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Another 11 Mysterious Islands in Fiction

As trilogies are the popular thing for works of fiction, it is fitting that a series of lists about fiction also follow the trilogy format. Now on our third list of mysterious islands of fiction (see here and here for the others, the first of which also appeared in’s Ultimate Book of Bizarre Lists for those of you who still need to pick up some holiday gifts for friends and family alike) from ancient, medieval and modern American, British, French, Greek and Japanese culture, as you can see below, we have hardly exhausted them all, and, indeed, some might argue that a few of those listed below are as culturally significant as those found on the earlier lists. And yes, once again, we present the islands in reverse chronological order as we take a mysterious journey backwards in popular cultural time! Since we are also approaching 2011, let us conclude our list trilogy with 11 entries this time around!


Kigan Island
first appeared in Tekken 6 (2009)

Tekken 6

The thirty-seventh stage in the Scenario Campaign of the hit game is described in the official strategy guide for the game as, an “island marked on a mysterious map. An ominous cave hidden on this island beckons to those who might be foolish enough to enter it.” See Adam Deats, Joe Epstein and Ian Rogers, Tekken 6: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Bradygames, 2009), 38. The boss for the stage is none other than Yoshimitsu – a character introduced in the game as a decoy.


The Island
first appeared in Resident Evil 4 (2005)


The final setting of a financially successfully and critically acclaimed video game, Resident Evil 4’s island does not have as many appearances as the franchise’s Rockfort Island (number 7 on the second list), but it does have some memorable boss battles with monstrous mutated versions of Jack Krauser and Osmund Saddler. The Island serves as the final location on which the remaining mysteries of the game’s plot are revealed to protagonist Leon Kennedy.


Isla del Muerta
first appeared in House of the Dead (2003)


The director’s cut version of this much maligned movie was actually quite funny. Sure, many despise this film in its theatrical cut, but it does have, in addition to the prerequisite zombies, evil experiments gone wild and a villain from the days of Spanish sailing, loosely reminiscent of the much more popular Lost, and even a German boat captain that reminds me a bit of Peter Jackson’s King Kong’s Captain Englehorn. Say what you want about the film’s quality, but the “Island of the Dead” is pretty darn mysterious and undeniably contains many elements akin to the more celebrated islands elsewhere on this and the other two lists.


Yoshi’s Island
first appeared in Super Mario World (1990)


This titular island of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (1995), first appeared in its predecessor and served as a central location in one of the most significant video game series/franchises in that medium’s history. The story and characters border on the surreal and silly (Yoshi is, after all, a reptilian character totally lacking the “frightful” characterization of, say, a Godzilla). Nevertheless, the island, part of Dinosaur Land in the Mushroom Kingdom, is undeniably one of both mystery and adventure, in that it is a central location for a major character in video game history who goes on a semi-epic quest to battle a villain.


first appeared in The Penal Colony (1987)

10843151 Profile Mbox Background

Herley’s novel became the basis of the film, No Escape (1994), that starred such well-known actors as Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) and Lance Henriksen (Aliens). A penal island in the manner of Devil’s Island or Alcatraz…but in the future!…2022 to be exact, serves as the primary location of the story. The film was even released in some markets as Escape from Absolom, and also received a three-issue comic book adaptation from Marvel Comics. This island is one of the rare ones on these lists of mysterious islands to actually figure in a future setting.


first appeared in The Wicker Man (1973)


This fictional island appears in two films (the first inspired by islands near Scotland, and the remake near Puget Sound). In both films, the suspense and horrors the protagonist experiences extend beyond being burned alive as a wicker man by fanatical pagan islanders. If you haven’t seen the original of this film you really should – it is extremely chilling and has some excellent acting.


Monster Island
first appeared in All Monsters Attack (1969)

Monster Island

With such famous inhabitants as Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan, Monster Island, as with King Kong’s Skull Island, is the stuff of gigantic, monstrous nightmares. The island appears in a few films (mostly from the 1970s) and has been referenced numerous times in such mainstream popular culture as on The Simpsons.


The Island of Misfit Toys
first appeared in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Screen Shot 2010-11-30 At 2.27.49 Pm

Not one anyone brought up in the comments sections on Listverse, nevertheless, the home of King Moonracer, Charlie-In-The-Box, Spotted Elephant and other defective and/or otherwise unwanted toys is a memorable element of twentieth century popular culture that South Park spoofed in 1999, nearly forty years after its appearance on the 1964 television special. In the spoof, Sexual Harassment Panda journeys to South Park’s Island of Misfit Mascots where Kenny dies, no thanks to one of the commune’s unfortunate residents. Just as The Simpsons parodied Skull Island with Ape Island, South Park continued that seeming tradition of animated fair presenting their unique spins on mysterious islands from classic works of fiction.


The Coral Island
first appeared in The Coral Island (1857)


This book’s significance is due largely to the fact that, nearly a century later, William Golding wrote the much more famous Lord of the Flies (1954), as a response to Ballantyne’s earlier novel. That was about a teenage boy named Ralph and two others, on an uninhabited Polynesian island where they endure and experience everything from piracy to cannibalism. Golding’s later tale, which has been adapted into films, once again features main survivors named Ralph and Jack, only some of the boys become savages, as well, in Golding’s version of a similar narrative. Golding’s Jack Merridew is a particularly despicable character that no “good” man would ever want to be referred to as by another.


first appeared in The Odyssey


While technically referenced in The Odyssey earlier than number one on this list, and thus one of THE first ever mysterious islands in fiction, Odysseus’s time on Ogygia occurs, chronologically, after his time on Aeaea (SPOILER ALERT: number 1 on this list!). The ancient Greek hero spends seven years on this island, home to the nymph Calypso, that, as with other locations in ancient Greek mythological literature, may or may not be associated with real locations. This island plays a crucial role in one of Western Civilization’s earliest adventure stories and has been depicted in paintings by such major artists as Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625), as well as in the 1997 TV mini-series version of the epic featuring Vanessa Williams as Calypsso. This particular character has served as the inspiration for a same-named voodoo priestess in Marvel Comics and a sea goddess in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.


first appeared in The Odyssey

Circe And Her Lovers In A Landscape Wga

Yes, number one is yet another island with an “A” name and, as with the first list, yet another one from ancient Greek literature. And yes, it is from the same work of fiction as number 2 on this list; however, it is unquestionable that The Odyssey is one of the founding texts of Western, if not world, literature, and is thus so important to our heritage that it is one work of fiction worthy of earning both the number 1 and 2 spots. In the epic, Odysseus stays on the island home of sorceress Circe (played by Bernadette Peters in the 1997 mini-series) for a year. While there, she turns his men into pigs and provides the hero with crucial advice for the rest of his “odyssey”. The island may be based on, or inspired by, an actual Mediterranean island due to the conflicting literal versus mythic nature of Homer’s work. Aeaea, as with any number of locations from Homer’s poem, transcends many other fictional islands in terms of importance. The Odyssey is a staple of high school English courses, at least in America, and has influenced and been adapted in many subsequent literary and cinematic works of fiction. Moreover, The Odyssey predates Plato’s first references to Atlantis by centuries. While some might take issue with two islands from the same work of fiction appearing in succession on the same list, no one can seriously deny the importance of Circe and Calypso’s islands for subsequent Western, if not world, culture.

  • dwanzi

    Yay, I dig the Odyssey its my fav book.

    • Bart

      i can tell by your profile picture

  • cqsteve

    Another interesting list (I didn't think there were so many fascinating islands out there). The Coral Island was a great "boys' own adventure" read, even though it's very dated by todays standards. And who wouldn't want to live on Monster Island – excitement plus! Good work Doc.

  • timothyjames

    Interesting list. I haven't thought about Tekken for years now, so that was nice to see again. Also, if I had to guess, the picture for number 9 is from Pirates of the Caribbean, not House of the Dead.

    • filigreemystification

      Good eye there. It is from Pirates.

  • timothyjames

    Also, Dr. Zarzeczny, what does FINS stand for? Or anyone else who knows. I Googled it, but there were a lot of options.

    • akiraronin
      • mom424

        not really; none seem to fit exactly right eh?

      • simon

        Seriously . Did u even read the page u linked up, idiot?

    • Matt Zarzeczny

      Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society. :)

      • timothyjames

        Hey neat. What is that exactly?

  • dur

    #9 on the list: Isn't that a picture from "Pirates of the Caribbean"

  • unholy shiet

    What about gillagins island

  • bluesman87

    Boring ass list , these island list's need to stop .

    • coocoocuchoo

      haha i know, i dont understand how someone can be obsessed with land surrounded by ocean…

  • chrom3d

    how about the island of doctor moreau, the island of lilliput or the island in the family computer's game The Islander?

  • cqsteve

    What about the Island of Noman? As in "no man is an island?" (Sorry about that pun, but couldn't help it)

    • chrom3d

      LOL goddamn you!

  • Ah, greek litterature!

  • John Paul II

    Great list, but how dare you even mention the "remake" of The Wicker Man?
    It doesn't exist. If we never mention it, it will go away.

    • TEX

      Then why did you mention it?

      • John Paul II

        That's a bloody good point.

        • TEX

          by the way – i agree whole heartedly

  • mememe!

    I love this list. :))

  • Julius

    Still no Valinor? Anyways excellent conclusion to your trilogy of lists ;-)

    • timothyjames

      Agreed. I have been hoping to see that on these for a while.

  • oouchan

    I've always loved the island of misfit toys when I was a kid. I would imagine visiting it and rescuing all the toys and bringing them all home…for me, of course. :)

    Cool list.

  • Eddy

    Isla del Muerta
    first appeared in House of the Dead (2003)

    There's something wrong there, isn't it? ;)

    Anyway, very nice list, love the addition of Yoshi's Island hahaha

  • ArtemisFox

    How about Craggy Island? I mean it doesn't get much more mysterious than having only an east, north, and south side and the roads getting taken in during storms.
    I also think Myst (from the computer game of the same name), Indian Island (from And Then There Were None or Ten Little Indians), and Neverland (most surprised this one is missing) could have been included. I guess there are just too many.
    Loved the picks for 1 and 2, by the way.

    • Ms-binks

      Craggy island FTW

    • gringation

      Myst was the first one I thought of as well… or any of the islands in its sequel, Riven. (I kind of want to replay those now.)

  • “ODHI”

    This list reminds me of the beauty which africa has in store for those who crave for adventure.An interest

    ing island worth noting can be found in Tanzanis :namely “kisiwa cha unguja” just about 159 miles

    from the coast line.No fiction just utter beauty @ it’s best ! Cool list mathew;props to listverse readers

    let’s keep it real !

  • mom424

    Pretty interesting list although there are times when the author got so excited by the subject material and so involved in the descriptions that he seemed to forget all about commas and periods and semi-colons and all manner of punctuation and pacing. I thought I was the only one with a mouth that just keeps running on and on and on. :)

    The Island of Misfit Toys really didn't need the South Park reference to be relevant – doesn't everybody still watch it? That and Frosty? I like the one with Mr. Heat and Mr. Ice Man too ! (now I can't get that damn "I"m Mr. White Christmas, I'm Mr. Snow, I"m Mr. Icicle, I'm Mr. 40 below" outta my head)

    Hafta laugh – Only island that popped to mind when I read today's list title is Dr. Evil's Secret Volcano Lair. And it didn't even get a mention. Can you tell I have 4 sons? lol, truth be told I'm pretty low-brow. I like Adam Sandler movies too.

  • lords8n

    Seahaven in The Truman Show???

  • Guest


  • mackayles

    I didn't see Ship-Trap island from 'The Most Dangerous Game' on any of the previous lists. I love that book.

    • Vera Lynn

      Short story. I do that every year with my students. Its a great story.

  • Jay Poe

    So if we should see the original "Wickermen" why did you tell us the protagonist gets burned alive?

    • Vera Lynn

      Wicker Man

  • TEX

    As I posted before – one of my favorites is the Japanese island of the mushroom people – Matango, Fungus of Terror a.k.a. Attack of the Mushroom People.
    Where you can either starve – or eat the mushrooms.
    trailer –

    Dr.TEX, esad

  • psychosurfer

    It really annoys me when crappy filmmakers and script writers don´t even take the time to make correct translations. "Isla del Muerta" is completely incorrect grammatically in Spanish, it sounds almost as stupid as the "House of the Dead" plot.

    • gringation

      Thanks! That was really bothering me.

      Isla del Muerta = nonexistant

      Isla de la Muerta = Island of the Dead Woman

      Isla de la Muerte = Island of Death (I'm guessing this is what they were going for)

      • Maggot

        Isla de la Muerte = Island of Death (I'm guessing this is what they were going for)

        With all due respect to Dr. Z the list-writer, I wonder if the translation error is in this list entry, rather than in the movie. I ask because I can’t find any reference to the actual name of this island when Googling up this movie. Is the island name spoken in the movie?

        I did find an explanation for why a photo from Pirates of the Caribbean is erroneously used in the list entry – the island with the treasure cave in PoC: Curse of the Black Pearl is called Isla de Muerta. So it stands to reason that searching images for “Isla del Muerta” for this list would return pics of Isla de Muerta from the Pirates movie. FWIW there is also a place (not an island) called Isla La Muerte in Paraguay. But, I haven't been able to verify what it is actually called in the House of the Dead movie.

  • BDizzle


    Since 2007, I have enjoyed listverse as the first thing to look at every morning. The last few days new pop up ads have begun to appear. I'm sorry to say, but I am dissappointed to have to say goodbye listverse. I will check back in a few months in hopes the new windows or the "pop up blocked" notification ceases to annoy. I'd rather just check on Amazon periodically and purchase the book.



    • TEX

      See ya tomorrow! Hee hee ?

    • mom424

      Also doesn't your browser provide a pop up blocker? Every single one that I have does – Firefox, Chrome, IE. I actually allow the pop unders, specifically so Jamie gets paid. Not sure if I need to, but it's not a big deal.

    • timothyjames

      Install Adblock. Best thing I ever did.

  • amanda

    you forgot monkey island. :(

  • “ODHI”

    @34amanda:What about it ?”peanuts” ?

  • brock

    how am i a troll i am just saying my oppinion you can kiss jf`s ass for as long as you want

    • undaunted warrior 1

      Oppinion – it should be " opinion " keep playing the toys !

      • brock

        y dont kare about mi spppellllyng thiz iz not a spelllllllllllling kontezt

        • Julius

          and because you know that you would fail a spelling contest very very hard…

  • Lifeschool

    Hi, not a bad list – although I feel the bottom of the apple barrel has been reached.

    To save time, here’s a list of the top 10 islands features in video games that (I don’t think) have been mentioned on any of the lists so far:

    10. Isla Nublar – Jurassic Park – 1993

    9. Angel Island – Sonic The Hedgehog 3 – 1994

    8. Isle Delphino – Super Mario Sunshine – 2002

    7. Panau – Just Cause 2 – 2010

    6. Yoshi’s Island – Super Mario World 2, Yoshi’s Island – 1995

    5. Koholit Island – The Legend Of Zelda

    4. Wuhu Island – Wii Fit Plus

    3. Kartorga 12 – Singularity – 2010

    2. San Esperito – Just Cause – 2006

    1. Uncharted Island – Farcry – 2004


    • Lifeschool

      ok, so we've had Isla Nublar before… substitute that one for Vice City island, GTA Vice City.

    • oliveralbq

      hey lifeschool–
      —–i like your idea here, i don't know much about video games, so reading your picks was interesting.

      but your #6 entry (yoshi's island) — i know it was on one of the lists.
      in fact, i think it was today's list

      do you have 1 more good substitute for us?

      • TEX

        Isola Tiberina – Assassin's Creed

        • timothyjames

          I could be so wrong (and please correct me if I am), but isn't Assassin's Creed historical fiction in the sense that the places it references are real?

          • Technically everything in Assassin's Creed is absolutely, definitively correct, and anything real-world to the contrary was planted by the Knights Templar :P
            But yes, AC is historical fiction. All the things referenced are things that have happened, but the game takes some liberties in their telling, which as I just said, are explained in-universe.

          • TEX

            Indeed Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island) is a real place – but its use in AC as headquarters for an order of assassins surely is fictional.

          • oouchan

            It's use is fictional as you stated. Although it would be awesome if it were true.

            I just finished the game, by the way and it was EPIC!
            Just had to share that. :)

          • Lifeschool

            Hey, thanks guys for catching the ball. Yeah, Yoshis Island was on the list = silly me. I missed that one. Ok, one more to make the 10, um, er…, Worms: Battle Islands, or er, have we had Rainbow Islands yet, (Bubble Bobble 2?). Well that's two. I won't even mention Treasure Island Dizzy, oops I just did.

            @ Oouchan: Got AC 1 and 2 – haven't started any of those yet but going to after FarCry 2 – I guess you were talking about the first AC?

          • oouchan

            Nope. I was talking about the third one. I've already beat all 3. The last one was the best.
            I didn't get much sleep. :)

          • TEX

            yeah – i got the latest one half price new at that used game shitehole.
            it is tons of fun – and a great story

            now back to FarCry 2 – i heard single player was short, more geared for on-line or multi.
            i loved the Far Cry Instincts but shyed away from new one because i only play single – opinion?

          • Lifeschool

            @ TEX – Hope you get this ok. Yeah, FC2 is a little disappointing after the first one. I played through Instincts (with the Preditor expansion) on the 360 and it took me six whole months to complete. FC2 features 50 square miles of free-roaming jungle. However, I've been going at it for just two weeks now and I'm 70% way through the single player story mode. It's only a 30 hour single player game, and that, to me, is a severe let-down. The graphics are top, but yeah, the story mode feels like it has been tacked on at the last moment as an afterthought. :(

          • TEX

            disappointing – that's sad to hear – seems the trend is 360/PS3 to get the designers to pull everyone over to their sights
            you're going to enjoy Assassin's Creed II "a historical fantasy third person action-adventure"
            single player all the way – get used to navigating the rooftops – it's the only way to get around quick
            i'll go back and play it again in a few months – but i definately will read a little history before i do – i think it would improve the game

          • Lifeschool

            @ TEX, ok, good to know. FC2 is a great game, and worth finding in a bargain bin someplace, it's just – short!

  • Steven Douglas

    Missing from all three lists (I think, quick scan and off the top of my head):

    Other islands from Homer's Odyssey (Cyclops, Goat, etc.,)
    Gulliver's Travels Islands (Lilliput, Blefuscu, Glubbdubdrib, Laputa, etc.,)
    Swiss Family Robinson's Island
    Deserted island in "Six Days, Seven Nights" (Harrison Ford, Anne Heche)

  • Maggot

    everyone has a parachute…except the duck! Did he plunge to his death??

    Lol, slightly off-topic here, but your comment reminded me of the infamous WKRP in Cincinnati “Turkeys Away” episode where they staged a Thanksgiving holiday promo by dropping live turkeys from a helicopter over a shopping mall:

    “Oh, the humanity! People are running about! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement!”

    • TEX

      "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!" — Arthur Carlson

      • Friant

        Ahh, so many people have forgotten classics like that. From a realist standpoint, if that happened today the public response would be nothing short of hell on earth.

    • cqsteve

      Yeah, that was a classic! Even though all the action was off-screen TV wouldn't allow them to even suggest something like that now. Christ I laughed. "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly".

    • Vera Lynn

      That show- not just that episode- was so funny and so clever. Timeless!

    • ames801

      Totally forgot about that! I didn't appreciate the show when I was growing up and it was on (translation: I didn't understand the jokes). But watching it now I realize what a classic it is.

  • mom424

    Oliver, Lifeschool, Stephen Douglas etc – I think point taken is the appropriate response. :)

  • Angered Crow

    Been waiting some weeks now for a genuinely interesting list. Withdrawal symptoms are setting in rapidly.

  • Suzan

    Another island list, another no Myst :( Myst is one of the most mysterious islands ever! You just sort of plopped in there with no idea what you're supposed to be doing. One of the best games ever.
    Other than that…. interesting list.

  • simon

    Um…if u followed who I was actually replying to u would of realized that it was to akiraronin. IDIOT. I was agreeing with u. Pay attention b4 u go off on someone.

    • mom424

      My apologies. Not been a good day. Root canal for breakfast. And not even any good drugs. Damn shame that. And then the wrong guy gets the brunt of it. Again sorry.

      ps: douche isn't as mean as idiot. douches are occasionally (although not often) capable of higher thought. If you can get their heads outta their asses long enough eh?

      • chrom3d

        I didn't know that you can have root canal as breakfast ;)

      • bluesman87

        had root canal the other day, 2 syndol and a bottle of wine works better than any drug , but you gotta down the wine before the novacaine wheres off which is pretty tricky lol ,

  • Good list. Yoshi's Island was my favourite video game as a kid!

  • kfj

    Interesting fact, Escape from Absolom as it was released here in Australia, was actually filmed here too. It was filmed at the MovieWorld studios on the Gold Coast, but most of the action took place in a little known suburb called Caves Beach in NSW – where i grew up :) So you could say the island DOES exist – it's better known as Australia! HA!

  • jurivega

    "Who's idea was it to give every weirdo an island?"

  • OutOfBounds

    Where the in the hell is Shutter Island?

    Of course, I'm joking, fine list. I don't know why, but fictional/mysterious/unknown places absolutely take my mind there. No worries… well besides being on a strange island.

  • Kiwi

    Has anyone else been having a problem where the second half of a list doesn't load?
    I get to item 6, there's a space for the advertisement, but items 5-1 don't load, and neither do the comments (I commented after clicking the refresh button about a hundred times, when it finally loaded).
    Is it a glitch, or are my interwebs screwed up?

  • santa

    Weak list, but most of the arguements on the comment are pretty funny on this page. I'd say that there are enough now to do another "Funny Comments of Listverse" List, you guys should take advantage of that if your gonna keep on putting out lists like this. Yesterdays was wwwaaayyy better.

  • yariwari

    what about The Island of LOST?! cant believe no a single person commented about that… its pretty mysterious to me

  • Drego

    What about Island of Dr. Moreau?

  • stranno

    No 'Nublar' island? (Jurassic Park)

    LOL, you must be kidding me

  • Another great list but in three lists theres no mention of the island in Battle Royale? Shame on you.

  • Gojiradesu

    That's not a picture of Monster Island.

    • TEX

      You are correct – Mechagodzilla wasn't in Destroy All Monsters
      I'm guessing Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, sice Rodan is in the pic.

  • bansey

    If that Korean kid can get married to a computer game character, I wonder if I can buy one of these islands.

  • Afef

    Many think that Ogygia is the sister island of Malta – "Gozo" there's even a place renowned as being Calypso's cave overlooking the Ramla Bay :)

  • jbx

    Monkey Island changed my life!

  • themoreyouknow

    Been reading for yrs, first time commenting. The Thrill!

    One glaring omission – California. From fictional island to mistaken island to statehood. We've come a long way!

  • k

    I think you should read up on the island in Life of Pi.

  • eXo

    This was a ridiculous list. Who cares about an island in Tekken? Tekken's story is a mish mash of crap meant to justify a tournament that is held every year, yet really isn't that important because they'll hold it again next year. The island has no mythology, no back story – nothing.

    As a matter of fact, most of the islands on this list are simply backgrounds. The islands themselves offer nothing but a location for other events to take place. They are about as mysterious as an island in a 4th graders class story.

    The fact that the author holds a doctorate of any kind is just sad.

  • Jordan

    The pictures for some of the 11 islands need to be changed

  • Kon

    Why does the Isla de Muerta (said to be from House of the Dead) talk only about the inclusion in House of the Dead, but then use an image of the Isla de Muerta from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl?

  • bestever2682

    i like the island from the computer game MYST

  • BreK


  • xkindctrows

    Dropbox – 404

    Error (404)We can’t find the page you’re looking for. Check out our FAQ or forums for help. Or maybe you should try heading home.

  • gkindxnrows

    Dropbox – 404

    Error (404)We can’t find the page you’re looking for. Check out our FAQ or forums for help. Or maybe you should try heading home.

  • nkinderrows

    Dropbox – 404

    Error (404)We can’t find the page you’re looking for. Check out our FAQ or forums for help. Or maybe you should try heading home.

  • Alexander

    What about the island of The Lord of the Flies!?! Amateur…

  • ozellgzebwc


  • pakeloDalge


  • Hearvie

    Why there’s no GREED ISLAND here, from Hunter X Hunter manga?