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Australia Has 17 Brand-Spankin’ New Islands

Australia Has 17 Brand-Spankin’ New Islands

Australia has just added a bunch of new islands to its territory, thanks to the Australian Antarctic Division.

The newly minted islands and geographical features are located in the Australian Antarctic Territory, a region of Antarctica that was placed under the authority of Australia back in 1933. It’s technically the largest territory of Antarctica claimed by any country, with the new islands adding to the 2443 already officially-named locations in the territory, which stretches over 5.9 million square kilometres.


Seventeen islands and 11 geographical features were christened this week – the important task of naming the islands was given to the Australian Antarctic Division’s Place Names Committee, who surprisingly didn’t seize the opportunity to name them all Island McIslandface. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Instead, the committee, who meet roughly once a year, decided to consider names submitted by scientists and explorers who have visited the area. Many of the islands have been named because of their resemblance to other things – like the Rhino, Dagger and Crocodile Islands – and some have been named due to history, geological form or positioning.

(Photo: Andreas Kambanis/Flickr)

Uranus and Neptune Islands have been named due to the fact that they’re both isolated and hard to get to. Another geographic feature has been given the ominous name The Cauldron as its amphitheatre-like formation looks a whole lot like a witch’s pot. Another island has been named Rescue Island thanks in most part to the important role it played in a 1983 rescue operation.

Other new names include: Boot Island, Complexity Head, Needle Island, Ribbon Island, Thread Island, Weavers Island and Wilkins Aerodrome, which is a blue ice runway named after Sir Hubert Wilkins, an Australian polar explorer who pioneered Antarctic aviation and exploration in the 1930s.

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(Lead image: Vincent Rommelaere)

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