There Was A Time When No One Was Allowed To Step Foot On This Island! Here’s Why

Representational Image | Photo:

Have you heard about bio-weapons? Yeah, we all have in the movies. But other than that? Bio-weapons are the reason why nobody was allowed to visit this island.

1.2 miles long Guinard island was once a hideout for thieves and rebels in the 16th century, according to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. This island which is often dubbed as ‘Anthrax Island’ lies off the coast of Scotland, in the United Kingdom.

Before the 1920s, six people lived there but after that – the island is next to a ghostland. It is isolated.

The danger we are talking about here is ‘anthrax’. It is a bacterial illness that is caused by bacterium baccilus anthracis. It can affect a person’s through breathing infect air in, eating infected food, touching infected area and through an injection. So how did ‘anthrax’ land on this island?

Anthrax Island | Photo: CC Kevin Walsh

Let’s go back into history. During the Battle Of Britain in 1942, all kinds of weapons were being made to deal with the Germans. So, the British military forces travelled to Guinard island, wanting to create a deadly anthrax strain that was administered to the Germans through their beef supply. The strain they chose was ‘Vollum 14578’. This operation was called, ‘Operation Vegetarian’.

The strain they chose became more virulent when the hosts were exposed. The British strategy behind this was to infect not only the German soldiers but also the cattle, so they would starve. When anthrax reaches the intestines (digested through food) the mortality rates back then were as high as 60%!

Anthrax Island | Photo: Imperial War Musuem

According to Ripley’s, ‘Meteorologist Sir Oliver Graham Sutton travelled to the island with a team of 50 men and 80 sheep to complete to develop and test the plan. Though Operation Vegetarian parameters called for the dissemination of anthrax into the beef supply through linseed cakes, the scientists simply released a cloud of anthrax upon the tethered sheep. Within days the animals had all died. Though they carefully decontaminated their equipment and incinerated the sheep’s’ corpses, the team quickly realized their plan was too deadly.’

Although it was possible to not let the anthrax bacteria escape the island – for Guinard it was already too late. Guinard island was removed from the map and the access was strictly prohibited!

Eventually, there were demands made to clean up the island and boxes containing infected soil from the island were sent to government offices. It was only in 1986 that the island was cleaned through dumping huge amounts of formaldehyde. Then some sheep were placed to check if the anthrax was no longer working. Only after the island was made open to the public.

This infamous island continues to spike fear in the minds of many and they refuse to visit this ‘Anthrax Island’.

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Also read:

If You Visit This Island In Andaman & Nicobar, You Might Get Killed!

5 Not-So-Known Islands In India That You Must Visit!

Heer Khant
Heer Khant

Traveller | Writer | Photographer | Maverick | Social Worker | Lawyer | A freedom-loving woman for whom words are like wings to her soul. She believes in aliens, hates boundaries and lives like the first human on Earth.

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