Inaccessible Island – Inaccessible Island, United Kingdom - Atlas Obscura
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Inaccessible Island, United Kingdom

Inaccessible Island

It might not be as impossible to reach as its name would imply, but just about. 

Sitting off the coast of Tristan de Cunha, the world’s most remote inhabited island, is another little spit of land with a much more telling name, Inaccessible Island. 

First discovered by Europeans in 1656, the exact origins of the island’s descriptive name are unclear. One theory has it that the Dutch ship that first encountered the island named it thus when the crew was unable to reach the interior of the remote island, while another theory is that it was renamed by a crew that arrived to the island almost a century later, and weren’t even able to land. No matter where the name of the island truly came from, it really is pretty inaccessible.

From the 1800s on ships have managed to make land far on the far off island, although none have stayed for very long. The tiny island is only about five and a half square miles large, and the interior is covered in greenery. Given it’s picturesque environs some people have (unsuccessfully) tried to set up shop on the island, with locals occasionally using it as a source of guano and other salable items. The island is also home to dozens of plant species, but very few animals. Although it is also home to the Inaccessible rail, a small bird that can only be found on the island.

Today, no one lives on the island, and it remains just as inaccessible as as it always was. It is probably best known today from lists of places with strange names, which it is often included in.