Bahamas. Just saying the word conjures up images of paradise – white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, sparkling aquamarine waters. Although I’ve been to other tropical islands in the region before, I’ve always dreamed of visiting the Bahamas and am excited that I finally get to go. In preparation for my impromptu adventure, I did a bit of research on the country and was amazed by some of the facts I unearthed. Below are five of the ones that surprised me most:
1) The name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish word bajamar, which means “shallow water”. The country is an archipelago, consisting of more than 700 islands and cays which are surrounded by shallow waters. The official name of the country is the Commonwealth of the Bahamas but it’s usually just called the Bahamas. It gained its independence from the United Kingdom on July 10,1973.
2) Although the Bahamas are often considered Caribbean islands, they are not geographically in the Caribbean Sea. Located on the edge of the infamous Bermuda Triangle, the Bahamas are actually located in the Atlantic Ocean.
3) The world-famous Atlantis Resort is located on the appealing sounding Paradise Island. The island was originally called something much less enticing though—Hog Island. It got its name from the farm animals that were once kept there. No wonder they changed the name!
4) Over one million tons of sea salt is produced each year on Great Inagua, the third largest island in the Bahamas. The Morton Salt company uses solar power to evaporate seawater on Great Inagua at the second largest salt manufacturing plant in North America.
5) Formerly known as Charles Town, the capital and largest city of the Bahamas is Nassau. It was re-named in honor of the English King William III who was of the House of Orange-Nassau.
Have you been to the Bahamas before? What are your thoughts? Do any of these facts surprise you? Feel free to comment in the section below!
Michael Figueiredo is a freelance travel writer based in Los Angeles, California. When he’s not gallivanting around the world, he’s enjoying the laid-back lifestyle and perfect weather of Southern California. So far he’s visited forty countries and territories on five continents. His goal is to see at least one new country every year! . Read more from this author