Philippine island qualifies its way to a "World's Largest" title


Qualifiers are a lot of fun. Example: Greenland is the world's largest island. The world's largest lake is the Caspian Sea.

But the world's largest island on a lake, on an island, on a lake, on an island?

Then the title goes to Volcan Point in the Philippines. Treehugger has a great series of zoom-in photos that show you how that complicated geological title was won.


  1. “Ah yes, here we have the nasty big flat rock, sitting doing nothing, just amoral and dull, and it sits like an island in the polluted pool. The pool is a tiny lake on the little island, and the island is in a drowned crater. The crater is a volcanic crater, the volcano forms part of an island in a big inland sea. The inland sea is like a giant lake on a continent and the conti nent is like an island sitting in the seas of the planet. The planet is like an island in the sea of space within its system, and the system floats within the cluster, which is like an island in the sea of the galaxy, which is like an island in the archipelago of its local group, which is an island within the universe; the universe is like an island floating in a sea of space in the Continua, and they float like islands in the Reality, and…

    “But down through the Continua, the Universe, the Local Group, the Galaxy, the Cluster, the System, the Planet, the Continent, the Island, the Lake, the Island… the rock remained. AND THAT MEANT THE ROCK, THE CRAPPY AWFUL ROCK HERE WAS THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE, THE CONTINUA, THE WHOLE REALITY!”

    –Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons

    1. You actually camped there? My brother and I have always talked about going to NFLD to camp there (since the island is named Glover Island and we be Glovers). Is it, er, trespassing to get out there? Congratulations on achieving one of my goals (and one I thought was idiosyncratically mine).

      1. Yes, I went to Glover Island, the large island in Grand Lake, Newfoundland. I carried an inflatable boat with which to explore the islands on it, and camped on one of the 17 or so in that lake. (I’ve never heard of another person actually sleeping on an island on an island on an island; the one in the Philippines is unsuitable, and the other Canadian ones are even more isolated.)

        With all their qualifiers, the statements about Ryan Island are true, and Volcan Point is the largest *volcanic* triple island — and only known volcanic triple. Taal is active, and will destroy this whole geographic construction some day, possibly soon.

  2. I grew up on Manitoulin and we always stuck the “freshwater” qualifier on to our claim. We have a cottage on Lake Manitou as well, which has a smattering of islands like Battleship and Pickle islands.

    The link pauldrye posted ( lists Lake Mindemoya (also on Manitoulin) as the winner for “Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake” but it doesn’t list the name. For those interested, it’s “Treasure Island”.

    I think I’m stuck in some kind of feedback loop.

  3. RTFA: “The world’s largest volcanic island is on a lake, on a larger island, on a larger lake, on another (bigger) island.”

    It’s the fact that it’s the largest Volcanic Island on an island, in a lake, etc, etc.

  4. One of the main reasons the Taal ecosystem is threatened is that it’s really close to Manila. It takes 90 minutes to get there, and the city of Tagaytay (which overlooks Taal lake) is a popular destination for locals and tourists because of the view and the cooler weather.

    One of my best college memories was when a couple of friends showed up at my apartment at midnight saying “Let’s go to Tagaytay!” We drove there and stayed up discussing the meaning of life while sitting on a ledge overlooking Taal lake. Pretty magical.

  5. I actually flew a helicopter over Lake Taal back in 1979. It has to be one of the most spectacular and amazing sights I’ve flown over, and I’ve flown over lots of interesting places. I’ve even landed on Krakatau, which is the remnant of Krakatoa, which, unlike the movie title is actually WEST of Java, and I flew around the cone of Gunang Api on Palau Sangeang while it was belching smoke and ash shortly before its 1988 eruption. While I understand the need to preserve Lake Taal, it is well worth seeing. Maybe somebody in Metro Manila takes folks on helicopter tours?

  6. Ya bunch of homebodies…Lake Toba, Sumatra. Samosir Island. Home of cannibals as recently as 50 years ago. Largest volcanic lake in the world – sits on a supervolcano. Home of the most delicious dwarf red pineapples. 1600 feet deep, treacherous undercurrents, large enough for Indonesian military seaplanes.

    You guys need to get out more often…

  7. I set foot on Treasure Island last summer. We had rented a cottage on Lake Mindemoya. I was out fishing in my canoe close to the island when all of a sudden the water got extremely rough. The occasional wave was washing over the side of my canoe. Tresure Island was a lot closer than our cottage across the lake, so I landed on Treasure Island. The brush was extremely dense on the part of the island where I landed. Forget about heading in to check out the island. I don’t know what lived on the island, but I heard animals moving around in the brush behind me. I waited for a few hours for the wind to die down before heading back across the lake. We had really bad weather the week we stayed there and I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to fish and didn’t catch a damn thing.

  8. “I thought Australia was the worlds largest island?”

    Australia consists of two large islands: Australia and Tasmania. And both of them are more correctly referred to as “penal colonies”.

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