Sub-Sub-Sub Island on Victoria Island – Nunavut - Atlas Obscura
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Nunavut

Sub-Sub-Sub Island on Victoria Island

The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is home to world's largest third order island: an island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island. 

Victoria Island, located right between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories of Canada, holds a few records under its name. It is the eighth largest island in the world — larger than Great Britain — and the second largest island in Canada. The other record it holds took countless hours of exhausting work from a world-renowned nerd to discover.

Ken Jennings is an author, computer scientist, and trivia geek who is world famous for holding the longest win streak in the history of the game show Jeopardy!, a 74-game run in which he won $2,520,700. Eight years after making his claim to fame among the international community, Jennings drew attention from the much smaller community of extreme geography fans.

In January of 2012 Jennings announced that, after countless hours of scanning Google Earth, he had found the world’s largest third order island, a nameless isle within Victoria Island. That is: an island inside a lake, which is completely surrounded by another island, which is completely surrounded by another lake, which itself is located on Victoria Island, which is located in the Arctic Ocean. (Pinpointed on Google Maps here.)

Amazingly, a third order inception is not in itself unique; a third order island is also found inside the crater lake of Taal Volcano Island in the Philippines, for example. But at four acres, the third order island in Canada is much larger than that of the Philippines, and possibly the largest in the world. 

It is quite possible that this small island has never been visited before. The nearest civilians live in Cambridge Bay, 90 miles away from this isolated island, and no roads come anywhere near. Hire a helicopter and you could be the first person to set foot on this sub-sub-sub island.

It is also quite possible, though, that this island is not the largest third order island in the world after all. The terrain of Victoria Island and nearly half of Canada is freckled with tiny, splotched lakes. This means that there is likely another — perhaps larger — third order island in another part of Canada. Spend the next few months glued to Google Maps, and you could become a legend among geography buffs worldwide.