The World's Most Extreme Islands

Manitoulin Island, in Ontario, Canada, is the world's largest island located in a lake.
Manitoulin Island, in Ontario, Canada, is the world's largest island located in a lake.

By definition, an island refers to any area of sub-continental land that is surrounded on all sides by water. There are islands of various shapes and sizes and they are located in different areas of the world. Here is a list of some of the unique islands of the world and a description of the features that make them so unique.

9. The Largest Island In The World By Size

Greenland is the largest non-continental island in the world by surface area. The island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Baffin Bay, and the Greenland Sea. The total area covered by the island is 2,166,086 square km. Most of this area (1,755,637 square km) is covered by the Greenland ice sheet. The island is sparsely populated and as of 2013, the population of Greenland is only 56,480.

8. The Largest Island That Is Located On A Lake

Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island that is located on a lake. The island is located on the Lake Huron in the Canadian province of Ontario. The island itself hosts 108 freshwater lakes including Lake Manitou that holds the record of being the world’s largest lake on an island. Manitoulin Island even has four major rivers flowing through it. These rivers provide important habitat for trout and salmon. The Manitoulin Island covers an area of 2,766 square km and the Lake Manitou on the island occupies an area of 104 square km.

7. The Largest Fluvial Island In The World

The Marajó Island is the largest fluvial island in the world. A fluvial island is one that is formed by the sedimentary deposits of a river or stream. The island is located on the Amazon river delta in the Brazilian state of Pará. The island occupies an area of 40,100 square km.

6. The World’s Largest Uninhabited Island

Located in the Baffin Bay in the Canadian province of Nunavut, Devon Island is the world’s biggest uninhabited island. The island occupies an area of 55,247 square km that is roughly the size of Croatia. The island has extremely harsh conditions by virtue of its relatively high terrain and extreme northern location. No permanent human settlements are found on the Devon Island. Only small populations of small mammals, birds, and musk oxen are found here. The island serves as an important base for conducting scientific research related to extraterrestrial space, especially the planet Mars. The surface and living conditions of the Devon Island are often compared to the Martian surface.

5. The Lowest-Lying Island In The World

An island on the Lake Afrera in northern Ethiopia can claim to be the lowest-lying lake in the world. The island is known as the Franchetti Island and is located on the lake’s southern part.

4. Island Shared By The Highest Number Of Countries

The island of Borneo is not only the world’s third biggest and Asia’s largest island but it also holds the record of being an island that is shared by the highest number of nations. The island of Borneo is politically divided into the three countries of Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia. 73% of the territory of the island is part of Indonesia while the two Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah occupy 26% of the island’s territory. Brunei is a sovereign nation that comprises only 1% of the land area of Borneo along the northern coast of the island.

3. The Most Remote Island In The World

The title of the most remote island in the world goes to the Bouvet Island. It is an uninhabited subantarctic island that is located in the South Atlantic Ocean. The nearest permanently inhabited mainland is the coast of South Africa located about 2,600 km away from the island. The nearest mainland is Antarctica’s Princess Astrid Coast that is about 1,700 km away from the island. The Bouvet Island’s covers an area of 49 square km, 93% of which is covered by ice. Presently, the island is politically a Norwegian dependency.

2. The Highest Island In The World

The highest island in the world’s title goes to not one but a group of islands that are located on the Orba Co lake, a high altitude lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Rutog County. The lake and thus its islands lie at an elevation of 17,090 ft above sea level.

1. The Largest River Island In The World

There are two contenders for this title. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Mājuli island located in the Brahmaputra River in India’s Assam state is the largest island in the world. The island has, however, shrunk considerably in size due to high levels of erosion. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Mājuli island occupied an area of 1,250 square km which has reduced to only 880 square km according to recent estimates.

The Bananal Island is also often regarded as the largest river island in the world. The island is located in the Araguaia River in Brazil’s Tocantins state. The island occupies an area of 19,162 square km.


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