The Bouvet Island Boat Mystery

The Bouvet Island Boat Mystery

Bouvet Island is a 19 square mile piece of land in the South Atlantic which is covered in glacial ice – it is completely uninhabited for obvious reasons.

The island is known to be the most remote island on the planet – the closest land is an area of Antarctica called Queen Maud Land, which is nearly 1000 miles away!

Bouvet Island was discovered by a Norwegian explorer named Jean Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier (that’s quite a name isn’t it?) in 1739.

In 1929 it actually became a territory of Norway.

There is no vegetation on this island and the only building standing is a automated weather monitoring station which was built in 1977….

1964 – The Bouvet Island Boat Mystery

In the 1950’s the South African government was working on the island in an attempt to locate flat lands for a future manned station.

Initial reports suggested that the terraform of the island was all wrong – so they stopped their investigation until April of 1964.

They were returning to finish their study of the newer parts of the island which had grown in their absence…and they stumbled upon something very strange…

 The Boat

They discovered a boat and two oars in an island lagoon with no identifying markings. There were signs that humans had once been on board, but there was no sign of their bodies.

This boat was found over a thousand miles from civilization – how had the occupants managed to get this far with nothing more than two oars?

The Boat

What eventually became of the unlucky crew? Who were they? Where did they come from?

A London historian named Mike Dash took an in-depth look at the mysterious incident but came away with nothing even approaching a concrete answer.

The question still remains over half a century later – how did this boat get there?

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Bouvet Island boat mystery we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to use the comment section below.


12 comments on “The Bouvet Island Boat Mystery

  1. Perhaps it just drifted to the island from another part of the globe, (water currents and weather can be very unpredictable sometimes), either with or without occupants. if it had occupants, they might of realised that they wouldn’t survive on the island and succumbed to the ocean, or it was abandoned at some stage and left to drift to the island, sometimes the answer to something is the simplest one.
    an interesting article, on a very interesting site, thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Angel Phoenix,

      You are right – sometimes the answer to something is the simplest one! Thanks for taking the time to leave you thoughts on the matter with us.

  2. Could it be a lifeboat from a large, capsized ship? Perhaps some survivors were in the discovered boat and had been swept off of it at sea leaving it adrift.

    1. Could well have been Pam – good shout! There are so many theories to this it’s hard to nail one down isn’t it? 🙂

  3. Maybe that boat didn’t drift to that island at all… Maybe that boat was buried in the ice hundreds (thousands?) of years ago and the volcano uncovered it. The 1964 expedition only went there because the volcano had created some new or ice-free land…

  4. After the recent earthquake on this island, I google mapped it and the entire land is covered with cloud/smoke obscuring it completely. Also, 360 photo offered, where usually one gets a land view 360 photo, there are graphs and charts revolving around the Alien and Predator movies and games. Any idea what that’s about?

    1. I don’t Elizabeth, no. Could you maybe leave a link to the graphs and charts? They sound very interesting and we would love to have them here below the article!

  5. The fact that the boat was found over a thousand miles from civilization is not a big deal. It may have drifted around empty for some time before being stranded at the Bouvet island caused by a tsunami.

  6. Forensics should be able to attribute more information about this boat. I would think the type of wood used, the metal hardware, construction details including measurements etc would provide a wealth of information pointing towards its origin.

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