The Bahamas form an archipelago of around 700 islands, cays and islets.
The name may have come from the Arawak people who lived here, or the Spanish words ‘baja mar’, which means shallow water or sea.
You’ll find frogs, lizards and snakes on the Bahamas. None are poisonous.
In the seas around the islands you can see many fish, including the crayfish. This isn’t actually a fish, but a spiny lobster.
Tourism is important to the economy. Columbus was the first visitor from Europe, when he landed in 1492 on the island that became known as San Salvador.
The Dean’s Blue Hole is one of the Bahamas’ claims to fame. Blue holes are inland caves or underwater sinkholes, and the Dean’s descends 220 m, making it the world’s deepest blue hole.
The Jankanoo is a traditional street parade in Nassau, taking place on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve with lots of music and dancers.
The national sport is sloop sailing. Basketball and American football are popular too.
Schoolchildren on the Bahamas like softball, volleyball, baseball and track &field sports.
The Bahamas joined the Commonwealth in 1973.
It first attended the Vancouver 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and has only missed the Games of 1974 and 1986. The islanders win the vast majority of their medals on the athletics track, and at Melbourne 2006 Tonique Williams won Bronze in the Women's 400m and Laverne Eve won Bronze in the Women’s Javelin.
At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, The Bahamas won six medals. Four of them were in Athletics, with the remaining two in Boxing.
Fun fact: ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ is a song by the Bahamian group Baha Men, who play music called Junkanoo. You may have heard this song in the The Hangover (2009), and it’s also sung at sport events.
Sport fact: Between 1948 and 1988, the Bahamian sailor Durward Knowles competed in eight Olympic Games, and in 1964 he won a Gold medal in the Star class. Previously he sailed for Britain, ending fourth in 1948.