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Did you
know?

 

  • These islands are also the nesting grounds for the endangered Leatherback turtles and are one of the four places in the world where more than 1,000 Leatherback turtles come to nest each year. Leatherback turtles can grow up to two meters in length and one meter in breadth and weigh around 500 kilos. The leatherback turtles (Dermochelys Coriacea) are the largest of all living turtles.
  • There are 94 islands that have been designated as National Parks (30 islands being turtle nesting sites) and 8 National Sea Parks in these islands.
  • The Robber crab (Birgus Latro) is the largest land-living arthropod in the world. They generally live on land, but at nights climb up the coconut trees and carve a hole into the tender coconuts to eat the soft kernel. They are found on South Sentinel Island as well as on some islands in Nicobar area.
  • Jacques Yves Cousteau – considered the Father of Scuba diving and God of underwater filmmaking, visited these islands in 1990 and shot a 45 minute documentary called "The Invisible Islands". A number of the dive sites featured in this film are still dived today.
  • It is believed that these islands are the only place where "fish die of old age" due to lack of commercial fishing.
  • Barren Island is the only active volcano not just in India but the whole of South Asia. It is located approx 135 kms north east of Port Blair.
  • In April 2001, a team of international scientists conducted a ten day rapid survey of coral reefs in these islands. They identified 197 species of coral in 13 sites, of which 111 had not been previously recorded. The coral was unaffected by the largest climate related coral bleaching of 1998, which had destroyed 27% of the worlds reef, with El Nino and La Nina destroying 16% of worlds reef in 9 months.
  • In March 2002, 62 marine scientists met in Hanoi under UNESCO and identified the Andaman & Nicobar Islands as Bio Diversity Hotspots and potential candidates for World Heritage Sites.
  • The place to get the first rays of the millennium sunrise was Katchal Island in Nicobars.
  • The Nicobar group of islands is a tribal reserve and is off-limits to foreigners; even Indians need a special permit to visit these islands.
  • 40% of the 244 species and sub species of plants found in the emerald isles are endemic.
  • 60% of 58 species of animals found on these stunning islands are endemic.
  • 50% of butterflies that live in the Andamans are endemic.
  • Worldwide, only five Dugongs are held in captivity. Two are the featured attraction of Toba, Mie Toba Aquarium in Japan; the third, named Gracie, is at Underwater World, Sentosa Island, Singapore; and the last two are found in Sea World on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. You may just be lucky and spot one in the wild in the Andamans!
  • The Cellular Jail where Indian freedom fighters were imprisoned as a punishment for fighting the British rule is also located in Port Blair. This punishment was considered so harsh that these islands earned the notorious designation of being called "kaala pani" (black water). This was the second concentration camp in the world, the first being in South Africa after the Boer war.
  • The only Viceroy to ever been murdered in India was in these very islands. The Viceroy, the Earl of Mayo, when on a visit to the settlement on 8 February 1872, was murdered by a Muslim convict.