How to die on Niku 101

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This topic was raised by Gillespie to EPAC, 3 August 2009. Subsquent suggestions from others have been incorporated into this list.

  • Dehydration (but, according to the Floyd Kilts story, the Benedictine bottle contained "water for drinking.")
    • "Rainfall at Nikumaroro is sporadic. That's why the colony failed. There are ways to collect rainwater after a shower but I'd be interested to hear how you would fashion a water trap from natural resources. In October 1937 Maude and Bevington counted 111 coconut trees on the island. In my experience, it's a rare Westerner who can climb a coconut palm. Try this experiment. Buy a coconut at the grocery store that has fluid in it (shake it and you can hear the fluid). Take it home and try get it open without losing the fluid. No fair using tools other than a pocket knife and hammer or hatchet." [1]
  • Heat stroke.
  • Dysentery.
  • Ciguatera (fish toxin).
  • Stonefish poisoning.
  • Botulism from eating canned roast mutton that has sat around in the heat since 1929.
  • Blood poisoning from infection due to coral cuts (been there, done that). "Any cut or scratch is prone to infection on Niku unless treated promptly. Coral abrasions are especially bad (Gillespie: "... and I have the scars to prove it")."[2]
  • Wander into lagoon silt "quick sand" (Gillespie: "Been there, done that.").
  • Shark attack (not very likely unless you're unlucky enough to have a run in with a visiting Tiger or Pelagic Whitetip).
  • Fall out of a tree while watching for ships.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Etc., etc.
"Memorandum. Local Steps to be Taken if and when Approval of the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme is Received," p.6.
The party is particularly liable to suffer from fish poisoning, dysentery, coral sores, and tropical ulcers.