Swimming With Dolphins? So Cliché. At This Beach You Can Swim With Pigs.

Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
June 9 2014 1:03 PM

The Swimming Pigs of the Bahamas

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook, Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura.

At the tautologically titled Big Major Cay in the Bahamas, the tranquil turquoise waters shimmer and swirl. They shimmer and swirl because a bunch of big ol' pigs are paddling their trotters toward an incoming boat.

The pigs of Big Major Cay spend their days lolling about on the beach, catching waves, and swimming out to greet visiting boats in the hope of scoring food.

Advertisement

Legends tell of how these porcine members of the population came to reside in the Bahamas. One story features the pigs being dumped on the island by sailors who planned to come back and eat them. Another characterizes the pigs as brave shipwreck survivors marooned on the remote cay.

The more mundane story is that the animals are descended from domesticated pigs that were kept at a home on nearby Staniel Cay during the '90s. Pungent piggy smells wafting from the sty caused neighbors to complain, resulting in the hogs being relocated to Big Major Cay. Visitors to the island fed the tame pigs, which led to their habit of swimming out to beg food from approaching boats.

Here's what that looks like, courtesy of Dennis Walsh on YouTube:

Local tourism operators have embraced the inadvertent emergence of Pig Beach, as Big Major Cay is now known. You can now visit and swim with the pigs—just watch that the enthusiastic oinkers don't mistake your finger for a hot dog.


View Pig Beach in a larger map

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The Supreme Court, Throughout Its History, Has Been a Massive Disappointment

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful, a new book argues.
  Business
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
  Life
Education
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 2:38 PM Scientists Use Electrical Impulses to Help Paralyzed Rats Walk Again
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.