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The 62 Very Isolated People of Palmerston Island

How would you like to live in a South Pacific island paradise, picking coconuts and making babies with your three wives? That idea appealed to William Marsters, who settled on the then-uninhabited Palmerston Island in 1863, eighty years after it was discovered by explorer James Cook. Palmerston is a nine-day boat ride from the nearest store, and is completely populated by Marsters' descendants. Fifty years ago, that was as many as 300 people, but only 62 now remain on the island.

Palmerston Island is the true real-life representation of slow living. There is not a single shop or grocery store there. To make a living, people engage in fishing and harvesting coconuts and in their free time, they make jewelry, play volleyball, or swim. However, they do have electricity and even the Internet, but only for a couple of hours a day. Some lucky few even have mobile phones and there’s even a satellite TV. But no one is selling anything there – money is only used to buy supplies from the outside world. There are only two toilets on the island and inhabitants collect rainwater for drinking. Life there really seems idyllic – especially on Sundays when the church bell rings to summon people for a service after which no work or play is allowed as the island slowly descends into a balmy evening.

To be honest, 62 people and only two toilets sounds far from paradise. Palmerston wants people from the outside to movie in to work the land and add fresh DNA to their community. Read more about Palmerston Island at Bored Panda.

(Image credit: Hector CHRISTIAEN/CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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