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Chile's Robinson Crusoe Island

The Legend
Obviously named after Daniel Defoe's fictional character,  Chile's Robinson Crusoe Island is a real place with a riveting story. Though named after the famous character, the roots of the island's name are inspired by real-life events.
The Man
Alexander Selkirk, a sailor, spent four years of his life stranded on the island.  Deciding it was safer to brave a solitary existence than it was to risk continued travels on a ship he deemed unsafe; Selkirk asked the crew to leave him on the island.  (His intuition was correct, as the rest of the crew had to later abandon the ship.) Rescued four years later, Selkirk's story rapidly spread and became the inspiration for Defoe's novel.  

Fantasy Meets Reality
Because the story of Crusoe is so popular, Chile saw an opportunity for tourism revenue.  Although Selkirk was actually stranded on the island and inspired the story; the fictional Crusoe was far more popular, so Chile gave the island its current name.  Thus a real person on a real island inspired a fictional character, who in turn inspired the island's name change.  

Thanks for reading!

For another one of our articles about islands, check out this one on the South Sandwich Islands.  


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