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How Big is the Smallest Inhabited Island?

Many of the world’s islands are quite large, and many of them are countries. Although Australia is technically an island because it is not connected to any other body of land, it is more commonly referred to as a continent. But do you know how big is the smallest inhabited island in the world?

The “Just Room Enough” Island is the World’s Smallest Inhabited Island. It is about the size of a tennis court, just enough for one house and a tree.

More on the World’s Smallest Inhabited Island

Bishop Rock, an incredibly lonely lighthouse off the English Isles of Scilly, was once the world’s smallest island, according to The Guinness Book of World Records. However, Bishop Rock is no longer inhabited because the lighthouse was automated in 1982.

Just Room Enough Island, located off the coast of Alexandria Bay in New York, is the most likely claimant. Just Room Enough is one of the Thousand Islands. Actually, 1,864 by official count dot the St. Lawrence River as it flows northeast from Lake Ontario. Boldt Castle, the iconic storybook mansion that hotel millionaire George Boldt began building in 1900, is only 500 feet away on the next island over.  (Source: NY Post

Who Owns This Tiny Island? 

The land, formerly known as Hub Island, was purchased in 1950 by the wealthy Sizelands family, who were marooned off the coast of Alexandria Bay in New York state.

Just Room Enough Island, part of the nearly 2,000-island Thousand Islands chain, the family was looking to create a vacation getaway. They built a house on the speck of land, extending the walls to the island’s edges, creating a home that was just big enough to fit and giving the island its unusual name. A pair of bench chairs were placed in front of the house, and a tree grew on one side. That was all the space the island had.

To be considered an island in the region, the land must be larger than 1 square foot, remain above the water level all year, and support at least one tree. Just Room Enough Island meets these requirements, but it’s more of a house than an island.  (Source: NY Post

The Weekend Plan That Backfired

However, the Sizelands’ plan for a private weekend getaway backfired. Their cottage-sized island on the cottage-sized island quickly became a popular attraction for river cruisers. 

The speck of land squeezes a house and a couple of wrought-iron benches pushed hard up against the shingles onto its banks, One misstep, and you’re swimming.

Andrea Sachs, The Washington Post 

 (Source: NY Post

Just Enough Island is Comparable to the Size of a Tennis Court

Just Room Enough Island appears to be about 3,300 square feet, or one-thirteenth of an acre, with the river level where it is on Google Earth. 

That would make it half the size of Bishop Rock at low tide, making Just Room Enough the world’s smallest inhabited island even before the British lighthouse said goodbye to its last keeper. However, these islands would be an excellent buy if you don’t mind doing yard work.  (Source: NY Post)

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