We all know that New Zeland is a sovereign island country in the Pacific Ocean. But what you didn’t know is that one of the many islands that make up the country’s territory is called ‘Disappointment Island’. This small mystery island is 475 kilometers south of the country’s main South Island and 8 kilometers from the northwest end of Auckland Island. Its area is 3 square kilometers and apparently there are no people living on the island.
Also on the Disappointment Island is the Auckland rail, endemic to the archipelago; once thought to be extinct, it was rediscovered in 1966.
History. It is home to a large colony of white-capped albatrosses: about 65,000 pairs – nearly the entire world’s population nest is there.
Why is it called Disappointment Island?
This newly discovered island is in a row of three ‘disappointing’ island about 200 km away from the New Zealand mainland. They were first named the Unfortunate Islands in the 1500s because none of them possess a fresh water source for weary travelers. Two hundred years later they were re-named Disappointment Island by some French explorers who found their discovery of the islands somewhat disappointing.
Another reason why they might be the islands of disappointment is because no one could stay forever on these islands – because it lacks fresh water. There’s just no life source flowing from this beautiful outcrop of rock in the middle of the ocean. You can’t stay there, make it your home, or dwell on its cliffs. It’s a visit, a stop on your journey, that is all.
Don’t mistake Disappointment Island for Disappointment Islands
Yes, you read that correctly. There are two places on earth with this ‘unusual’ name. They are both islands and they are both located in the Pacific ocean. The island we just talked about belongs to New Zeland, while the Disappointment islands are a subgroup of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. Tepoto and the atoll of Napuka are small coral islands that form the group of Disappointment Islands.
These are all beautiful islands and even if their name isn’t really attractive, it doesn’t mean they’ll disappoint you. The scenery is stunning, flora and fauna will take away your breath, and even if these islands lack fresh water and you wouldn’t be able to live there for a long time, you are most definitely able to visit and explore these interesting sub-continental islands.