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

Atlas Obscura
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

Culturebox

The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer

Foreigners

Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.

Technology

Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
  Life
Outward
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 24 2014 7:00 AM Gallery: The Partial Solar Eclipse of October 2014
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.