Saturday, April 9, 2011

World's Most Unusual Islands-North Sentinel Island

North Sentinel Island lies some 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Smith Island, in the Bay of Bengal. It is about 28 square miles (72 square kilometers) and is completely forested, with the exception of the thin strips of beach that encircle most of it. It is otherwise unremarkable, except that it is populated by one of the few remaining “uncontacted peoples” in the world. The Sentinelese are highly xenophobic and resist virtually all attempts at contact, frequently firing arrows at boats and helicopters that come too close to the island (sometimes killing the “intruders). Between their active isolationism and the difficulty of observing the island from the air, almost nothing is known of the Sentinelese — their language, culture, and even an accurate estimation of their numbers are all unknown. North Sentinel Island is technically part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory, but in practice, the local government has said that they intend to leave the island to its inhabitants, making it de facto autonomous.

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