NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As The Bahamas grapples to curb local spread of the novel coronavirus, an aerial photo of the country’s shallows has been voted the NASA Earth Observatory’s all-time best image. NASA’s Earth Observatory asked voters to select their all-time favorite image, as it celebrated its 20thanniversary and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. More than 56,000 people selected the winning photo, titled “Ocean Sand, Bahamas’ over five rounds of voting. It was taken from the ‘Landsat 7’ satellite and shows an array of blue and green, seaweed beds and ocean tides in the shallows, reminiscent of desert dunes. “Tides and ocean currents in The Bahamas sculpted the sand and seaweed beds into these multicolored, fluted patterns in much the same way that winds sculpted the vast sand dunes in the Sahara Desert,” the observatory said of the image.
According to Earth Observatory, the photo was taken in 2001 and was the runner-up in its 10thanniversary photo competition. In the final round, ‘Ocean Sand, Bahamas’ won by capturing over 66 percent of the votes, besting ‘Where the Dunes End”, which shows the northern extent of Africa’s Namib sand dunes spanning more 10,000 square miles.
Ministry of Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu said the ministry was very pleased the image connected with so many people.
She said she received numerous of commitments to visit The Bahamas once possible from people who had seen the image around the world — a welcomed outcome as the country’s economy remains at a near standstill.
“As you see, NASA posted this as the all-time best image and to think that so many people looked at it and said that this was spectacularly beautiful, and voted for this as being the number one, all-time best earth image is just amazing,” Jibrilu said.
“…This image rose to the top and people just connected to it.
“I can say beyond that, winning it; the publicity; this is gone around the world.
“I have had many messages as has the Ministry of Tourism today from people around the world, saying we cannot wait to visit The Bahamas once this pandemic passes.
“So, it has connected with our consumers in the best way and during this time, we know how important it is to keep The Bahamas in the mind of the consumer.
“So, something the Ministry of Tourism did not do intentionally, but we are reaping the rewards of it, and we could not ask for a better outcome.”