The stunning Teti’aroa Atoll off the coast of Tahiti has long been admired for its tropical beauty, but it didn’t really become famous until actor Marlon Brando bought the whole damn thing as a personal vacation spot.
Consisting of around 12 little islets covered in sandy beaches and tropical greenery, the atoll was once used as a vacation spot for the Pōmare royal family of Tahiti. They would use the island for rest and relaxation, and even sometimes, to hide treasure. Eventually the islets were given over to the only dentist in Tahiti, who passed the lands down among his family.
Brando stumbled upon the islands while scouting a movie location, and decided that it would be his. He purchased the atoll from the dentist’s descendants and made it his own personal get away. He spent as much time there as he could afford, even if the Tahitian people weren’t exactly ecstatic about his Hollywood takeover of their islands. Brando even built a small hotel on one of the larger islands.
Today there are plans to build an even larger resort complex on the atoll, called The Brando. But it is not all luxury vacations. At least one researcher is using the islands, introducing sterile mosquitoes as a preventative abatement procedure. Maybe in a few years, Teti’aroa Atoll will be known more for curing disease than for curing Brando’s boredom.