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North Sentinel Island lies to the west of
the other Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

It is a small island with an area of only
about 23 square miles (59.7 sq. km.).

It is mostly covered by a forest that gives
way to a narrow beach that encircles the island.

The island is also surrounded by coral reefs
and dark blue water rich with fish and other

sea life.
What makes North Sentinel Island different
from other tropical islands is its unusual

inhabitants, who we will discuss in this episode
of The Infographics Show, “The Untouched

Tribe – North Sentinel Island.”
Walking around naked except for some leaves,
string fibers, and other decorations, the

indigenous people of North Sentinel Island,
the Sentinelese, have lived in almost complete

isolation from the rest of the world for nearly
60,000 years.

According to a documentary about North Sentinel
Island, they are “thought to be direct descendants

of the first humans who emerged from Africa.”
They have been isolated for so long that the
language they speak has been forgotten by

the rest of the world.
Another concern is that their extreme isolation
has made them vulnerable to modern-day diseases.

They do not have immunity to them and could
become seriously ill or even die as a result

of being exposed to them.
Although modern civilization is only about
31 miles (50 km) away at the city of Port

Blair, the Sentinelese lag far behind modern

They do not even know how to make fire.
The only time that they have fire is when
it is “produced spontaneously” according

to one article, such as when lightning strikes
a tree.

The Sentinelese have no knowledge of agriculture.
They live off the land and the sea, hunting,
fishing, and collecting wild plants.

They also eat coconuts that wash up on the

They use simple tools such as harpoons, flatbows,
and arrows not only to hunt for food but also

to safeguard their isolation.
The Sentinelese isolate themselves by choice.
They have a long history of using violence
to drive outsiders away from their island

Over the years, nearly everyone who has ventured
too close to or landed on North Sentinel Island

has been attacked and/or killed by the Sentinelese.
Most of them suffered these negative outcomes
whether their visits to the island were accidental

or intentional.
For instance, in 1896, one unlucky Indian
convict survived a dangerous prison escape

from Port Blair only to be killed by the Sentinelese
shortly after landing on their beach.

According to one source, a British party recovered
his body and found that the convict was “pierced

in several places by arrows and his throat
was cut.”

In 1974, a team of anthropologists trying
to film a documentary, a National Geographic

photographer, and some police officers were
greeted by a shower of arrows from the Sentinelese.

One of the arrows hit the director of the
documentary in the left thigh.

In 1981, crew members of the cargo ship MV
Primrose were attacked by the Sentinelese

after their ship became stranded on the reef
surrounding the island.

They had to fight the Sentinelese with “flare
guns, axes and lengths of pipe” in order

to live long enough to be rescued a week later.
The only friendly encounter outsiders had
with the Sentinelese occurred in January 1991

when an Indian contact expedition visited
the island.

There is some video footage of members of
the expedition presenting the Sentinelese

with gifts of coconuts thrown into the water,
which the tribespeople quickly gathered.

There is also video footage showing some smiling
Sentinelese interacting with members of the

expedition and even touching them out of curiosity.
Unfortunately, this one encounter turned out
to be more like a truce rather than an end

to the isolated tribe's war with outsiders.
Later visits to the island were met with the
usual hostile greetings of weapons drawn or

arrows fired.
The last encounter occurred in 2006.
Two fishermen drifted too close to the island,
and the Sentinelese killed them and buried

them in shallow graves.
Authorities attempted to recover the bodies
of the fishermen but were unsuccessful because

of what one source calls a “customary hail
of arrows.”

They ended up leaving the bodies there and
leaving the Sentinelese to live in peace.

Like the other Andaman Islands, North Sentinel
Island is under the jurisdiction of the Indian

Over the years, India has allowed the Sentinelese
to manage their own affairs with minimal government

In 1991, it placed a 3 mile (5 km) exclusion
zone around North Sentinel Island to keep

outsiders such as tourists and poachers away
from it.

Will more outsiders become target practice
for the Sentinelese?

Will these isolated tribespeople, whose estimated
population ranges from 15 to 500, be wiped

out because tourists will expose them to diseases
that they have no immunity to?

Only time will tell.
If someone gave you a free trip to North Sentinel
Island, would you go there?

Why or why not?
Let us know in the comments!
Also, be sure to check out our other video
called What If Animals Went To World War With

Thanks for watching, and, as always, don't
forget to like, share, and subscribe.

See you next time!
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This Last 'Untouched' Tribe Is Extremely Violent - North Sentinel Island

502 Folder Collection
Samuel published on November 27, 2018
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