View previous topic | View next topic

Islands - Isles - Islets

Page 2 of 10
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

726117.  Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:46 am Reply with quote

Possibly QI is the mythical island for which my homeland is named.

In 1510 Garci Rodriquez de Montalvo wrote The Adventures of Esplandian, based in part from Arab folk tales left over in southern Spain. One of the stories was of Califia, the black queen of an amazon warrior island. This island was alternately called "Califia" (possibly to connote female Caliph - which would have been understood in Spain as foreign and dark monarch) and "California" (land of Califia).

As Rodriguez wrote: "Know that on the right hand from the Indies exists an island called California very close to a side of the Earthly Paradise; and it was populated by black women, without any man existing there, because they lived in the way of the Amazons. They had beautiful and robust bodies, and were brave and very strong. Their island was the strongest of the World, with its cliffs and rocky shores. Their weapons were golden and so were the harnesses of the wild beasts that they were accustomed to domesticate and ride, because there was no other metal in the island than gold."

Hernando Cortez convinced the Spanish Crown to finance his expedition on promises he would find Isla California. Later in 1536 Heran Cortes landed in what is today the Mexican State of Baja California Sud and determined it was the Isla Califia. It met the description except that it was without gold, there were men there, and it was barren desert. Oh, and as it turned out it wasn't an island.

Even as late as 1610, when most cartographers had taken to correctly showing California as part of mainland North America, mapmakers were again confused by the account of Juan de Onate who claimed that from a mountain on his expedition from New Mexico he could "better see" how the Gulf of California continued to the northwest." Once again causing European maps to show California as an island.

The story was translated in the 19th century to add fuel to the California Gold rush of 1849. And today Whoopi Goldberg plays Queen Califia at an attraction at Disney's California Adventure theme park.

While I was a student, a professor of mine discovered a submerged island that had been above water during the last ice age. He named it Isla Califia - as it now appears on underwater charts ( So this mytical island did exist and sank into the sea.

The mouth of the Colorado River - where the Gulf continues to the northwest, and my house (presumably), as depicted by a Dutchman in 1650.

726948.  Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:38 am Reply with quote

You could always try to elicit a Klaxon with "What is the worlds largest island"?

No doubt someone may answer Australia; however, it's considered large enough to be a continent, and Greenland is considered the appropriate answer.

A QI Fact is that Australia DOES have a "largest island" winner: Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland is the worlds largest sand island.

727001.  Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:35 am Reply with quote

Interestingly it's only convention that says what is a continent and what is an island. There's no geological criteria or even a specified size cut off.

727005.  Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:48 am Reply with quote

I seem to remember from an earlier QI that there is an island on a lake in an island on a lake somewhere.

727007.  Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:55 am Reply with quote

Largest lake on an island in a lake on an island

Crater Lake on Vulcano Island in Lake Taal on Luzon (PHI)

727013.  Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:04 pm Reply with quote

Nice pic. The one we talked about in the show is in Great Bear Lake, in the Canadian Northwest Territories.

727575.  Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:12 am Reply with quote

May I volunteer a Japanese island called Hashima for Qi?

The island is perhaps better known to some as Gunkanshima, as it was used in Battle Royale II and is also the model for some video games. It was also used by the History Channel last year for a programme called "Life After People".

So what's Qi about Hashima?

For nearly a century up to 1974 this island was used for undersea coal mining, but was eventually abandoned when Japan turned to oil instead of coal. Despite it's size there was plenty of work to attract a growing population and it achieved a record population desity in 1959 when the population swelled to 5,259 people, which worked out to a density of over 216 thousand people per square mile for the island, and in the residential district this was over 360 thousand per square mile.

The island was the scene for Japan's first large concrete building in 1916, when a 9 storey block was built to house the workers. Eevntually there were over 30 concrete buildings in this tiny island, consisting of a primary school, junior high school, playground, gymnasium, pinball parlor, movie theater, bars, restaurants, 25 different retail shops, hospital, hairdresser, Buddhist temple, Shinto shrine, and even a brothel. There was no need for cars, as one former miner put it, one could walk between any two points on the island in less time than it took to finish a cigarette. Umbrellas were also unnecessary because a labyrinth of corridors and staircases connected all the apartment blocks and served as the island's highway system.

727579.  Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:20 am Reply with quote

Incidentally, I didn't find any records of any cats on the island, but then again, there wouldn't have been much space to swing one...

727629.  Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:39 pm Reply with quote

Warship island, it's been used as a basis for lots of anime I believe.

Google Maps Link

Spud McLaren
727830.  Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:47 am Reply with quote

Q. What's the distance between Yesterday and Tomorrow?

A. About 2.4 miles.

I think this has sort of been covered on QI before, but I don't recall mention of the islands.

This could link with the Iceland swimming factoid:
"During the Cold War, that gap constituted the border between the USA and the USSR, and became known as the "Ice Curtain". In 1987, however, Lynne Cox swam from one island to the other, and was congratulated by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan."

727836.  Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:23 am Reply with quote

The Diomedes featured briefly in the 2008 US Vice-Presidential Election campaign.

Republican Party nominee then-Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), famous for her inability to convey rational thought said of her foreign policy experience, "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, whereľ where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border."

When asked how that would have any relevance to foreign policy, she added, "They're our next door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska."

There were a few follow up reports that got quite a bit of press stating, that you could in fact see Russian Federation land from a US State when on Little Diomede.

However most Americans will remember this from the Saturday Night Live skit it produced in which Tina Fey as Sarah Palin said, "And I can see Russia from my house!"

Spud McLaren
727838.  Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:33 am Reply with quote

Ascension Island:

"It is possible that the island was sometimes used as an open prison for criminal mariners, although there is only one documented case of such an exile, a Dutch ship's officer, Leendert Hasenbosch, who was set ashore at Clarence Bay as a punishment for sodomy in May 1725. The Dutchman's tent, belongings and diary were found by British mariners in January 1726; the man had probably died of thirst.

Ascension Island was first inhabited in 1815, when the British garrisoned it as a precaution after imprisoning Napoleon I on St Helena to the southeast. On 22 October the Cruizer class brig-sloops Zenobia and Peruvian claimed the island for His Britannic Majesty King George III. The Royal Navy officially designated the island as a stone frigate, "HMS Ascension", with the classification of "Sloop of War of the smaller class"."

Spud McLaren
728397.  Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:18 pm Reply with quote

What's this? (image too large to post pic)

The summary here reveals all.

QI, ain't it?

Spud McLaren
728398.  Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:40 pm Reply with quote

Not all the members of Scott's Terra Nova Expedition died - there were several parties, one of which went to Inexpressible Island. Victor Campbell in particular seems to have led an interesting subsequent life.

Spud McLaren
728399.  Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:45 pm Reply with quote

Generally interesting island...

Prince Edward's plague of cats.

Island group discovered twice on the same day - and even then the locals had got there first (as is usually the case).


Page 2 of 10
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group