The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands


The Canary Islands are named after dogs, not birds.


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The Canary Islands is a Spanish autonomous community that is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, about 62 miles from Morocco. The archipelago has been known as the "island of dogs" since ancient times. The connection between the islands and dogs is depicted on the coat of arms of the Canary Islands.

The archipelago's Spanish name Islas Canarias is derived from the Latin phrase Canariae Insulae which means the "island of dogs." King Juba II of Mauretania, an ancient Kingdom in the Maghreb, is thought to have named the island of Grand Canaria named the island Canaria due to the presence of many large dogs on the island. Eventually, the entire archipelago became referred to as the Canary Islands.

Another possible theory is that the name was derived from the Guanches who were the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands. The Guanches treated dogs as holy animals, worshipping and mummifying them. There is thought to be a connection between the dog-worship of the Guanches and Anubis, the dog-headed Egyptian god.


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