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10 Fascinating Islands You Have Probably Never Heard Of

4. Yap is an Island which uses massive, doughnut-shaped stones as its currency.

Yap islands
Image credits: Dr. James P. McVey, NOAA Sea Grant Program/Wikimedia, Eric Guinther/Wikipedia

Yap Island is a part of Micronesia and is known for its stone money. Rai stones are mostly doughnut-shaped and can be as large as four meters in diameter.  These stones were mined from the neighboring island of Palau and were transported using canoes and rafts. It is believed that due to the lack of limestone on Yap Island, these stones were considered valuable. To this day, the people of Yap use Rai stones in transactions. As the stones are too heavy to move, the only way of transferring ownership is through the word of mouth.  It is said that one of the stones was sunk in the ocean while being transported to the island yet it still continues to be used in transactions to this date. (source)

5. The island of Galapagos is inhabited by several species of animals which lack the sense of fear. As the island lacks any natural predators, the wildlife of the island is extremely tame and fearless.

Galapagos Island is often referred to as a “living laboratory.” Due to its strange wildlife, it is extremely attractive to researchers.  This archipelago of volcanic islands is located in Ecuador about six hundred miles from the mainland. Charles Darwin was one of the famous visitors to this island and was startled by the wildlife and behavior of the animals. One of the most fascinating things he observed about the island was that the animals were surprisingly tame and showed no signs of fear. While such mutations can be related to the absence of any predators on the Islands, yet the reason why there are no natural predators is still debated and discussed. (1, 2)


6. Hans Island is a disputed territory between Canada and Denmark. Despite all the territorial disagreements, both countries have managed to find a humorous way of dealing with it by leaving whiskey bottles for each other.

Hans island
Image credits: Toubletap/Wikimedia

Hans Island is located in the Nares Strait which separates Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, from Canada. The tiny island is only a half a square mile in area. According to international law, every country has a right to claim any territory which lies within 12 miles off its shore which is why the dispute over Hans Island hasn’t been resolved yet. While it’s common to resolve territorial disputes with guns and ammunition, these two countries have found a more subtle and peaceful way of showing their disagreement. When the Danish visit the island, they leave a bottle of Schnapps for the Canadians, and when the Canadian Army visits the island they leave a bottle of Canadian Club. (source)


7. There is a small island in the Pacific Ocean where about 10% of the population is completely colorblind.

Pingelap island
Image credits: BBC/Youtube

Pingelap Island is dubbed as “The Island of the colorblind.”  About 10% of the population of this Micronesian island suffers from complete achromatopsia which can be traced back to a king from the 18th century.  Following a catastrophic typhoon which swept over the island, the king was one of the twenty survivors and is believed to be the carrier of this rare gene. To put in perspective, only one in 33,000 people in the United States suffer from this condition. The condition makes it almost impossible to see in bright daylight but allows them to navigate in the night without any difficulty. The people of the island use this rare disorder to their advantage while fishing during the dark hours. (source)


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