To those who may or may not know, there’s an uninhabited island in Exuma called Pig Beach (aka Big Major Cay) with yes, wild pigs. From what I’ve seen on Instagram (and in the Fyre Festival promo video), it’s a place like no other.
Mesmerized by the surreal photos on Instagram from influencers and pig whisperers alike, I had to visit Pig Beach for myself. The best way to get there is to fly into Exuma and check into Grand Isle Resort and Spa. From the penthouse, you can literally see the mansion Billy McFarland stayed at while Fyre Festival was almost, maybe, trying to be a thing. Through a local adventure company Triple A Adventures, resort guests can book a half or full day on the boat through concierge to visit the pigs, as well as nursing sharks and wild iguanas.
After visiting the infamous pigs, I learned that not everything on Pig Beach ends up on Instagram. And that pigs can’t fly, but they certainly can swim. This is what it’s actually like to swim with the pigs in Exuma.
Pig Beach In Exuma Is F*cking Unreal
First, you find yourself in arguably the most beautiful water in the world. Water so clear you’d be a fool to put a filter on your photo. Then you add in a wild pig just roaming the water. The juxtaposition of the two makes you wonder if you’re witnessing real life, or if you died and went to heaven. Approaching the island, I found myself with a dumb smile on my face as the pigs swam up to the boat because it was just the most WTF-is-happening moment.
Big Pig Energy
Once you process that there are about 20 wild pigs swimming around you in the most beautiful water in the Caribbean, then you begin to realize how big they actually are. We’re not talking The Three Little Pigs. That’s a fairytale. These are some big-ass f*cking pigs that went to The Bahamas and not to some market.
Beware Of The Biters
View this post on Instagram
Earlier this year, a video of one of the pigs biting a model’s ass went viral. It’s not exactly glamorous, but it can and does happen to tourists in search of that perfect Insta. “That one’s a biter,” my boat captain warned me. He pointed out which pigs are more likely to bite, as they each have a personality of their own. They’re more intimidating than cute, but in the water they’re moving in slow motion. So worst case scenario, you can outrun a giant pig.
We Fed Them White Sliced Bread To Get The Money Shots
How do you get the pig to jump up on its hind legs for that money shot? Sliced white bread. Bring a lot of it—like, an entire loaf. I definitely didn’t expect that’s what would do the trick, but it worked and was low-key a little scary because I didn’t want a 400lb. wild pig falling on top of me after jumping up to get some Wonderbread.
The Beach Is A Pigsty, Literally
The beach itself isn’t all that glamorous, unless you love the smell of pigs in the heat. It’s literally a pigsty with everything the piggies need, including ample shade, water, and small pens for the piglets. Another thing you might not notice from Instagram alone? Each pig was tagged, as they are registered, and frequently checked up on by a local committee of caretakers made up of residents at Staniel Cay. They’re responsible for maintaining the large enclosures for the swimming pigs, including a special nursery for the piglets, replenishing and servicing the permanent water installation, and coordinating vet visits to the pigs throughout the year.
The Piglets Don’t Like Being Held
The piglets don’t like being held by strangers—I mean, would you? Tourists chase them, and they squeal, loudly. I had a camera in my hand and the other pigs on the beach started squealing and coming at me as I was standing between them and my friend holding a screaming piglet. So just leave the piglets alone, okay? It’s uncomfortable, and it’s not worth however many likes you would get on Instagram… and you can’t see likes anymore anyway, so leave the f*cking piglets alone!
So even though Pig Beach isn’t exactly like what it looks like on Instagram, it’s not a total Instagram trap either—and still reigns supreme on our bucket list. After you get your perfect Instagram shot, put your phone away and enjoy it, IRL.
Images: James Barrett; michelle_lewin / Instagram; BlueOrange Studio / Shutterstock
I will complain about almost anything hate to complain, but this “genocide celebration” three-day weekend has really thrown me off. Specifically, I’ve been convinced it’s Friday since Tuesday, and my mood has greatly suffered for it. On the bright side, the rest of America seems to be feeling cranky too. One Florida woman, for example, tried to take an emotional support squirrel on a plane this Tuesday. While this kind of story doesn’t exactly renew my faith in humanity, it definitely makes me feel better about acting like a crazy b*tch all week. There’s crazy, and then there’s emotional support squirrel-on-a-plane crazy. Here’s how the real-life drama of Snakes on a Plane a squirrel on a plane played out.
The woman (unnamed, but pictured here) was flying out of Florida, which makes perfect sense. Case closed, bring in the dancing lobsters. JK. She notified Frontier Airlines that she’d be bringing an emotional support animal when she booked her ticket. But of course, she failed to mention the species. Somehow, the presence of a squirrel in her purse didn’t become an issue until the plane was fully boarded. I have a TON of questions for Orlando TSA, because I can’t seem to get an extra half-ounce of makeup remover through security, let alone a f*cking SQUIRREL.
Unsurprisingly, passengers objected to the presence of a squirrel in their midst. I can’t speak to Florida squirrels, but the ones in NYC are bushy-tailed disease monsters, so I’m fully on the passengers’ side here. Frontier Airlines—who clarified that their emotional support policy covers cats or dogs, but not rodents—asked her to exit the plane. When she refused, police came and all passengers evacuated the plane, leading to this spectacular video.
— Brandon Nixon (@bnix4) October 10, 2018
Ultimately, this whole debacle delayed the flight by two hours, which would have been enough for me to murder that squirrel in front of her throw a small fit. According to one extreme pushover fellow passenger, “for the most part, people found it funny.” I mean, they’re right that it’s f*cking hilarious, but very big of them to see that in the moment.
I just feel like if you are able to wrangle an actual squirrel without getting rabies and THEN teach it how to provide emotional support, the airline should just let you take it on the plane.
— sarafcarter (@sarafcarter) October 11, 2018
In the past few years, we’ve seen an increasing number of “weird support animals kicked off planes” stories, including one ostrich and one pig. In comparison, an emotional support squirrel seems pretty tame. But it got me thinking that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of emotional support animals. So, without further ado, here’s a list of support animals I hope to see kicked off planes in years to come (y’know, assuming we still have a planet):
Support Pet Rock
Support Chia Pet
Support Bratz Doll
The point here? Uh, people are f*cking nuts and it’s really funny. Also, if you’re going to delay someone’s flight, at least have the decency to make it a good story.
Images: Bram Naus / Unsplash; bnix4, sarafcarter / Twitter