GTFO: The Sentinelese & The Most Dangerous Place in the World

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Sentinelese

{Image source}

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After a meningitis close-call turned out to be a flu that literally gripped me by the neck and turned me into a useless lump for the week, I’m back with an interesting nugget for today’s post.

We are fortunate to live in a modern society where most things are very simple: going to the restroom, contacting a family member, nourishing oneself.  What if our society never made these strides and no progress was made since our inception?

Well, that place exists:  North Sentinel Island.  

North Sentinel Island

On January 26, 2006, two fishermen were killed when their boat drifted near the island.  They were then buried into shallow beach graves.  An Indian coast guard helicopter attempted to retrieve the bodies but were unable to since the tribesmen prevented the aircraft from landing.   This is why it is dubbed one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

Located 1200 km from mainland India, it is one of the Andamen Islands on the Bay of the Bengal.  Mostly forested, it is a land surrounded by coral reefs and lacks natural harbors.  The tribe that resides here, the Sentinelese, have lived in isolation on the land for what is believed to be 60,000 years! It is estimated that they have a population between 50-400 however, the islands deep forestation makes calculating population very difficult.

The Sentinelese are among the last people to remain virtually untouched by modern civilization.

Their language is unknown and their diet is said to consist mainly of coconut and fish which can be easily found around the shores of their waters. Sentinelese canoes are constructed for fishing purposes only and can only withstand shallow waters. They appear to be hunter-gatherers since they don’t know how to agriculture.  Meats consist of turtles and small birds around the island and if not for their metal-tipped arrows carved from hulls of wrecked ships, they would be described as Stone Age people.

The earliest recording of this tribe was in 1771 by British surveyor John Ricthie.  Marco Polo also passed through in the late 13th Century and described them as “a most brutish and savage race, having heads, eyes, and teeth like those of dogs.  They are very cruel, and kill and eat every foreigner whom they can lay their hands upon.”

Indian exploratory parties were sent in order to establish friendly relations with the Sentinelese and made brief landings on the island every few years between 1967 and 1975. The first peaceful contact was made by Trilokinath Pandit, a director of the Anthropological Survey of India, and his colleagues on 4 January 1991, a few years later in 1997 all Indian visits to the island ceased.

The Sentinelese reject all types of communication with outsiders and protect their land violently, including any attempts with authorities and anthropologists to study their culture and integrate them into modern world. Even attempts to provide assistance after the 2004 Tsunami were met with men carrying arrows, ready to attack. While no harm was caused to the Sentinelese after the 2004 Tsunami as they were able to move to higher grounds prior to, the tsunami did change the islands geography in that the lagoon was eroded making fishing more difficult but they’ve since adapted.

Due to their hostile nature and the inability to make develop any form of relationships with the Sentinelese,  New Delhi has deliberately carried out little development in much of the tribal area in order to preserve the culture and people and in fear of bacterial contamination that may cause their extinction.  The Andaman and Nicobar Administration has stated in 2005 that they have no intention to interfere with the lifestyle or habitat of the Sentinelese and are not interested in pursuing any further contact with them.  They are to be left in isolation as they have defended over many centuries.

 Below I’ve linked a video of the tribe – enjoy!

Did you know about the Sentinelese? Can you imagine being a hunter-gatherer?

Sources 1, 2

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22 Comments
  • Akaleistar
    December 17, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Wow, that is so interesting. Glad you are feeling better 🙂

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 18, 2014 at 12:26 AM

      Thank you Akaleistar 🙂 Yes, much better indeed! I found it very interesting as well, glad you did so too! Have a great one! -Iva

      Reply
  • Omroy Spencer
    December 17, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Chumps don’t want help, chumps don’t get help LOL. No, i saw a documentary on a civilization similar to the Sentinelese….heck, may have been the same people. But they were quite content in their way of life. They were even more so ready to defend their homes and culture, and wanted no influence from the outside world.

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 18, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Lol well well look who FINALLY decides to comment up in here. Chumps ain’t gettin’ no help – There are a few in Brazil and that Amazonian area so it could have been from there too. We like to send airplanes and such and look “over” at them. Indian expeditions try to go by boats and make “friendly contact” by throwing coconuts and such; if they ‘dance’ then it’s welcoming them but no one should really go on the island. Even the anthropologist who successfully was welcomed when he tried to stay – they almost killed him lmfao he had to go back… they like ‘you ain’t stayin’ here homie’ – So yeah.. They can stay that way.. Yodelate punk!

      Reply
  • Erin's Inside Job
    December 17, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    That’s crazy! I cant even imagine. It’s really cool to learn about though so thanks for passing it along. Glad you are feeling better!

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 18, 2014 at 12:32 AM

      Isn’t that insane? There are other tribes similar to this in other parts of the world. The reason India stays away and many others do from certain tribes in such isolation is if you look at the Sambia, a tribe in Papua New Guinea, their exposure to modern society and advances has killed off a lot of their traditions since the younger generations go off to find work and integrate themselves. Very interesting stuff! Thank you Erin! Hope you and Neil are having a good ole’ time getting settled into your new home! Stay warm -Iva

      Reply
  • Yulunda G.
    December 17, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    First, I am glad you are feeling better and took the time to get well! It is important to disconnect for our good!

    Wow! This type of stuff really intrigues me and is fascinating! I believe everyone should simply allow them to be who they are and not attempt to integrate them in the modern world. With 60K plus year’s of living like this, that would seem impossible.

    I bet they have extremely strong immunity to all types of illnesses that put us on bed rest. Aww Shucks, I cannot watch the video right now as I am at work and it has been blocked, but, I will certainly return to do so.

    Good Stuff Iva!

    Happy Blessed Wednesday! XOXO

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 18, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      Hey lovely! Oh yes, when the body says “i’m OUT” it’s time to disconnect. It was good rest 🙂

      Glad we’re on the same boat, my boyfriend was telling me about them a few weeks back and I just found it super interesting. I agree, if they’ve been there for 60K years in isolation, that’s how they’re meant to be. I feel if we’ve been able to progress this much is because that’s what our needs as a society has directed us towards. Theirs seems to be different and their people content with it – so why bother?

      Haha that’s too funny it was blocked on my network too 🙂 Good thing I set up this post the night before 😛 I would hope their immune system is rock solid – esp since they probably have seriously natural remedies for ailments they encounter. If they survived the 2004 Tsunami just fine – I think they be aiiight. 🙂

      Have a great one Yulunda and thanks for stopping by! Stay positive lovely! -Iva

      Reply
  • Tamara Bowman
    December 18, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    Honestly, I have never heard of this!

    It’s so fascinating.

    I’m so sorry about the flu! So glad you’re better. I have been there and it can be scary when they start talking about meningitis or other horrors.

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 18, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      I love learning about these remote cultures – it’s so fascinating how they’ve been able to preserve their way of life after all these centuries..

      The flu SUCKS! Thankfully getting better – still not 100% but I’m at about 90%. Yes! The docs office freaked me out lol thankfully, false alarm! I guess better safe than sorry right? Lol – Happy Friday Eve Tamara! -Iva

      Reply
  • Rudri Bhatt Patel
    December 18, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    I hope you are feeling better. I love that you introduce us to corners of the world that might be otherwise undiscovered.

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 19, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      I am feeling much better thank you! 🙂 Happy to hear you’ve enjoyed this piece Rudri, it’s amazing how they’ve managed to preserve their way of life for 60,000 years – that’s definitely something for us to admire, in terms of their perseverance to preserve their way of life and their traditions. Have a great one and thanks for stopping by Rudri! Take Care -Iva

      Reply
      • WSSNW
        December 28, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        You know who also preserved our way of life for 60,000 years? We did. Our way of life is just different from there’s. It doesn’t make it any better or worse.

        Reply
        • Awesomely Over-Zealous
          December 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM

          Agreed – it’s fascinating to see how they’ve managed to remain disconnected for so many decades and that works for them. Whether their way of life is better or worse is a matter of opinion; to each his own and for them, it works.

          Reply
  • i find this fascinating! and also – people need to leave them alone. if they wanted something different (ie. modern civilization), they’d probably think to seek it out on their own. it’s funny how we think that they’d thrive in our society when in fact, i think they’re doing well on their own; i mean, they’ve done alright for the last 60000 years!

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 19, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Isn’t it?! I agree – 60K years – they’re doing something right, they’re preserving themselves and their culture fabulously. Heck they survived the Tsunami without NO aids and NO issues.. Leave them be. At least India is backing off and respecting their privacy so kudos to them on that. You’re right that if they honestly wanted their society to progress they would’ve “found us” already – they would’ve reached out to the colonists ages ago, or the anthropologist 20 years ago but no, they’re happy the way they are. I think it’s a good reminder for us as a society that a) our way of life doesn’t apply to the entire world and b) some things are better left untouched. Have a great weekend Kathy! WOO Friday! -Iva

      Reply
  • Jennifer Ludwigsen
    December 22, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    This is crazy to me – and also so awesome. It makes me happy to know there are still some places on this planet where cell phones and Kim Kardashian do not exist. I am not a huge fan of the overly-aggressive nature, but I imagine that attitude was born out of necessity. The video freaked me out – I kept waiting for someone to get “too close.” Why would people ever want to go there? Curiosity killed the cat, and then the cat was eaten or buried in a shallow beach grave….

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 23, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Isn’t it!? I find it crazy awesome – LOL I agree on the Kim Kardashian aspect.. Yes their aggressive nature is what’s kept them alive and their society in tact. So can’t fully blame them for being that way – LOL yeah people don’t learn and as humans it’s our nature to continuously poke and prod into places we don’t belong. So there’s that – Lol! 🙂 Have a great one Jennifer!! -Iva

      Reply
  • Lady Lilith Bloodcrave
    December 24, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    This is really cool. In a way, it is like our history being preserved. How amazing.

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      December 30, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      Isn’t it? Very good point – it is like our ancestral history is being preserved through them. It’s a great way to see what great strides we’ve made as a society. 🙂 Have a great one Lady Lilith! -Iva

      Reply
  • Roaen
    January 6, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    that is pretty cool and crazy…. i wonder how many of these tribes are still around.

    Reply
    • Awesomely Over-Zealous
      January 6, 2015 at 5:14 PM

      There are very few but this isn’t the only tribe that’s for sure. 🙂 I believe they’re the only one in that area of the Andamen islands that are have survived. Happy 2015 Roaen!! -Iva

      Reply

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