The best of the worst, from confused politicians to out-of-touch tourists

By Tracey Minkin
December 21, 2017
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Photo: mattjeacock/Getty

Do we even need a reason to justify a count-down of the Top 10 dumbest things ever said about islands?

Nope, so let's get counting . . .

#10: "Does the water go all the way around the island?"
Asked of a snorkeling guide in Hawaii.

#9: How do the islands stay so close together without moving apart?"
Shared by a Hawaiian islander via Reddit.

#8: Do they move the islands somewhere for winter?"
Asked of a bartender in Lahaina, Hawaii.

#7: "Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?"
One can only hope that the travel agent who fielded this question replied, "No, but I suggest investing your money in smart pills."

Related: This Gorgeous Island Is the Least-visited Country in the World:

#6: "Did anyone else used to think Alaska was an island?"

#5: "Hawaii is in the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here."
Former Vice President Dan Quayle demonstrated his shrewd gifts for geography by reminding us that Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean, is part of the US, and is, in fact, an island.

#4: "Why can't you just rescue the castaways?"
A few months after Gilligan's Island, the classic 1960s TV show about a three-hour tour gone terribly/hilariously wrong, the U.S. Coast Guard asked to meet with the show's creator/producer Sherwood Schwartz. Concerned viewers, who clearly believed the show was real, had sent telegrams to the Coast Guard asking why they weren't rescuing the castaways.



#3 "I didn't know Staten Island was an actual island until we went over the bridge."
On Episode 11 in Season 3 of MTV's The Jersey Shore, Pauly D had a true eureka moment: That Staten Island "was an actual island!" 


Does that compare to other Jersey Shore gems like, "Don't touch me, I'm tan!" (Vinny), "I gotta get my backwards hat" (The Situation), and the truly meta "They have defied the law of intelligence" (also The Situation)? No, but this post is about islands.

#2: Kodiak Island is "America's largest island."
In 2010, Sarah Palin called Kodiak Island the largest island in the United States. (For the record, the largest island in the US is the Big Island of Hawaii, by nearly 500 square miles.)


Here's the quote: "As we work and sightsee on America's largest island, we'll get to view more majestic bears, so now is a good time to draw attention to the political equivalent of the species.” 


#1 (maybe also the #1 Dumbest Thing Ever Said EVER): Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson's 2010 assertion that too many people on the US territory (and island) of Guam might TIP THE ISLAND OVER.
During a House Armed Services Committee meeting held on March 25th, Johnson questioned Admiral Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, about a proposal to move 8,000 Marines from the Japanese island of Okinawa to the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam.

Don't believe us? Watch for yourself. Watch it all. Still don't believe it? Snopes confirms.

A tip (but not capsize!) of the island to all the great folks at, 1001 Dumbest Things Ever Said, and, for the sweet finds. We love the Internet almost as much as we love islands.