Wild pig swimming When you live on an island, you tend to become a good swimmer...even if you're a pig. (Photos: Cdorobek/flickr)

Pigs haven't exactly evolved for an aquatic lifestyle, but apparently that doesn't stop the pigs from Big Major Cay, aka Pig Beach or Pig Island, part of the Exuma Cays archipelago in the Bahamas. The island is uninhabited by humans, but wild pigs have taken over, and over time they have become good swimmers.

According to Wikipedia, there are about 20 swimming pigs on the island, which they share with a few stray cats and goats. (No word yet on how good the cats and goats are at swimming.)

2 pigs swimming near the beach on Pig Island Birds watch the pigs, and sometimes even catch a ride. (Photo: Cdorobek/flickr)

There are many legends and theories surrounding the swimming pigs. According to one theory: "[They're said] to have been dropped off on Big Major Cay by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them. The sailors, though, never returned; the pigs survived on excess food dumped from passing ships. One other legend has it that the pigs were survivors of a shipwreck and managed to swim to shore while another claims that the pigs had escaped from a nearby islet. Others suggest that the pigs were part of a business scheme to attract tourists to the Bahamas."

Humans feed swimming pigs off Pig IslandTourists love the pigs, who will run into the water and swim out to greet oncoming boats. (Photos: Cdorobek/flickr)

Eric Cheng, a photographer who went to the island, had this to say: "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."

The secret of Pig Island bookThe pigs are so popular, they are the subjects of a children's book. (Photo: Pig Island book website)

There was actually a children's book written about the island. "The Secret of Pig Island" was written by Jennifer R. Nolan and contains photos by Jim Abernethy.

wild pigs swimmingThese adventurous pigs could never live on a boring farm. (Photo: Cdorobek/flickr)

Now that's the life!

Michael Graham Richard ( @Michael_GR ) Michael writes for MNN and TreeHugger about science, space and technology and more.

On this island in the Bahamas, there are plenty of swimming pigs, but no humans
Big Major Cay — also known as Pig Beach or Pig Island — is home to many wild pigs that have become increasingly good swimmers.