nagua Bahamas! Known for its natural wonders. Inagua is located in the southernmost area of The Bahamas archipelago.
The most southerly and the third-largest island of The Bahamas, flat Great Inagua, some 40 miles long and 20 miles wide, is home to 1,200 people. It lies 325 miles southeast of Nassau. Henri Christophe, the self-proclaimed Haitian king, is supposed to have had a summer palace built for himself here in the very early part of the 19th century, but no traces of it can be found today. This island is much closer to Haiti than it is to Nassau.
In 1687, long before the coming of Henri Christoph, a Captain Phipps recovered 26 tons of Spanish treasure from sunken galleons off these shores.
Inagua is an anagram for the herbivorous animal common to its shores: the iguana. It is actually two separate islands, Great and Little Inagua, which together are referred to as The Inaguas.
Nearly a million pounds of salt is produced from the Salinas of Inagua by the Morton Salt Company. The process of producing salt is another fascinating testament to how resourceful and ingenious man, combined with nature, can be. Sea water is pumped into the interior of the island and held in dikes. There are 80 salt ponds, covering over 12,000 acres.
As the water evaporates, it turns into heavy brine. A continual process of the salt solidifying at night and melting during the heat of the day, forms a crystallized bed at the bottom of the pond. In the final stage, any remaining water is drained and the salt is bulldozed into bleached white mountains and shipped around the world for processing.
The world’s largest colonies of flamingoes call Inagua their home at Inagua National Park. There, on 287 square miles, lives the world’s largest colony of West Indian Flamingos. Driven almost to the point of extinction, our flamingo “fine feathered friends” now number in the thousands, more than 60,000 in fact.
The Caribbean Flamingos love the lagoons created by the Morton Salt Company. They feed primarily on tiny aquatic invertebrates like brine shrimp, which thrive in the salt lagoons because they don’t have much seaweed or vegetation in them. The flamingos help out the salt company by keeping the evaporation ponds relatively free of algae and other impurities. And the salt company helps out the flamingos by adding brine shrimp to the lagoons. This is called a mutually beneficial relationship.
In Bahamian dialect these birds are called “fillymingos” and/or “flamingas”.