While much of the earth has been explored and documented, there are still pockets of land that most people will never get to see. One of these places is North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal, located in the Indian Ocean. While there are people who live on the island, no one will ever be able to talk to them… because they kill anyone who tries to come ashore.
North Sentinel Island is approximately the size of Manhattan, and is home to the Sentinelese tribe. A three-mile zone has been put into place around the island, because anyone who gets too close is met with severe violence.
In 2006, two fishermen got too close to the island, and were killed by the Sentinelese. Other attempts have also been met with violence. When the Indian government sent a Coast Guard helicopter to retrieve their bodies, the tribe drove it off by firing arrows at the chopper. A 1974 “National Geographic” film crew got past the barrier reefs, only to be met with a barrage of arrows. The crew managed to get out of range of the arrows, and left gifts on the beach for the tribe; when they returned to see if this made the tribe any friendlier, the tribe responded by firing more arrows at them again. At least one person, the documentary director, was shot and injured.
In 1981, a ship ran aground on the island, leaving 28 sailors stranded there. The captain of the ship sent out urgent messages pleading for help, as the Sentinelese were threatening to attack. After two weeks, the crew and passengers were luckily able to be rescued. The Indian government sent contact expeditions using the Jarawa people in 1996, which resulted in several deaths.
After the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, the Indian Navy sent a helicopter to check on the tribe, drop food on the beach, and make sure they had survived. A Sentinelese tribesman responded by firing arrows at that helicopter, also.
Because of these violent responses to outsiders, very little is known about the Sentinelese. The population of the island is not known, their language is not understood by anyone, and there is no information about the tribe’s culture or practices. It is believed that the tribe has lived on the island for over 60,000 years, though. They are also extremely deadly with their weapons, known to be accurate against humans from as far away as 350 feet.
Would you ever try to visit North Sentinel Island?