The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands off the west coast of Florida. They were first discovered by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León in 1513. They are so called because of the sea turtles that were found on the island (Tortuga - turtle). These were stored on board, upside down, and eaten at various stages of the voyage. The islands later earned the epithet 'dry' due to an absence of fresh water.