June 8, 2009

"6 Real Islands Way More Terrifying Than The One On 'Lost.'"

Starting with Snake Island and getting progressively worse.

(Many horrifying descriptions at the link.)

14 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Well that was just delightful. Thanks for that trip down memory lane. I will never think about Fiji the same way again (any of you drink Fiji water by the way, yummy).

As for the Pacific Garbage Island, here is something that we could spend money on that might make a difference (unlike Cap and Trade). That plastic could be sucked up by ships every now and again. Granted an island the size of Texas will take time, but it is doable.

jdeeripper said...

Manhattan ranked 7th.

rhhardin said...

The island of Komodo isn't mentioned (Bob and Ray video).

Paul Zrimsek said...

Like everyone else who's read Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, I'm wondering how New Guinea got left off the list.

dbp said...

A lot of bad stuff happened on the Italian island, but is seems perfectly lovely now. Same with Fiji of course.

Fred4Pres said...

Are the snakes on Snake Island as venomous as this?

Ron said...

The kids in my neighborhood don't flap in the breeze well enough to be flags, so they're just used as boat anchors instead...

Henry said...

Like everyone else who's read Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, I'm wondering how New Guinea got left off the list.

True!

Though the horrific man-eating lizard incident that gave Bobby Shaftoe nightmares happened on Guadalcanal, right?

Paul Zrimsek said...

If the lizards are still around we can rank Guadalcanal alongside Ramree Island. But any place where you can succumb to a bazillion different jungle diseases OR a bazillion different jungle predators OR headhunters OR frostbite is pretty damned special.

Cedarford said...

Snake Island is probably the last island on earth I would want to be on.
National Geographic did a special on it that gave me the heebie-jeebies. Not only are there snakes galore, but the snakes set up "territory" and attack anything moving into their space....Their prey is migratory birds. Their rival is anything other than birds. That meant for Darwinian purposes..they had to evolve a far more toxic venom than mainland vipers, because it just wouldn't do for a fatally stricken bird to stumble off 10 meters onto a rival "clan" of snake's turf and be eaten there. And that mindless aggression was bred in as a survival tool. No retreat on anything trying to invade territory. Just attack to the death. No warning.
The Geographic people and Brazilian guides found 3-4 goldenhead vipers clinging to their snake-proof boots on a typical walk at many moments. Hitting again and again until their fangs broke off or venom sacks were drained and still striking until exhausted. Snakes slithering along branches and ground towards them to get in strike range.

I wouldn't have nice places like Fiji and the Venetian plague island put on the list because of "awful past history". Or I'd add Devils Island, Alcatraz and make a list of "islands that used to be really bad, at one time in their history. (Along with one island the US Navy just left 400 Japs to starve out at. The industrious Japs in 6 months ate all the good flora and fauna up, then about 80 native Micronesians, then the bad to eat flora and fauna, then each other. 3 very fat Japs survived..The Navy, lacking ACLU lawyers intervention (since so many ACLU lawyer relatives were in dire straits in Europe and had tamped down their lawsuits) finally came to see if they all had starved. They were surprised any survived. Now it is a tourist destination for wealthy Chinese, Japanese, Indonesians, Australians.
========================
For places still really bad to visit today, I would add Nova Zemlya to the list:

Unlike Einwetok and Bikini atoll, which the US spent billions to clean up from nuke bomb testing, the Russians have left theirs in a "pristine" post-bomb state

Over its entire history as a nuclear test site, Nova Zemlya hosted 224 nuclear detonations with a total explosive energy equivalent to 265 megatons of TNT.[14] For comparison, all explosives used in World War II, including the detonations of two U.S. nuclear bombs, amounted to only two megatons.

The worst of the 310 billion curies of long-lived radiactive contamination have thankfully down since the 1963 test ban..except for about 8 major underground test (1963-1989) "leakers" ..but the polar bears, foxes, 100 surviving Eskimos of an original population of 3,000 are still pretty well irradiated.
The two islands of Nova Zemlya also have about 2700 Russians of the "independent sort" descended from nuke bomb workers, Gulags, military base folks that like living far from "big gummint". They exist in one of the few uncontaminated zones.

I'd also give honorable mention to 4 other islands.

1. The island in the middle of the Aral Sea the Russians used to test biowar germs, nerve gases, and heavy metal poisons.
2. The wildlife refuge island in a river in Botswana ringed by hungry crocs and home to ravenous packs of wild dogs.
3. An island off Scotland where Britain did all their anthrax, lassa fever, tulemia, mustard gas, new biotoxin testing. Still fenced off with warning that human life expectancy is under a week for any boaters that land there.
4, Any island slated to become the next Krakatoa or Santorini in the future.

Bob said...

Nothing wrong with the Venetian plague island. I'd live there in an instant.

Balfegor said...

For anyone wondering why the link on the Fiji entry is so unenlightening, their original link was to a, uh, neo-Nazi website (the icon up in the browser bar showed up as a little hakenkreuz). The quotes are real, though -- you can look them up on Google Books.

Fred4Pres said...

(Along with one island the US Navy just left 400 Japs to starve out at. The industrious Japs in 6 months ate all the good flora and fauna up, then about 80 native Micronesians, then the bad to eat flora and fauna, then each other. 3 very fat Japs survived..The Navy, lacking ACLU lawyers intervention (since so many ACLU lawyer relatives were in dire straits in Europe and had tamped down their lawsuits) finally came to see if they all had starved. They were surprised any survived. Now it is a tourist destination for wealthy Chinese, Japanese, Indonesians, Australians.


What island is that?

There is a big difference dumping prisoners on an island to starve and going around islands where the Japanese were dug in and refused to surrender, because it was not worth the lives and effort to do so (compared to the strategic value).

D-Day was a big deal, but similar battles, just as bloody and vicious, were fought on Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Pelilu, Guam, Saipan and Iwo Jima.

I have been to a few of the islands that were fought over and spoken to some of the veterans. Trust me those battles were horrific. If you could avoid one by going around that particular island, it made complete sense to do so.

Fred4Pres said...

Talking about Japanese canabalism, check out #7 on this list. And they get very much worse as they continue.