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Google Maps user spots shipwreck on island inhabited by remote tribe

2 min read

A Google Maps user spotted a shipwreck on a remote island inhabited by an indigenous tribe.

The eagle-eyed internet sleuth made the discovery in North Sentinel Island while browsing the site and uploaded it to Reddit.

The island is part of the Andaman Islands, an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal which also includes South Sentinel Island.

It is home to the Sentinelese, an indigenous people in voluntary isolation who have defended their protected isolation from the outside world, often by force.

The tribe hit the headlines in November 2018 when they killed an American Christian missionary called John Allen Chau.

He had travelled to the island illegally with the intention of converting them to Christianity,

Chau was killed by the tribe, who fired arrows at him, and the fisherman who had ferried the missionary to the island later observed Sentinelese tribesmen dragging a body along the beach and burying it.

Due to the island's history, Reddit users suggested there were few places they would like to become shipwrecked less than North Sentinel Island.

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One said: "Oof. Can't think of a worse place to get shipwrecked."

A second replied: "I assume they had a bad day."

Referencing John Allen Chau, a third wrote: ""That dude who took them Jesus a while back and died before he made it to the trees.

"On the upside, he missed out on Covid."

Another suggested: "The Q&A section for North Sentinel Island on Google is pretty funny – worth checking out for a quick laugh."

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Nominally, the island belongs to the South Andaman administrative district part the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

In practice, Indian authorities recognise the islanders' desire to be left alone and restrict their role to remote monitoring.

People have tried to make contact with the islanders over the year's before Chau's fatal attempt, but they have always been met with resistance.

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