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Map of Rat Islands showing major islands (line between Semisopochnoi Island and Amchitka Pass is the 180th meridian).
Map of the western Aleutian Islands, showing the Rat Islands on the right: Kiska Island (7), Little Kiska Island (8), Segula Island (9), Khvostof Island (10), Davidof Island (11), Little Sitkin Island (12), Rat Island (13), Amchitka Island (14), and Semisopochnoi Island (15).

The Rat Islands (Aleut: Qax̂um tanangis[1]) are a volcanic group of islands in the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska, between Buldir Island and the Near Islands group to its west, and Amchitka Pass and the Andreanof Islands group to its east, at about 51°47′17″N 178°18′10″E / 51.78806°N 178.30278°E / 51.78806; 178.30278Coordinates: 51°47′17″N 178°18′10″E / 51.78806°N 178.30278°E / 51.78806; 178.30278.

The largest islands in the group are, from west to east, Kiska, Little Kiska, Segula, Hawadax or Kryssei, Khvostof, Davidof, Little Sitkin, Amchitka, and Semisopochnoi. The total land area of the Rat Islands is 360.849 sq mi (934.594 km2). None of the islands are inhabited.

Hawadax Island

The name Rat Islands is the English translation of the name given to the islands by Captain Fyodor Petrovich Litke in 1827 when he visited the Aleutian Islands on a voyage around the world. The islands are named so because of the rats that have ruled Rat Island since about 1780.[2] As of 2009, the island is believed to be rat free.[3]

The Rat Islands are very earthquake-prone as they are located on the boundary of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. In 1965, there was a major earthquake with a magnitude of 8.7 in the Rat Islands.


  1. ^ Bergsland, K. (1994). Aleut Dictionary. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center. 
  2. ^ http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=09-P13-00029&segmentID=5
  3. ^ "Alaska's Rat Island rat-free after 229 years". Reuters. 12 June 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stolzenburg, William (2012). Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World’s Greatest Wildlife Rescue. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781408825174. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Islands — Please support Wikipedia.
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269 news items

CBS Local

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Tue, 13 Jan 2015 00:26:15 -0800

A magnitude 7.9 quake in the Rat Islands on June 23, the largest in Alaska since 2002. • A magnitude 6 earthquake under Seward Glacier in the Saint Elias mountains on July 17. • Another magnitude 6 quake, this time in Palma Bay in Southeast, on July 25.

Guardian Liberty Voice

Guardian Liberty Voice
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 21:48:45 -0800

In the Rat Islands of Alaska, a sizeable earthquake has struck, affecting several islands including some Aleutian islands as well. This was one of the larger quakes to hit the region, prone to seismic activity. With a magnitude of 5.8, but at a depth ...

Financial Express

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 06:50:24 -0800

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Mon, 23 Jun 2014 16:08:26 -0700

A powerful magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck the Rat Islands in Alaska's Aleutian Island chain today (June 23), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Tsunami warnings were issued locally for Alaska's coastal areas from Nikolski to Attu. A small ...
Daily Mail
Thu, 31 May 2012 06:26:11 -0700

After two centuries of being known as Rat Island, the remote Aleutian site in Alaska has been renamed to reflect its hard-won rodent-free status, but the new moniker comes with a pronunciation guide. The ten-square-mile landmass will now be known as ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 01 Jan 2015 02:43:08 -0800

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Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:52:06 -0800

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Mon, 07 Apr 2014 08:06:56 -0700

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