Yough Pioneer Tours

5 of the worst islands in the world

Young Pioneer Tours have partnered up with Let’s Buy an Island to purchase our very own slice of paradise and form a new micronation. LBI are very much on finding a good island, but in the meantime we thought we’d look at some of the absolute worst islands; the cankers on the face of the planet that even billionaire recluses and evil geniuses would turn their nose up at.

5. Deadman’s Island – England

World's worst islands: a femur on Deadman's Island, England.

This would not have made it onto the list were it not for my obsession with the nearby island of Sheppey, but that notwithstanding, it’s still a horrible shit-hole.

Deadman’s Island is off-limits to civvies like you and I because it is a bird sanctuary. Previous to its status as a low-rent ornithological preserve, however, it was an ad hoc cemetery for prisoners who’d died of contagious diseases. The prisoners, who’d been incarcerated in ‘prison hulk’ boats off Sheppey, were stuck in cheap wooden coffins and submersed in the thick mud of Deadman’s Island.

200 years later, and there are a worrying number of barnacle-coated cadavers revealed at low tide. Not exactly a tropical island paradise.  

4. Gruinard Island – Scotland

Worst islands: the remains of a stone cottage on Gruinard Island, AKA 'Anthrax Island', Scotland

I may have no idea what ‘Gruinard’ means, but I do know what ‘anthrax’ means, and I can infer why Gruinard Island might go by the less-than-salubrious sobriquet (say that five times fast) of ‘Anthrax Island’.

Once upon a time, the UK government decided that it might need a place to test biological weapons (who knows when you might need them?) and did it here. Apparently it’s for sale now, and is reputedly one of the most dangerous islands in the world. Next series of “I’m a Celeb” here, anyone?

3. Ilha De Queimada, Brazil

Worst islands: hundreds of snakes writhe on a bush on Ilha de Queimada, Brazil

This island has it all – the exotic Portuguese name, the Brazilian connotations of sun, sea and samba, and writhing masses of venomous snakes.

This island has more snakes per square metre than anywhere else on earth, and they’re pretty much all venomous. The Brazilian government has banned people from going here, but batshit-crazy poachers still make the trip. Before presumably choking on their own tongue like Michael Madsen in Kill Bill.  

2. Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands

Worst islands: an overhead shot of the protective concrete dome placed over a heavily irradiated area of Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

You’ve likely heard of Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands – famously used for nuclear testing – but even worse is Enewetak Atoll. Between 1948 and 1958 the inhabitants were removed and enough nuclear testing was done to render the atoll uninhabitable for 2000 years. Things are so bad that a Chernobyl-sarcophagus-style concrete dome was installed to prevent radiation from leaking out.

So yeah – skip Enewetak and come with us to Majuro instead.

1. North Sentinel Island – India

Worst islands: several North Sentinelese tribespeople stand on the beach of North Sentinel Island, looking out to sea.

North Sentinel Island is home to some notably hostile natives. There aren’t so many of them, but any outside visitors – pirates, anthropologists, Christian missionaries – have almost all been attacked and/or killed on sight. The Sentinelese antipathy towards outsiders extends towards the massive shining sky-demons that are helicopters, which the locals try to kill with javelins.

Long story short: it really doesn’t matter how much you believe in God/your IG influencer status, the Sentinelese will fucking kill you if you set foot on their island.

If you’re still not put off by the thought of island life then check out Coffee Island and see if that is more to your fancy!

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