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Dismal Key is a small island, part of the Ten Thousand Islands archipelago in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

It lacks a permanent source of fresh water, which is available only by being imported, collected from rainfall, or extracted from the local cacti. In pre-Columbian times it was inhabited by members of the Calusa nation, highly skilled as fishers, artisans and traders. A huge mound of oyster shells, 15 feet high, remains as a monument to the Calusa. In recent times, Dismal Key has no permanent human habitation - only the occasional hermits, poachers, smugglers and tourists.

Dismal Key is the locale for the novel Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen.


See also

Coordinates: 25°53′N 81°33′W / 25.883°N 81.55°W / 25.883; -81.55


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