In one of the crazier stories we’ve read in some time, you’ll never believe this island – on which no outsider has ever successfully landed without it costing them their life!
North Sentinel Island, as it’s known on the maps, is about halfway between Indonesia and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal. So isolated are its people, the tribe has never had contact with the outside world, making them one of the last untouched Stone Age tribes on earth who remain true to their original culture.
Officially, the island belongs to India…but no one has been able to land on the island without incurring deep wrath, resulting in their death.
For instance, in 1896 a prisoner had the misfortune of running aground on the island after escaping his captors on a raft. He lasted at most a few days. In 1981 a ship ran aground on the reef off the island…and was saved only by the troubled seas that kept them from reaching the island. They were rescued by helicopter a few days later.
As a result of their isolation, Survival International and other organizations note that if anyone does successfully land on the island and brings disease with them, it is quite likely that their disease could wipe out the entire island’s population. Yikes!
Of course, there’s also this bit: After the terrible Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis of 2004, the Indian government sent helicopters to check on islands in the region. The Sentinalese tribe appeared wholly unaffected, even as other nearby islands were completely wrecked.
The tribe’s believed to have lived on the island for upward of 60,000 years, though, so it’s no surprise they don’t want visitors. Good for them!
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