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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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461 news items

Tue, 28 Jul 2015 20:00:00 -0700

Since 1900, this region has hosted twelve large earthquakes (M>7.5) including the May 7, 1986 M8.0 Andreanof Islands, the June 10, 1996 M7.9 Andreanof Islands, and the November 17, 2003 M7.8 Rat Islands earthquakes. Six of these great earthquakes ...

Financial Express

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

When Reggae band UB40 famously asked, 'There's a rat in my kitchen what am I going to do?" in their 1986 hit single, they were looking for a practical solution to rid them of a pesky rodent problem. An academic from the University of Leicester has an ...


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 ...
Mon, 11 Jul 2011 10:25:06 -0700

In the late 1700s, a Japanese ship ran aground on a desolate scrap of land in the Aleutian Island chain on what is now Alaska. Among the cargo spilled out of the ship that day were common ship stowaways: rats. From there, the story echoes that of ...


Fri, 29 May 2015 03:16:27 -0700

Since 1900, this region has hosted 12 large earthquakes of greater than 7.5 magnitude, including magnitude-8.0 and magnitue-7.9 earthquakes in the Andreanof Islands (1986 and 1996), and a 2003 magnitude-7.8 Rat Islands earthquake. View larger at ...

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel
Sun, 14 Jun 2015 08:33:45 -0700

Early one morning last November, Jim Sterling was frightened when the ground began shaking outside his 156-year-old antebellum home in Alabama. He grabbed his gun and ran outdoors, where he found horses galloping, cows mooing and dogs barking.

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel
Fri, 22 May 2015 12:27:48 -0700

This is a developing story; please check back frequently for updates. MORE ON WEATHER.COM: The Biggest Earthquakes Since 1900. 8. Rat Islands, Alaska, Feb. 4, 1965 – 8.7 Magnitude. 1 of 8. Because this quake occurred in a remote area, relatively little ...

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