The ukulele was invented in Hawaii in the 1880s, it is believed to have descended from an instrument called a machete brought to the Hawai'ian islands by Portuguese immigrants.
The word 'ukulele' is the Hawai'ian word for 'jumping flea'.
Ukuleles tend to have a figure-eight shape and look similar to an acoustic guitar - Ukuleles come in four different main sizes - soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. The soprano is the standard size ukulele.
Less common ukulele sizes include the small sopranino ukulele which is also referred to as the pocket uke, bambino, or piccolo. There are also bass and contrabass ukulele sizes, which are the largest.
Non-standard ukuleles are often oval in shape and are referred to as 'pineapple' ukuleles.
Ukuleles most commonly have four string but some strings are paired and therefore an instrument may have as many as eight strings. A six or eight string ukulele is often referred to as a taropatch ukulele.
The first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong loved to play the ukulele. In fact, after visiting the moon he spent several weeks in quarantine where he spent much of this time strumming his uke.
George Harrison of the iconic band The Beatles was a ukulele fan and had a collection of hundreds. He often gave them away to friends.
The ukulele made it to the top of the music charts in 1968 with Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe through the Tulips".
The most popular and best-selling ukulele song was "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz in 2008. The song was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a total of 76 weeks.
While you are at it have a listen to some other very popular ukulele songs including: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, as performed by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Hey, Soul Sister by Train and Count On Me by Bruno Mars.
Early ukulele strings were made from cat or sheep gut. Most modern ukulele strings are now made of nylon, but you can still find gut strings at specialty shops.