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10 (almost) deserted islands

Clipperton Island

Photo: NOAA

9 of 12

Clipperton Island

Clipperton Island sits in the Pacific Ocean west of Mexico and north of the famous Galapagos.  A barren atoll with scattered clumps of grass and small groves of palm trees, most of the land here is only a few feet above sea level. Shipwreck survivors have been marooned on the island in the past, surviving on coconuts and water from Clipperton's freshwater lagoons. These stories have given the island a romantic image. Officially an overseas territory of France, Clipperton has a remoteness and history that attracts a unique set of visitors: ham radio operators. Groups of academics and radio enthusiasts have come here over the years to make radio transmissions and to make contact with other operators from other parts of the world.