There are a lot of islands in this world that are well-explored and frequently visited by tourists. Many of them look like tropical paradises and have everything we need for a relaxing holiday. But, at the same time, there are also many locations on our planet that are still not as popular as others. Some of them are situated in remote areas, others have strange pasts, and some are inhabited by the most unexpected creatures you could ever imagine!
For example, did you know that there's an atoll, where visitors, instead of taking rest, can't get rid of the weird feeling of impending doom? Have you heard about an island that can't be explored, because the tribes living on it don't let anyone from the outside world get there? Or, did you know that there are islands that were used as research facilities, mining colonies, or hospitals? I'm guessing that you haven't heard about any of these things and that you're getting more and more interested in the topic of this article!
I won't keep you waiting any longer and just show you the list of the most isolated and most bizarre islands from all over the world that you should know about, but remember to stay away from them.
25 Ilha de Queimada Grande, Brazil
Ilha de Queimada Grande is also called the Snake Island and it's actually one of the creepiest islands on this list because it's inhabited by literally creeping creatures - by snakes.
And they aren't just some snakes. The island actually features a number of types of highly venomous snakes, including golden lanceheads, the most poisonous reptile on the planet that (fortunately for us) only lives on Ilha de Queimada Grande.
Due to these dangerous inhabitants, it's forbidden for anyone, except for researchers dealing with snakes, to even land on the island. Not that we'd want to go there, of course...
24 Poveglia Island, Italy
Poveglia Island is located not far from the coast of Venice and, for some reason, it has served as a "dumping ground" for the sick and diseased for a very long time. For example, during the epidemic of the plague in Europe, Romans sent all the disease victims there. And even several centuries later the island didn't get rid of this weird reputation, because in 1922 a mental hospital was built there. According to the legends, some crazy experiments were taking place in that hospital.
These days, Poveglia Island is deserted and only inhabited by the ghosts of the past.
23 Macquarie Island, New Zealand
Located 965 kilometers (600 miles) off the coast of New Zealand, Macquarie Island is a truly unique place. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique wildlife. One of the most staggering things about the island is that it is home to approximately 3.5 million breeding seabirds, including about a million penguins!
At the same time, it's human population is extremely low - only about 40 people live there. So if you'd like to find yourself in the world inhabited by penguins, instead of humans, it's your dream destination!
22 Hashima Island, Japan
Hashima Island used to be Japan's mining colony, but now, since it's been abandoned years ago, it looks more like a deserted battleship. Believe it or not, at some point Hashima was one of the most densely populated areas on our planet.
During World War II, the island was filled with forced laborers from Korea and China, as well as Japanese workers, who were making a huge contribution to coal mining. However, when Japan shifted to petroleum, instead of coal, as their main energy source, the island was abandoned, because it wasn't viable anymore. So now it stands deserted and resembles a spooky floating ghost town.
20 North Sentinel Island, India
Since North Sentinel Island is considered part of the Andaman Islands, it's officially administered by India. However, since the tribes living on the island have always resisted contact with the outside world, even authorities can't get there. All the attempts to penetrate into the island on a boat or a helicopter were met with spears and other weapons! Some of the unluckiest intruders were even killed by the unwelcoming locals.
Therefore, North Sentinel Island remains one of the most isolated places on the planet with thick forests that don't allow to take a look at the tribe's life even from above.
19 Socotra Island, Yemen
If you want to get a feeling as if you're on another planet, visit Socotra Island located off the coast of Yemen. This island is isolated geographically and, for this reason, a lot of plants and animals that live there can be found nowhere else on the planet.
One of the most unusual plants in Socotra is a so-called dragon's blood tree. This canopy-topped tree has resin of bloody red color (hence the name) that will run down the truck if it gets pierced. Another unique plant is a desert rose that can grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) in height and it'll swell with water right before the dry season.
18 Ramree Island, Burma
I bet you wouldn't want to meet the creatures inhabiting Ramree Island in Burma ever in your life. After all, this island was the place, where occurred the greatest disaster suffered from animals that were listed by the Guinness Book of World Records.
You might be wondering what happened there, so listen up now. During World War II, Japanese troops were fighting on the island and, at some point, they were driven into the mangrove forests by the British. And it turned out that the forests were home to a huge number of saltwater crocodiles that immediately attacked the Japanese and ate 500 soldiers!
17 Vulcan Point, Philippines
At first sight, it might seem that there is nothing unusual with this island, but let's look deeper. In fact, Vulcan Point is an island within a lake on a volcano within a lake on an island. Sounds complicated, huh? Then let's break it down a bit.
Let's start with Luzon, the largest and most populated island of the Philippines. It's home to a large Lake Taal and at the center of this lake, there is the Taal Volcano. Then, at the top of this volcano, there is a basin that was carved by nature millennia ago and now it's one of the world's largest crater lakes. And, finally, at the very center of this crater lake, there is the final piece of this geological Russian doll - a tiny island with a volcanic cone that is called Vulcan Point!
16 Floating Eye Island, Argentina
Somewhere in Buenos Aires Province in Argentina, there is an island shaped like an almost perfect circle. Its diameter is 120 meters (390 feet) and it's surrounded by a channel that's also shaped like an almost perfect circle. For this reason, the island resembles a crescent moon and, if you take a look at it from another angle, you'll see that it also looks like an eye (hence its nickname).
An amazing thing about this island is that it floats and rotates on its own axis. This is a phenomenon that is yet to be explained.
15 Christmas Island, Australia
Christmas Island, located in the Indian Ocean, is home to one of the largest and most impressive animal migrations in the world. Every year, we can observe 120 million crabs making their way out of the island's forest to the beach with a single aim: to find a mate. Their special journey takes about a month and, during this time, it's better to stay out of their way. To keep crabs (and also people) safe, some of the roads are even shut down during their migration that typically occurs sometime between October and December.
At all other times of the year, the island looks much more like a tropical paradise.
14 Tashirojima Island, Japan
Tashirojima Island is a small Japanese island that barely has 100 human residents. But, at the same time, it has hundreds, if not thousands, of cats, which makes it one of the most unusual islands in the world, often called the Cat Island.
A huge number of cats were brought to the island in the 1850s to fight the population of mice. Interestingly, a lot of people have left Tashirojima since then, while cats only prospered there. The remaining residents of the island love the cats very much and see them as good luck charms.
13 Vozrozhdeniya Island, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan
Vozrozhdeniya Island used to be a very special place for the government of the Soviet Union. Located in the Aral Sea, it was home to a testing ground for a top-secret biological weapons laboratory. A number of diseases were genetically modified there to make them resist medical treatment.
But drying up of the Aral Sea stopped the experiments and turned the island into part of the surrounding desert. Scientists believe that biological weapons tested there don't present any danger now, because they were destroyed by the area’s high temperatures and harsh conditions. Even if it's true, I don't think you'd want to visit.
12 The Isola La Gaiola, Italy
Located just off the coast of Naples, the Isola La Gaiola is a small island consisting of two islets connected by a narrow stone bridge. It's surrounded by emerald waters and overlooking spectacular views. It even has a private villa that looks like a perfect getaway from the crowds of people. But, however paradise-like it may seem to be, this island is considered cursed by the locals. For this reason, to this day it remains abandoned.
All people who either lived on the island or just considered living there didn't end well - they all either died or lost all their money.
11 The Island of South Georgia
Part of the British overseas territory, the island of South Georgia is located in the Atlantic part of the Southern Ocean. The island is isolated from the rest of the world and its human inhabitants are very few. Mostly, only a small number of scientists and support personnel live there to maintain the British Antarctic Survey stations situated on the island.
At the same time, the island has abundant wildlife that includes elephant seals, fur seals, and king penguins. Besides, it's also home to the South Georgia Pintail and the South Georgia Pipit that don't live anywhere else in the world.
10 Earthquake Island, Pakistan
The history of this unique island is fascinating. It appeared due to a powerful earthquake that occurred in September 2013 in Pakistan. According to different reports, it had a magnitude of 7.7 or 7.8. After the earthquake, locals reported seeing the newly created island near the port of Gwadar. This new island measured 100 meters (330 ft) in length and 9 meters (30 ft) in height.
According to the Pakistani officials, it was possible that the earthquake pulled up land from under the sea, thus creating the island. But soon after appearing, it began slowly submerging again to disappear completely in 2016.
9 Spitsbergen, Norway
The largest island of the Svalbard archipelago and of the whole country of Norway, Spitsbergen is covered in ice and snow. It's also home to a considerable population of polar bears. In fact, these majestic creatures attract the tourists, who want to see them in their natural habitat. However, due to the island's low temperatures and arctic climate, there aren't a lot of people, who actually come there.
Here's an interesting fact: Longyear city is the island's main settlement that has a secure facility inside a mountain to keep the seeds of the world's food plants that might be needed in case of a global crisis.
8 Ōkunoshima Island, Japan
So we've seen an island inhabited by horses, as well as one inhabited by cats (and by other, less pleasant creatures). Now, to our surprise, there is also an island (like Tashirojima, it's also in Japan) that is populated by a huge number of rabbits!
In the years between 1929 and 1945, Ōkunoshima Island was used by the Japanese army as a facility to test chemical weapons. Apparently, the army of rabbits was brought there as test subjects. These days, the rabbits inhabiting the island are said to be their descendants. We don't know whether they have any genetic memory about what was happening to their unfortunate ancestors, but they seem to be prospering on Ōkunoshima these days.
7 Pitcairn Island, New Zealand
One of the most remote islands in the world, Pitcairn Island is located 5,215 kilometers (3,240 miles) from the coast of New Zealand. It's inhabited only by about 50 people, who are descendants of the sailors of the HMS Bounty, a Royal Navy ship that faced a rebellion in 1789.
These days, the island remains isolated from the rest of the world due to its geographical location and it also features one of the largest marine reserves in the world with 830,000-square-km (322,000-square-mile) region of the open ocean. FYI, this area is larger than the state of Texas!
6 Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
Off the coast of Nova Scotia, there is a region called the "Graveyard of the Atlantic". And in this region, there is an island called Sable Island, where you won't find anything but 350 shipwrecks and over 500 horses. When you think about it, it isn't hard to guess that the horses came from these wrecked ships.
Since Sable Island is hard to reach, for many people it's a fabled place that seems to only exist in the imagination. Usually, only a handful of researchers and federal government employees come there from time to time to explore this unusual place.