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10 Most Unusual Islands From Around the World

Most of the islands of the world are mesmerizing because of their unique picturesque landscape, cloudless skies, sandy beaches, and amazing clear blue waters. Some islands were deserted, remain mysterious or destroyed that eventually offer a bizarre and unique experience as destinations to explore because of its contrast to most typical islands that people come to visit for a relaxing holiday. From isolated to human-made, some of these islands are downright beautiful, others are extremely dangerous, while some have terrifying pasts that may give you chills. Most of these unusual islands show the diversity of the fantastic world that we live in. Here is the list of the ten most unusual islands that exist from around the world for those who love an adventure.

Gouqi Island

unusual islands - Gouqi Island

Qoqui Island is one of the 400 islands in the Shengsi archipelago that sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River in China. It used to be a prosperous fishing village that was home to more than 2,000 fishers with their families. Eventually, in the early 1990s, the fishermen and its residents left behind their homes and quit their jobs to move to China’s mainland, making the fishing village abandoned.

The absence of people in the island has left mother nature to consume the entire abandoned fishing village and transformed it into a beautifully lush, hilly landscape. Each abandoned buildings and structures of the remote fishing village of Houtouwan are covered with a sea of beautiful rich greenery of leaves, vegetation, and vines after being claimed by nature. The rural town ended up becoming one of the unusual tourist attractions to visit in China because of the fantastic, beautiful green scenery, and hundreds of tourists visit the empty village every day.[1]

La Isla de las Munecas

Island of the Dolls, Mexico

La Isla de la Munecas or known as the “Island of the Dolls” is a small island located in the Xochimilco borough 17 miles south of the center of Mexico City. The island is filled with hundreds of hanging, mutilated dolls to appease the tortured soul of a little girl who passed away at a young age. The story behind this haunted island lies in a tragedy where Don Julian Santana Barrera, the only dweller, and caretaker of the island, found a young girl drowned in a canal that surrounds the island and was not able to save her life.

Shortly after, Julian was haunted by her death, so when he saw the girl’s doll floating by the canal, he took it and hung it to a tree to please the girl’s soul. However, one doll in a tree was not enough to please the child, and the guilt of not saving the girl’s life had made him restless. After feeling haunted by the girl’s spirit, Julian decided to honor the girl’s lost soul by collecting hundreds of lost dolls out of the canal and hung them up on trees. The entire island ended up being infested with broken and distorted dolls and became a creepy tourist destination. In 2001, Don Julian Santana was found drowned in the same canal where the young girl has died.[2]

Tashirojima Island

Cat Island Japan

Tashirojima Island is a small, rural island located in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It is an island ideal for cat lovers because there are several hundred cats that live among the islanders. There are more felines than the human residents that inhabited the island, resulting in it becoming as one of Japan’s cat islands and one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world for cat lovers.

The cats on the island are thought to represent good luck and fortune by the human residents and are well-fed and taken care of. Initially, the cats were brought over to the island to help with the pest control on the silkworm farms, and since then, their populations have increased until they outnumbered the human residents. Fishing is the main industry of the island and the fishermen who worked on the island seen the cats as bringers of good luck and take good care of them. There is a cat shrine at the center of the island that was built by the fishermen in dedication to a cat that was accidentally killed by a falling rock.[3]

The Isola La Gaiola

unusual islands - The Isola La Gaiola

The Isola La Gaiola is a small but beautiful abandoned Italian island located in the Gulf of Naples in the heart of Gaiola Underwater Park. It is comprised of two minor islands connected by a single stone bridge. The island is abandoned because it is believed to be a curse after almost all of its previous owners had tragically died, mysterious disappeared or had suffered various misfortunes. Many locals avoid the islands to avoid having a series of mishaps or accidents that could lead to premature deaths. In the early 1800s, a hermit who was nicknamed “The Wizard,” inhabited the island.

After he mysteriously disappeared, many believe that he had cursed the island before he left which was the reason why many unfortunate things came to pass on those who inherited the island. The series of bad luck started in the 1920s, when a Swiss owner named Hans Braun, was found dead while wrapped in a rug. Soon after, his wife was found drowned in the sea. Every owner that acquires the island encountered misfortunes that are connected to deaths, disappearance, and bad fortunes in their finances. The island became abandoned and uninhabited until the Campania Region authorities owned it.[4]

llha de Queimada Grande

Forbidden Places - Snake Island

Ilha de Queimada Grande which is also known as the Snake Island is an island located 150 kilometers off the coast of Sao Paulo in Brazil. The uninhabited island is the only home of one of the world’s most endangered and deadliest snakes and also known as the world’s most dangerous island. The island has a high density of snake inhabitants where it is estimated that for every one meter squared; there lives a snake.

The incredible population of snakes makes the island dangerous for humans or any mammal to inhabit because the snakes, known as golden lanceheads, are one of the most poisonous reptiles on Earth and are unique because they can only be found in the island. The bite of the golden lancehead is highly venomous, and its fast-acting venom from the genus can cause internal bleeding and organ failure, leading to a quick death. The Brazilian government has forbidden all trips to the island due to the dangers and threats the snakes pose to human life and to preserve its unique population because their species does not exist anywhere else on earth.[5]

Christmas Island

Christmas Island

Christmas Island, also known as ‘Galapagos,’ is an Australian territory located in the Indian Ocean. The island is famous for its high proportion of endemic species of red crabs, sea birds, whale sharks, and striking coral reefs as well for its beautiful landscapes, specially structured rainforest, coral and significant marine area to explore. Christmas Island is home to several unique species and abundant wildlife. Each year, around 80,000 tropical seabirds inhibit a nest on the island.

The island is the only nesting sites in the world of the endangered seabird Abbott’s bobby, one of the world’s rarest birds. Christmas Island has an enormous abundance of land crabs than anywhere else in the world. There are more than 20 land crab species and estimation of 60 million red land crabs that occupy the island’s rainforests. The island has more than 60 dive sites and also has one of the clearest waters in the world. The water always stays warm and is home to more than 575 species of tropical fish.[6][7]

Hashima Island

Hashima Island

Hashima Island, commonly known as Gunkanjima or “Battleship Island,” is an abandoned island and a former coal mine located in Nagasaki, Japan. In 1974, the island remained entirely abandoned and uninhabited for decades after the mining operations ceased and turned into a ghost town. On April 2009, the island was opened to the public and became a tourist attraction, and currently, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nagasaki City because of the buildings that have a strange resemblance to a battleship. When coal was first discovered on Hashima Island, the Mitsubishi Corporation bought the island in 1890 and began developing the island and mining operations with hard work.

Over the many courses of years, the company has undergone significant works of adding more buildings which include a hospital, school, town hall, restaurants and town hall and eventually become a community for the workers. But there is a darker history to Gunkanjima. Among the workers, thousands of Koreans and Chinese were forced laborers and were under the watch of Mitsubishi Goshi Kaisha. In the mid-1950s, the island housed almost six thousand people until the coal ran out. Mitsubishi closed the mining operations, and everyone left the island city, leaving it abandoned and becoming a ghost town in the middle of the sea.[8][9]

Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca

Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. The floating islands of Lake Titicaca are home to the Uros tribe, which is the pre-Incan civilization in Peru. The Uros people are an ancient indigenous tribe that lived on the floating islands on Lake Titicaca for decades. The intention of the human-made island was for a defensive purpose where they could transport if there is a threat that occurs. The artificial islands were made of floating totora reeds that grow abundantly in the shallows of the lake.

The islands must be stacked regularly with more totora reeds on top of the layer since they rot from the bottom. These unique 70 human-made floating islands have become a significant tourist attraction in Peru. The islands are constructed from the many layers of the totora and homes, furniture boats and crafts were also built from the reeds. Much of the Uros’ lives revolve around the totora reeds, such as food and medicine. The floating islands are home to more than 2,000 Uros residents, and they live by fishing, weaving and especially tourism.[10]

Ramree Island

Ramree Island

Ramree Island is located off the coast in the Bay of Bengal. The island is considered to be the number one most dangerous in the world because it is home to a large number of saltwater crocodiles that are about 23 feet long and weigh 2,200 pounds and is the animal that will eat anything that crosses their paths. During World War II, after a long battle between the British and Indian forces and the Japanese, the Allied troops managed to gain the upper hands.

Between 500 to 1,000 retreating Japanese soldiers were attacked and eaten by the massive infestation of saltwater crocodiles when they entered the mangroves and marshes infested with crocodiles. It is one of the most horrifying massacres caused by animals in the history of war. Only 20 of the Japanese survivors emerged out alive and were captured by the Allied troops. The result of the deaths of hundreds of Japanese soldiers during the crocodile attack in Ramree Island was horrifying and violent enough for the Guinness Book of World Record to crown it as the “Greatest Disaster Suffered by Humans Due to Animals.”[11]

Palm Islands

Palm Islands

Palm Islands is located on the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It consists of three artificial islands, Palm Jumeirah, Deira Island, and Palm Jebel Ali. The island is shaped like a palm tree and is filled with luxury hotels, villas, and apartment buildings. The artificial archipelago was built in the early 21st century and was mostly financed from the substantial income of petroleum from Dubai. The labor started in 2001, and land and infrastructure were placed during 2004. In 2006, the construction of the building began, and the first citizens arrived in 2007.

It took only four years for the Palm Islands to be completed with over 53 million pounds of sand and 12 million pounds of rock. In the second decade of the 21st century, it is estimated that there are over 10,000 people that lived in the Palm Jumeirah. The Palm Jumeirah is the only island that is open for visitors and home to the popular tourist destination and famous luxury hotel Burj Al Arab. Dubai’s Palm Islands are often referred to as the “Eight Wonder of the World” and are the largest human-made islands in the world. The Pam Islands are home to 5,000 waterfront apartments, 4,000 residential villas, 1,000 households, and 60 luxury hotels.[12]

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