7 Incredible Islands Where Humans Are Only Guests
Although most places are inhabited by both humans and animals equally, on a few islands wildlife has taken back control. In these places, animals like cats, deer, or bunnies often outnumber humans and their living spaces aren’t restricted to a few reservations. Instead, they roam freely on the streets and in the parks of the islands, interacting with tourists and locals without fear.
We at Bright Side were intrigued by the islands that are overrun by animals and want to show you some of the most fascinating ones.
1. Pig Island (Bahamas)
The unusual island is located in the Exuma district of the Bahamas and it’s uninhabited by humans. However, many pigs live here, although they are not native to the island and no one knows for sure how they got there.
The pigs who seem to live here like they are on vacation, spending their days swimming in the ocean and sunbathing on the shores, Pig Beach has become a tourist attraction. Although they aren’t domestic animals, the pigs are friendly and both locals and visitors take care of them giving them food and snacks.
2. Deer Island (Miyajima)
This small island is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan. Although it only has a population of around 1,500 people, many people want to visit each year. Part of the island’s charm is the wild deer roaming freely on the streets. The animals are protected by Japanese law and more than 500 of them live on Miyajima.
Something that might surprise you if you decide to visit this island is that the deer aren’t shy, fearful creatures. Although visitors are cautioned not to tease or touch them, the deer might look for your company instead. They often check tourists’ bags for snacks and are more than happy to take a selfie with them.
3. Bunny Island (Ōkunoshima)
Bunny Island is another place that’s perfect if you want to see an abundance of cute, furry creatures. No one really knows how the rabbit population became so large, but currently, there are almost 1,000 of them on the island. The bunnies are very friendly and they will often come looking for your snacks too.
A few years ago a video went viral showing a woman being overrun by a lot of bunnies. Since then the yearly visitors to the island doubled, here’s what 2 of them had to say about visiting the place.
“Rabbits are everywhere. And if you give them pellets, you can get them to pose.” — SebNL/reddit
“It was amazing! The rabbits are so tame, as soon as you get off the boat you are inundated with cutie pies wanting food.” — muffinator/reddit
4. Monkey Island (Sarushima)
This place is quite different from the rest of Japan’s animal islands. While Sarushima gets its name from a legendary white monkey that guided a stranded priest to safety, currently no monkeys live there. The island is uninhabited by humans as well, but many people come to see its beaches and historical ruins.
If you want to see wild monkeys in Japan, the snow monkeys (also known as Japanese macaque) can be found in many national parks. In places like the Awajishima Monkey Center, the animals live in natural surroundings, sharing their domain with a few deer.
5. Dolphin Island (Mikurajima)
This remote island is located close to Tokyo, and tourists can both watch wild dolphins and even swim with them in the ocean. Mikurajima is also very rich in other attractions, including a volcanic mountain and beaches that seem untouched by humans. Over 100 dolphins live and roam freely around the island. And they are friendly enough to allow tourists to swim alongside them as part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
6. Cat Island (Aoshima)
Japan has several cat islands and Aoshima is definitely one of the most popular. On each of these islands, there are significantly more felines than humans and cats outnumber people 6 to 1. As on most of the animal islands, the animals (cats) seek out human company and are very friendly.
In 2016, residents of the island asked netizens on Twitter to donate food for the cats as they no longer knew what to feed them. No more than a few days later, locals had to ask people to stop sending food donations because they had received so much they no longer had any place left to store it.
As described by one Reddit user, the cats are happy to make human friends. “Found an island with more cats than people. I think they liked me.” — ZeVinge/reddit
7. Penguin Island (Australia)
Penguin Island is at a small distance from Perth, Australia and can be reached by ferry. A small colony of penguins have had their home there for hundreds of years. The birds on the island are the smallest penguin species in the world and they are protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act.
The little penguins spent most of their time in the shallower parts of the surrounding ocean and inhabit the island together with other animals like sea lions, pelicans and dolphins. Although they are quite shy creatures, visitors can encounter them and even feed them at certain locations and times.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Would you like to visit one of the Japanese animal islands?