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Friday, January 3, 2014

Hainan Island, China

There is a mystery island off the Southwest coast of Hainan Island, Red China. Now you see a pair of small islands:

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Now you only see one:

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Google Maps used to have an error reporting method right on the map, but I can't find it. You know, with the brouhaha over all the disputed islands in the region, you'd think people would do a better job of keeping track of where they are, or aren't.
I got started on this by looking at a map of China's smog, and I noticed this big ol' island hanging off the bottom of China. I have a hard time keeping Eastern Asian geography straight, probably because I never had to draw a map of it in elementary school. Even now I cannot tell you whether Tokyo or
 Peking is farther North.
Hainan is the name of the island and the province. The province composes some 200 islands. The big island is over 12,000 square miles. All the other islands put together add up to only 400 square miles, so if one of the small islands disappears for a while it's not going to have a big disturbance down at the bureau of important statistics. I didn't find anything else about the island that was particularly special (besides the nuclear submarine base), except for the annual fog:
From January to February, the island of Hainan is affected by thick fog, particularly in coastal areas and the northern part of the island. This is caused by cold winter air from the north coming into contact with the warmer sea, causing the moisture that evaporates from the sea to be condensed into fog. The fog remains from day to night, and is evenly distributed. Visibility may be reduced to 50 metres for days at a time. During this period, residents normally keep windows shut. The moisture in the air is so extreme that the walls in homes weep, and floors often accumulate a layer of water several millimetres deep.
Somehow that doesn't make it sound particularly attractive. Inspired by Comrade Misfit.

Bonus: Women training to be bodyguards here.

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