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Sunday, 30 August 2015


Robinson Crusoe spent almost 339 months (28 years, two months and 19 days) on his desert island. Alexander Selkirk, on whom the 1719 book by Daniel Defoe was based, spent more than four years on his castaway island, 400 miles off Chile’s coast. Selkirk's long-awaited deliverance came on February 2, 1709 by way of the Duke, a privateering ship piloted by William Dampier, and its sailing companion the Duchess.

The rescued Selkirk, seated at right, being taken aboard the Duke.

Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean is the most remote island in the world. It was discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier on January 1, 1739 and claimed for Norway on December 1, 1927. The nearest land is the uninhabited Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, over 1,600 km (994 mi) away to the south. The nearest inhabited lands are Tristan da Cunha, 2,260 km (1,404 mi) away and South Africa, 2,580 km (1,603 mi) away.

The 1856 Guano Islands Act gave Americans the right to mine bird dung on any uninhabited island.

The volcanic island of Surtsey, just south of Iceland, did not exist until 1963. The island, now a nature reserve, was formed by the eruption of Surtur, an underwater volcano, which for four months emitted ash and pumice in a column rising more than 1,000ft (305m).

Mayda Insula is an island in the Kraken Mare, a body of liquid composed primarily of methane, on Saturn's largest moon Titan. Mayda Insula was discovered by the Cassini–Huygens mission to Saturn on April 11, 2008. It is the first island (insula) to be named on a planet or moon other than Earth.

The world's smallest island nation is Nauru in the Pacific (see aerial view below) with an area of 8.1 square miles. Nauru's population is 9,945 according to a 2011 census. The only nation with fewer people is Vatican City.

The Bishop Rock is a small rock in the Atlantic Ocean known for its lighthouse. It is an archipelago 28 miles (45 kilometers) off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. It is the world's smallest island with a building on it.

There are 1,040 islands in total around Great Britain.

There are 179,584 islands within the territory of Finland. No other country has as many.

The world’s largest island, Greenland, is 103,000 times larger than the smallest island country, Nauru.

Santa Cruz del Islote, an island located off the coast of Colombia, has 1247 people living on it  .It is just 012 square km, the size of a baseball field, making it the most densely populated island in the world.

Marajó is an island located at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. With a land area of 15,500 square miles (40,100 square kilometres) it is s the largest river island in the world, Marajó is comparable in size to Switzerland.

Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron is the largest freshwater lake island in the world at 1068 square miles. It has a population of around 12,600.

The largest island on a lake which is itself on an island in a lake (are you still with us...?) is Treasure Island in Lake Mindemoya, which is on Manitoulin Island.

Treasure Island from the south. By Janzbran - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, $3

Fraser Island off the coast of Australia, is the largest sand island in the world covering around 163,000 ha and has a beach 40 miles long.

The Russian island of Big Diomede and the U.S. island of Little Diomede located in the Bering Strait are separated by the International Date Line, making Big Diomede 21 hours ahead of Little Diomede even though they are separated by about 2.4 miles (3.8 km)

The island of Faisans in the middle of the Bidasoa river, on the border of France and Spain, switches countries every six months. This was agreed to as part of the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. This sort of joint sovereignty is called a condominium.

"Cat Island," an island off the coast of Japan, is home to 22 residents and over 120 cats — that's six cats a person.

Here is a list of songs with an island theme.

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