Doctor Moreau had one. Syndrome from The Incredibles had one. And if you want to perform your morally questionable experiments, you should probably get one, too. Remote islands allow you to build killer robots, death rays, or societies of human-animal hybrids in peace and privacy, without attracting the unwanted attention of the outside world. Luckily, several real-life islands offer a secluded setting where you can advance the cause of science.

The British archipelago of Tristan da Cunha offers not one, but several island retreats, in the most remote locale on Earth.


Tristan da Cunha sits 2,816 kilometers from the coast of South Africa, and 2,430 kilometers from its closest neighbor, the island of St. Helena, where the Emperor Napoleon lived out his final days in exile. The main island of Tristan da Cunha does have a small permanent population: roughly 270 people living mostly in the capital city of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.

A team of six weather researchers study on far off Gough Island, but the other specks of land, Nightingale Island, Middle Island, Stoltenhoff Island, and the aptly named Inaccessible Island, remain uninhabited. And, the islands are so tiny (the main island is just 98 square kilometers), that they show up on very few maps, although they cannot escape the all-seeing eye of Google Earth.


Although Tristan da Cunha is the most remote inhabited region on Earth, there are certain drawbacks to setting up your lair. Outsiders are forbidden from buying or selling land, or even settling on the islands. And the UN has declared Inaccessible Island and Gough Island as wildlife preserves, which could put a damper on any killer-robot tests you planned to run.

A better bet might be Norway’s Bouvet Island, the absolute most remote island on Earth. The subantarctic island was not only the setting for the film Alien vs. Predator, but also may have already been the site of some mad scientific testing. In 1979, satellites detected a flash coming from the island, which may have been the result of nuclear weapons testing. But whether testing occurred and who was responsible has never been resolved. It could be the perfect place to hide your own experiments, provided they can survive the sub-freezing temperatures.


Tristan de Cunha info from Dark Roasted Blend.