Ichiboe Island is a small speck of land off the coast of modern-day Namibia. It is famed for its population of birds. In 1828, an explorer reported the island was covered with guano to a depth of twenty-five feet. This set off a guano rush and, during the peak in 1845, at least 450 boats loaded up with the good stuff, scraped off the island by 6000 men. Guano continued to be taken from the island until very recently, though the last "scrape" in 2000 was carefully supervised.

This is a really interesting little story (and there is a local tidbit below for readers from my part of the world) about a "petrified man" reportedly found on the island "imbedded in guano." His body was said to have been there for one hundred years and was on exhibit in Baltimore.

Source: Liverpool Transcript (Nova Scotia) 15 February 1854

Source: Cooper's Clarksburg Register (Virginia) 26 April 1854

And, for a little extra history! Ichiboe Island is one of a few islands off Namibia renowned for their bird populations. One of the other islands is Mercury Island. During the Second World War, sailors from the merchant vessel Point Pleasant Park were shipwrecked on Mercury Island before being rescued by some South African fishermen. In my hometown, there is a monument to the Point Pleasant Park in ... you guessed it, Point Pleasant Park. 


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