Places not on Google Maps – Islands 2

The North Sandwich Islands

When Captain James Cook sailed around the world, he must have been feeling extremely hungry. This can be the only explanation for the number of places he named after the humble sandwich. In no particular order, they are as follows:

  • Sandwich Islands was the name given to Hawaii.
  • South Sandwich Islands, an archipelago, part of the British overseas territory of ‘South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands’ in the south Atlantic Ocean.
  • Sandwich Island, a former name of the uninhabited atoll Manuae in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.
  • Sandwich Island, a former name of Efate Island in The Republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean.

The remotest place he named after the sandwich were the North Sandwich Islands, a small group of islands four hundred miles due north of St Helena. Cook named them the Sandwich Islands after the colourful horizontal strata in the cliffs. The “North” was added by The Admiralty in 1781, after they realised how confusing it was to have so many islands named the same. These islands are entirely volcanic and are covered in rainforest. Napoleon declined to be exiled here in 1815 as he didn’t want to be associated with anywhere that reminded him of English cooking.


The only former Portuguese island in the Caribbean, Marmeladica is one of the lesser known of the Grenadine Islands. The name comes from the hundreds of quince trees that are found on the island, which have been harvested since 1752 and sent all around the world to make marmelade. The economy of the island has diversified in recent years with a few hotels making appearances in the western part of the island. There is no airport, so tourists have to arrive by ferry from Kingstown on St Vincent.

Caiman Cayman

This is the fourth and least known of The Cayman Islands, largely because it’s not a tax haven, but it is dangerous because the inland waterways are inhabited by a very fierce breed of caimans who have been known to try and overturn boats in their desire to eat the contents. These caimans were imported to keep down the local rat population, a job they exceeded themselves at. The caimans can grow to be sixteen feet long and so are able to block some of the narrower canals on the island completely, causing occasional flooding problems in the wet season.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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