Here are some interesting facts about the Bahamas which were chosen and researched especially for kids.
1. The Bahamas are a Caribbean country in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Bahamas are a chain of over 700 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. About 30 of the islands are inhabited.
2. The Bahamas are located on the North American continent. The islands are located to the northeast of Cuba and southeast of Florida/USA. The Bahamas islands are only 88 km/ 55 miles off the coast of Florida/USA.
3. The largest island of the over 700 islands is Andros.
4. The most populated island of the Bahamas is New Providence, where the capital city is located. New Providence island houses about 70% of the country's population.
5. The combined land area of the 700 islands is slightly smaller in land area than Connecticut/USA.
6. Nassau is the capital city of the Bahamas. About 280,000 people live there.
The capital city Nassau is named after King William III of England, Scotland and Ireland, who lived from 1650 - 1702. King William III was from the House of Orange-Nassau. However, Nassau was originally called Charles Town, when it was founded in 1665, then in honour of King Charles II.
7. The islands were inhabited by Lucayans for a long time before Columbus arrived in San Salvador or by the indigenous name Guanahani in 1492. The first English settlers came to the islands in 1648 to establish a Puritan colony.
8. From 1696 - 1718, the Bahamas were a republic of pirates. Famous pirate Edward Teach called 'Blackbeard' was elected 'Magistrate' of Nassau and ruled the island until in 1718 the republic was dissolved by King George I.
The islands were British colony from 1783 - 1973 when the Bahamas gained independence. The country’s independence is celebrated annually on 10 July.
9. The islands are made of corals and are flat and there are only some low hills.
10. The highest point of the islands is on Cat Island with 64 m/ 209 ft in height.
11. Only 1% of the land is cultivated and used for agriculture. Sugar cane, cassava, fruits such as mangoes, grapefruits, dates, bananas and vegetables are the main agricultural products. However, about 80% of the food supply is imported.
12. The name Bahamas originates from the Spanish term 'baja mar' which means shallow sea waters.
13. The national colours are aquamarine, yellow and black.
14. The national symbols include the flamingo, the blue marlin and the yellow elder flower.
15. The Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the America, however, the country is largely dependent on tourism. Most people work in the services and tourism sectors in the Bahamas with about half of the Bahamians being employed in tourism.
16. The Bahamas have a population of about 397,000 people. Two thirds of the population live on the island of New Providence.
17. The vast majority of the Bahamians are Christians (95%).
18. Famous Bahamian people include Lynden Pindling whose progressive liberal party helped to gain independence from England. The international airport in Nassau is named after him.
19. The official language of the Bahamas is English, however, the Bahamian English is a mixture of British English with African and island slang. The pronunciation is unique as the 'h' is often dropped in words such as house, which will sound like 'ouse' instead, or thanks will be sound like 't’hanks'.
20. The most popular Bahamian festival is the Junkanoo.
This national celebration with dance competitions and colourful performances takes place on 26 December and 1 January. Then the locals dress in colourful costumes and dance and celebrate in parades that lead through the streets of Nassau.
21. Nassau, the capital city has rich colonial heritage. There are many colourful colonial buildings to visit around Parliament Square and the Prince George Wharf where you can also take glass bottom boat tours. The many historic landmarks include three historic forts, the Cloisters and Versailles Gardens. The landmark called Queen’s Staircase is located in Fort Fincastle.
22. Nassau is known also for its stunning beaches and resorts such as the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. This resort is known for a huge waterpark and the world’s largest open-air marine habitat.
23. On Andros Island you can marvel at some of the 180 amazing blue holes. And on Long Island, there is the second deepest blue hole in the world. This blue hole is 193 m/ 633 ft deep. Dean's Blue Hole is a worldfamous diving site, where free diving competitions take place annually.
24. The Exumas are a chain of 365 islands that belong to the Bahamas. Some of the islands can be reached on day trips from Nassau. On Big Major Cay, you will find Pig Beach, where can experience the unique swimming pigs!
25. The Bahamas are known for its pristine marine habitats and the world's third largest barrier reef around Andros island.
Sharks, manta rays, sea lions, bottlenose dolphins or hawksbill turtles live in the ocean waters surrounding the islands and the Bahamas offer some of the best diving and snorkelling sites in the world.
26. Flamingoes are the national birds of the Bahamas.
There are about 370 bird species recorded in the Bahamas, among them 6 endemic species such as the Bananaquit with the yellow breast feathers.
27. The currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar, but the US-$ is accepted in many places.
28. The main economic sectors are tourism, offshore financial services and agriculture. About five million visitors travel to the Bahamas every year. 70% of all tourists visiting the Bahamas reach the islands on cruise ships.
29. The main natural resources are salt, timber and aragonite, a limestone mineral.
30. The main trading partners are the USA, Poland, South Korea and Japan.
31. The largest ports are Freeport and Nassau.
32. The Bahamas have a tropical climate with two main seasons. The colder months are from May to September. The months from June to October are hot and wet with temperatures between 17°C/ 63°F and 29°C/ 85°F. The months from November to Mai are warm, dry and winterless with temperatures between 23°C/ 73°F and 32°C/ 82°F.
33. The water temperatures in the Bahamas range between 23°C/ 73°F and 28°C/ 82°F.
34. Seafood is one of the main food supplies. Conch, which is pronounced as 'konk' is a mollusk and considered the national dish of the Bahamas.
35. You will find many variations of in preparation of dishes with conch: There is conch chowder, a tomato based seafood soup, cracked conch, which is battered and deep fried or conch salad. Snapper and grouper are other popular fish species.
Image Credits on Facts about the Bahamas: photo stock from shutterstock and wikicommons, if not otherwise stated.
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