15 Islands No One Wants to Buy For Any Price!

13 min

We are here on the Blind Side, If you’re not a fan of your neighbor, there are still a few options to secure an island of your own. Some are a real bargain, others are free, but there are some obstacles you will need to overcome before sealing the deal. From the tiny Pacific island with a tarnished reputation, to the picturesque isle off the coast of Italy, here are 15 Islands No One Wants to Buy for Any Price.

15. Pitcairn Island

With its reputation tarnished by a child abuse scandal in 2004 involving Steve Christian, the mayor and a descendant of its first settler Fletcher Christian, Pitcairn Island is home to just 38 locals.

If you’re looking for an isolated destination where there is little chance of confrontation with the neighbor’s, land is free and plentiful, and the weather is good, then this tiny Pacific island could provide the answer.

One of the 14 remaining British Overseas Territories, Pitcairn Island was settled by mutineers from HMS Bounty and is considered Britain’s smallest colony, with new settlers few and far between.

In recent times the government has received just one application to move to the island, irrespective of the fact they provide all immigrants with their own plot to build a home.

Measuring two square miles across, Pitcairn Island has little to offer anyone looking for work. There is just one general store that opens three times a week, with orders for food from New Zealand, placed every three months.

Appeals for more people to boost the population have fallen on deaf ears, as the island’s location is in the middle of nowhere. Although most of the land here is free, there are some instances where it can be bought for only $500. I kid you not, this is 100% true! Free is better, but hey, what’s $500 to own land on an island like this? Count me in!

It does, however, have electricity and the internet, but is renown for divisions within the ranks of its residents, with bullies and petty squabbles prevalent. Unfortunately, Pitcairners must rely on each other for absolutely everything, so if you fall out with another resident, you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle.

14. Isola della Gaiola

With rumors of a deadly curse, there is little wonder people aren’t rushing to make this island their new home.

Situated off the coast of Italy, Isola La Gaiola is well known for the curse that is said to have gripped the island since before the 20th century.

The curse is linked to the suspicious death in the 1920’s, of the islands then-owner whose body was found wrapped in a rug. Subsequent owners have all met with similar fates.

A small, but beautifully formed island, Isola della Gaiola boasts rocky shores and clear emerald waters where submerged ancient ruins can be seen below.

A private villa enjoys picturesque views across the island; however, it is now abandoned as locals refuse to inhabit it for fear they might become the next victim to the island’s curse.

Comprising two inlets, connected by a narrow stone bridge, the island was once home to noble Romans who built holiday homes across the scenic stretch of coast. The remains of an Imperial Age villa can still be seen today, beneath the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island.

Now owned by Campania Region authorities, the beautiful isles run of bad luck may have begun right back in the 1800s when a hermit known as Il Mago, or The Wizard, simply vanished without trace. A second resident, Luigi de Negri, built a spacious villa on the island, but suffered financial ruin soon after.

13. Poveglia

Just a gondola ride from the heart of picturesque Venice and considered one of the most attractive islands for sale in the Mediterranean, Poveglia is made up of three parts.

In total the island is 72,000 square meters and has many ruins of historical significance, including a church, a hospital, an asylum and a 12th-century bell tower. The bell tower formed part of the church of San Vitale that was demolished in 1806.

Picturesque and slightly run down, this little piece of paradise would make the ideal holiday destination or romantic getaway, if it weren’t for its grim past.

Now known as one of the most haunted places on earth, Poveglia was home to many victims of the plague that swept across Europe in the Middle Ages.

For some, the island was their final destination, with their bodies buried in mass graves.

If that wasn’t enough, Poveglia provided the ideal place to house a mental institution during the 1920s, with rumors swirling for years of the abusive and inhumane medical procedures that were carried out there. The doctor responsible ended his life, leaping off the Bell Tower, and in 1968, the islands hospital was closed and Poveglia was abandoned.

Since then, the island has been bought and sold several times, with the first two owners scared off after witnessing several mysterious and frightening incidents.

With the remains of more than 100,000 plague victims and mental patients said to be buried on the island, the fact it is haunted, comes as no surprise.  In fact, more than 50 percent of the island’s soil is composed of human ash!

The island is for sale, however the government tried unsuccessfully to auction it off in 2014, with bidding reaching a paltry US $704,000.

No surprises there.

12. Antipodes Islands

Inhospitable, uninhabited, wet, cold, and windy, surely it comes as no surprise that the Antipodes Islands aren’t the most sought after for human resident’s?

Volcanic islands, located in sub Antarctic waters to the south of New Zealand, 860 kilometers south east of Stewart Island and 730 kilometers north east of Campbell Island, the Antipodes Islands is now a World Heritage Site.

A major infestation of mice, with up to 200,000 of the tiny rodents responsible for killing bird chicks, invertebrates, and plants, were accidentally introduced in the late 1800’s from either a shipwreck or from a sea hunting gang.

The mice are now the only mammalian pest species on the remote islands.

Located on the belt of the Southern Ocean, the islands are relentlessly lashed by howling gales and freezing conditions, not exactly appealing for mankind.

Several attempts at introducing livestock or farming on the island have failed, however a seal harvesting operation was successful for several years but had come to an end by the 1830’s, with the population wiped out by sealing.

They have also been linked to at least three shipwrecks, including the Spirit of Dawn, President Felix Feliu and Totorore.

11. King Island, Alaska

The Vintage news

Once a bustling metropolis, this secluded community of Ukivok on King Island is living proof that a lot can change over a century.

For thousands of years, members of the once lively township lived off the land, hunting and fishing, surviving on the limited resources available to them, even building their own homes from the ground up.

But the WWII draft had a disastrous effect on the resilient little community, and the tough times that followed proved the final nail in the coffin. The community never recovered and by the 20th century, King Island had become the winter home of 200 Eskimos.

Each summer the Eskimos could be seen paddling their kayaks, and row boats to the Alaskan mainland for a few months of fishing and, later, to sell traditional handicrafts.

In 1937, King Island was home to 190 residents, 45 homes, a Catholic church, and a school, but by the early 1960’s, the school had closed, and social and economic pressures had prompted most to relocate to nearby Nome.

10. Tillamook Island, USA

Simply a rock with a lighthouse, situated off the cost of Oregon, Tillamook Island is not an island in the traditional sense,

Sold several times over the years, the island was once worth half a million dollars, but now due to unforeseen circumstances, it can be secured for just US $50,000.

If waves sweeping all over the entire island and a colorful history aren’t enough to put prospective purchasers off, then the various myths and tragedies just might.

Nicknamed Terrible Tilly, the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, rests atop a sea stack of basalt and is situated more than a mile off the banks of Oregon’s North Coast.

The battered and bruised lighthouse, although still standing, has been closed to the public for many years.

Tilly’s story began in 1878 when, before construction could even begin, a surveyor checking the location was swept out to sea. Once construction began, problems continued, with access to the site proving particularly dangerous and stormy weather wreaking havoc.

Four months into construction, the work site was peppered with loosened rocks following a storm, sweeping the workers tools, a water tank, and provisions into the water, never to be seen again.

Although the workers survived, they were left stranded for over two weeks with very little to sustain them or protect them from the prevailing weather.

After almost two years, the lighthouse was nearing completion when the sailing barque Lupatia was wrecked in heavy fog in January 1881.

Sixteen crew members lost their lives, with just a dog surviving the ordeal.

Due to the conditions surrounding the lighthouse, light keepers were only assigned periodically, as the weather proved too harsh for them, both physically and mentally.

October 1934 brought the worst storm on record. It destroyed Tilly’s lantern room and Fresnel lens. Both were never replaced, and the light was turned off for good on September 1, 1957.

Considered the most expensive U.S. lighthouse to operate, with severely limited access to the site, and being off-limits during the seabird nesting season, it’s easy to see why this island isn’t considered a smart investment.

9. Snake Island, Brazil

Situated off the coast of Brazil is an island that has a reputation for being off limits!

Not even the brave are encouraged to visit IIha da Queimada Grande or Snake Island, with the name providing an obvious giveaway.

The natural habitat to a species of viper, with its venom able to kill someone in under an hour, the island has a population of snakes reaching into the thousands.

The golden lancehead pit viper is said to have become trapped on the island, following rising sea levels that cut off the mainland. Not able to escape, they are now destined to live out their days on the island, an island that is occasionally visited by brave scientists looking to study the snakes.

Less than 100 miles from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Snake Island is infested with an estimated 4,000 venomous vipers. Untouched by human developers, the snake population has gone completely wild, with the island now considered the deadliest in the world.

This is one island you can mark of your list of places to visit.

8. Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands

Its name may evoke images of a beautiful women in a tiny bathing suit, taking a dip within a tropical oasis; however, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Bikini Atoll, situated between Hawaii and Australia, came under the administration of the U.S. Navy in 1944 and was subsequently the site of Operation Crossroads in 1946.

A vast military-scientific experiment, the operation was carried out in order to determine the impact of atomic bombs on naval vessels.

Before testing could begin, the atoll’s 166 native Micronesians had to be relocated to Rongerik and then to Kili Island, about 800 kilometers south east of Bikini.

The atomic weapons test was a world first and was conducted at Bikini on July 1, 1946.

Over the next 12 years, the Navy dropped a total of 23 nuclear bombs from airplanes over obsolete World War II naval vessels, including battleships and aircraft carriers. The resulting explosions decimated the once pristine and beautiful Bikini Atoll, rendering it uninhabitable to this day.

From the air, Bikini presents the picture-perfect backdrop for residents and tourists alike, but the reality is quite the opposite, with contamination from the nuclear weapon drop rife on both land and sea.

7. North Brother Island

Uninhabited until 1885, New York City’s North Brother Island was purchased by the city in order to build Riverside Hospital.

The hospital was purpose-built to house those suffering from contagious diseases, such as typhus, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and smallpox.

It’s most famous resident, ‘’Typhoid Mary” Mallon was said to be the United States’ first confirmed asymptomatic carrier of the bacteria that caused typhoid fever.

Having worked as a cook, it was revealed that seven of the eight families she had worked for had experienced typhoid fever outbreaks. Following this revelation, Mallon was initially quarantined at the hospital in 1907.

In 1905, the General Slocum steamship caught fire near the island, with the loss of over one thousand people. At the time, the tragedy was recorded as the worst in New York’s history, a record it held until the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Staff from Riverside Hospital helped with the rescue effort, and 321 people were pulled from the freezing waters and survived.

Following a short closure, the hospital was reopened after the Second World War as a house for war veterans and following that, as a treatment center for heroin addicts.

The doors were closed for good in 1963 and the island is now a bird sanctuary for Black-Crowned Night Herons and is officially off-limits to the public.

6. Fort Carroll, USA

If you have a spare US $31,500 sitting around, and are thinking about purchasing an island, make sure you have all your facts first.

The historic artificial private island, built to protect the city of Baltimore back in 1848 is available for purchase, with just one condition attached.

In order to secure the island, you must also promise to restore the abandoned fort on it.

Forming part of a Third System construction program, the fort was constructed in the shallow water of Soller’s Point Flats and was considered an important tool in the defense of Baltimore’s port.

Previous attempts to restore the abandoned fort to include a casino, a hotel, a prison and a conference center, have been shelved, with major construction works discouraged, due to the area being a nesting site for seagulls and herons.

Redevelopment, therefore, is next to impossible, hence the low asking price.

5. Maatsuyker Island, Australia

Does moving to the ends of the Earth, living in isolation and freezing conditions hold appeal? If you answered yes, then you are not alone.

More than 1,000 people applied for the role as lighthouse keeper on Maatsuyker Island, situated off Tasmania’s south coast.

With weather so fierce, it would make your hair curl, Maatsuyker Island is the southernmost land mass on the Australian continental shelf.

If your normal day involves a luxury existence of sipping champagne, dining out on caviar and sleeping in a five-star hotel, then this job is not for you. With no TV or internet connection, the only benefit is that you get to live rent-free!

With fantasies of running away to a deserted island, the caretaker role on Maatsuyker Island could well test your resolve.

4. Raoul Island

Centrally located between New Zealand and Tonga, is a sub-tropical island paradise that most will never have heard of, and even less have visited.

Raoul Island (Sunday Island), an anvil-shaped island, 900 kilometers south-west of Ata Island of Tonga and 1,100 kilometers north-east of New Zealand’s North Island, is the largest and northernmost of the main Kermadec Islands.

With vigorous volcanic activity apparent throughout the past several thousand years, including several explosive eruptions, the island is large enough to support residents, but lacks safe harbor.

Not open to the public, Raoul Island plays host to a handful of ‘Raoul Island rangers’ who spend a year living on the island eradicating weeds. These rangers are annually selected by the Department of Conservation after a mock scenario assessment to see whether they have the skills required to survive the beautiful, yet deadly environment.

Settlers were known to have lived on the island from the 1830s onwards, however they all left following the 1870 eruption.

3. Amsterdam Island

Located in the middle of nowhere, 2,670 miles from Africa, 2,100 miles from Madagascar, 3,100 miles from Sri Lanka, 2,140 miles from Australia and 1,990 miles from Antarctica, Amsterdam Island, is home to the most remote active volcano on the planet, and is described as both distant and lonely.

Neither sounds appealing, but the island in the southern Indian Ocean, does have one redeeming feature, it’s geographical interest.

Although no one has ever seen an eruption at Amsterdam Island, the volcano looks geologically young, which means it could have erupted as recently as 100 years ago.

It also has a scientific and meteorological base that was established in 1949. Here several researchers and military personal are known to be housed.

The most degraded of the French southern island territory, Amsterdam Island suffered drastically during the 18th century with many ships stopping on their way to either South Africa or Australia between 1792 and 1974. The ships stopped to collect wood and several peat fires occurred on the island, causing a significant reduction in the island’s native Phylica forest.

The erosion that followed caused even further destruction to the island. Due to changes in their habitat, several petrel species were eliminated, and invasive plants significantly changed the landscape.

2. South Georgia

With an average population of just 30 people, South Georgia and the neighboring South Sandwich Islands lie in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Both form part of the British Overseas Territory and are remote and inhospitable.

South Georgia is by far the largest island in the territory and has no native or permanent inhabitants.

Two-thirds of the 30 temporary residents live in Grytviken, and the remainder are British Antarctic Survey (BAS) team members who live at King Edwards Point. Over the summer, the population of South Georgia increases slightly with a further influx of BAS team members.

History has it that famous explorer Ernest Shackleton stopped at South Georgia Island just prior to his ill-fated attempt to cross Antarctica on foot.

Some 20 months later he returned with several companions after arranging a rescue mission for the rest of his crew that had become stranded off the Antarctic Peninsula. The rescue attempt was a success; however, Shackleton died on a subsequent expedition in 1922 and is buried in Grytviken.

With its climate reaching polar limits, a visit to the island is not for the faint-hearted, however the fauna and flora are said to be amazing with a wide range of albatross, macaroni and king penguins, along with terns, gulls, shags, petrels, and prions. Seals can be seen from the shoreline and whales are able to be viewed swimming in the surrounding waters.

The climate doesn’t put visitors off either, as South Georgia island is a popular tourist destination, providing a significant source of income to the are

1. Bear Island, Norway

The southernmost island of the Norwegian Swalbard archipelago, Bear Island is in the western part of the Barents Sea.

Discovered by Dutch explorers William Barents and Jacob van Heemskerk in June 1956, Bear Island is situated approximately halfway between Spitsbergen and the North Cape.

The pair are said to have named the island after a polar bear that was seen swimming nearby. It has a population of four semi-permanent residents and was placed under Norwegian sovereignty in 1920.

The islands namesake, the polar bear, now pays infrequent visitors when ice drifts in throughout the winter, and mammal fauna are considered scarce. The enormous walrus colonies that were commonplace prior to the 17th century have all died out, and other water-dwellers are rarely seen.

Hunters, trappers and even coal miners have all tried their luck on Bear Island, with little success. During the Second World War, a weather station was established on the island, and it still operates today.

If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. With remote islands across the globe offered for sale for ridiculously low sums, or even less, questions need to be asked as to their suitability for habitation. As they say, ‘only fools rush in’. We pity the fool that decides to put their money where their mouth is and buy one. Also, check out our other cool stuff showing up on screen right now. See you next time!

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