Four Unusual Island Populations

Via Atlas Obscura, here’s Big Major Cay, an island of swimming pigs:

If you are offshore in a boat, the pigs will swim out to you. But beware: If you get too shallow (like, three feet of water or so), the pigs can – and probably will – jump into your boat and look for your lunch… The pigs control the island.

Here’s Ilha de Queimada Grande, or “Snake Island”:

Marcelo Duarte, a biologist who has visited Snake Island over twenty times, says that the locals’ claim of one to five snakes per square meter is an exaggeration, though perhaps not by much. One snake per square meter is more like it.

Now Okunoshima Island, a former poison gas manufacturing site in Japan now overrun with bunnies:

According to some sources, the rabbits were brought to Okunoshima to test the effects of the poison and released by workers when World War II ended. Others sources claim that a group of schoolchildren were on a field trip, when they released eight rabbits in 1971.

And also in Japan, an island called Tashirojima:

The cat population is now larger than the human population on the island… There are approximately 100 residents on Cat Island, and most of them are over 70. One person is 37, and everybody else is over 60 years old… It won’t be long before the four footed animal end up being the only living being on the Cat island.

There are few things more fascinating (and in many cases, few things scarier) to me than the idea of one island, and one strange thing, iterating itself in isolation for years and years: if this interests you too, check out another Atlas Obscura feature: a guide to islands you never want to visit, including our old friend with the dolls.

Photo via Eric Staal/Flickr.

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