Islands have always been important in the history and geography of the world. They’re famous for being holiday destinations; people get famous for discovering them; some are so small that you could run a lap in under a minute, and some are so big that millions of people live on them without ever really seeing the ocean.
The word ‘island’ itself conjures images of pristine beaches, endless stretches of cool blue ocean, but it’s not all resorts, palm trees and cocktails. Check out this list of the best and unusually-named islands around the world
• Starbuck Island – Unfortunately not the place to go for your iced coffees, this tiny Micronesian island is actually just an uninhabited coral isle in the central Pacific Ocean. Its former whacky names include “Volunteer Island”, “Coral Queen Island”, “Hero Island”, “Low Island”, “Starve Island”, and “Barren Island”
• Desolation Island – This name has actually been given to a few islands over the centuries. Maybe the islands were really isolated and desolate when they were discovered? Islands that have been given this name include an island in the Antarctic, and an island off the coast of Chile (called Desolación Island).
• Margarita Island – Apart from its tasty name, this Venezuelan island is your typical Caribbean getaway, with golden beaches lined with palm trees, water sports and of course, cocktails on the sand.
• Smyley Island - An island lying off the Antarctic Peninsula, it’s just a happy little island, really.
• Hooker Island – Don’t worry, this Arctic Island north of Russia is not quite what you think. Named after British naturalist Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker in 1839, remains of a plesiosaur (a type of aquatic dinosaur) have been found on the island.
• Disappointment Island – An uninhabited sub-Antarctic island off the coast of New Zealand, Disappointment Island and its surrounding islands have been the site of many shipwrecks over the centuries due to their rocky, dangerous coasts. Disappointing indeed.
• Bear Island – The southernmost island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago was discovered by Dutch explorers in 1596. Legend goes that it was remarkably named after a Polar bear that was seen swimming nearby. Ingenious, don’t you think?
• Belcher Islands – Another reason to book your flights to Canada, this noisily-named group of Islands is located in Canada’s Hudson Bay. The islands are a popular destination for overnight hunting and fishing trips, as well as canoeing, sea kayaking and camping.
You probably never are able to visit them all but perhaps consider the alternatives next time you’re planning your island getaway. Many major airlines offer airfares to hundreds of destinations around the world. Who knows – you may even discover an unusually-named island of your own.
Budgeting is one key thing for travel, make sure you keep an eye out for flights to Canada .