List of Island Names
This is a list of islands that are somehow unusual or notable. The ranking from ten to one is somewhat arbitrary, in my opinion, since each island is unique in its own way and ratings can’t really apply (it would be kind of like asking which piece of music is better, “Stairway to Heaven” or “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”). So this one is really more like a grocery list than a “countdown from ten to one” list. The islands listed were chosen in part for their obscurity, which is why (for example) Easter Island is not on the list — everyone has heard of that one!
The westernmost of the eight major Hawaiian islands, Ni’ihau (pronounced NEE-ee-how) is distinct from the other seven in that it is completely privately owned, having been purchased by Elizabeth Sinclair from the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1864. Visitors are seldom permitted, hence the island’s nickname, “The Forbidden Isle”, although in recent years the island has begun to allow very limited tourism (primarily safaris). Ni’ihau has a population of about 130 people, who speak Hawai’ian as their native language (although English is also spoken).
Another westernmost island, this time the westernmost in the Aleutian Islands chain in Alaska. Although Attu Island is the Aleutians’ westernmost island, it actually lies in the Eastern hemisphere. Attu has a population of twenty, all of whom live and work in Attu Station, a United States Coast Guard LORAN (Long Range Aid to Navigation) facility. Apart from being the last island in the 1, 200 mile (1, 900 kilometer) long Aleutian Islands chain, Attu is also distinct in that it is the location of the only land-based conflict on American soil in all of World War II.
Monuriki is a small, uninhabited island in the Mamanuca Island group in Fiji. Monuriki would not ordinarily be noteworthy for any particular reason, but it came into the spotlight when it was used as the primary filming location in the 2000 Tom Hanks film, “Cast Away”, about a man whose plane crashes and who, subsequently, ends up living on the island for four years. In the movie, the island is completely isolated, although in reality, there are several other islands within a few miles of it, including Tavua, with a population of some 2, 400 people. Monuriki has now become a popular tourist destination due to its appearance in the film.