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Rabbit Islet Has No Rabbits

The island of Lampedusa is Italy’s southernmost piece of land—it’s so far south of mainland Europe that it’s geologically a part of Africa. Just off its shore, there is a small islet called Isola dei Conigli (Rabbit Islet) with a rather misleading name.

Rabbit Islet is actually not always an island, and sometimes a small isthmus of sand connects it to Lampedusa. Because of this peculiar feature, the island was called Rabit Islet in an 1824 nautical map, referring to the Arabic term rabit, meaning “link” or “connection.” In later maps, this name was thought to be a spelling mistake and “rabit” became “rabbit.”

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