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The ‘most crowded island on Earth’ where over 800 people live is only slightly bigger than a football field

The ‘most crowded island on Earth’ where over 800 people live is only slightly bigger than a football field

It's referred to as the 'most densely populated island on Earth'.

It's often referred to as the 'most densely populated island on Earth', and just a two-hour boat ride away from the mainland of Colombia, it's really only just a little bigger than a football field in size.

We're talking about Santa Cruz del Islote, which Turkish YouTuber Ruhi Çenet has visited made a fascinating video about.

Cenet, 33, often visits 'hard-to-reach' places and his YouTube channel has around 9 million subscribers.

In his video, which has had over 20 million views, while visiting Santa Cruz del Islote he explains that the island has "an area of just 1% of a square kilometer in size where 816 people squeeze their entire lives".

The average house on the small patch of island can have many living in one room together, with one resident estimating that 'about 10' people may be the number.

Size-wise, the island is "just bigger" than a football field and the video says it has "a density of 68,000 people per square kilometer".

But it's worth noting the island's population estimates often vary greatly.

There are four streets on the island, and there are no cars or motorbikes. It also has one school, one church, one clinic, one hotel, one restaurant and three markets.

Just how did this island come into existence?

Well, local lore says a group of fishermen found it, and spent the night on it and then decided to settle there given it was mosquito-free.

Cenet's video says that the island was "later artificially enlarged by compressing coral rocks, seashells, and waste year after year".

The island relies on tourism for a majority of the locals to make a living.
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According to the locals, the average life expectancy on the island is 85-90 years. But there's no cemetery on the island, so bodies are taken to the mainland and buried there.

Tourists flock to the island day in and day out, and a conservation aquarium has been built there.

Juve Nal, who has lived on Santa Cruz his whole life, told CNN in 2018: "We get annoyed because the media always say the island is more crowded than it is."

He added: "There is no crime here. We have no police and we do not need them either."

The island has solar panels to produce electricity for residents. This means that if there's sunny weather, there's electricity between 12am to 5pm, the YouTube video explains.

It makes sense that a majority of the residents would rely on tourism to earn a living, with tourists each day paying a small fee to visit.

You can't help but think it does look rather chaotic if you see the packed streets and there's not really any vast open space.

But as Cenet's video points out: "Despite all the negativities, people are connected to each other like a big family and are happy".

Featured Image Credit: Kike Calvo / Contributor / Getty