Robinson Crusoe spent 28
years shipwreck on deserted island. He was the only survivor of a ship
in a terrible storm. He survived and managed to defeat the feeling of
loneliness thanks to his intelligence and strong will.
According to Robinson’s descriptions,
the island is small and has 2 parallel chains of hills, one stretching
the northern part of the island and the other in the southern part. The
northern chain has on its eastern part probably the largest hill on the
The entire island is visible from this hill.
The island has several
small rivers, almost creeks, flowing across its surface.
One of these creeks is only
one mile distance from where Robinson lived. He had used the river
mouth of the
creek to unload the items he found on the wreck. This creek with a
mouth, flooded by high tides, dries out during the dry season.
valley starts in the western part of the island, goes shortly to the
before turning south and continuing to its river mouth in the
On the eastern coast, the island has
stones emerging from the sea for a distance of 10 km into the east and,
these stones submerged piles of sand continue for another 2,5 km. To
north-east the island has submerged stones for 2,5 km.
Fifteen kilometers to the
western coast of the main island are two smaller islands.
Far to the south-west of the
western coast of the island, after Robinson’s estimations 100 km, a
mountains is visible, stretching from west to south-west. These are
probably part of the South-American continent.
The main feature of the
waters surrounding the island is the presence of two powerful currents.
located in the south, flowing from west to east, while the
flows in the opposite direction, off the northern coast. The northern
is split in two by the north-eastern submerged stones. One part flows
the other to the north-west.
The climate of the island is
tropical. Robinson believes it is placed at 9° latitude north. It is
year-round, but tow seasons can be recognized: the rainy season and the
The rainy season lasts from
middle of February to middle of April and from middle of August to
The dry season lasts from
middle of April to middle of August and from middle of October to
Along the creek mentioned
earlier, there could be distinguished two major areas of vegetation.
On the lower part of this
course are savannas and grasslands. The main species of plants found
here are green
tobacco, aloes, wild sugar cane and many other species, these last ones
The upper part of the creek’s
course is dominated by large, beautiful forests and woodlands. One of
species growing on the island is the cedar. Other plants found here
vines-yards, hanging on the tress, and many water-melons on the
second area of vegetation, at the creek’s spring is a clearing in the
This clearing is full of prospering vegetation. Here grow wild cocoa
orange trees and lemon trees.
Such an organization of the
vegetation is found in other parts of the island. The western coast
also has savannas
full of herbs and flowers surround by prospering forests.
One curios tree specie, unknown
to Robinson, has a special property: poles and stakes made from this
fixed into the ground, grow back branches and even routs.
The island is home to many species
of many species of animals, a diverse fauna.
come to this island, probably to lay their eggs, because Robinson had
eggs inside the ones he caught. Turtles are very common on the west
the island. Other marine animals that come to the island’s shore are
Birds are extremely numerous.
There are many species, most unknown to Robinson. This species include
and parrots. Parrots are found mostly on the western part of the island.
numerous mammals are rabbits and gouts.
Predatory animals include foxes
and wild cats.
Robinson lived on one of the
hills on the western end of the southern chain. Here he found a plateau
on the north-north-west side of the hill. It had about 100 meters broad
long. The hill from its top to the plateau was very steep. Robinson
the plateau a semicircle with a diameter of 20 yards. He made a tent to
him from rain and dug a cave into the soft and crumbly stone the hill
of. He also made himself a cottage in the opening at the creek’s
the lush vegetation was.
Robinson made currants out of
grapes and made a flock of domesticated gouts. He never left his home
plateau in the raining season, because, if he did, he would have
Robinson caught one of the parrots
living on the western part of the island and made it his pet. He named
and taught it to talk.
He found a large cave on the island
and kept part of his provisions there.
This is the island Robinson Crusoe
lived on, as he described it, and the way it has influenced his life on
island being prosperous, Robinson managed to make his sitting
pleasant. The years spend on the island profoundly changed Robinson’s
of the world. From a mean, stubborn man he became an open-minded and
Truth behind the Story
It is a popular belief that Daniel
Defoe inspired himself for the
novel ”Robinson Crusoe” from the adventures of Alexander Selkirk, also
The son of a shoemaker, the Scottish
Selkirk ran away to sea in 1659, just like Robinson. In
September 1704, after a quarrel with he was
put ashore on his own request on the uninhabited Mas a Tierra island in
Juan Fernandez cluster, 640 km west of Valparaiso, Chile.
remained there alone until February 1709, when he was discovered and
aboard an English ship commanded by Woodes Rogers.
This cluster of islands was
discovered in 1563 by Juan Fernandez, a Spanish navigator, and is
three islands: Isla Mas a Tierra (Isla Robinson Crusoe), Isla Mas
Alejandro Selkirk) and Isla Santa Clara.
Thus the true island
of Robinson Crusoe
could be considered Isla Robinson Crusoe.
The islands are of volcanic origins,
dating from about 3 million years ago. They rise steeply out of the
There are few beaches and bays, these probably formed out of volcanic
The altitudes can reach 1500 meters
and there are paths for walks and a beach with temperate waters. The
landscape is similar to that in the novel.
Here live many species of plants and
some of which are endemic.
Out of all the plant species 70% are
endemic. On the island grow giant ferns known as palmillos, chonta
palms and a
wide variety of vines. The aromatic sandalwood tree, now extinct on
last observed in 1908.
The fauna includes three endemic
birds of which the Juan Fernandez fire crown and a native hummingbird
most popular. Also the island is home to the Juan Fernandez fur seal,
near extinction during the 19th century. Plants and animals
introduced from the mainland, which have long threatened the integrity
native ecosystem, are being delimited from the island in ambitious
funded in part by the Dutch government.
The island has even become a World Biosphere
Reserve, because of its incredible and partially endemic wildlife.