Jabuka, The Magnetic Island

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The island of Jabuka, which means apple in Croatian, is a 97-meters-tall uninhabited volcanic island located in the Adriatic Sea, about 52 km west of the island of Vis. Jabuka, along with Brusnik, are the only two Croatian islands that are completely of volcanic origin. Together with Palagruza, that is only partly of volcanic origin, the three islands form an area called "Adriatic Volcanic Triangle". Brusnik, Jabuka, as well as some parts of Komiska bay on the island of Vis and some parts of Palagruza originated from an eruption of magma due to the break up of the Pangea prehistoric continent over 200 million years ago.

Jabuka has magnetic properties due to the presence of magnetite, a naturally occurring iron oxide, in the rocks that causes the magnetic needles of compasses of passing ships to go awry. Although some say that ships actively avoid the island because of its magnetic anomaly, truth is, the island lies far from all sea routes. Boats can rarely be seen in the vicinity except those who have made the island their destination.

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But getting to Jabuka can be tough. Standing alone in the deep waters, Jabuka is exposed to all winds, and since even the weakest winds cause large waves in the open sea, it takes a lot of expert maneuvering and luck to avoid crashing into this volcanic rock. The shoreline is not suitable for docking, and there are no bays that could keep your boats safe from the wind. The steep cliffs make it impossible to build shelter and the surrounding waters are 200 meters deep and not suitable for anchoring. In addition, the rocks are smooth without natural protrusions where the boats could be tied.

The sea surrounding Jabuka, however, is excellent fishing-ground that attracts many brave fishermen. A small number of plant and animal species have also adapted to the rough climate, including two endemic species — a plant called knapweed (Centaurea jabukensis, Centaurea crithmifolia) and an animal species of black lizard (Lacerta fiumana pomoensis). Some 50 years ago, the island was home to another endemic type of carnation, but is now extinct.

In 1958 the island was declared a geological monument of nature.

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Sources: Adriatic.net / vismapping.mi2.hr / Wikipedia

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