Nobody’s Home: 8 Uninhabited Islands (Including Some You Can Visit!)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Let’s face it. We’ve all had days where we wish we could be all alone on an uninhabited island. We can’t buy you an island of your own, but we can offer you a list of some of the world’s most intriguing deserted islands. Here are 8 that we think are worth knowing about. And you can visit most of them!

#1: Protection From Plague: Lazzaretto Nuovo

We all know Venice as the floating city. What you may not know is that there are islands in the lagoon around Venice. Lazzaretto Nuovo is near the entrance of the lagoon. In medieval times, it was home to a monastery. When the plague swept across Europe, it was used as a quarantine area.

Soure: Wikimedia/TheRunnerUp

Ships arriving in Venice stopped there to protect the city from infection until the 18th century. Lazzeretto Nuovo became a military base until 1975 when the Italian army left. The surrounding community turned the island into a museum operated by the Italian Ministry of Arts and Culture.

#2: Fish, Wildlife, and a Double Murder: Palmyra Atoll

Palmyra Atoll is a United States territory. Located about 1,000 miles south of Hawaii, it was a military airstrip during World War II. Today, it’s administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The exception is Cooper Island, which is managed by the Nature Conservancy.

Source: Wikimedia/USFWS – Pacific Region

The most notorious event in the Palmyra Atoll’s history was a double murder that happened in 1974. A wealthy couple visiting the island were murdered by another couple who planned to use the island to grow cannabis. The murder isn’t why nobody lives there, but it’s certainly a compelling story!

#3: Bunnies On The Beach: Okunoshima Island

Okunoshima Island is uninhabited for a good reason. It was the site of a chemical weapons plant that produced poison gas. One story says that when the Allies won World War II and dismantled the plant, they let the lab animals go free. These animals included rabbits who are now the island’s only inhabitants. Another theory is that visiting children released rabbits there.

Source: Wikimedia/zamojojo

Located in the Inland Sea of Japan, Okunoshima Island is now home to countless wild bunnies. The island has been open to tourists since 1960. Okunoshima’s furry population has turned it into a popular destination for adults and children alike.

#4: Guano Mining: Clipperton Island

You might expect Clipperton Island to be off the shore of the United Kingdom. It’s actually a coral atoll in the Eastern Pacific. It was colonized by France in 1711 and eventually claimed as a guano mine. For those who don’t know, guano is the excrement of bats and seabirds. It’s prized for its mineral content and may be used in the production of gunpowder.

Source: Wikimedia/Shannon Rankin, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC)

After passing through United States and Mexican hands, the residents were cut off from supplies during the Mexican Civil War. By 1917, there were only three women left living on the island. France reclaimed the island, operating a lighthouse there during World War II. The island is now completely abandoned.

#5: From Garbage to Sea Glass: Spectacle Island, Massachusetts

Spectacle Island is located in Boston Harbor within viewing distance of the city’s skyline. The island has 114 acres of wilderness, including beaches and walking paths. It’s accessible to tourists via a ferry from Boston all year. In Boston’s early days, it was the site of a horse rendering plant. Later, it was used as a garbage dump.

Source: Wikimedia/NewtonCourt

When Boston’s Big Dig got underway, some of the excavated clay and dirt was used to cover up the island. The city planted thousands of trees and flowers, built walking paths, and opened it to tourists. During the summer, visitors crowd the island’s beaches to look for sea glass. (It’s forbidden to take anything from the island, but it’s still fun to look!)

#6: Shipwreck Central: The Antipodes Islands, New Zealand

The Maori name for this group of islands is Moutere Mahue, which means “abandoned islands.” They’re abandoned for a good reason. Located in the subantarctic, the extreme cold and strong winds make these islands unsuitable for human settlements. In other words, nobody really wants to live there!

Source: Wikimedia/LawrieM

Harsh seas make the subantarctic a dangerous place for ships. The Antipodes Islands are proof of that. Throughout history, shipwrecked sailors have made their way to these islands. Some were rescued and some died from the elements. The most recent deaths occurred in 1999.

#7: The World’s Rarest Insect: Ball’s Pyramid

Many islands in the Pacific Ocean are active or dormant volcanoes. Ball’s Pyramid is the last remnant of a 7-million-year-old volcano. The island stands 1,844 feet high and is 13 miles southeast of Lord Howe Island. It’s a popular destination for rock climbers. The first successful summit climb on Ball’s Pyramid was made in 1965.

Source: Wikimedia/PotMart186

One of the most interesting things about Ball’s Pyramid is that it’s home to the Lord Howe Stick Insect, which was thought to be extinct. In 1964, rock climbers discovered that the island had a small population of about 30 insects.

#8: Typhoid Mary: North Brother Island

Located in the East River in New York City, North Brother Island is off-limits to the public. It’s a protected bird sanctuary, as is its companion island, South Brother Island. Together, the islands are home to a variety of species including barn swallows, black-crowned night herons, and egrets.

Source: Wikimedia/H.L.I.T.

North Brother Island used to be a smallpox quarantine facility. Later, it accepted patients with other diseases, including typhoid. The infamous Typhoid Mary lived there for two decades. After the hospital closed in 1942, buildings were used for veterans’ housing before being shut down for civil rights violations. Many believe the crumbling buildings to be haunted.

The Magic Of The Uninhabited

There’s something truly compelling about exploring uninhabited places. Away from civilization, it may be easier to let go of stress than it is when you’re at home.

Source: Wikimedia/James St. John

You might be surprised by how many deserted islands there are in the world. Estimates say there are more than two million! That means there’s almost certainly one near you. It might be in the ocean or a lake, or even a river. It’s time to go find it and embrace its magic.

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Ben Miller

Written by Ben Miller

Ben is known for his talent in producing viral articles which resonate with current trends. With a keen eye for trending topics and a gift for crafting engaging narratives, Ben has become a prominent figure in the world of online content creation.

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