Archive for August, 2009

Donde Esta Mi Isla?

Friday, August 21st, 2009

water_mamamusings_FlickrMexico has been searching hard for an island that likely never existed.

Isla Bermeja was depicted on 17th and 18th century maps as lying off the Yucatan, but extensive investigations have failed to show any sign of it.

Were the island to exist, it would extend Mexico’s rights to energy extraction further into the Gulf of Mexico, so its failure to be could be worth billions of dollars.

Mexicans have theorized that the island might have been submerged by rising sea levels, or been blown up by the CIA to extend American drilling rights in the Gulf. Neither is plausible. Mexican fantacists go as far as claiming mysterious murders of officials who opposed this island-snatching Yankee perfidy.

It is most likely that the island was one of many phantom islands that appeared on maps during the early years of oceanic cartography; some stuck around, on maps at least, for a very long time.

(Image courtesy mamamusing, Flickr)

Disaster in Tonga

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Tongan flagThe sinking of a ferry last week in Tonga is a tragedy for the small country.

With only 121,000 inhabitants, Tonga is quite small. Ninety-five people died on the ferry, nearly all of them Tongans — nearly 1 in every 1,000 people in the country. In the US, this would be the equivalent of about 300,000 people.

The ferry was traveling from the capital to Ha’afeva in the Nomuka Group. These small islands are likely to be particularly devastated, as they seem to have a tiny population, perhaps even less than 1,000 people.

More about Alaskan Islands

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Totem pole detail, Ketchikan, Revillagigedo now has more information about Alaskan islands.

Alaska is extremely well-supplied with islands, with more large islands than any other state, and more island acreage than any other state, even Hawaii.

Alaska pages now include:

(Image copyright — usable with attribution and link)

The World’s Most Densely Populated Island

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

A nod from the New York Times travel blog yesterday: it noted my designation of Hong Kong’s Ap Lei Chau (Aberdeen Island) as the world’s most densely populated island.

That record has so far held, but, given that Ap Lei Chau includes some undeveloped hills, an island more heavily covered with highrises could surpass this island’s population density.

(Image courtesey Dave Berezansky)