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Interesting Facts About The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a country that is made up of a number of islands located in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the State of Florida and east of the Florida Keys. There are a total of 3000 islands, cays and inlets, as well as 180,000 square miles of ocean, that are recognized as the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is part of the chain of islands that make up the West Indies and Caribbean Islands along with the Greater Antilles and The Lesser Antilles. The Bahamas are home to approximately 360,000 people with 250,000 people living in the capital city of Nassau on the island of New Providence.

Interesting facts about The Bahamas
The famous Dean's Blue Hole located in Long Island, Bahamas.
(original photo by Ton Engwirda)

  • The Bahamas were the site of the first landing in the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
  • Although never colonized by the Spanish, the indigenous population of the Bahamas was shipped to Hispaniola as slaves and the island were mostly deserted from 1513 to 1648. Those who were not shipped as slaves were wiped out for the introduction of small pox.
  • In 1648 English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera. These colonists were English Puritans and had to salvage goods from shipwrecks to survive.
  • The Bahamas became a British Crown colony in 1718 and after the American War of Independence many American loyalists and their African American slaves moved to the Bahamas to start plantations.
  • When slavery was abolished in 1807 many of the Africans aboard British Royal navy ships were settled on the islands in the Bahamas. Slavery was abolished in the Bahamas in 1834 and most of the population of the Bahamas is descended from slaves.
  • The Bahamas became an independent commonwealth realm in 1973.
  • The Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas following the United States and Canada.
  • The official language in the Bahamas is English.
  • The word Bahamas originates from the Spanish words “baja mar” meaning shallow water. It is one of only two countries that officially begins with the world “the”
  • The Bahamas are mostly low and flat and have only slight elevations that reach to a height of 15 to 20 m (49 to 66 ft). The highest point in the Bahamas is located on Cat Island. Mount Alvernia (formerly Como Hill) is just 63 meters (207 ft) high.
  • The largest of the islands in the Bahamas is Andros Island which is 167 km (104 miles) long and 64 km (40 mi) wide. The other islands that are inhabited include Eleuthera, Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Exuma and Mayaguana.
  • The Bahamas is home to the third largest barrier reef which includes a wide variety of tropical fish and sea life.
  • The Dean’s Blue Hole (pictured above), located on Long Island, is the deepest known saltwater blue hole (underwater sinkhole) on the planet. It is 202 meters (663 ft) deep!
  • The Bahamas experience tropical to sub tropical weather which is largely determined by the waters of the Gulf Stream. This means that the country experiences hurricanes. In 2011 Hurricane Irene traveled the whole length of the islands causing widespread damage.
  • The average maximum temperature in the Bahamas is 31.6 C (88.9 F) and the average minimum is 26.2 C (79.2 F).
  • The Bahamas have no military or air force, but they do have the Royal Bahamas Defense Force which is the navy.
  • The Bahamas generates much of its income through the tourism trade. It is a popular destination for tourists from the United States.
  • Those who are native to the Bahamas are referred to as Bahamian.
  • Most of the population of the Bahamas are Christian with the largest church group being Baptists.
  • The literacy rate in the Bahamas is 98.2%.
  • The practice of folk magic on the islands of the Bahamas is illegal.
  • The people celebrate by having a festival called Junkanoo on Boxing Day and New Years Day. This is a street parade of music, dance and art.
  • Regattas are also important events and during this locals race old wooden work boats.

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