Ever Wondered Why Visitors Are Banned From This Tiny Island In New York?


There’s a solid reason.

The big apple is one of the most visited and historic cities in the world. Whatever are your demands, New York has the answer be it in terms of food, entertainment, sports, pop culture etc. New York is home to 8.538 million people and many people don’t know this is a city based on many islands.

There’s Manhattan, there’s Staten Island, but do you know about this one island where not only no one lives but also no one is allowed to enter? Yes such a place exists and it isn’t just any island, it’s an island which has quite a history of itself. So we would like to tell you about this island whose history is as fancy as its name and was once declared a sovereign nation.

We would like to uncover the mystery surrounding this island and tell you why exactly is it off limits. Want to know more? Scroll down!

This Island in NY

Technically speaking, the city of New York in itself is one giant island. Manhattan is just an island and there are others too such as Governors Island, Liberty Island, and Staten Island etc. But is this Island in New York that no one is allowed to visit?

U Thant Island

This is probably one of the tiniest islands in New York but is strictly off limits to the general public. Before you ask, no there aren’t any security reasons or national treasure. For an island this tiny, it has a fascinating history.

History – Rail line

In 1892, New York authorities sanctioned construction of an underground railway tunnel that connected Manhattan to Queens. When builders were drilling through the granite under water, the resultant rubble above produced tiny amount of rocks over the years and hence the Island was formed.

Belmont Island

As the island was a result of the underwater digging, it only made sense to name it as the Belmont Island after August Belmont Jr., the person who financed the project. The underwater tunnel is still in use but the island only got recognition when it was used by Peace Meditation At The United Nation group.

Peace Meditation at the United Nation

The Peace Meditation at the United Nation was a Buddhist group which dedicated themselves to their spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy leased the island in 1977 and renamed it as…

U Thant

The island was named after U Thant who was a former secretary general of the UN, a Burmese diplomat and a friend of Sri Chinmoy. After renaming the island, they did some light landscaping and erected a 30ft metal arch. But people were only allowed to visit a few times a year. Why?

Only allowed to visit a few times

Because of it’s proximity to the United Nations HQ, it was stated that that island would only be open for a visit a few times a year. That was untill.

Someone declared it a sovreign nation

In 2004, a hotshot named Duke Riley in a form of protest sailed to U Thant Island and declared it a sovereign nation by hoisting a glow-in-dark flag, an act which got him arrested. Of course, U Thant Island wasn’t made a sovereign nation but it was made off limits to the public because the authorities noticed something.

Double Crested Cormo

It was seen that the island was home to the endangered Double Crested Cormorant bird and owing to that it was declared a bird sanctuary and was made off limits to the general public.

Here’s the video showing the same

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Ever Wondered Why Visitors Are Banned From This Tiny Island In New York?

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