Island Dreaming

It’s a wicked web this Wikipedia weaves…

This all started with the very deliberate Google search for the legal and/or scientific definition of an island. You may be thinking, “that’s an odd thing to be researching” but not if you have made it your life’s mission to petition for the island-creation of the State of Florida. All it would take is one canal, people. If they could build the Panama Canal and the Great Wall of China, why couldn’t Florida change its stars and scratch through its peninsula status and replace it with an island classification? I mean, it only seems fitting. We are already in the “tropical” category and we are shameless tourist-seekers as well so I see it as a win-win. Island destination that includes Mickey Mouse? Score!

I digress. The real spark that motivated this rant was the categories of islands. There are tied islands and tidal islands; high islands and low islands; tropical islands and even a Cattle Island; skerry islands and scary islands (I tossed the last one in to rhyme but after the Bermuda Triangle and Easter Island episodes of Destination Truth, I’m fairly sure they exist). I found a strange fascination with inland islands (are the islands on the Indian River “river islands” even though it’s not really a river but a lagoon?} and had a can’t-stop-the-Google-image-search attack over subterranean islands.  There is a frustrating lack of definition for what constitutes and island except for the “surrounded by water” bit… I mean, is it just me or is it strange to refer to both Australia and a rock formation in the center of Lower Saranac Lake as an island?  Sure there are terms like “continental island” and “islet” but I’m looking for a hard and fast set of classification parameters.

Krizna jama (subterranean river isle) Photo: Boštjan Burger
Krizna jama (subterranean river isle) Photo: Boštjan Burger

The Wiki-rampage reach a whole new level with the phantom island. Not to be confuses with lost islands, the phantom island refers to land masses reported by sailors and explorers only later to be proved non-existent. Very Lost reminiscent. These have got to be the coolest of the cool islands. Likely the result of superior mirages (sidenote: Wiki called them superior, not me), icebergs, fog banks or complete misidentification of real islands, I’m taking a skeptical stance-mainly because I can. Who knows, maybe they’re just floating mystical islands that our human brains and science haven’t been prepared for just yet. Let’s be honest, the maps these phantom islands first appeared on features a flat Earth… I’m just saying.

Somewhere in all this I remember that computer game, Myst, which also harbors a strange resemblance in my mind’s eye to the Lost island… This led to another Google search for old copies of Myst but I’m slightly wary that in replaying that game I’d find a Dharma Initiative logo carved on a wall or embossed on the spine of a book and I just can’t handle it.

I found out that after this post I could probably be diagnosed with islomania. I have a feeling, however, so could a very large majority of folks who have ever seen pictures of Bora Bora or been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney (or watched Lost for that matter).

There it is, an entire hour spent linking through the winding web that is Wikipedia, discovering, let’s just say, an interesting conglomeration of “facts”. And so it goes, in an effort to validate the way I spent this time and to prolong my lazy lounge on the couch with my laptop, I drafted this little post to pass along some fractured little tidbits.  If you care to go on a magical mystery tour of your own, just start HERE and keep clicking… who knows where you’ll end up.

In case you are wondering, my petitioning to be officially included in the island culture and lifestyle that I really already do find living on the East Coast continues even though “life’s mission” is a bit of an exaggeration. If you’d like to join my campaign, well, I’m guessing you are the only one.  But whether you’re up to forming a picket parade or really, just hung in with me to this last sentence, you deserve one of these…. cheers!

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