Friday, February 6, 2015

Clipperton Island

What is not so much a desert island as an atoll in the middle of nowhere, was named for John Clipperton, a pirate who supposedly made his hideout there in the early 18th century. Annexed by France in 1855 and claimed by the United States, it was seized by Mexico in 1897. Arbitration eventually awarded the island to France in 1931, which took possession in 1935. For reasons that remain unclear, France has a penchant for little coral atolls in the middle of the Pacific, though it has left the place entirely uninhabited since 1945 when the last Mexican guano miners left. Uninhabited does not mean unvisited however. Lost fishermen have been known to beach their craft there, scientific researchers unable to find an original subject for their doctoral theses have likewise beached their craft there, and film crews seem to like it, more likely for its coconut palms than its wildlife, which consists mostly of rats from still more ships wrecked on the island’s rocky and un-lighthoused coast. Perhaps the French want the island because it has an excellent environment for radio transmission; dozens of ham radio operators have been known to sail to the islands, to run their versions of piracy from among its waves.

I have not included a photograph or map of the island, purely for reasons of propriety. If you wish, you can google it, and then click “images”, and decide for yourself whether the shape of the island does or does not suggest the female sexual organ (strangely, the same is true of Wake Island, but with one small but not insignificant difference which you will find on that page). You could, of course, try looking for it in an old-fashioned atlas, but you may struggle to find it - it is less than three miles square, which will make it a dot on most pages. Go to the eastern Pacific Ocean, six hundred and seventy miles south-west of Mexico, fifteen hundred miles west of Nicaragua, the same again to the west of Costa Rica and fourteen hundred more to the north-west of the Galapagos Isalnds. Nowhere near France.

Marks For: Coral

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