Jeepers creepers, this looks like it comes straight out of a 1970’s horror movie. Would you believe that there’s an island in India that kills visitors when they arrive? This terrifying island isn’t exactly overpopulated, or the number one tourist destination on all travel agents websites. Yet is one of the most frightening, and unforgivable places that you could possibly find yourself.
North Sentinel Island is the destination that you must avoid if you value your life. Located in the Bay of Bengal, its inhabitants can be best described as less than welcoming. In fact, just about every encounter with the Sentinelese people has resulted in conflict.
North Sentinel Island is a semi autonomous area of India. While the territory technically belongs to India, due to the ferocity of the islands inhabitants, the island practically has its own form of self government. It doesn’t have an official language, and no one knows for sure just how many people live there. Some estimates place the population from 40 up to 500. Most estimates place the figure somewhere between 250 and 300. But what they lack in numbers they more than make up for in ferocity.
The Sentinelese seem to want only one thing. To remain undisturbed. Apart from only brief intentional, and on some occasions, accidental intrusions, the islands inhabitants have been allowed to go about their lives relatively untouched. One of the first encounters was a merchant ship that was wrecked just off the coast in 1867. The 106 survivors made it to shore, then had to fend off unrelenting attacks from the island inhabitants. They were eventually rescued by the Royal Navy. Over the next 20 years several more British expeditions were attempted, with a kidnapping of some of the locals, and a rescue attempt when the eruption of Krakatoa was mistaken as gunfire and interpreted as a distress signal.
In the late 20th century, India made several attempts at making contact with the inhabitants on the island in India that kills visitors. The first peaceful contact was made in 1991, but they had to end the attempts in 1997 due to aggression. Following the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, the Indian government flew helicopters over the island to inspect for damage and provide assistance if needed. The inhabitants fired arrows at the aircraft and also threw rocks at it. In 2006 two fishermen who were fishing illegally near the island were killed when they got too close to the coast. Even the rescue helicopter that was sent in to retrieve the bodies came under attack.
In short, the residents do not want to be disturbed, and are most likely pretty happy with life as they know it. The Indian government also has no desire to interfere with their affairs.