Pigs are the smartest domestic animal on the planet. Sorry Rex and Smokey. There's proof.
We know what you're thinking -- swine live on farms, wallow in mud, and eat slop. Not exactly rocket science. In the Bahamas however, there are some members of the porcine population that lounge around the beach, spending their days swimming in the ocean and getting fed by passing boaters. They are basically on a permanent spring break.
The pigs live on their own island and cool off by dipping into the crystal clear waters of the majestic ocean. And they're totally friendly -- they swim with tourists and even pose for pictures.
Captain Jim Abernethy, the photographer and ocean guide from Florida who discovered these whimsical creatures a couple of years ago, told London's Daily Mail, "They are surprisingly strong swimmers. Even the younger piglets are totally at home in the water. They're even happy to swim alongside people."
Underwater photographer Eric Cheng was with Abernethy when the beautiful beasts were discovered, "Our captain, Jim Abernethy, heard there were pigs on Big Major so we decided to go and check it out. Upon approaching the white sandy beach, it is easy to spot the pigs -- both pink and dark brown -- lying in the sand."
When the little oinkers feel like pigging out, they swim a few hundred feet to anchored boats, knowing that their adorable antics will be rewarded. The family of eight then feasts, part of a dream life.
Unofficially called Pig Island, Big Major Cay offers its porcine populace a natural water spring and shelter from tropical storms. It is rumored the pigs were originally intended to be a food source for passing sailors who first brought them to Big Major Cay. The sailors apparently met a similar fate to that intended for the piggies, and never returned. These blessed boars were smart enough to notice that the crews of passing yachts threw out excess food, and thus began their pilgrimage to sea. Of course, once the cute little cob rollers were spotted, people couldn't help but offer tastier tidbits.
"Because locals bring food, the pigs will run into the water and actually swim out to the oncoming boats, as if to greet them individually. It is strange enough to see pigs laying around on tropical beaches of white sand, but to see them then charge into the water to greet oncoming boats is just bizarre."
"Whenever I show my photos of these pigs, people are just blown away," explained Captain Abernethy. "They uniquely live in complete harmony on their island paradise."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.