The Moving Island of the Grey Monks (Island Week 3)

Monday, 1st September 2008 by

It’s Island Week 3 here at GSS, which means we’ll mostly be posting about Islands. For about a week.

Schiermonnikoog is a small island off the coast of the Netherlands, that only 758 years ago was actually 2 kilometres north of its current location, and a completely different shape to boot! A combination of current, tides and wind have actually moved this island at the astonishing rate of around 2.64 metres per year.

The island’s name, “Schiermonnikoog” translates into English as “Island of the grey monks” and was named for the colour of the robes of the Cistercian monks who first owned this tiny piece of land. Today it stands as a municipality in its own right, and with only around one thousand inhabitants, is the least densely populated municipality in the Netherlands.

See our April 2008 post on Sea Reclamation for more on coastal erosion.

Thanks to Arjan.