Undiscovered and self-governing islands in the Pacific
The central and western waters of the Pacific Ocean are occupied by an entity called Oceania. This large body of water contains a large number of islands that are part of a country, but are considered self-governing. Little is known about such islands, as they are not very popular among tourists due to remoteness and low development of local infrastructure. Below we are going to tell you about some such islands.
The capital city of Niue is Alofi. The small self-governing island has a population of about 2,000 people. The area of the island is 260 km. The vast majority of the population is indigenous Polynesians. However, their population here is still declining as young people move to New Zealand to work. Many immigrants from Tonga, Samoa, and Europe also live here. Most inhabitants are Christians, belonging to the local Ekklesia Niue church, but there are also Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Adventists. There is a 95% literate population.
The island’s economy was paralyzed in 2002 by Cyclone Heta, which swept through and caused extensive damage. Most islanders work on family plantations. Tropical fruits (citrus fruits), honey, and coconuts are grown here mostly for export. Pigs, poultry, and cattle are kept here, and fishing is also important. In 2005, probably the largest reserves of uranium in the world were discovered on the island. The locals are engaged in the production of traditional crafts. An important and growing source of income on the island is the burgeoning tourism industry, which has great promise here.
Niue was discovered in 1774 by British sailor James Cook. Because of the hostile inhabitants, it was first called Wild Island. From 1846 it was governed by the London Missionary Society and became a British protectorate in 1900. Later it passed to New Zealand as part of the Cook Islands. Since 1974 it has been a self-governing center in free association with New Zealand. The island has no army of its own, New Zealand provides it with protection, assistance and military support.
Niue, a coral island located in Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean about 2,100 km from New Zealand. The surface of the island is flat, there are beautiful sandy beaches, clear azure sea and a coast overgrown with coconut palms . It is an ideal place for divers and those who want to enjoy a quiet and relaxing holiday. The highest point of the island, the hill near Mutulau only 68 meters above sea level. The climate is warm and tropical with constant temperatures throughout the year.
The capital of the Midway Islands is Kingston. The area is about 7 km with an average population of 1,500 people. The original inhabitants were Polynesians, who are now a minority here. Almost the only residents, American soldiers and bird sanctuary guards.
The island has an emergency airport for commercial aircraft cruising the Pacific Ocean. The Midway Islands are still used as U.S. air and naval bases. The islands were discovered by Americans in 1859 and annexed in 1867. The Midway Islands were best known during World War II, when the Battle of Midway took place in their waters in 1942. The U.S. and Japan fought to occupy the islands, but suffered a crushing defeat instead.
Midway is essentially an atoll located in the North Pacific Ocean about 4,000 km from Japan. This atoll is surrounded by a coral barrier and consists of several sandy islands. The largest islands, Sandy and East Island, have become a haven for many bird species.
The capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago. About 55 thousand people live here. The land area is 199 km. American Samoa is dominated by Polynesians (Samoans), who constitute 90% of the population. Minorities on the islands, Chinese and Europeans. Samoans live in village communities and traditional open village houses. The village is headed by a chief who runs the village. The literacy rate in the country is 97%. Almost all residents belong to one of the Christian churches.
Tourism is a very important part of the economy, services account for 61% of the gross domestic product. Residents are also engaged in agriculture, with 65% of the population working in it. Coconuts, dill, pineapples, and bananas are mostly grown. The main customer countries are the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Dill, cocoa, and timber are exported. Exports of canned tuna are also an important source of income.
Polynesians have inhabited this archipelago since the 1st millennium B.C. The Tongans claimed the territory and tried to conquer it. The first Europeans to discover the islands were the Dutch. At the end of the 19th century, Samoa became a territory governed by the United States, Germany, and Great Britain. After partition a portion of Samoa passed solely under U.S. rule, and American Samoa was created. The port of Pago Pago is a military base.
American Samoa is an overseas territory of the United States and is located in the Pacific Ocean. It is located in the eastern part of the Samoan archipelago. American Samoa consists of seven islands, the largest of which, Tutuila . The islands are of volcanic origin. The highest point, Mount Lata, is 966 meters above sea level. These beautiful tropical islands, an ideal place for a quiet and relaxing vacation. The climate is tropical, with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius all year round.
10 distant, unspoiled islands that even seasoned tourists hesitate to visit
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Today, many tourists choose islands when it comes to summer or even winter vacations. After all, it’s not just beautiful, but untouched nature, a minimum of other people and, of course, a lot of interesting opportunities for leisure. But did you know that there are ten of the most dangerous islands in the world, from which even the most experienced and hardened travelers do not come back alive and unharmed? Today we will tell you about those places, where it is better not to go under any circumstances. After all, some of them have become such, not only because of natural causes, but also because of human error.
1. Renaissance Island (Uzbekistan)
The territory of this island is shared by such countries as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The island itself is located in the Aral Sea and until some time was completely unknown to the general public. It is believed that in 1948 there was built a top-secret laboratory of the USSR, which conducted experiments with various bacteria and viruses, including smallpox, plague, anthrax and others in an attempt to create their own biological weapons. In 1971, due to the negligence of one of the scientists, the smallpox virus broke out and infected ten people, three of whom died shortly thereafter. In the 1990s, the secrecy of the facility was breached, and so the islanders were hastily evacuated, while abandoning the base itself. Today it is a gloomy ghost town, where, according to environmentalists, to this day improperly stored containers with viruses and bacteria, which at any moment can give a serious leak. And although the authorities claimed to have destroyed all the dangerous substances in 2002, few people really believe this, and so the island remains empty to this day.
2. North Sentinel (India)
This island is located near India, namely in the Andaman Sea. It is inhabited by a small tribe of Sentinels, who live in the northern part of the island and categorically refuse to have any contact with the outside world. All those people who tried to visit the island were met with an extremely “friendly” greeting in the form of sharp spears and arrows, and those brave men who made their way into the jungle, have not been found to this day. In 2006, members of the tribe killed two fishermen because their boat drifted too close to the island. And two years earlier, the Sentinels refused help after an earthquake, throwing spears at helicopters. The Indian authorities declared the island itself and its surrounding areas an exclusion zone and forbade any approach to them.
3. the island of Gruinard (Scotland)
In 1881, this small island was inhabited by only six people who lived there permanently. By 1920, however, the island had become completely uninhabited. Perhaps that’s why the British government decided to conduct secret biological experiments there, which until recently were kept strictly secret. Scientists conducted the most dangerous experiments with the anthrax virus there, during which all life on the island, including animals and plants, died. After the experiments were finished and the soil was found to be contaminated, the British authorities concluded that a decontamination procedure was necessary. Officially in 2007 it was decided that the anthrax virus was no longer on the island, as evidenced by the quite live sheep that had previously been settled there. To this day, however, the island remains completely uninhabited.
4. the island of Réunion (Indian Ocean)
Since the 17th century, this island has been teeming with life. And no wonder, for it is stunningly beautiful and has no equal among the rest of the island representatives. Today, the island is densely populated and open to tourists. What is so dangerous about it? For example, an incredible number of hungry sharks that are eager to attack swimmers. From 2011 to 2015 there were about 17 attacks of these predators, and seven of them were fatal. In 2013, an official bathing ban was imposed on almost half of the island. Reunion authorities say that in the near future they plan to clean the waters of four dozen bull sharks and their tiger relatives. Therefore, you should be very careful when swimming here.
5. Eniwetok Atoll (Marshall Islands)
Like the other island in the Marshall Islands, Eniwetok was part of the U.S. nuclear testing. More than 30 megatons of TNT were detonated here during the Cold War. In 1980, a special dome called Runit was built on the island, where to this day remains of radioactive particles, contaminated trash and other waste are stored. However, according to modern environmentalists, the dome, made of concrete, has a rather flimsy structure, and therefore at any moment it can be destroyed by a powerful typhoon or even a tsunami. In addition, it is believed that the radioactive sediments present in the lagoon itself are much more dangerous than the contents hidden by the concrete slab.
6. Ramri Island (Burma)
This island does not have any nice and positive history behind it. During World War II, the Japanese, who lost the battle against the British, decided to escape through this swampy and so unremarkable-looking island. But they didn’t know that in the shadow of the thick water, an incredible danger awaited them, namely, dozens and hundreds of crocodiles. According to historical accounts, all four hundred soldiers who tried to cross the island were captured by the predators, and their remains are still hidden by murky water and seaweed to this day. This piece of land is also mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as the place where the largest wildebeest attack on a man has ever taken place.
7. Ilha da Queimada Grande (Brazil)
Off the coast of Brazil stretches the small but world-famous Serpent Island. It is home to dozens of species of dangerous and poisonous snakes, one of which is the golden viper, which is on the verge of extinction. At one time they were trapped by rising sea levels, after which the part of the island that connected it to the mainland disappeared under water. This led to the fact that the snakes began to adapt to the new environment, successfully breeding up to thousands of specimens. To date, visiting this island is strictly forbidden, and the Brazilian government allows only specialized scientists in protective suits. After all, the venom of snakes can cause not only unpleasant sensations, but also a brain hemorrhage, which leads to a very quick and painful death.
8. Miyakejima Island (Japan)
Miyakejima is part of the Izu group of islands that belong to present-day Japan. It is known for the small but very active Mount Oyama, which wakes up every few decades and spews a lot of harmful gas and lava into the air. Its last activity was observed in the period from 2000 to 2004. The volcano has left a mass of sulfur and other vapors harmful to the human body. To this day, there is a special warning system on the island, which notifies residents of the increased content of harmful substances in the air. And because of this, the island is also known for the fact that its inhabitants are forced to wear gas masks more often than others. The same story is true for the other islands of the Izu group, where the residents are forced to wear gas masks on an almost daily basis, which has long been part of their fashion.
9. Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands).
A small island in the Pacific Ocean at first glance seems absolutely harmless, but only until you learn its history. Around 1946, the entire population of the island was evacuated to other neighboring islands because the United States decided to test its new atomic and hydrogen bombs on the atoll. According to historians, up to and including 1958, over twenty explosions were conducted on the island. Therefore, it is not surprising that even after such a long time, the island is still contaminated with radioactive particles. It is also impossible to grow food here, and it is not recommended to drink water at all. So make sure that Bikini Atoll is not on your itinerary.
10. Island of Poveglia (Italy)
This small and rather unremarkable island is located between Venice and Lido in northern Italy. It is said that this island has its own, black spots on the history. Historians believe that at one time it was there where the so-called “black pits” were created, where the dead were buried during the European plague epidemic. According to extant data, about a hundred thousand unfortunates were buried there who could not overcome the disease and ended up in the quarantine zone. But the horror stories of Powell’s island did not end there. In 1922, it became the home of a notorious doctor who conducted experiments on mentally retarded people, which often resulted in their deaths. It is also reported that the doctor later threw himself from the tower, claiming that he could no longer bear the signs of society. In modern times, the island is completely abandoned, it is forbidden to tourists, and it has become part of several programs that investigate paranormal phenomena. In fact, many Italians claim that sometimes screams and other eerie sounds are heard from the shadows of the island.
In continuation of the theme – 5 cursed places, where even the old-timers become uncomfortable.