This island was quarantined for 75 years… and those who go there are as good as dead!
Our lovely planet Earth is home for countless uninhabited islands. Some of those places have never been inhabited due to completely unfavourable geographical locations. Some other islands were kept untouched because of harsh environmental conditions. Meanwhile, there are also some islands that are avoided by the human due to a very scary reasons.
An example of such terrible place is desolation called the Gruinard Island. This island is a small piece of land situated approx. 1 km of the North-East coast of Scotland and the story that this place hides is really creepy.
Does it seem innocent? Probably yes, but it’s one of the places that humankind avoided by all means for many, many years.
The Gruinard Island seems peaceful and serene from afar. But then, the silence that surrounds this place tells a story that comes from the darkest years of the human race. Second World War broke out in 1939 and the British army started to feel uneasy about a possible chemical attack from the enemy. That’s why they also started to test chemical weapons.
The substance they tested was called anthrax. The British government chose the Gruinard Island as it was the perfect place for testing and in 1942 this quiet and sleepy island was requisitioned of their inhabitants.
In order to perform tests, the scientists and researchers moved 90 sheep over there. Afterwards, the animals were exposed to Vollum 14578, a very contagious and dangerous strain of anthrax. It was a matter of days and sheep started to die because of infections.
Thanks to this experiment on the island, the scientists discovered that a possible anthrax attack performed over German cities would have had a similar effect. An anthrax infection would have erased any trace of life and it would also make it impossible to inhabit those places again for decades!
Once the war came to an end in 1945, the former owner of the island claimed his property back from the government. However, the government admitted that the terrain was so contaminated at that moment that it was impossible to give it back unless it was cleaned and declared safe “for habitation by man and beast”.
Unfortunately, the decontamination process was too expensive and dangerous, so the island was quarantined and all access was denied for many decades. This subject seemed to be definitely closed, and so it was until 1981.
In 1981, a group of microbiologists, under the cover of the night, embarked a ship and that’s how the Operation Dark Harvest began. This operation involved stealing approx. 140 kilograms of infected soil, taken in small amounts, and threatening the government of spreading it at strategic government facilities if the contamination problem had not been solved.
On the 24th of April 1990, four years after the effort of restoring the island and 48 years after declaring quarantine, the Gruinard Island was finally declared safe and free of all traces of anthrax.
A week later, the legal heirs bought the island for its initial price of £500. These days some people still aren’t convinced that the threat is gone but we know for sure that we wouldn’t like to take a single step on that island.
Source: boredomtherapy.com / Giphy / Starstock