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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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Boston Globe (subscription)

Boston Globe (subscription)
Tue, 12 May 2015 13:37:30 -0700

The major earthquakes that struck Nepal this spring were the latest in a series that included devastating seismic events in Japan in 2011, Haiti and Chile in 2010, and Indonesia in 2004. In fact, six of the 15 largest earthquakes ever recorded have ...


Mon, 18 May 2015 09:30:00 -0700

USGS indicates to news that “The central Aleutian arc extends from the Andreanof Islands in the east to the Rat Islands in the west. Here, motion is characterized by westward-increasing oblique convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thin ...


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 ...

Financial Express

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

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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 ...


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Sat, 25 Apr 2015 05:51:03 -0700

People rest on debris at Durbar Square after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015. A strong magnitude-7.9 earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley before noon Saturday, causing extensive ...


Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:48:48 -0700

4, 1976. Guatemala, 7.5, More than 23,000. Feb. 4, 1965. Rat Islands, Alaska, 8.7, Triggers 11-metre-high tsunami. March 28, 1964. Prince William Sound, Alaska, 9.2, 131 killed, including 128 by a tsunami. May 22, 1960. Southern Chile, 9.5, More than 1 ...

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