North Sentinel Island

North Sentinel Island

North Sentinel Island is one of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It lies to the west of the southern part of South Andaman Island. It is small, forested, located away from the main settlements on Great Andaman, surrounded by coral reefs, and lacks natural harbors.

The island itself isn’t strange. But, the inhabitants of it are: a group of indigenous people, the Sentinelese, live on North Sentinel Island. Their population is estimated to range from 50 to 500 individuals. The Sentinelese reject any contact with other people, and are among the last people to remain virtually untouched by modern civilization.

After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami an Indian government helicopter confirmed that they were unaffected by the tsunami. Interestingly, they tried to fend off that helicopter by throwing stones and arrows. Although the tsunami disturbed the fishing grounds of the Sentinelese, they appear to have adapted.

On 26 January 2006, two fishermen were killed by Sentinelese when their boat drifted near the island.

The first peaceful contact with the Sentinelese was made by Trilokinath Pandit, a director of the Anthropological Survey of India, and his colleagues on 4 January 1991.

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