Get ready to learn 10 fun facts about The Bahamas that will blow your mind.
I was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, so I know quite a bit about the land of 700 islands and cays.
While most people know The Bahamas is famous for its breathtaking beaches, natural beauty, and fun things to do, there are still some pretty cool facts that they don’t know. I’m here to change all that.
1. The Bahamas Was The Place Christopher Columbus First Made Landfall
Christopher Columbus. Remember him? In 1492, the Genoan explorer first made landfall in what is now known as The Bahamas, paving the way for European exploration.
Columbus initially thought he had landed in the East Indies, but was instead in the West Indies.
He landed on what was known by the native Lucayan Indians as Guanahani, which is today known as San Salvador.
There has been much debate over which island Columbus actually landed on in The Bahamas, but San Salvador is recognised as the official landing spot.
2. The Bahamas Is A Former British Colony
If you’ve ever been to The Bahamas and wondered why the locals drive on the left, use British spelling or have a parliamentary system, it’s because The Bahamas was once a British colony.
In 1718, in a bid to end the Pirates Republic and restore order, Great Britain made The Bahamas a crown colony.
Many Bahamians held Citizen of the UK and Colonies Status and even had British passports.
In 1973, The Bahamas gained independence and became a free and sovereign country, ending 325 years of British rule.
3. The Bahamas Has Out Of This World Beauty
Did you know you can see Bahamian waters from space? I mean, sure you can see the ocean from space, but that beautiful aquamarine hue, there’s no mistaking that that’s The Bahamas’ waters.
Our water is so breathtakingly beautiful that NASA astronaut, Scott Kelly tweeted about it while living in space for a year.
Kelly called The Bahamas, “the most beautiful place from space.”
The Bahamas’ waters are easily seen because they are so shallow. In fact, The Bahamas’ name in Spanish is baja mar. Translation: shallow sea.
4. The Bahamas Has The World’s Third Largest Barrier Reef
The world’s third largest barrier reef and third largest living organism on the planet has the pleasure of calling The Bahamas home.
The Andros Barrier Reef measures a whopping 190 miles long and ranges in depth from eight feet to 6,000 feet not he ocean side.
The reef is home to all types of sea creatures, including turtles, reef sharks, stingrays and red snappers to name a few.
5. The World’s Second Deepest Blue Hole Is In The Bahamas
Few people know it, but The Bahamas is home to one of the deepest blue holes in the world.
With a plunging depth of 633 feet, Dean’s Blue Hole in Long Island comes in second only to the Dragon Hole in the South China Sea.
The blue hole is a huge tourist attraction site, luring free divers from all over the world.
6. Lenny Kravitz Wrote A Grammy-Winning Song That Was Inspired By The Bahamas
Lenny Kravitz is a funk rock god with incredible vocals to match. His chart-topping 1998 hit, Fly Away, which won him a Grammy, was actually inspired by his second home, The Bahamas.
Kravitz, who is a descendant of The Bahamas, through his mother, Roxie Roker, told the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism that the country’s white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters served as the inspiration for the hit song.
The rock star later remixed the song with Junkanoo music for a Ministry of Tourism ad campaign.
7. A Bahamian Island Inspired A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel
There are writers and then there’s Ernest Hemingway.
It’s hard to believe, but there are still some people who didn’t know that Hemingway once lived in The Bahamas. From 1935 to 1937, Hemingway lived in his muse, Bimini.
His 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the Old Man and the Sea was inspired by his time in Bimini and his legend still lives on today.
8. The Tropic of Cancer Runs Through The Bahamas
The Tropic of Cancer passes through 17 countries in the world. The Bahamas happens to be one of them.
This imaginary line, which divides the earth into two equal halves, has lured people to The Bahamas for years.
There’s actually a Tropic of Cancer beach in Exuma with some of the most gorgeous white sand beaches you will find in the country.
9. Lots Of Sharks Do-Do-Do-Do-Do-Do
People don’t automatically think of sharks when they think of The Bahamas. But, we have them. Lots of them. And they’re protected.
There are 40 species of sharks in the country.
Scientists say if you want to see a specific shark, you have to go to a specific island.
Bimini is known for hammerheads, while Nassau is known for Caribbean reef sharks.
If you want to see an oceanic whitecap, you’ll have to go to Cat Island.
The Bahamas also has tiger sharks.
Shark attacks are rare, but shocking when they do happen. In 2019, a woman died after being attacked by three sharks.
10. The Bahamas Has A Drug-Tainted Past
Sadly, drug trafficking has impacted many countries around the world. The Bahamas is no exception.
For four years, Colombian drug smuggler, Carlos Lehder used a Bahamian island known as Norman’s Cay as the base for his drug smuggling operation.
Lehder even extended an airstrip on the island for his fleet of aircraft. Many people say he actually revolutionised the drug smuggling game.
Making matters worse, Lehder was the crime partner of none other than Colombian drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar.
Drug flights would refuel on Norman’s Cay before taking off for the United States.
The Bahamian government famously turned a blind eye to the goings on, on the island until the US Government forced officials to take action.
If you go near Norman’s Cay, which is still a private island, you will see a sunken plane lying on its belly on a sandbank.
Many believe that WWII-styled plane was carrying cocaine when it landed shy of the runway. It’s now a popular wreck dive site in the Exumas.
I hope you all enjoyed these 10 Bahamas fun facts. There are so many things to know about The Bahamas, and I plan to do a part 2 in the coming weeks. The Bahamas is an incredibly interesting country that offers so much more than just sun, sand and sea.
This Bahamian Gyal