1200 residents, two shops, a restaurant, a school, and no cops: Santa Cruz del Islote is the world's most crowded island.
Two hours off the coast of Colombia is a small island home to over 1,200 people. As the entirety of Santa Cruz del Islote only spans the length of two soccer fields, residents live in close quarters, making the island four times as dense as the borough of Manhattan. Despite the circumstances, the community makes the most of their limited surface area, packing in a school, two shops and one restaurant. Only 150 years ago, the island was uninhabited; today, generations of families are proud to call Santa Cruz del Islote home.
The much smaller Ilet a Brouee is more densely populated, as is at least one of the high-rise tower-packed island neighborhoods in Hong Kong. Part of Santa Cruz de Islote's magic is that it feels like you could have fun exploring it, that it would have mysteries and stories. Read the rest
U Thant, or Belmont, is a tiny artificial island in the East river made from the detritus drilled out for the 7 train's tunnel. Leased to a religious sect since the 1970s, it was designated a bird sanctuary in the 2000s after a protestor occupied it and declared it a micronation. Since then, no humans, please. [via Metafilter; Photo: Pacific Coast Highway] Read the rest
A mile-long island emerged from the sea 100 yards out from Cape Hatteras.
Since being discovered, countless visitors and locals have made the trek to see if the weeks of rumors about the island’s existence – as well as the stories that it’s a haven for shells – are true.
The answer to both questions appears to be yes.
I superimposed the equivalent view from Google Earth, over Chad Koczera's photo, in the GIF above. Read the rest
I've been work-cationing in Hawaii for the past week, meeting lots of interesting people and experiencing so many amazing places around the islands. One of the interesting people I've met here is David Chatsuthiphan, a photographer who runs Unreal Hawaii, a great blog about outdoor adventure and outdoor lifestyle in Hawaii. Check out this dazzling photo-essay he shot about one of many hikes you can take here on Oahu, at a spot where rocky cliffs meet the sea and form interesting sea arches and swirling blue pools.
"Oahu Rock Bridge and Sea Cliffs" [unrealhawaii.com] Read the rest
Sandy Island, a 20-mile strip of land in the Pacific between Australia and New Caledonia, easily found on Google Maps and many other charts, does not exist. The ocean at that point is in fact 4,620ft deep.
That's what they're saying, anyway. Read the rest
This is a detail from one of the regularly updated maps that researchers in Antarctica use when they want to leave McMurdo Station and travel across the continent's sea ice. It shows the well-traveled routes across McMurdo Sound, ice thickness measurements taken at various points along the road, and hazards like large cracks in the ice.
Towards the north end of the Sound, you can see an island labeled, "Inaccessible Island". I asked Henry Kaiser — a musician and filmmaker who has spent the last decade working with scientists on the frozen continent — about why that island was inaccessible. After all, I didn't see any major cracks or hazards around it. Seems like you could traverse the ice to the island just fine.
Turns out, I was misunderstanding. Inaccessible isn't a designation. Inaccessible is the island's official name. Even though it's not. Inaccessible, I mean. Named by Robert Scott, it's part of a chain of islands that all represent the remains of an ancient volcanic crater. The name apparently comes from the fact that Inaccessible Island is incredibly steep, so while you can reach it, getting onto the damn thing seems to be a lot harder.
Inaccessible Island in McMurdo Sound is not to be confused with the Inaccessible Island that is located in the south Atlantic about halfway between South America and Africa; nor with the Inaccessible Islands, an entire group of islands located between the tip of South America and tip of the Antarctic peninsula; nor with Inexpressible Island, an Antarctic island where part of Scott's crew on his second expedition was forced to spend the winter of 1912 living in a cave and eating penguins. Read the rest
Tofugu has a short article on this unusual and beautiful Japanese island: Aogashima.
Aogashima (“blue island”) is a tropical, volcanic island in the Phillipine Sea. Despite being over 200 miles away from the country’s capital, Aogashima is governed by Tokyo. In fact, a whole stretch of tropical and sometimes uninhabited islands called the Izu Islands are technically part of Tokyo. Volcanic islands? Not typically what comes to mind when you think of Tokyo.
As you might imagine, Aogashima isn’t the most crowded place in the world. As of this year, only about 200 people live on Aogashima. The island only has one post office and one school.
There are two ways on and off the island: by helicopter or by boat. There’s only one, small harbor where the boats go in an out of, and it seems to be a little unreliable. Because Aogashima is so remote and isolated, it can sometimes be hard to get a boat to or from the island safely.
A fellow named Izuyan has been traveling to isolated islands of Japan and taking excellent photos. Here's his Flickr set for Aogashima.
Japan’s Hidden Tropical Island: Aogashima(Via imgur) Read the rest