Shipwrecks are very common throughout history, especially in the early days in which people began international traveling and trade via ships. Many times these ship crews would meet rough waters that would lead to a shipwreck.
This small island is home to not one, but two, noteworthy wrecks.
Klein Curaco is an island of about 1.7 square kilometers, completely devoid of human life and located southeast of Curaco in the Caribbean Sea. It is considered to be part of Curaco, a Dutch country.
There are not many structures on this small island at all. The only things there are an old lighthouse, a beach house, and a few huts along the beach. The fact that the area on the island is so empty means it is only really appealing to people who love diving – as there are beautiful corals and underwater caves nearby. When a person is diving or snorkeling in this area, it’s easy for them to see many of the colorful fish and sea turtles that inhabit the region.
Years ago goats were allowed to roam the island, however this helped contribute to its desertification. Additionally, for several years, phosphate was mined from the island and exported to various parts of Europe. Once the island was mined out, the level of the island dropped, which had more implications than one would initially believe. The decreased level of the island contributed to a declining seabird population.
Luckily, people became aware of this and have made efforts to make the area better for local wildlife and the environment. There are restoration efforts underway to try to mitigate some of the damage from mining.
This island was also a part of the slave trade. The Dutch West India Company brought many slaves from Africa to Curacao. Many of the sick slaves were placed in quarantine here. This is not a proud time, obviously, as the slave trade was something that was extremely devastating to various populations. Families were torn apart, and many people lost their homes innate freedoms by being sold into slavery in different countries.
The remains of the first quarantine building can still be seen on the island. The slaves, as well as the other crew members and passengers aboard the slave ships who did not survive the sometimes treacherous journey, were buried at Klein Curacao. There are many graves to be found on the island.
The Dutch West India Company, in addition to being able to use the island for quarantine purposes with their slave ships, were also granted the ability to hunt monk seal on the island – another devastating endeavor due to the animal being highly endangered.
As for the lighthouse that is still present on the island, it was built back in 1850. The lighthouse was unique in that it was painted a very bright color, a coral pink. What is eerie to view now is that the lighthouse is now obviously falling into disrepair; slowly rotting away with its pink paint harder and harder to notice. The lighthouse can be found at the center of the ghost island.
The island is not often affected by natural storms, but some have made an impact. The first storm to make a major impact was a hurricane from 1877, destroying the first lighthouse that was on the island. That ushered in the way for the current lighthouse to be built closer to the inside of the island.
No person permanently lives on this island, but there are huts available for people who are making day trips to look around. Sometimes fishermen will stay for a few days while they fish and explore the surrounding area.
Unfortunately, the island’s biggest shipwreck is slowly being even more and more eroded as the waves hit it over time. There are remains of another four or five boats that have also washed onto the island.
This island is a neat little place for people to visit, calming due to its emptiness but intriguing for the history found on it, mostly regarding the slave trade. It is also a nice destination for those who enjoy fishing.
In adition, take a look at this interesting video about ghost towns