areas of 38 and 28.5 km2 (15 and 11.0 sq mi) respectively.

All three islands were formed by large coral heads covering submerged ice age peaks of western extensions of the Cuban Sierra Maestra range and are mostly flat. One notable exception to this is The Bluff on Cayman Brac's eastern part, which rises to 43 m (141 ft) above sea level, the highest point on the islands. Terrain is mostly a low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs.

The main influences on the Culture of the Cayman Islands come from the United Kingdom, North America, and Jamaica. In total, there are approximately 113 nationalities on the three islands that make up the country. The total population of the Cayman Islands consists of just over 52,000 people, spread throughout the island group with the majority of the people found on Grand Cayman. Roughly 20,000 are native Caymanian, with the remainder of the residents originating elsewhere in the world. In the past, most of the people of the Cayman Islands got their livelihood from the sea through fishing, turtle harvesting, and being merchant seamen.

Language British English is the most commonly spoken language in the Cayman Islands, albeit with a distinctive Caymanian dialect. Jamaican patois is also commonly spoken in the Cayman Islands, and certain words have been integrated into the speech of younger Caymanian generations.

Cuisine The food of the Cayman Islands includes traditional Caribbean fare such as cassava, johnny cake, bread fruit, plantain, and meat pie. Jamaican cuisine has also found its way onto the menus of the Cayman Islands, and jerk seasoning has become popular for use on meat dishes such chicken, fish and pork. Curry is also used frequently in rice, chicken, and fish dishes. Traditional Caymanian fare includes dishes made from turtle meat, conch, goat, and fish such as grouper and snapper.

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