Notoriously Treacherous Region Infamous For Sinking Ships

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Alacranes

About 65 miles north of Progresso, Mexico, five small islands stand amidst the largest coral structure in the southern Gulf of Mexico.

The reef complex is about 17 miles long and about 13 miles wide and only one of it’s 5 islands, Isla Perez is the only inhabited island and includes a lighthouse.  The other four vegetated islands are named Isla Desertora, Isla Pájaros, Isla Chica and Isla Desterrada.

It is believed that the name Alacranes was given to the reef by a group of spanish sailors who were shipwrecked there in 1545, this wreck, as well as probably more than a thousand others, was due to the fact that Alacranes is the only reef located right in the middle of the open ocean and in the route from the Caribbean to the ports of the Gulf of Mexico.  Therefore, Alacranes has been a great risk to navigators in the area for more than 4 centuries now.

For that reason, in the mid of 1800’s, a lighthouse was placed in Isla Perez by the Lloyd’s insurance company of London to prevent more wrecks.  The lighthouse we see today, is not the original Lighthouse built by the British, but the original keeper’s house is still  there.

Source: The Yucatan Times