The North Sentinel Island, commonly known as the “World’s Deadliest Island,” is located off the coast of India in the Bay of Bengal. It’s also one of the most difficult places to visit in the world since the Indian government has placed a 3 exclusion zone all around the entire island for a disturbing reason.
The indigenous tribe has lived on the island for about 60,000 years and is thought to be direct descendants of the world’s first people.
The tribe is estimated to be between 50 and 400 people large. The island is so dense with tree cover that images of the people living on the island are rare however there are a few. Anyone who comes near the island is attacked or even worse, killed, the Sentinelese people are very hostile and aggressive, preventing anyone from coming close to their home.
North Sentinel Island is home to the most isolated and primitive people in the world who have violently rejected contact with the outside world for as long as we know; this dangerous island is unlike any other island we know of.
The crew of the Primrose, a freight ship that ran aground on coral near the island in 1981, feared for their lives, the Primrose’s captain radioed to his headquarters in Hong Kong, “Wild men, estimate more than 50, carrying various homemade weapons, are making two or three wooden boats, Worrying they will board us at sunset. All crew members’ lives not guaranteed.”
They were being attacked, but stormy seas and strong winds stopped the tribe’s boats from approaching too closely, and their arrows were blown off course, averting the crew’s deaths. Because of the poor weather, rescue helicopters were able to arrive and save the crew of the Primrose.
However, one American was not so lucky, John Allen Chau, a 26-year-old missionary, paid some fishermen to smuggle him onto the island on November 17, 2018, so he could convert the Sentinelese people to Christianity. As soon as he reached the coast, the tribe killed him. Because it was deemed too unsafe to do so, his body was never recovered.
Due to the extreme isolation of the primitive tribe, they would almost certainly perish due to foreign disease to which they have no immunity at all. The government then has made it illegal to visit the island because it is so dangerous and almost everyone who has ever visited has been attacked or killed.
The people appear to be a hunter-gatherer society as there are no signs of farming or agriculture. It is the most primitive tribe still in existence in the world that we know of.
Many researchers have flown helicopters and planes over the island to try to capture images and data. As soon as they get within range, the people start using primitive weapons to defend their island. This was the case when two fishermen ran adrift on the island in 2006.
The fishermen were brutally killed and their bodies were left on the beach. Rescue helicopters were sent to recover the bodies but couldn’t land because of the hostility of the tribe. They were forced to evacuate the mission because rocks, spears, and arrows were being thrown at them.
The Sentinelese people have made it clear that they want total isolation from the outside world. In 1991 there was one friendly meeting that lasted very quickly. The Sentinelese people walked out to boats that had been leaving gifts on the island. They walked out and received some coconuts. One man got out of the boat which started to drift away. One tribesman pulled a knife and threatened him. He immediately got back in the boat and they left. That was the only documented time that an encounter with the tribe was somewhat friendly.