Avery Island is a unique geological site with a decidedly spicy story. The entire inland portion of the island actually conceals an enormous salt dome. Understandably, the location has been used for salt mining for centuries. The Native Americans used it for that purpose long before European settlers arrived.
In the 1830s, private owners purchased the small island. The family that still owns it established their factory there in 1868. The unique climate proved excellent for growing the peppers the company uses to produce its signature product: Tabasco sauce. This tiny piece of land serves as the home of the well-known hot sauce.
But wait, the place has more to impress.
Despite the harshness of its surrounding climate (the bayous), it serves as home to an extensive variety of flora and fauna.
Avery Island Geological Distinctiveness
The unique Avery Island forms part of Iberia Parrish, Louisiana, United States. This remarkable site sits surrounded on all sides by the harsh Louisiana bayous, swamps, and salt marshes. The island represents a small spot of natural beauty amid the otherwise harsh terrain.
The site measures roughly three mi (4.8 km) in length and approximately 2.5 mi (4 km) in width. All that distinctiveness in such a tiny package. The island formed from evaporite salt deposits beneath the Mississippi River Delta. Avery Island actually forms one of five such salt domes that we know exist near the Louisiana Gulf Coast.
Much of the geography of the small island formed relatively flat, with the highest point at only 163 ft (50 m) above sea level. As if its other natural assets weren’t enough, workers also discovered oil on the island in 1942.
Avery Island Flora and Fauna
The owners also created a private sanctuary for numerous animals from around the world. As early as 1895, they formed a bird sanctuary for the endangered egret. Today, the island is home to an extensive population during their migration.
Numerous endangered plants now thrive there as well including varieties of camellias, azaleas, and even Egyptian papyrus sedge.
Though privately owned, the entire island now forms an official wildlife refuge, in addition to being a bird sanctuary.
Proof that individuals can make a difference.