Sunday, September 2, 2012

Strange But True!!

Just a few miles of the coast of Japan is an  small, remote island.
This island has a dark history.
And ironically it is also home to hundreds of rabbits.
The islands' name is Okunoshima..and is now nicknamed Rabbit Island. And though the island is only 21/2 miles in circumference it attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Visitors are attracted to the islands natural beauty, its dark past, and the 300+ rabbits that live there predator free. (Tourist will confess that its the bunnies they come to see and pet and enjoy.)

Are you wondering yet what Okunoshima's dark past may be?
Before it became the world largest rabbit petting zoo, Okunoshima was served as the base for the Imperial Army of Japan's lethal gas operation.  From 1929 to 1945, more than 6,000 tons of poisonous gas were manufactured on this remote island, and it was kept shrouded in secrecy.

The island became a thing of mystery and intrigue...for they took its location off the maps of that time, and the workers were sworn to secrecy as well.

Today all that remains of the sinister endeavor are the empty shells of factories, and cordoned off areas that are now believed to be where some of the canisters of gas are buried.

And true to form..the rabbits are thriving and nature has flourished...and what was once a dark, and fearsome place has become a refuge for man and animal alike.

Of course there is speculation as to where the bunnies came from. One story goes that the rabbits were brought in to 'test'/'monitor'  the toxicty of the island by the workers and to use them for testing. The other hypothosis is that school children released 8 rabbits on a field trip in 1971.

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