Geography Now’s Top 10 ISLAND destinations


This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Hey Geography peeps, I’m back hope you like the Season 2 finale of Geography Go. I mean I guess for me personally I- I’m always thinking about going so far abroad, that it never even really hit me that my neighbor, Mexico, would be just as equally fascinating, but it was, Mexico really blew my mind away and I really think everybody should go. So anyway, just jumping into it, today’s video is going to be just like the last one, except this time it’s gonna be my top ten island destinations. Number ten, Pentecost and Tana island in Vanuatu and one of the reasons why is, because Vanuatu in itself is just shrouded and saturated with cultural vibrancy and landscapes phenomena. Tana island specifically has Mount Yasur. This place is one of the only places in the world we can get incredibly close to an active volcano with lava spewing all over the place and Pentecost Island because the people here from the Sa Tribe I believe? They do this incredibly dangerous sport called “land diving”. It’s almost like a primitive form of bungee jumping, basically they tie vines around their ankles and they jump off a wooden structure made out of bamboo poles that goes all the way up to about 20 to 30 meters. This is a sight you can’t find anywhere else. Number nine, the Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands now you know me, I love disputed regions and disputed areas, and this place is definitely not short of that. Now even though Russia and Japan did kind of come to some kind of “agreement”, these places are still relatively “disputed” by Japan and Russia. Nonetheless, I personally find these islands fascinating, not only just because of the “dispute” factor, but also because these islands are like in the dead center of the Ring of Fire. Many of them still have active volcanoes, the landscape is amazing, although predominantly inhabited by Russians, this is one of the only few places that actually has native indigenous Ainu people. They were all pretty much kicked out of Sakhalin, but they still kept a few of them in the Kuril Islands. Number eight, Socotra Island. This island is found in the Arabian Sea, belonging to Yemen. This island has over 700 endemic species of plants that you cannot find anywhere else. Plants like the Dragon Blood tree, the giant Succulent tree, and the Boswellia. There’s also that really cool Halah cave. Just in general, the whole island is almost like an alien experience, almost like a different planet. The problem is, it’s kind of hard to get here, I mean, the place is kind of like a hot spot for like Somali pirates. Nonetheless, if diplomatic issues subsided and you know controversy and pirates and all that stuff kind of stuff got brushed off, yeah, I would love to go, I would absolutely love to go. Number seven, now this one’s a little strange because it’s technically not kind of like an island, but this is actually kind of more like a “theoretical” island, because very few people have actually kind of claimed that they’ve seen it and it might not even be very easily visible because a lot of it might actually be underwater. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Oceanographers and scientists assume that there might actually be a huge landmass, “landmass”, made out of discarded plastic and garbage that was tossed to the Pacific Ocean and the ocean currents and winds push them all into one conglomerated section into the Pacific Ocean. They don’t know exactly how big it is, but some estimate that it could be as big as 700,000 square kilometers. It’s also not very easily visible because it kind of shifts throughout the oceans and it’s floating. I don’t know though, to me, it might be kind of cool to like just sail into the ocean and then see a huge, massive, piece of anomaly in the distance. I don’t know why garbage is fascinating to me, but I don’t know, to me, I find that kind of- I’m weird like that, I don’t know why I find that interesting, but I do. Number six, Eil Malk or Merchercar island in Palau. One reason why I want to see this place, Jellyfish Lake. The indigenous Golden and Moon jellyfish that are found in this lake have very weak sting receptors on their tentacles and hence, you can swim amongst them without any worry of injury. The thing is though, you can only snorkel here, you cannot scuba dive because the bubbles apparently affect them when it goes up into their bells or whatever you- I don’t know jellyfish anatomy. So yeah, that’s that. Number five, the Faroe Islands.The Faroe Islands, you know they speak for themselves. You know, not only do you have these breathtaking, captivatingly, beautiful looking islands and sharp cliffs and jagged rocks. You have that horn spike shaped island, you have that lake that looks like it’s about to spill over into the ocean, you have these turf houses in the countryside with sheep all concealed within the foggy overcast atmosphere of the North Atlantic. But what I find really fascinating are the people here, they’re almost like the little brother of Iceland. Their language and Icelandic are the closest things to ancient Norse that you can find. Nonetheless, the traditions and customs of these islands have been held on to tightly for over a millennia. It’s just- it’s really cool to see who they are and how they live in that area. Number four the Crozet and Kerguelen Islands. Now you guys know I have an affinity for the cold inhospitable Arctic or Antarctic regions of the planet. This place fits right into that category. Now Kerguelen Island is kind of strange because it is kind of classified as like a sub Antarctic region, but it’s still kind of lush and flora. It’s also famous for the Kerguelen cabbages which grow here you can’t really find them in almost anywhere else on the planet. Penguins visit regularly in the droves. If you can make it up to the Cook Ice Cap, the view would just be amazing and breathtaking. I would love to see that, to me, that is enticing. Number three, little Diomede Island. Ah we’re back in my own country, alright, uh, well hey, Alaska let’s go. For those of you that don’t know, will Diomede Island sits right across the International Date Line from big Diomede Island. So even though the islands are literally only like two miles apart, they are an entire day apart from each other. It is perpetually tomorrow two miles away on big Diomede Island. There are only about 150 people that live on little Diomede Island and they’re mostly of the native Inuit people and it’s really interesting because there’s almost like no room for people to live on that island, if you look at it, like the cliffs are just so steep and high and there’s only like a very narrow small little valley inlet before you hit the coast. But these people live there and they don’t mind it. I would love to talk to those people, I would love to meet them. I think the people on little Diomede Island [would] probably be some of the most interesting people I’d ever meet. Little Diomede Island, I’m coming for you. Speaking of violence with interesting people, number two, La Gomera island. Now this island is the second smallest of the Spanish Canary Islands, however there’s a cool little secret hidden amongst the people in this place. Most of the residents on this island are fluent in Silbo Gomero. This is almost like a special coded language that they speak, except they don’t really speak it, they whistle it. This is what it looks like, (whistling) they can literally have full-on conversations just through whistling with each other. Apparently it started a long time ago when they had to find a way to communicate across the wide ravines on the island and they couldn’t really yell, so they decided ‘hey let’s whistle that’s more sharp and that’s more easily audible’, and through that, they somehow developed like a code of tones and whistles that were able to express the words that they wanted to say. Other than I think a small town in Turkey, I think they are like the only people on the planet that have a “whistling” language. I would love to see that. And finally that brings us to island number one, but before we do here are some honorable mentions. The floating islands in Lake Titicaca in Peru. Svalbard, Norway. Howland and Baker Island. Caroline Island in Kiribati. Sable Island in Canada that is overrun with horses. Ōkunoshima Island in Japan that had overrun with rabbits. The urban, abandoned, Hashima Island in Japan. Saint Martin, the only place where France touches the Netherlands, “technically” I mean they consider themselves a different country. But Niihau, Hawaii, the only island in the Hawaiian Islands that is solely inhabited by Native Hawaiian people and their first mother language is Hawaiian. Dominica because just watched the episode. Seychelles. Christmas Island with their crab invasions. Tristan da Cunha with their remoteness. Bouvet island which is even more remoteness. Kaffeklubben, the most northern land mass on the planet. Iriomote-jima and Ishigaki-jima because (laughing). So that brings us to number one, Pancake Island! Okay so that isn’t actually the name of the island, it’s just the name it I gave it. But if you watch the Canada episode, I’m talking about the island, in a lake, on an island, in a lake, on an island. You have to go way up north to get here. I’m pretty sure some people may have already made it to this island, however to the best of my knowledge, nobody has really extensively documented it yet. So why not? I kind of want to go there and plant my flag and say, “I made it to Pancake Island!” I actually did the research, like you would have to fly to Victoria Island and then you’d have to like hire a snowmobile guy to take you as far as you possibly can. Then if the water is frozen, you might be able to walk across it, but if not, you might have to bring portable canoe. And if the water isn’t frozen, again, you would have to hike all the way through the next Island, and then bring your canoe with you, and then go across next water. It’s a long process, so uh, Canadian National Tourism Board, if you’d like to sponsor me kind of like what Greenland just did a few weeks ago, yeah, I’m totally down, I would love to go to Pancake Island. I mean if nobody will do it, I’ll do, it I’ll do it. So those are my top 10 island destinations, speaking of islands, you can learn a lot about them- see, see this little transition I’m trying to work on? You can learn a lot about islands and geography on The Great Courses Plus, one of our favorite sponsors. Thank you so much Great Courses Plus. For those you don’t know, The Great Courses Plus has over 7,000 online courses taught by highly accredited professors and professionals, and subjects all across the academic spectrum. Math, science, literature, history, chess. There’s even a lesson that teaches about the navigational tactics between Polynesians and Vikings, I’m totally going to watch that. You can get a free one month trial by going to this link right here, TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/Geography or you can click on the link that I’ll put in the description. And sign up if you want, it’s a great source for education. Thank you Great Courses Plus, you guys rock. And with that being said, the Ghana episode is coming next week, I know you guys are waiting for it, you’re a little antsy, I’m working in on it. Ghana will come up next week. So thanks guys, I got some work to do, have a good one.

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