Here are the top 28 interesting facts about the Bahamas:
#1 The Spanish name “Bahamas” comes from the words “baja mar,” literally translating as ”sea” or ”shallow water.”
#2 Christopher Columbus first set foot on these lands in 1492. However, in 1647, the 1st permanent settlement on the islands was founded by a group of refugees.
#3 In 1718, the territory came under British rule and would remain that way until July 10, 1973, when it gained its independence. Since the independence from Britain, the country has experienced a stable democracy.
#4 The present Constitution of the country states the islands as a sovereign democratic state which guarantees fundamental human rights and sets forth requirements for citizenship.
#5 The geographic coordinates are 25 05N, 77 21W and the total area of the country is 5,358 square miles. It consists of about 700 islands, islets, and cays in the Atlantic.
#6 The majority of the cays and islands are little more than sedimentary deposits on top of reef structures, and only 40 (around) of the islands are inhabited by people, with 70 percent of the population living on the island of New Providence.
#7 It is one of the 2 countries in the Western Hemisphere which resides on the Tropic of Cancer. It has a sub-tropical climate with approximately 340 sunny days yearly.
#8 New Providence is the most important island, and Nassau its capital city. Other important islands include Abaco, Grand Bahama, Bimini (also known as the “Gateway to the Bahamas,” and the closest island to the US), Andros, Eleuthera, San Salvador (or Watling’s Island), and Cat Island. In addition, Nassau is ideal for diving because of the visibility all year round and perfect water temperature.
#9 Blackbeard, the famous pirate, built his house in Nassau. It was originally a pirate harbor called – Charles Town. It was an important port for blockade runners making their way to and from ports along the southern Atlantic Coast, during the American Civil War.
#10 It occupies an area of 80 square miles and had a population of 274,400 people in 2016. The Lynden Pindling International Airport services more than 100 flights per day and is located 16 km from Nassau.
#11 The official languages are Creole and English.
#12 As of 2015, the estimated population of this country was 388,019.
#13 The official currency is the Bahamian Dollar that is held equivalent to the US Dollar. It has been in use since May 1966.
#14 Tourism generates about 50 percent of the total GDP (about 1.3 million tourists visit the islands every year) and directly/indirectly employs fifty percent of the total workforce.
According to Expedia Group manager Betty Julia Estrada, in 2018 this country has experienced a 20% increase in total gross demand in bookings and a 35% increase in hotel bookings over the past year.
#15 There is no income tax or corporate tax levied in this country and is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following Canada and the US). With more than 400 banking institutions from 36 countries, international banking and investment management also improve the economy.
According to new data released by the Department of Statistics Friday, the Bahamas’ government consumption increased by 12%, while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 2.7& in 2017.
In 2018, the country has been removed from the European Union’s “blacklist” of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
#16 Starting January 1, 2007, all U.S. citizens returning from the Caribbean need to present a valid passport.
#17 The design of the flag is a black equilateral triangle against the mast superimposed on a horizontal background, that is made up of 2 colors on 3 equal stripes: aquamarine, gold, and aquamarine. The coat of arms contains a shield with the national symbols as its focal point.
#18 There are no rivers in this islands.
#19 Located at the eastern end of Paradise Island, the Versailles Gardens can be reached by taxi, bus, or car, plus, the entry is free. The gardens are also open through the night.
#20 The main export of this country are cement, pharmaceuticals, crawfish (spiny lobster), rum, and refined petroleum products.
#21 Mount Alvernia (better known as Como Hill), on Cat Island, is the highest peak in these islands and rises 63 meters in altitude.
Mount Alvernia was named by Monsignor John Hawes (also known as Father Jerome), a Roman Catholic priest. Monsignor John Hawes is also known for building convents and cathedrals throughout the country.
#22 The Andros Barrier Reef stretches more than 305 km (190 miles) and it runs parallel to the eastern coast of Andros. There are over 164 species of coral and fish which make up the coral reef community.
#23 Junkanoo, a former celebration of freedom for slaves every Christmas, has blossomed into the biggest national cultural showcase.
The parade goes on all night long and into the early morning of the next day. In Nassau, you will find the largest and liveliest of the sensational Bahamas Junkanoo party parades.
#24 The country is prone to hurricanes that have ravaged the island shores a few times.
#25 Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Center is a mini zoo that has approximately 200 birds, mammals, and reptiles which are nestled in over five acres of tropical landscape.
#26 The Outdoor Aquarium at the Atlantis Resort (better known as the Paradise Island) features a 34 acre marine habitat, with about 200 species of sharks and fishes.
Here, you can observe the most exotic sea creatures swimming above you, like – sharks, eels, jellyfish, and lobsters through an amazing acrylic underwater tunnel connected to the creatures’ water habitat.
#27 Dean’s Blue Hole is said to be the deepest blue hole in the world and the 2nd largest underwater chamber. reaching depths of 202 meters (663 feet). William Trubridge, a professional diver, broke a free-diving world record in Dean’s Blue Hole in April 2010, by reaching a depth of 92 meters (302 feet).
#28 Lucayan National Park is located on Grand Bahama Island, 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Freeport. It is home to one of the oldest underwater cave systems in the world.
In addition, it is filled with pine, mangrove, and palm trees as well as a remarkable number of saltwater fish and waterbirds.