Amazing Island Where Compass Goes Crazy
In the waters of the Adriatic Sea, 52 km west of the Croatian island of Vis, rises unusual islet “Jabuka”
, what means apple in Croatian. On it there are no coastline nor bay, only 97 meters high pile of black lava rock full of magnetite, before whom ship’s navigation and compasses remains unusable.
Jabuka and Brusnik are the only two Croatian islands that are completely of volcanic origin. Together with the island of Palagruza that is only partly of volcanic origin, these islands are Adriatic volcanic triangle. Brusnik, Jabuka, as well as some parts of the Bay of Komiza on the island of Viswere created erupting magma during fracture of the prehistoric continent Pangaea more than 200 million years.
Magnetic characteristics of Jabuka island come from magnetite, a naturally present iron oxide from the group of spinels. When the ships approach the island, a powerful magnet causes uncontrolled movement of the needle of the compass, and makes this nautical device useless. Fortunately, Jabuka is outside the main waterways, so do not disturb the marine traffic.
The ships are rarely seen around Jabuka because the coast is not suitable for anchoring and strong winds which is exposed causing high waves and represent a constant threat to the vessel hit the volcanic rocks. Even the water that surround it, extremely rich with quality Sparidae fish, do not attract fishermen because the risk is too high.
Harsh climate tolerate only two endemic plant species: black lizard (Lacerta fiumana pomoensis) and Jabuka knapweed (Centaurea jabukensis). Until 50 years ago, there was present and endemic carnation (Dianthus multinervis), which unfortunately no longer exists.
Legend says that this endemic species of carnations sown and watered by mountain fairies, and that the young fishermens stealthily went to pick flowers for their girlfriends, and the older people complained because there was a belief that fisheries of Komiza will disappear when disappear carnations from Jabuka. According to Croatian legends island of Jabuka is the resting place of fairies, and also is a garden of Velebit fairies.