Pitcairn Island is an island in the Pacific Ocean more than 3,000 miles away from any continent with 50 people on the island. The least populated territory in the world is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — more than 3,000 miles from any continent. As of 2019, only 50 people call the Pitcairn Islands and their stunning rocky cliffs home.
The area around the Pitcairn Islands is one of the most pristine places on Earth.
223 years ago this weekend, Fletcher Christian and 17 other sailors held the domineering Captain Bligh at bayonet point against the mast of His Majesty’s Armed Vessel Bounty in the most famous mutiny in history. One month ago, National Geographic embarked on a journey through their footsteps, but with the very different goal of studying the pristine coral reefs of the area .
Back in 1789, British sailors in the Pacific mutinied on the HMS Bounty and settled on Tahiti and Pitcairn Island. While the mutineers on Tahiti were later arrested by the British, those on Pitcairn were able to start a community with Tahitian companions. In 1838, the Pitcairn Islands officially became a British territory, and today all of its residents are descendants of those original mutineers.
Sailor and photographer Tony Probst has visited Pitcairn four times since 2011, and natives have dubbed him the island’s ambassador. Here are some of his favorite pictures of life on Pitcairn.
Prior to the arrival of the mutineers, Polynesians were the first settlers on Pitcairn.