Fig. – Zeus turns ants into Men thus populating the Island of Aegina, his nymph above right next to the eagle (this lovely 17th century drawing was sent by a friend, Isabel Figueiredo). Some sources also say Zeus turned himself into an eagle before doing this.

According to the Greek mythology the island was inhabited when Zeus had a romantic interlude with the nymph Aegina there and had a son, Aecaus (later, grandfather of Achilles). Zeus, at the request of Aecaus populated the island so Aecaus would have subjects in his kingdom (source). Those inhabitants were entitled Myrmidons:

“These were men created from ants on the island of Aegina, in the reign of Aeacus, Achille’s grandfather, and they were Achilles’ followers in the Trojan War. Not only were they thrifty and industrious, as one would suppose from their origin, but they were also brave. They were changed into men from ants because of one of Hera’s attacks of jealousy. She was angry because Zeus loved Aegina, the maiden for whom the island was named, and whose son, Aeacus, became its king. Hera sent a fearful pertinence which destroyed the people by thousands. It seemed that no one would be left alive. Aeacus climbed to the lofty temple of Zeus and prayed to him, reminding him that he was his son and the son of a woman the god had loved. As he spoke he saw a troop of busy ants. “Oh Father,” he cried, “make these creatures a people for me, as numerous as they, and fill my empty city.” A peal of thunder seemed to answer him and that night he dreamed that he saw the ants being transformed into human shape. […] So Aegina was repopulated from an ant hill and its people were called Myrmidons after the ant (myrmex) from which they had sprang.” (Hamilton, Edith, Mythology, Warner Books, New York, 1969)

Aegina is the 2nd closest island to Athens after Salamina at the Saronic Gulf, with 86 square Kms and a current population of 12000 people. The island is home to one of the most beautiful temples of late Archaic Greece, the temple of Aphaia. A volcanic island with plains of respectable fertility to the northern and southern parts. Aegina is also where the famous pistachio nuts can be  found alongside the other main produce of the island, grain, vines, almonds and olives. The southern end of the island is rocky and barren. The highest peak of the island is Mt. Oros.