Unknown to most, the Bahamas consists of over 700 bodies of land, though the majority of them are very small. The nation consists of about 5.3 thousand square miles of land dispersed over 100,00 square miles of ocean. 60 percent of the Bahamian population is concentrated in the capital city, Nassau.
Nassau first began to thrive when thousands of Americans who wanted to remain under the British crown flocked to the British territory after the American Revolution, carrying their slaves with them. As a result, more than 90 percent of the country’s current population are descendants of plantation owners and slaves. Today, Nassau thrives as The Bahamas’ commercial hub, attracting tourists from all over the world. Tourism contributes to 50 percent of the Bahamas’ economy, but the country relies on business ventures, fishing and financial investments for a steady GDP as well.
- Almost every island in the Bahamas is termed an ‘out island’. Nassau and Freeport on New Providence Island and Grand Bahama Island, respectively, are the only ‘non-out islands’.
- A giant, ancient underwater cave system is located in the 40-acre Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island.
- The Bahamas is known for its stunning blue water and soft, pink sand beaches. The Andros Barrier Reef offers an extensive habitat for diving and snorkeling.
- The Bahamas was the first place Christopher Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere.
- Although the Bahamas includes 700 islands, only about 30 of them have permanent human residents.
- There is a complex underwater cave system frequented by scuba divers that holds many unsolved secrets. Referred to as the blue holes, they are too dangerous to be fully explored.
- Though the Bahamas does not produce many drugs of its own, it is recognized as an illegal drug-trafficking point for countries. In 2013, American forces seized over a ton of cocaine from the islands and almost 28 tons of marijuana.
- The nation does not allow its residents to participate in gambling, but the government allows and encourages tourists to indulge in its casinos.
- The Bahamian flag is gold, black and aquamarine. The black symbolizes the strength of the people, while the gold and aquamarine stand for the Bahamas’ goal of harvesting the sun and sea for economic fulfillment.