Photo credit: SENTOSA

5 fun facts about Sentosa’s 50 years of existence

You might have lived in Singapore for your whole life, but here are some facts about Sentosa you might have missed.

Charlotte Chang

You’ll never meet anyone who loves thriller movies more than her.

Published: 2 March 2022, 12:35 PM

Sentosa is celebrating its Golden Jubilee with a line-up of exciting activities for the rest of the year, including its new tour series SentoSights.

While you explore the island’s heritage and nature, here are some fun facts about the island that might surprise you.

A critically-endangered turtle species once laid its eggs along Sentosa’s beaches

Sentosa is home to a variety of coastal marine habitats and lush rainforests with thriving biodiversity in these areas.

In 2021, a Hawksbill sea turtle nested its eggs on Siloso Beach at Sentosa. About 85 hatchlings naturally emerged from the nest in the wee hours of the morning and were released into the sea.


Although Hawksbill sea turtles are frequently spotted along the Singapore straits, there are only about 8,000 nesting females left in the world. PHOTO CREDIT: SENTOSA


The nesting of the eggs were a testament to Sentosa’s commitment to protecting and maintaining the island’s beaches over the years.

Sentosa was almost an oil refinery

In September 1967, just two years after Singapore’s newfound independence, Sentosa was returned to the government following the closure of British military bases. During that time, there were plans for Sentosa to be turned into an oil refinery. 

Then chief economic adviser to Singapore Albert Winsemius and his team then proposed to turn the island into a leisure destination for locals and tourists instead. So the next time you visit Sentosa, you know who to thank.

The true meaning of ‘Sentosa’

When deciding on a name for this holiday hotspot in 1968, the public was invited to give their suggestions. The government eventually settled for Sentosa, which means peace and tranquility in Malay.

Peafowls are Sentosa’s “unofficial ambassadors”

Sentosa welcomed its first pair of peafowl in 1980 to enrich the island’s flora, fauna and rustic charm.

The peafowls grew in population, with now more than 60 of them contributing to the island’s biodiversity.


The peafowl population in Sentosa comprises a mix of Indian blue peafowls and Javan green peafowls. PHOTO CREDIT: SENTOSA


The total number of peafowls on Sentosa is believed to be the largest number of peafowls in a single location in Singapore.

Sentosa is getting a revamp

As part of its expansion efforts, Sentosa will extend Universal Studios Singapore to include two new attractions, Minion Park, featuring the yellow Minions from Despicable Me, and Super Nintendo World.

Likewise, the S.E.A. Aquarium, which is home to a wide array of marine life, will be expanded to three times its current size with new interactive installations, and will be rebranded into Singapore Oceanarium by 2024.

As Sentosa celebrates its Golden Jubilee with a year of festivities, more information will be revealed in due time here.

You may like these