North Rona

North Rona, the most northerly isle in the Outer Hebrides is the remotest island in the British Isles to have ever been permanently inhabited. Due to the island's remote location and small area, it is omitted from many maps of the United Kingdom.

For many centuries a small isolated community clung on to life on a speck of land measuring little more than a mile across. In 1680 a boat was shipwrecked off the island, when the survivors struggled ashore, they were suprised that no one came to their aid. As they walked across the island to the only village, which comprised of a few thatched huts and a chapel, they were alarmed to see no smoke. Their calls for assistance were unanswered. One of the shipwrecked sailors, named MacLeod, later recounted the horror of arriving in the village only to find corpses.

There had been a calamity - "...A plague of rats had come ashore, but none knows how, and devoured the people's crop. No supply boat had reached the island that year. So those deceased persons ... died of want."

1000 years of civilization thus came to an end over one summer, not a single islander survived. It is likely that the rats, as well as eating the crops, harboured disease that the islanders had no immunity to. One can imagine the horrors of the summer of 1680 on North Rona.
The author of these words is minded of the previously recounted tale of Moho Tani. He dreams of living in a remote and inhospitable location like Rona, but is not sure about the idea of been so far away from help, should it be urgently required. An interesting paradox to mull over.

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