So, we’re going to try a little something different this time around. Nothing to do with intelligence or special operations, but it may appeal to the Bear Grylls or “Dude, You’re Screwed” in some of you. Today, we are going to begin a series we’ll call “Dare Ya.”

Why, you ask? Weeelll…because it’s my article, so sit…down…and…zip…it. In all seriousness, I just thought that the concept of finding and researching off-the-wall places and things to do, then throwing them out to you all, would be cool. So here we go.

And by the by, I am not actually advocating that anyone visit or do any of the things that we will discuss in this series, so please tell your lawyer to stop SnapChatting me. Having said that, if anyone has been to any of these places or done any of the things that we write about, please feel free to fill us in on how it went down. So with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s begin our little journey to sunny North Sentinel Island.

North Sentinel Island is located in the Bay of Bengal, off the east coast of India and southern Myanmar, and is a part of the Andaman Islands. The island is roughly the size of Manhattan, and is—judging by satellite pictures and the rare (you will understand why, later) firsthand and secondhand accounts—as beautiful as any vacation spot, complete with white sand beaches and lush green jungle canopy.

North Sentinel map

Here is where it gets interesting. The inhabitants of the island, called the Sentinelese (go figure) are truly a blast from the past, with anthropologists labeling them “the last uncivilized people on Earth.” (Apparently “they” have not been watching the news here in the U.S. lately.) Their language is unlike any heard anyplace else on Earth, and no one—at least not yet—exists to translate. It has been estimated that the natives, who are believed to have migrated to the area from Africa, have lived on the island for close to 60,000 years. Population estimates range anywhere from 50 to 400. Why the wide range? Well that has something—okay, everything—to do with the complete lack of hospitality on the part of the island’s people.

In 1869, a Hindu convict escaped from prison and, after being adrift for a time, found his way to the island. No one knows the exact chain of events, but a few days later, a search party found their wayward escapee—with his throat cut and his body pin-cushioned with arrows. Not that hard to deduce what happened. Two years earlier, the Indian merchant ship Nineveh shipwrecked on a reef, and after landing on the island in a lifeboat, the surviving 106 passengers and crewmen had to fend off constant attacks by the Sentinelese until they were eventually rescued.

In 1880, a British expedition successfully landed on the island, but only found small trails and abandoned villages (the people were and are experts at melting into the jungle). Eventually, an elderly couple and four small children, too weak to run, were taken captive and transported back to Port Blair. Predictably, the elderly couple, lacking the immune systems to fight the onslaught of pathogens in the outside world, soon became ill and died. The children were eventually taken back to the island, where they were set ashore along with a bunch of gifts. A second landing was made in 1883 after the eruption of Krakatoa (a nearby ship believed that it was gunfire and a distress signal).