Ramree Island located right off the coast of Myanmar is famous for a strange and deadly incident that followed a battle between the British and the Japanese during World War II. When the British drove Japanese from their camps and into the mangroves, the scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of men crushed in the jaws of saltwater crocodiles. Though locals and historians dispute the idea of a massive massacre by the saltwater crocodiles, it is true that somewhere between 500 and 1,000 soldiers entered the marshes and only around 20 were found alive. The Guinness Book of World Records has listed it as the “worst crocodile disaster in the world” and “most number of fatalities in a crocodile attack.”
After World War 2 when the Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific Ocean came under the U.S. control, local residents were involuntarily evacuated. Forty-three nuclear tests were then conducted on the island from 1948 to 1958. In 1977, USA started a $100 million decontamination project, during which contaminated soil and debris were buried under an 18-inch thick, 25 foot high spherical concrete cap, dubbed “Cactus Dome.” The Dome is currently deteriorating and could be breached by a typhoon, though the sediments in the lagoon are even more radioactive than those which are contained.
23Chapel of the Tablet
The chapel of the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia has been rumored for centuries to be the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Nobody is allowed to see the Ark, not even the Ethiopian president. According to rumor, a single monk watches over it and never leaves the chapel grounds.
Poveglia Island is an abandoned island located off the coast of Northern Italy. It is off limits for public access. It was a site of wars, dumping grounds for plague victims, used as an armory for weapons, had a mental asylum. Some estimates suggest that 100,000 people died on the island over the centuries.
Heart Island is a remote, volcanic island in the Subantarctic that belongs to Australia. Stark and inhospitable, it’s dominated by Big Ben – a 9,000-foot-high active volcano which last erupted in 2016. The island remains uninhabited by humans. In order to protect the island’s rare and delicate ecology (including the resident penguins), visits are strictly regulated unless you’re part of a scientific expedition. Should you be granted access, you face a two-week voyage from Australia across some of the planet’s roughest seas.