Many films and novels, such as the movie Cast Away and the TV series Lost, has been inspired by the theme of being stranded on an uninhibited island. However, the archetypal deserted island story was Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. The real-life of Alexander Selkirk has probably influenced the story of Robinson Crusoe. Alexander Selkirk was a Sottish sailor who spent four years as a castaway when he was marooned on an uninhabited island.
In 1966 the island called “Más a Tierra” was renamed to Robinson Crusoe Island and is no longer uninhabited. About 600 people live in the island now and it contains modern day conveniences such a satellite internet connection and an airstrip. However, real uninhabited islands can still be found around the world and will continue to inspire writers, movie makers and… bloggers.
10 Amazing Uninhabited Islands:
10. Auckland Islands
An archipelago is formed by the Auckland Islands from the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands. On Enderby Island traces of Polynesian settlement dating back to the 13th century have been found. This is the most southerly Polynesians settlement ever discovered. In 1806, the uninhabited islands were rediscovered as a deserted island by a whaling vessel.
9. Mu Ko Ang Thong
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Mu Ko Ang Thong is a beautiful archipelago of about 40 islands. Mu Ko means group of islands while Ang Thong translates as bowl of gold. Tropical forest covers most of the limestone islands. Those islands rise from the sea as dramatic rock cliffs and bizarre rock formations.
It has become a popular day trip from Ko Samui to explore the white sand beaches and snorkeling among the shallow coral gardens of the islands. Except for Ko Paluay, all of the islands are uninhabited and undeveloped. Ko Paluay is inhabited by sea-gypsies who still earn a living from fishing.
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8. Ball’s Pyramid
In the Pacific Ocean, 562 meter (1844 foot) high Ball’s Pyramid is a rock island located 20 km (13 miles) southeast of Lord Howe Island. It is the relic of a volcano that formed about 7 million years ago. In 1965 the first successful climb to the summit of the Ball’s Pyramid was made by a team of Australian climbers.
The Lord Howe Island stick insect thought to be extinct was rediscovered by another team of rock climber a year before the successful climb to the summit of the Ball’s Pyramid. The rediscovered population consisted of fewer than 30 individuals. So it has been called “the rarest insect in the world”.
7. Cocos Island
Located about 300 miles off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the jungle-covered Cocos Island is mostly uninhabited. The Costa Rican Park Rangers are the only people who are allowed to live on the island. Tourists are only allowed ashore with permission from them. Although it is a popular dive destination, people also come to the Cocos Island to go treasure hunting. It is said that several hidden treasures have been buried here by pirates in the 19th century including the Inca gold from Lima that was taken by pirate Benito Bonito.
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6. Phoenix Islands
Situated in the middle of the Pacific, the Phoenix Islands are a group of 8 atolls and 2 submerged coral reefs. A vast array of undisturbed and pristine eco-systems can be found in this isolated location. The coral reefs and bird populations are virtually untouched by man. The entire Phoenix group and surrounding waters has been declared as a protected area in 2008 by the government of Kiribati, which makes it the largest marine protected area in the world.
5. Mamanuca Islands
Located in Fiji, the Mamanuca Islands are a volcanic archipelago of about 20 islands. With beautiful island resorts and white sand beaches, the islands are one of the most popular Fiji vacation destinations. Because of no natural water source, several Mamanuca Islands are uninhabited. Tiny Monuriki is the most famous uninhabited island in the Mamanuca group. Monuriki was the main location for the 2000 film Cast Away (and not ironically on Castaway Island).
4. Tetepare Island
Tetepare is the largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific. Being a part of the Solomon Islands, it is covered with pristine lowland rainforest and fringed with coral reefs. The original inhabitants of the island lived in scattered villages throughout the island and spoke a distinct language.
Almost 200 years ago the island was abandoned for reason still unknown. The descendents of the inhabitants of the island live on other parts of the Solomon Islands. Leaving it in its original state, an association was formed by them to take care of Tetepare. They allow tourists to visit the island.
3. Maldives Desert Islands
1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls makes up an archipelago named the Maldives. Local Maldivian people occupy only 200 islands while only 5 islands have a population of more than 3,000. The capital island of Malé is overcrowded with 26 percent of the Maldivian population. Only 88 islands have been developed as tourist resorts and the others are uninhabited. So many small uninhabited islands are located in Maldives that every resort island has its own ‘Desert Island’ and offers its own Desert Island trip.
Aldabra is the largest island of the Seychelles and is closer to the coast of Africa. It is one of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles more than 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) from Mahé. After Kiritimati, Aldabra is the second largest Atoll in the world. Aldabra is virtually untouched by humans due to difficulties of access and the atoll’s isolation. As a result it retains some 152,000 giant tortoises, the largest population of this reptile in the world.
With an average lifespan of 100 years or more the giant tortoises are one of the longest living animals of the world. Including the Coconut crab, the largest land crab of the world, the atoll is also known for hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and barracuda. The island is also a breeding ground for green turtles and hawksbill turtles.
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1. Rock Islands
Located in Palau’s Southern Lagoon, the Rock Islands are ancient remnants of coral reefs that surfaced to form the 250 to 300 islands. For the most part the islands are uninhabited. The Rock Islands are famous for their beaches, blue lagoons and the peculiar shapes of many of the islands. The famous Jellyfish Lake is located on the Rock Islands. The Jellyfish Lake contains jellyfish with very weak stingers where snorkelers can safely swim and enjoy the beautiful scenery.