China is the most populous country in the world, and one might imagine that the most populous place in the world will lie somewhere in Asia where the world’s most populous countries belong, namely China, India, and Indonesia. In fact, the most populous piece of land on earth is a tiny rock Island called Migingo in Lake Victoria, Africa.
The Migingo island is a part of Kenya, measuring just 0.49 acres, which is about half the size of a football field. According to the 2009 census, the island has a population of 131 people which makes it the most densely populated place in the world. The entire island is covered with metal shack huts, so the island came to be called “Iron Clad Island.”
It is said that the Island was originally settled by two Kenyan fishermen, Dalmas Tembo and George Kibebe in 1991. Some other accounts say that it was a Ugandan Joseph Unsubuga who moved there first. These stories still hold the dispute between Kenya and Uganda who both claim that the Island is part of their country.
Technically, the Island lies in the Kenyan territory, but Ugandans argue that the fishermen are fishing in the Ugandan waters which are just a 500 meters off the coast of Migingo. The dispute is also labeled as Africa’s smallest war, which reached its peak when Uganda sent its military to evacuate the island of Kenyan fishermen in 2008. The two countries finally reached an agreement in 2016 where both tax the fishermen and both send police to provide protection from pirates.
The last census was in 2009, and the population came out to be 131 only. For an island this small, this is still quite high, but according to a documentary, the population is now over 1000, filled in by fishermen from Keny, Uganda, and Tanzania. There are some population control measures in place, but despite those, the island has become a place where there is no room even to walk.
Imagine 1000 people, stuffed in half a football field. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? Even a more interesting part is that the island lies just a few meters away from the island of Usingo, which is completely uninhibited. Legend has it that the place is home to a demon, but it turns out that it is just a hoax. The primary reason why no fisherman would dare move to the Island is that the land is not protected by the police and there is a great chance of being robbed by pirates.
The crazy habilitation of the island was drawn by the large population of Nile perch, a freshwater fish, in the nearby waters of the island. As the population of the fish continues to decline due to overfishing, fishermen have begun to move away from the overcrowded piece of land. Check out this video for more details: