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The Greek island of Antikythera is located just northwest of Crete. It has only about 50 inhabitants and an area of ​​about 20 square kilometers, but a long history but: Archaeological finds prove that the piece of land already around 3000 BC. Was colonized. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory

Die griechische Insel Antikythera liegt nur unweit nordwestlich von Kreta. Sie hat nur rund 50 Einwohner und eine Fläche von ungefähr 20 Quadratkilometern, dafür aber eine lange Geschichte: Archäologische Funde belegen, dass das Stück Land schon um 3000 v. Chr. besiedelt war. Foto: NASA Earth Observatory

The Greek island of Antikythera is located just northwest of Crete. It has only about 50 inhabitants and an area of ​​about 20 square kilometers, but a long history but: Archaeological finds prove that the piece of land already around 3000 BC. Was colonized. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory

The "lonely island" is almost like a winged word. It arouses longing and at the same time it makes you a bit scared. What would you take with you? Who would you like to accompany? Would you stand it alone? And what adventures are waiting away from the beach in the heart of the island? But with all the stories and thoughts around the little islands, it's not easy to decide what an island really is.

The simplest definition for an island is "land that is lapped by water". Continents are falling out, so Australia is not an island. Islands can be in the sea or in lakes, they can naturally be created or man-made. Atolls are not islands, land areas that are only under water at high tide, such as sandbanks, a special form. If a man-made causeway or bridge connects the island to the mainland, it remains an island. Is the connection of natural origin, one speaks of peninsula. These were just a few special forms and demarcations, one could continue with rocks offshore, oil rigs, icebergs ...

Of the 193 states in the world, there are 47 island states. These include Micronesia and the Solomon Islands, but of course Great Britain and Japan. And still new islands are emerging, for example when volcanoes erupt. Viewed from the International Space Station ISS or satellites, such events are easy to observe. Our picture gallery shows a small part of the diverse island world of the earth.

© science.de - Henrike Wiemker
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