Map of Rat Islands showing major islands (line between Semisopochnoi Island and Amchitka Pass is the 180th meridian
The Rat Islands (Aleut: Qax̂um tanangis) 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°ECoordinates: 51°47′17″N 178°18′10″E / 51.78806°N 178.30278°E.
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.
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. As of 2009, the island is believed to be rat free.
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.
- Stolzenburg, William (2012). Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World’s Greatest Wildlife Rescue. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781408825174.
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