Living on an island with warm weather and the sea all around can be a dream for a lot of people. Imagine, waking up with the sound of the waves, drinking your coffee on a patio in front of a turquoise sea watching birds flying around. What a dream it must be.
Around, the world some islands don’t actually look like that. The inhabitants can be hostile to newcomers, the vegetation might not be as beautiful as palms or coconut trees, or the atmosphere could be polluted to a point that living on the island is almost impossible. Here are nine islands on which you would never want to live.
9. Clipperton Island
This atoll in the East pacific, at 1000 kilometers off the Southeast coast of Mexico, is covered with coral with only a few coconut palms as vegetation. The wind blows on the island in every direction, and sharks are present in the waters surrounding the entire island. There is also no natural drinking water on the island. Even the Guinness Book of World Records recorded that most traveled man who ever lived never made it to this island. The Island has been claimed by four different nation: France, United States, United Kingdom and Mexico. Clipperton Island got it’s name from John Clipperton, a pirate, but the French were the first to officially claim the Island.
Around a hundred men and women were left on the island. Those people depended on the shipment made from the continent to survive, which went well until the Mexican Civil War begun. The civil war lasted years, leaving the survival of the inhabitants up to themselves. Without water and real food on the island, people started dying. Victoriano Alvarez was the last man on the island and proclaimed himself King of the island. He committed atrocities to the remaining women and children until the women killed him. Later on, the surviving women and children were rescued.
Since then, the island is uninhabited.
8. North Sentinel Island
The North Sentinal Island is situated in the Bay of Bengal, in the archipelago of the Andaman Islands, composed of 572 islands. The small (72 square kilometers/ 28 square miles) island is surrounded and protected by coral reefs. The difficulty to reach the island is not what makes it scary or dangerous, but it’s the inhabitants, a group of indigenous people called the Sentinelese. This aborigine tribe has resisted and rejected all tentative contact by foreigners. Few information is available on the tribe and scientists believe that the tribe is composed of 50 to 400 people. Multiple attempts have been made but all people who have reached the island have been killed. For example, a Hindu convict who was found with multiple arrow wounds and his throat cut in 1896, or more recently two fishermen who were fishing in the range of the island (the helicopter that tried to recover their body was hailed with arrows). This island is one of the last forbidden place on earth for civilized men.
7. Ilha de Queimada Grande
This island is another one of those islands that is terrifying because his inhabitants; snakes! This island is situated south of Sao Paulo. This island has been forbidden to visiters by the Brazilian Navy due to its high concentration of snakes on the island, which is about five snakes per square meter. Permission can be obtained to visit the island, but who would want to go there? If the desire rises, just realize that the snakes living there are golden lanceheads, a pit viper species. This species, highly venomous, is believed by scientists to have one of the deadliest snake venoms in the world with up to 3% mortality after treatment and 7% without. Those snakes range in size from 70 cm (28 inch) to 118 cm (46 inch). Still interested?
6. Izu Islands
This archipelago is situated just south of Tokyo. The story of the island is governed by volcanic eruptions; six times in the last century. The island was evacuated multiple times in 1953, and more recently in 2000. People were allowed to go back to the island in 2005, but they are required to carry gas masks with them at all times in case of emergency. Tourists can visit, but need to follow the rules that inhabitants have been following for almost 10 years now, which is carry a gas mask with them. Some places have alerts because of possible earthquakes, in the Izu islands a siren wakes people up in case of eruption or if the level of sulfur gets too high. So the highland is highly volcanic, but it is also situated in the middle of three tectonic plates with the an earthquake only overdue for 10 years now!
5. Ball’s Pyramid
This island was named after Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball who discovered the highland in 1788. This island is part of the Lord Howe Island group, 23 kilometers southeast of the Lord Howe Island, close to Australia. The island, in the form of a pyramid, is 562 meters (1,844 feet) and measures 1,100 meters (3,600 ft) long for 300 metres (980 ft) wide. It is the tallest volcanic sea-stack, a “pillar like mass of rock detached by wave action from a cliff-line shore and surrounded by water” (dictionary.com), in the world or what geologists call “neck”. At first, it seems cool to visit and climb because of its exoticism, but living there are giant stick insects, tree lobsters or by it’s scientific name the dryococelus australis. A 15 centimeter insect, these insect are not so dangerous but waking up close to one must not be very pleasant.
4. Gruinard Island
Gruinard Island is at 1.1 kilometers of the northwest shore of Scotland. This island has a place in which the British military have made biological test during World War II. The first test of Anthrax was done here at the beginning of the 40’s. The British scientific detonated bombs on the island. The story is that the army detonated biological bombs with Anthrax on the island that was used to raise sheep. All sheep on the island soon after died. Thirty years later, Anthrax spores were still present on the island, a very deadly poison for human. In the 90’s, the government fertilized the island with 280 tons of formaldehyde. Since then, it has been declared safe to visit. Knowing that inhaling anthrax results in death in 95 percent of cases, even if treatment is received, who would want to risk visiting the island.
3. Hashima Island
The Hashima Island, or Gunkanjima, is situated at nine kilometers of Nagasaki, Japan. It is a 6. hectare island on which more than 5,000 people lived at one point. This ancient coal mining facility was abandoned in 1974 when Japan replaced coal for petroleum. On “Ghost Island”, its nickname, the buildings have deteriorated through the lack of maintenance. Visitors have been allowed to visit for a few years now, but living there is impossible. A website is up on which you can visit the abandoned and gloomy island.
2. Bikini Atoll
The Island is part of the Marshall Islands. All 23 islands combined count for about 2.6 square miles (6 kilometers square). During World War II, a bloody battle arose between the United States and Japan. After World War II, the island has been a nuclear testing area for the United-States. No less than 23 bombs have been launched in the area, in the air, under water, and on sea. The island has been evacuated multiple times due to radiation. Nowadays, only four to six caretakers are living on the island.
1. North Pacific Garbage Island
This island is the result of the consumerist society we are living in. Its size is unknown due to the constant adding to it. The formation of this island at this position is because of the gyres, a large rotating current induced by strong wind movements, connecting there. The formation of this kind of island has been predicted by the national geographic in 1988, but this remote island has been discovered in 1997. Other islands of the same kind exist all over the world but this one is the most mediatic one. Those islands consist mainly of 90% plastic in which 80% comes from the continent (only 20% come from ships). This phenomenon is alarming and increases the need of being careful about our consumption.