The isolation of the ecosystems of islands can sometimes lead to bizarre results, and this article is about a few such peculiar and strange islands found around the world which are dominated by animals. This goes on to prove that though the world is ruled and dominated by humans, there are parts of the world that are beyond humans.
Below is a list of 5 strange islands from around the world that are ruled by adorable animals.
1. Big Major Cay or Pig Island, Bahamas
Pig Island is one of the 360 islands of the Exuma district of Bahamas and is inhabited by a group of 20 pigs. There are different stories about how the pigs came to the island at first. One of the most popular stories is that a few sailors had dropped them on the island so that they could cook them when they would return. But the sailors never returned and the pigs stayed there. Another story says that the pigs were actually survivors of a shipwreck. There are others who believe that it was the Bahamas government that had planted the pigs there to increase tourism, and it has paid off. Today, the island is a popular tourist destination and the pigs are not afraid to swim to the tourists and gulp whatever the tourists have to offer to them as foods.
2. Miyajima or Deer Island, Japan
Deer are generally shy animals and avoid human contacts, until they are on the tiny island of Miyajima, Japan, in which case, they are perfectly okay with humans, even patting them. In Japanese cultures, deer are revered as messengers of God and killing one at one point of Japanese history was even punishable by death. Though the punishment for killing deer is now not that harsh and deer no longer enjoy the same divine status as in the past, it is still a very important animal for Japanese. And this is the reason that more than 1000 deer live on Miyajima island peacefully with humans. Since their only predator, wolves, is extinct in Japan, deer have nothing to fear now and the island has become a popular tourist destination both for the deer as well as the cultural influence of the island.
3. Aoshima or Cat Island, Japan
Aoshima is one of the most popular of the many islands in Japan that are ruled by cats. According to a report, there are about 130 felines and 13 humans on the island as per 2018, which means, there are about 10 cats on the 1.6 km long island for every human. The cats were first introduced on the ships and boats in the area by the fishermen as a measure to control mice, but over the year, their population boomed and human population declined from about 900 residents in the year 1945 to 13 in 2018. Dogs are also not allowed on the island.
Tashirojima is yet another popular cat island in Japan where about 100 people and 600 cats live in an area of 3.14 sq km.
4. Assateague or Horse Island, USA
Assateague Island, a 60-km long island under the jurisdiction of the USA, located off the eastern coast of the Delmarva Peninsula, is home to about 300 horses and thus is a very popular tourist destination. Though they are not domesticated, it is believed that the horses from which they descended were once domesticated by the inhabitants. This is, nevertheless, not the only story of their origin. There is another theory that claims that these horses were survivors of a Spanish galleon. Over the years, there were often times when their growing population had become a problem. Therefore, whenever there is a problem of over population, some of the horses are removed from the island and shifted elsewhere under human occupation to control their numbers.
5. Ōkunoshima or Rabbit Island, Japan
Another island in Japan being ruled by animals, Ōkunoshima island, better known as ‘Rabbit Island’, is home to about 1000 rabbits. They are the descendants of eight rabbits that were released in the year 1971 by a group of school children and due to the ban on hunting and restriction of cats and dogs on the island, there was nothing to stop their population. These rabbits, however, weren’t the first ones that inhabited the island. During the WWII, the Japanese had released a group of rabbits on the island to test the effectiveness of a poisonous gas that the it was manufacturing on the island. The operation was so secret that the location of the island was even removed from all the Japanese maps. All those rabbits were killed when the factory was destroyed and the island was captured by the US.