15. The Island Time Forgot
You may not be aware of this, but there are quite a few places on the planet that are untouched by human civilization. While that seems like an impossibility, one such place exists in the furthest reaches of the Indian Ocean. Known as North Sentinel Island, the location remains a mystery to this day due to the violent indigenous tribe that lives there.
14. Deadly Territory
For years, researchers and humanitarians have tried to gain access to North Sentinel Island in an attempt to study the people, known as the Sentinelese; however, all attempts have failed. Living with no interference from civilization or technology, the tribe has attempted to kill anyone who has tried to interact with them.
13. Alone in the Darkness
Researchers believe that the tribe sees outsiders as dangerous invaders and don’t understand the concept of “coming in peace.” Another interesting fact about this tribe is that they have not discovered fire, making them truly untouched by any modern civilization concepts. It’s hard to imagine living in a world where the concept of fire and heat do not exist.
12. Hunters & Gatherers
Based on what researchers have been able to study from afar, the Sentinelese maintain a society of hunters and gatherers with no agricultural practices or systems in place. They spend their time hunting, fishing and collecting wild plants.
11. Living Conditions
The dwellings of the Sentinelese people are described as small huts with no floors or walls. While they have no type of advanced metalworking, due to the lack of raw materials, the people do have the ability to sharpen materials into crude yet effective weapons. The primary weapons of the tribe are javelins and flatbows.
10. First Contact
First contact with the Sentinelese tribe occurred in 1880 when an armed British expedition went to the island led by Maurice Vidal Portman, who was the local colonial administrator. The goal was to survey the island and make friends with the tribe, but they all retreated into the jungle upon arrival. The expedition did successfully capture four members of the tribe, but two died and the others, when released, disappeared. This would be the only time the British would attempt to make friends and abandoned all further efforts to make contact.
9. Contact Expedition: 1967
The Indian government began contact expeditions to North Sentinel Island in 1967, although all attempts to make contact with the tribe failed. The people refused to exit the jungle and all gifts and materials left for the tribe went untouched. India eventually ceased contact, realizing that any more expeditions would be a waste of resources.
8. National Geographic vs. The Tribe
In 1974, a team from National Geographic visited the island and were met with extreme acts of hostility. As their boat approached, the Sentinelese shot a wave of arrows at their vessel. The crew landed on a far beach and left gifts for the tribe—a pig, coconuts, and a toy doll—However, they were met with more arrows and spears in response. One tribesman killed the pig in front of the National Geographic crew and buried it, before shooting arrows at them again, with one actually striking the director of the project.
7. The Primrose Incident
On August 2, 1981, a ship, the MV Primrose, ran aground on the island, stranding all 28 of its sailors on the beaches. For two weeks, the captain sent out terrified broadcasts, seeking evacuation and telling tales of the Sentinelese trying to attack them. The sailors were eventually rescued via helicopter and were completely shaken by the ordeal.
6. Dangerous Deception
There were several accounts of contact made with the people in the early 1990s that proved the Sentinelese tribe were not looking to make friends. On all attempts to make friendly contact, the tribe would motion for the boats to come closer; however, when they did, the tribe would attempt an attack with their javelins and arrows.
5. The 2006 Deaths
In 2006, two Indian fishermen decided to take their chances and illegally fish for mud crab near the island. While they were sleeping, their anchor broke loose and their boat floated into the shallow waters of the island. What happened next is absolutely bone-chilling.
4. A Failed Escape
When the fisherman woke up, they realized their error, but it was too late. The Sentinelese tribe killed them with arrows before they had a chance to escape. The Indian Coast Guard attempted to retrieve the bodies via helicopter, but the tribe’s warriors fired at them with more arrows.
3. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
Despite the devastation that the 2004 tsunami caused to the area, the Sentinelese tribe managed to make it through unscathed. While the actual death toll is unknown, observation has revealed that most of the tribe managed to make it to higher ground. Rescue relief attempted to drop supplies, but the tribe again attacked all efforts to help them.
2. Monitoring the Island
Due to the hostility of the tribe and not wanting to risk any future deaths, the Indian government allows the Sentinelese to exercise total sovereignty over their affairs. The island continues to have drones monitor it from time to time, but the tribe’s warriors tend to shoot at them if they get too close.
1. The Land of the Lost
It’s amazing that in our technologically advanced world, we still have places that have not adapted to modern societal norms. The Sentinelese have made it very clear that they have no plans to integrate into civilization; however, their circumstances continue to be a subject of interest to researchers. What do you think? Should this tribe continue to be studied or should they be allowed to live out their lives in peace and solitude?