North Sentinel, the unfriendliest island in the World

North Sentinel, the unfriendliest island in the World

Isola di North Sentinel,Isole Andamane

North Sentinel, the unfriendliest island in the World


North Sentinel is a beautiful island located in the Gulf of Bengal within the Andaman Archipelago. It is an exotic paradise known for its rich vegetation and gorgeous surroundings as it is surrounded by a crystal-clear sea which spans over 28 square miles. It has a population of 50 - 400 inhabitants.


The island is also known for its indigenous people who are referred to as "Sentinels”. Their notorious reputation comes from the fact that they are considered some of the most violent and wild community in all of Asia. They live totally isolated from the rest of the modern world and have rejected any kind of external contact, aggressively reacting to any attempt of external influence. They are known as fighters, and anyone who tries to approach them from outside is welcomed with a shower of arrows, stones, and spears. So, enter at your own risk.

The Sentinels are a tribe of fishermen and hunters who are not familiar with agriculture and are thought to have lived on the North Sentinel Island in isolation for over 60,000 years. They have had very few occasions to meet foreign people, with just a few attempts to connect during sporadic governmental searches or for research purposes, all of which have always ended in an indigenous attack. For this very reason, the Indian government, to which the island belongs to both legally and geographically, said it no longer wanted to interfere with the culture and habitat of the Sentinels.  The initiative of Survival International, which is an organization that deals with the protection of indigenous tribes, have added them to the list of populations to be protected.

This complete isolation makes North Sentinel Island the most vulnerable place on the planet because, having no immunity against common illnesses, a simple epidemic could completely exterminate the entire population.


North Sentinel was affected by the Tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean in 2004, and it was suspected that the whole population had been swept away. A helicopter was sent to search the area for survivors but the population resisted and did not appreciation the concern. The helicopter was met with a strong resistance of arrows.
Any and all planes or helicopters which have hovered over the island of researchers wanting to take a photograph or film, have been met with violence and attacked. The government has imposed a law which states that foreigners must keep a distance of at least 2 miles, but some people continue to see this tribal community up close. In 2006, two fishermen in a boat got a bit too close to the Sentinels’ fishing area. They were captured and brutally killed. Attempts to recuperate the remains were in vain and even Indian Coast Guards were forced to abandon their recovery mission after they were attacked as well.


Any and all attempts by explorers and scientists to meet the Sentinels has always been welcomed with violence, and any type of civilization is constantly rejected. They simply do not welcome any cultural exchange with the rest of the world and the little info that is currently available about their lifestyle comes from aerial observations of them. Despite their reluctance to meet the modern, evolved world, the Sentinels have lived a healthy and prosperous life on one of the most pristine locations on the planet.


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