Located in the Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal, North Sentinel Island is a secluded island of approximately 28 square miles (72.5 sq km). It is home to the Sentinelese, a small group of indigenous people. There are estimated to be from 40 to 250 Sentinelese, but because the tribe has a history of voluntary isolation and has been hostile and violent to outsiders who have attempted to visit, little is known about them. It is widely believed that the Sentinelese islanders have remained largely isolated from the outside world for about 60,000 years and are direct descendants of the first humans who left Africa.
More about the Sentinelese :
- In 1974, a National Geographic film crew attempting to get footage of the Sentinelese was met with an arrow attack and the director was hit in the leg.
- North Sentinel Island is just 25 miles (40.2 km) from South Andaman Island, but those who live there find the Sentinelese language incomprehensible, indicating the level of isolation of their neighbors.
- The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami made a direct hit on North Sentinel Island. Some believe that the tribe survived because they had ancient knowledge of the island’s weather patterns and knew to travel further into the forest.